Home » Consumer's voice » CONSUMER’S VOICE – 7th September 2012

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I bought a hair piece (Sangita colour 2) at a store in the station mall and then went to the nearest salon in the same mall.

After a few minutes I realised it’s not the right colour 2 even though it was written colour 2 on the package. Immediately I went back to the store and asked for an exchange so I can choose the colour I wanted. I was told (rudely by the man at the cash point) that I should have never came back because once you take something bought in that shop out it can never be returned regardless of whatever happens and they don’t issue receipts to the customers. Whenever you enquire or show disapproval of something they will tell you to go to the next shop and don’t bother coming to their shop.

Clearly the owner or manager of this store shouldn’t really be in the retail business. Or any business at all.

The store has breached a number of the Consumer Protection Regulations and I think you should write them a letter explaining this. You can begin by pointing out that they failed “to meet minimum standards” by selling you a hairpiece that “does not match any sample or description given to the consumer”. It said on the packet that it was one colour but in fact was not. That’s a breach of Section 13 (1) (a). They also breached Section 13 (1) (d) by falsely claiming that the item was “of a particular style or model”.

In your letter you should state that you’re cancelling your deal with them and politely request that they give you a full refund for the amount you paid within 7 days. Remind them that Section 15 (1) (e) of the Consumer Protection Regulations requires a supplier to “promptly restore to the consumer” a refund when a deal is legitimately cancelled.

Make it clear to them that the letter is also being sent to the Consumer Protection Unit in the Ministry of Trade and Industry and also to us and The Voice.

Let me know how they respond to the letter?

I also most forgot. Make sure you tell everyone you know about the store and how unpleasant the management are. Suggest to your friends, relative and neighbors that they think twice about shopping there!

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I received an email from Liberty Financial Loan Services who offered me a loan of R10,000 to R10 million. They say that they offer loans at only 3% interest. Can this be true?

No, of course it can’t be true. This is a scam.

To begin with there is no legitimate lender who approaches total strangers offering them loans like this. Secondly no legitimate lender, in fact no legitimate financial enterprise these days, uses a free Gmail address as their primary email address. Real companies also have offices with landlines, not just the South African cellphone numbers these crooks quote. Most importantly, this company, “Liberty Financial Loan Solutions”, which claims to operate from South Africa, doesn’t actually exist. No such company is registered in South Africa.

Above all, no lender in the world offers loans at an interest rate of 3%.

This is just the beginning of an advance fee scam. Despite what their initial email says sooner or later there WILL be some form of payment they’ll insist you make. That’s what the scam is all about, that “advance fee” that you pay them. if you do fall for it and pay them they’ll just string you along with more and more demands for more money. This won’t stop until you either wise up or run out of money.

I suggest that you either delete the email or send them a reply using as many rude words as you know!

General scam warning

I think it’s fair to say that you shouldn’t trust anyone who approaches you out of the blue and offers you something, particularly when they use a free email address. If they can’t strong a sentence together in conventional business-quality English you should always be suspicious.

Certainly, when what they offer you sounds too good to be true, you should know that it IS too good to be true. The solution is never to believe ANYTHING you read in an email from a stranger unless you have a very good reason to. Be skeptical.
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The Consumer’s Voice is brought to you by Consumer Watchdog. We’re here to help consumers with problems with suppliers, to help consumers stand up for themselves and also to help suppliers improve the services they deliver. It doesn’t cost you a thing so if you need our help you can reach us by email us at watchdog@bes.bw, by post to Consumer Watchdog, P. Box 403026, Gaborone or by phone on 3904582 or fax on 3911763. Read the Consumer Watchdog blog where you can comment, celebrate and complain at consumerwatchdogbw.blogspot.com. Also join our Facebook group called “Consumer Watchdog Botswana”.


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