Friday 16 May 2008

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

I was a customer of Jet Stores up to November 2006. I cleared the account which was P2591.00 on the 20th November 2006 and closed the account. When I cleared this amount the gentleman who was helping me at Jet Stores failed to tell me that they had already listed me with ITC. It was only when I applied for a cellphone contract in December 2007 that I found this out because I was declined.

I asked Jet for a statement and they confirmed that I owed them nothing. However when I contacted ITC they told me that I was listed on 7th November 2006 by Jet with an unpaid debt of the full P2591.00.

I followed Jet’s advice and contacted their Head Office in South Africa. They wrote me a letter confirming that I had paid off the debt and that they would clear the amount as unpaid within 14 days. However my record would stay with ITC for 2 years from the date I was originally listed. I contacted ITC and they also told me that the details would remain on their records until November 2008.

What can I do?

Unfortunately not very much. If you were actually behind on your repayments and you DID owe Jet the full amount then that record is actually true. Obviously the record should show that you no longer owe Jet that amount but a store is entitled to record that you did, in the past, owe them that amount.

You were wise to check with TransUnion (who used to be called ITC). You were also wise to get Jet to confirm with TransUnion that you no longer owed them the money. However you will, unfortunately, have to wait until later this year before the record is purged.

Follow-up: As you may have seen recently we reported that TransUnion have formed a partnership with BotswanaPost so that you can check your TransUnion record at Post Offices. It’s starting small at just three Post Offices in Gaborone but will be rolled out to the whole nation soon. It costs P30 but that sounds like money well spent!

No comments: