Thursday 9 October 2008

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

In 2003 I opened an account with Jet Stores in Gaborone.  This included insurance cover against all sorts of risks.  In 2005 I lost my teaching job due to illness.  From that time I failed to service my account, particularly when I spent 6 months out of the country seeking treatment.  When I returned to Botswana I contacted Jet and told them of my circumstances.  At that time my account balance stood at about P3,000.  They told me that they couldn’t help and that my account would continue accruing interest.  I tried my best to pay instalments with the help of friends and relatives.

I recently got another job and I started paying back P500 each month but I was shocked to find that my balance now stood at P7,000.  I also found out that I had been blacklisted.

My problem is that I thought I was insured against loss of employment and I think that Jet should have considered this.  I have tried to clear my name with TransUnion but they won’t do anything about it.

Can you help me? 

I’m sorry but I don’t think we can help very much.

You face several problems.  The first, and MOST significant, is that you failed to tell Jet in time that you lost your job and couldn’t make your repayments.  You really must tell a store these things instantly.  They’re not interested if you tell them months later.  Even if your policy did include insurance against losing your job it was probably too late by then.

There is probably very little that can be done regarding your listing with TransUnion.  Everything Jet told them was true.

You seem surprised that the amount you owed had increased so much.  It IS surprising how quickly the interest on a loan can accumulate if you fail to make repayments.  

You’re not a maths teacher are you?

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