Thursday 19 February 2009

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

In May 2008 I paid a Real Estate Agent called Mossbee Business Services a deposit of P5,500 for a property they had offered to rent me. However, when I later went to collect the keys so I could move in the manager told me that the property was no longer available at the rent we agreed. I was very disappointed but asked him for my deposit back.

The manager, Mr Moses, promised me that he would repay the deposit and in June 2008 he gave me two cheques but these both bounced. In July he sent me P3,000. I keep asking him to repay the balance but so far I haven’t received a thing.

What can I do?

You can do exactly what you did. You can us.

We spoke to Mr Moses from Mossbee and asked him why he hadn’t paid you the balance he owed you. He gave us a sob story about cash flow and financial difficulties but we explained to him that this really wasn’t your concern. We explained to him that he owed you the money and that you had been VERY patient by waiting so long.

Mr Moses assured us that he would pay you the balance by Tuesday 10th February or the following day.

Update. The consumer called us on Wednesday 11th to tell us that she had called Mr Moses on Tuesday 10th to see where her money was. Apparently he told her he had promised us that she would get the money by “midweek”, not a specific date. He told her that he doesn’t know when he’ll have money for her.

So we called him again and he promised that she would get her money by Friday 13th.

Then we gave Mr Moses some encouragement. We told him that if she didn’t get the money on Friday 13th then we would tell readers of The Voice the entire story. We also said we would mention Mr Moses’ name. We would also mention that he runs Mossbee Business Services. Do you think we’ve done that enough yet?

Given that this consumer is still owed money that clearly should have been refunded she has several courses of action. She can call the Police, she can instruct her lawyers to drag Mr Moses to court or she can call the Real Estate Institute of Botswana who regulate the activities of real estate agents like Mossbee. They have the power to cancel the membership of a company who fail to meet certain standards. By failing to repay a deposit and by bouncing cheques perhaps?

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