Friday, 31 August 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I would like to find out what happens in a case where I signed a 2 year rental lease and there is no provision for the length of notice of termination in the lease. The landlord tells me unless and until he finds a suitable tenant I will be liable for rental. What happens if I want to move out? Please advice. Please help.

Unfortunately from what I understand about your situation you don’t have many options. You are committed to the lease. Unless there is a termination clause in the contract that discusses early termination the duration of the lease will apply and if the landlord isn’t willing to negotiate then I can’t think of much that you can do.

The landlord is probably within his rights to demand either that you continue paying the rent or that you find a new tenant for him who will either finish your lease or will sign a new one. Unfortunately you did, after all, sign a 2-year contract and you’re committed to it.

Sorry I can't give you better news!

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

In 2010, I bought a Toyota Hilux but the rear mud guard flap together with the spare key were missing. The garage promised to sort out the problems and advised that they would call me so that the same could be sorted out. After a long time of promises and calls to them, I decided to confront them personally and the owner kept on promising that the matter would be sorted out.

After making a lot of noise for a year, they assigned a mechanic who is no longer in their employment to help me but he failed to code the key and promised that he would contact specialists for a special appointment which to date has never materialized.

In May this year, I again confronted the garage who referred me to a Supervisor who also promised to sort out the problem at the earliest but to date nothing has been done.

I think the garage has really abused my consumer rights and believe the contract of sale has been abrogated by the garage and am I’m asking for advice about whether if I could sue the garage or what?

It certainly sounds like you HAVE been treated badly. I’m no expert but how difficult is it to program a key? OK, let me be a bit more understanding. A car key probably IS a difficult thing to program. It’s meant to be that way. We don’t want just anyone programming a car key, it’s meant to be something only a specialist can do.

Nevertheless I share your confusion. I think it’s time to write to them and demand some action. I suggest that you give them seven days to supply you either with a programmed key or a partial refund. You obviously can’t demand back the entire value of the vehicle but you CAN demand some something back from them. Suggest to them that if you don’t get a swift solution you’ll take them to the Small Claims Court and ask them to intervene.

Let me know how they react!

Ponzi scheme update

I’ve commented on various Ponzi schemes like Eurex Trade in the last few months. Just a few days ago a enormous Ponzi scheme called ZeekRewards collapsed, leaving perhaps 1 million people out of pocket. Yes, a million victims. And perhaps $600 million in investors money.

According to, the closure of ZeekRewards by the US Securities and Exchange Commission:
"came as many began to question the legality of the operation and whether its promised 1.5% daily returns were simply ‘too good to be true.'"
Just like all collapsed Ponzi scheme they have one thing in common: promises of financial returns that are just unbelievable. No legitimate investment scheme can offer investors 1.5% per day. Just like Eurex Trade can't really offer the daily return of 2.9% that they claim. It's impossible. Ponzi schemes all collapse sooner or later. All of them.

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