Friday, 25 January 2013

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I saw on Facebook that someone was offering Windows and Microsoft Office and lots of other software. When I contacted them for prices they said they could give me the version of Office 2010 with Microsoft Access for P280. Can this be true? Is this legitimate?

No, it’s certainly NOT legitimate. The version of Microsoft Office you mention sells for ten times that amount so anyone who offers it at that price is clearly selling pirated software.

I got in touch with the guy by text message and pretended that I was interested. He confirmed the price of P280 for the full version of Office 2010. I asked him whether I would get the original installation CD to keep and he said “No, u dnt remain wt the CD”. Clearly he’s up to no good, selling pirated copies of software. If he’s not careful he’s going to end up prosecuted, fined heavily or even sent to prison.

The silly thing is that there are versions of Microsoft Office that are very reasonably priced these days. You can even get competitor products such as Open Office that are entirely free. I’ve tried Open Office myself and while it’s not quite as cute as the Microsoft equivalent it’s perfectly good when you consider that it’s free. There’s really no excuse for buying pirated software. If you do you’re just as criminal as the crook selling it.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I have purchased a car from a local company on the 9th June 2012 and the agreement was for it to arrive in 4 weeks on the 18th July 2012 but it did not arrive. I asked them so many times about the car they keep on telling me different stories and dates. I have paid all the amount that was needed for the car, everything. Even now I am still waiting its been 7 months please help me.

This is yet another example of how easily buying imported cards can go badly wrong. You’ve never driven the car you’ve paid for up front, you have no idea exactly how long it will take to arrive, you’re not even sure that the car you ordered will be the one that arrives. The whole car import industry is the extreme end of a business that it, let’s face it, already a bit suspicious.

Please send me the full details of the vehicle you bought and the contact details of the company you’ve been dealing with and we’ll get in touch with them. I’ll ask them whether you’ll ever get your car.

Conference warning

I’m not a big fan of conferences, they’re usually just an opportunity to spend your employer’s money on having a quiet day or two in a hotel conference room and getting a free lunch.

They’re also a way people think they can make a lot of money. Sometimes they do this by neglecting certain things. Like customer care and their legal obligations.

We heard from someone who booked to attend a conference by a visiting management “expert” which was cancelled at the last minute. The organisers contacted the people who had already paid advising them that they would rebook them on to the new conference when it was rescheduled later this year. They also invited them to attend a short seminar by another speaker for free.

Unfortunately our reader couldn’t make the new date but still attended the free seminar. Then, because she can’t attend the dates later this year she asked for a refund. The organisers refused, saying that because she attended the free seminar she was now committed. Haven’t they heard of Section 15 (1) (e) of the Consumer Protection Regulations 2001 which says it’s a failure "to meet minimum standards of performance" if the supplier fails "to promptly restore to the consumer entitled to it a deposit, down payment, or other payment"?

So far the organisers are ignoring my emails. I wonder why? I’ll keep you informed. Have you had the same experience?

Update: The organisers got in touch saying they won't give her a refund. We won't be giving up!


The staff of BancABC, particularly Bonolo from the Game City branch and Calvin from the Square Mart branch for rapid and excellent service.

Keep the celebrations coming in!

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