Friday, 29 November 2013

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

Hello Consumer Watchdog. Earlier this month I mistakenly recharged a cellphone number which has almost the same number as mine except that it ends with "5" while mine ends with "3".

After realising that I made that error I called the person for that number and was told its a company cellphone though he suggested that I might get my units back. The units were worth P50.

However the last company worker I talked to told me it will be difficult to be reimbursed, stating that the owners of the company are impossible. Please be of help by advising as I need those units, I bought them for a purpose and its really bad for someone to remain uncooperative. May be the answer I will get will lay off the ghost and help adjust my troubled soul. Thanking you in advance.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of this sort of thing. It’s happened with airtime but also with bank payments and the mobile money services offered by the cellphone companies. Getting just one digit wrong can lose you your money, simple as that. I can understand it happening with airtime but I simply can’t with banks. Don’t they compare the account number you give with the name of the account holder and make sure they match? Clearly they don’t but they certainly should.

Let’s get a few things straight first. I think you understand this was entirely your fault, not the fault of the company. It was your responsibility to be careful when entering the number. But we also have to remember that people make mistakes, we’re all fallible and I think it’s reasonable to expect the cellphone companies to give us a chance to double check the number before it’s too late.

However, surely the company can be reasonable? It was an honest mistake and it will only take them a few moments to remedy the situation. It’s only what a good neighbour would do, isn’t it?

You’ve been unlucky enough to accidentally give your airtime to a company who doesn’t like to be a good neighbour. Send us their details and the number you mistakenly sent the airtime to and we’ll get in touch and see if they can’t be a bit more friendly?

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

My friend applied for a loan in July and he was told that his name was blacklisted because his name was with ITC. He went to ITC to check why his name was blacklisted and he was told that sometime in 2012 he ordered a bedding from Home Choice in South Africa and he never paid, mind you the things he ordered were never delivered that’s the reason he didn’t pay. Of lately he’s been calling Home Choice everyday for them to remove his name but they are not willing to help him and now he is stuck because he wanted the loan urgently but now he cant get it because of the home choice issue. I need you help here.

We got in touch with Home Choice in South Africa and they acted fairly quickly to fix this.

They sent us an email saying:
"We have investigated this matter and have noted that there was a delay in processing the credit note to the account. We have subsequently credited the account and have requested the Credit Bureaux to remove the default listing as well as the payment profile. As soon as we receive confirmation that the default has been removed, we will advise Mr [name removed] as well as yourself. We have already received confirmation from TransUnion ITC that this has been actioned and await feedback from the other Bureaux. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused [name removed].”
We heard back from the reader who told us that his friend did indeed have his credit history corrected and he now has the loan he was waiting for. Thanks to Home Choice for fixing their mistake.

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