Friday, 31 January 2014

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

Hello. I would like to check how authentic this on-line university is? Atlantic International University. Someone I know was offered a partial Phd scholarship, they were asked to only pay 22% of the fees but only if they do it in January. I felt like a scam.

You’re absolutely right to think this is a scam. Atlantic International University is a fake establishment. This is what they say on their web site:


So it’s not actually accredited. Even the agency that they claim has accredited them is itself not a real accreditation agency.

It’s clear that AIU is a fake university accredited by a fake organization, it’s as simple as that. Degrees from AIU are worthless and won't be recognized in Botswana. Your friend must realize that if he ever got a job or a promotion using a fake degree like one from AIU then he’d be a criminal. He’d have committed a fraud against his employer, just like anyone who obtains a financial advantage by lying.

One final curiosity. They claim to be based in Hawaii, so why do they call themselves "Atlantic International University"? Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean, not the Atlantic.

Please be a good friend and make sure your friend doesn’t waste his time, money and reputation.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

My laptop just turned blank when I switched it on and I went to the store where I bought it for assistance because the laptop is still under guarantee. They said that my screen is damaged from the inside and their guarantee does not cover the Screen. They said I need to pay P1,600 for the laptop to be repaired because the guarantee does not cover that. My laptop is still with them, I didn’t take it because I could not understand why they said that.

There was no crack on the laptop when I gave it to them and all thy said was that its damaged from the inside.

Can you please help me?

I think this depends very much on what laptop model you have and what the warranty says. The manufacturer of the laptop might have some restrictions on what is covered but it’s impossible to know until we’ve seen the warranty. There are also potential problems with certain laptops models that are not supported in certain regions. For instance many laptops that you buy elsewhere in the world aren’t supported in Africa.

Meanwhile the store isn’t permitted to make empty claims. Section 15 (1) (b) of the Consumer Protection Regulations requires a store to justify any claims that they make. Specifically they can’t quote “scientific or technical data in support of a claim unless the data can be readily substantiated”. In other words you deserve a full technical report on exactly what’s wrong with your laptop.

Your first step should be to check the fine print in the warranty documents that came with your laptop. Then, if the screen is covered, write a letter to the store politely demanding a full technical report explaining exactly what’s wrong and what can be done to fix it.

Meanwhile we’ll get in touch with the store for you.

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