Friday 11 April 2014

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I joined a "business" they call World Ventures with P3,600. I was made to join by a lady called Sheila who stays in Palapye and are still recruiting more people to date. After two months without benefiting anything, I asked to be refunded and excused but they are telling me that it isn't possible because it's been over two weeks since I joined. How can you assist apart from cautioning others not to get roped into this?

I’m afraid it’s probably too late to get your money back. World Ventures is a pyramid scheme and the people running these schemes don’t care about what’s right and wrong. They rarely offer refunds to their victims.

World Ventures claims to sell holiday discount vouchers but if you think about it a discount isn’t a product, it's just a reduction in price of a product. Unlike Multi-Level Marketing schemes like Amway and Herbalife there is no actual product with World Ventures. Because there is no real, tangible product it's surely fair to call it a pyramid scheme.

We're not the only ones who think this. The authorities in Norway recently warned Norwegians that WorldVentures is a pyramid scheme. Their thinking was simple. Their research showed that 95% of all the money paid out to recruits came from the recruitment of other people, not from actually selling things. That's a sure sign of a pyramid scheme.

It’s the same thing in Botswana. I contacted this woman Sheila and when I asked her if “I can make money just by recruiting other people” her answer was simple. “Yes”.

Unfortunately it’s probably too late to get your money back. You’re right, all we can do is spread the word to everyone we know that World Ventures is a scam and they should avoid it.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

A man recently came to my house selling sauce pans, mats etc. I took the sauce pans which he said the price was P1,200 and on 3 months installment. There was only a verbal agreement and he wrote a receipt each time I paid. I started doubting the quality of the pots after my first installment as they were rusting. I paid my second installment though I seriously didn't want to.

One day when I walked around town I saw the same sauce pans on display at the flea market, I went there and checked them, they were the same even the box. I asked for a price the lady said its P650, I also asked where they buy them she said South Africa. I asked if she knew the guys who are selling them and she told me she knew them and they were selling them for P1,200. She even pointed me to other people who she knew they were selling them, some for only P500.

So, I think I have already paid this guy enough that is P800! He is calling my cellphone non-stop with regard to the last installment. Please help me out, how do I deal with this situation?

I think you need to decide this for yourself. Morally you probably should pay the full amount because that’s what you agreed.

However I’m not sure how he could ever enforce your debt as there’s no written agreement, it’s just your word against his. Given that the price he suggested was clearly a LOT more than the price elsewhere and he’s probably made his profit by now you might consider that you’ve already paid enough. Given also that they’ve already started rusting you might even claim he’s sold you goods that weren’t “of merchantable quality” as required by Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations.

However the decision would be entirely yours.

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