Friday 29 August 2014

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

Good day. I would like for you to check out a Canadian company that offered me employment. They initially sent me an email saying that they were hiring and that I should check out their website for available post. I went through the site and it seemed genuine. I emailed the contact provided on the site, and the sent me an e-interview to fill out, and send my qualifications through. I did that and they sent me an offer letter.

I would like for you to check if this company is real and that it is not just some scam. I will forward all the correspondence I have had with them as well as the documentation I sent through and what they gave me.

The job offer was received from Naheel Ismaeel Seyam, secretary/announcer email address The candidate questionnaire, was received from Dr Maxwell Delgado, manager HR department email address After I forwarded answers to the e-interview, they sent me confirmation of appointment and acceptance letter. The emails also came from Dr Maxwell Delgado.

I hope you will be able to assist me at your earliest convenience.

This is undoubtedly a scam. The first clue is that this isn't how recruitment companies operate. Genuine recruitment companies don't email strangers offering them jobs and they certainly don't hire based solely on "an e-interview". They also don’t offer people they’ve never met a package that includes things like $5,700 (P45,000) per month after tax, a pension, stock options, free flights, free accommodation and “Payment of your initial six (6) months upfront salary”.

This is the beginning of an "advance fee" scam. They want money up-front. In the small print it says: "You are to take responsibility for your ICC fees".

That's what it's all about, a fee you have to pay them before you get anything in return. There is no job, no company, no recruiter, nothing about this is genuine apart from the money they want from you.

Anyone who gets an email like this offering a fabulously well-paid job should just delete it. Don't waste your time or money.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I would like to know the difference between "Best Before", "Sell By" and "Expiry Date".

The Labelling of Prepackaged Foods Regulations define what all of these terms mean and you can see a full description of each on our blog. However in simple terms the “Best before” and “Expiry” or “Use by” dates are the dates before which the food should be in an edible condition. The “Sell by” date is the last day the store can sell the item.

When you're in a store, you certainly shouldn’t buy anything that is at or beyond any of these dates. If you do see such an item it’s your right (and I believe your duty) to tell the store manager immediately to help protect other consumers.

Personally I wouldn't even buy something that's expiring within a couple of days, particularly if it's a high-risk item because I don’t know how long it’s going to stay in my fridge before I eat it. You should always think carefully about how long you’re likely to store something before buying it.

You should also use some common sense with "use by", "expiry" and "best before" dates. It depends very much on what the food is. If it's meat, fish or poultry then be very careful about the dates. On the other hand if it's an apple then you can be less fussy.

Either way, use your eyes and your nose with ALL foodstuffs. Millions of years of evolution have given us senses that can often tell us when things we want to put inside our bodies are likely to harm us. Ask your partner, relative, housemate or whoever is standing close enough, "Does that smell OK to you?" before you cook or eat it.

So read the dates and take care with them but above all trust your senses. If in doubt don’t eat it.

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