Saturday 6 February 2016

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

How do I get my refund?

I entered into a contract with a company to provide me with a wedding tent for my wedding on 19th and 26th December 2015. I paid them P12,500 and P6,500 for the two occasions. Unfortunately the company failed to provide the service for the first event only providing the tent and chairs with no items listed on the contract and catered for 150 guests instead of the 200 guests that we paid for. The lady who is managing the company switched off the phone as from the 18th December and only came to apologise to us on the 20th December with no explanation as to why she did not provide us with the service we requested.

We entered into an agreement (written and signed) to the effect that she will refund us part of the fees we paid for due to her failure to provide the service. She paid an amount of P5,500 and as per our agreement the contract to provide service at the second event was cancelled forthwith and she promised to refund the deposit of P6,500 to be paid before the 31st December. The lady started to ignore my calls when I tried to inquire about my refund and when I finally contacted her she requested for 10 days to look for money which I did approve. After 10 days (which elapsed on the 18th January) the lady started to ignore my calls and my efforts to send her numerous messages to request my refund proved futile up to now.

I have given up on her and I am thinking of seeking legal action against her. Please assist me on what to do to get my refund back. I have a proof of all the receipts for payments, the contract and Memorandum of agreement signed by me and her together with our witnesses.

I’m not sure you really need my help, do you?

You’ve already done everything I would have suggested and the only thing left is to follow through with your threat to take her to court. You’re lucky that the amount in question is well within the limits of the Small Claims Court. I suggest you go to them as soon as you can, show them all the paperwork you have and seek an order from them for the outstanding money she owes you.

Meanwhile again I have to ask the same question that I ask so often. What is it with the wedding industry? Why is it so full of crooks and incompetents? Why do they not seem to care about their customers’ special days?

Is this a real job?

I was in contact with a woman from the USA who I met in Mozambique at a meeting last year. Then I hinted I was looking for job and she indicated she will assist. In January 2016, I received an email, supposedly from her saying I should email my CV to her and the HR office of Valero Energy Corporation. I did that and someone from supposedly Varelo sent an Employment Application form which I completed on 28th January. The next day I received a letter of offer from supposedly Valero.

My sixth sense then indicated all is not rosy, as this might be a scam, but it does not follow the description of scams. My suspicion is based on the following. First the names of the people I dealt with kept changing. I was offered a post of Assistant General Manager initially but upon offer I am offered one of a Project General Manager. The last straw was I am to pay a visa of US$550, where I suspect the catch is. The agent given is a Norman Weed. I did speak to him and he sounded elderly, he claimed to have received a copy of my appointment from Valero.

Please help me verify.

Your suspicions are 100% correct. This is undoubtedly a recruitment scam. There is no job here, no offer, no magnificent salary. The only genuine thing is the money they want you to send them.

You’ve mentioned some of the clues, but there’s another big clue that this isn’t a genuine job offer.

Real companies offer real jobs to real candidates only after they’ve done a real face-to-face interview. These days you can do interviews online using technologies like Skype but there is always, ALWAYS some form of face-to-face interview before someone is offered a real, senior-level job. Always.

And companies don’t ever charge their recruits to be hired. Even if they did they wouldn’t demand that the money was paid using money transfer services like in the demand you sent me. There’s one last clue. Valero, a real oil company have posted a warning on their web site saying all of this as well. Just delete the emails and don’t ever respond to them, no matter what these crooks do to entice you.

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