Friday, 12 February 2016

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Can I get my money back?

I would like you to assist me regarding the payment I made but cannot be given what I paid for. I tried to register a company last year in February with a certain man. I paid him P700 for registration of the company and after some months he asked me to deposit P1,000. The total amount I paid towards company registration is P1,700 therefore I want him to give back my money because he failed to provide me with the service he promised.

Another issue is that in 2006 he promised to demarcate his plot and sell part of it measuring 40x40m to me. He asked me to pay the deposit of P3,400 before he can start processing the demarcation issue with the land board of which I paid and do have receipts with me. I gave him P2,000 on hand and the P1,400 was deposited to the account that he gave me. The total amount I paid towards the plot is P3,400. All these years he has been claiming that he was busy he has no time to go to land board but now I have realised that he was lying he just wanted to take my money and I want my money back.

1700+3400 =5100 this is the total amount he owes me because he did not give the service he promised.

I think there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that it should be possible to recover the P1,700 you paid this guy for registering the company. You should first write this guy a letter giving him 14 days to pay you a full refund of the P1,700 he owes you. Say in the letter that you’ll take legal action against him if he fails to do so. If he doesn’t cooperate after 14 days then go to the Small Claims Court and ask for an order against him.

The bad news? I think you might have left it way too long to worry about the money you paid him for the plot. You’ll need to check this with an attorney but I suspect that the Prescriptions Act will apply. That says that a debt like this one is “prescribed” after three years. In other words if you fail to start legal action within that period then a court will refuse to consider the case. You might need to write that one off.

One final point. Why on earth did you approach someone who had already cheated you to set up your company for you? That should have been a warning sign. If someone cheats you once, they’ll do it again if they get the chance.

Can I get my money back as well?
I was getting married last year November, as is the norm my name was published at the DC's office. After a few days I and my husband received short message from someone was asking us to hire his photography services on our day, we discussed the issue with my husband and agreed to engage him. We then made an appointment with him and met near KB mall in Gaborone. We gave him the whole amount of P3,000 for the service, and have a receipt to that effect. On our wedding day he came as agreed, he shot the video and took photos, on the second day he informed us he won't make it but sent someone who did not disappoint.

Then time for giving the videos and photos came, he promised to deliver in 7 days, that did not happen, we continued calling him and he made endless promises, until last week when my husband asked him should we now take the legal route and his answer was yes you can. I thought he was just joking but it seems he was serious since its been a week now without any word from him. Can consumer watchdog help me get my money back because our initial agreement with this man did not materialize? I thought of reporting to the police but I feared that he may change his cellphone number once he realises that I was serious about engaging the law since the only detail I have is his cellphone number.

Yet again someone has been badly let down by a wedding service supplier. What is it with that industry? Why is it so populated by liars and crooks? Why do some of them operate like drug dealers?

You should do what I suggested the other reader should do. Write a letter giving the guy 14 days to refund you completely and warning him that you’ll take legal action against him. Then make sure that you follow through and go to the Small Claims Court.

Every week we have at least one person with a story similar to yours. Sometimes it’s a photographer, other times the caterers or suppliers of furniture or equipment but the story is always the same. On what is meant to be someone’s most special day they are let down, often ruining the occasion.

My advice is simple. Only ever use someone at your wedding who you already know is reliable and honest. Only use someone who has satisfied someone you know at their wedding. Using a stranger is clearly far too risky.

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