Tuesday, 23 April 2019

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Is Global Dream Network legit?

I’ve been invited to seminars about Global Dream Network. Do you think it’s legit?

Many people have asked us the same question recently. They’ve either been invited to seminars (mostly at UB) or encouraged on Facebook to join WhatsApp groups about Global Dreams Network. They seem to be recruiting very hard within the University of Botswana and also BIUST in Palapye.

GDN say that their business is "all about giving donation to another member and you shall receive donation in multiples" and that it’s “a Person to Person, Direct Funding and Crowd Sharing Platform”. That’s exactly what we heard from a range of previous pyramid and Ponzi schemes, a mysterious scheme in which you donate money and magically, a lot more money comes your way. It’s not difficult to see that it’s an impossible, unsustainable business model.

Their own marketing material is very clear, that after joining for a fee of R350, and then recruiting a pyramid four levels deep, they claim you’ll have “potential earnings” of R38,800. However, just a few moments of mental arithmetic show that this is simply impossible.

I joined one of their WhatsApp conversations and asked the recruiter “To make money do I need to sell any products or just recruit other people” and was told “You recruit 2 people and teach ur two people to do the same”. She then confirmed to me that there are no actual products being bought or sold. That’s the definition of a pyramid scheme. No products, just recruitment of other people.

I did a little detective work and even though it operates in Rands, Global Dream Network does not appear to be a registered company in South Africa. Their domain was only registered on 21st January 2019 but their registration details have been withheld.

The bad news for anyone promoting or even joining a scheme like GDN is that the 2018 Consumer Protection Act will punish them with a fine of up to P100,000 and up to five years in prison. I suggest you ignore any invitations from Global Dream Network and don’t waste your time, effort and money. You might also escape a huge fine and time in jail!

P.S. I’ve also written to UB, suggesting they think more carefully about letting pyramid schemes like GDN exploit their facilities.

Must I pay them?

I bought a fridge and TV in May last year and I paid and paid on so from September and October I didn't manage to pay and November they came and took their property. They gave me a week for me to pay the instalment I didn’t manage for some other reasons then month end I went there to pay and collect my things to find that they sold them ok I just left it there. Now I want to get a loan from my bank and found that my name is in ITC. I went to their office and they told me to pay the P15000 first so they can remove me from ITC for what I don't know because they already sold the property. They are saying that to remove my name I should pay the amount otherwise they can't help me. Help sir what can I do?

Unfortunately, there’s very little you can do. Here’s the first thing you should know about hire purchase. The reason it’s called “hire” purchase is that you are hiring the goods before purchasing them. Until you pay the final instalment, the goods still belong to the store, not you. That means the store is entitled to repossess them without notice or a court order.

It gets worse. When you buy something on hire purchase and you stop paying your instalments the store is entitled to repossess the goods and then sell them and the money they get from that sale goes towards the amount you still owe the store. The problem is that the profit they get from the sale is tiny compared to the balance you still owe them. If you then fail to pay off the amount you still owe, the store is entitled to register your debt with a credit reference bureau like TransUnion. That will then make it very difficult for you to get a loan elsewhere.

And the reason they can do this? Because it’s true. You do still owe the store that money and it’s reasonable for other organisations to know that before they lend you money or offer you credit. The best thing you can do is ot contact the store and negotiate a repayment plan that you can afford.

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