Saturday 22 August 2020

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where’s my stock?

Greetings, I’m seeking help from you regarding a matter whereby a lady robbed us our hard earned cash in pretence of ordering stock for us in China.

I’m an unemployed graduate and wanted to start something for myself to make money. In total we are 9 people and the amount she robbed us is P31,000. The police were involved and even now we haven't been helped with anything. When we call she doesn’t answer, when we text she just ignores our messages.

Please help us.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a situation like this. In normal times it happens often enough but in the strange and difficult times we now live in, there are more and more people trying to get us involved in their money-making schemes. We can all see why people are interested.

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t try to earn some extra money, but there are some precautions we should always take whenever we try to do so. The first, and perhaps most important, is to get things in writing. Before you hand over any significant amounts of money to someone you must put your agreement in writing and both parties must sign it in front of witnesses. The agreement should explain exactly what each party is going to do, when they will do it and what will happen if something goes wrong.

Whenever money is involved, you also need to make sure the money leaves a trail behind it. Whenever possible, don’t use cash or money-transfer systems. Use bank accounts and transfer money electronically in a way that can be investigated. That doesn’t guarantee there won’t be trouble because some scammers use legitimate bank accounts (usually belonging to another victim) but it certainly reduces the risk and it allows the banks and the police to trace the money.

There’s another reason why a written agreement is so important. It’s a very good test of someone character and honesty. Someone unwilling to put an agreement inwriting can’t be trusted.

However, here’s another lesson. The Police can’t always help. Unless there’s evidence that someone like this person deliberately set out to steal your money, they probably can’t help. It’s not the job of the Police to involves themselves in business issues that go wrong, it’s their job to catch criminals.

I’ll try and contact this “lady” on your behalf and see if I can talk some sense into her.

Where are my glasses?

Early this year I went to a book store. I happened to forget my glasses I use for driving. The following morning I phoned and sent an SMS, alerting that I had forgotten my shades at the shop. I could not go back that morning but the following day I went back and I was told that the shades indeed were found, handed to one of the workers. He told me that the shades were stored overnight at the shop. The following day the person who picked them came to the shop and asked if the owner of the shades had not come to pick them. I was told the person who picked them asked them to hand the shades to him and he did. By the time I got to the shop the officer had already handed my shades to the stranger.

I reported the issue to the management and they kept on tossing me from pillar to post telling me they had reported the case to Head Office in South Africa. I followed with emails to both Botswana and SA management but to date there is no response. I need my shades and driving in intensive sunlight, glare and shine is damaging my eyes which have now started tearing.

Please may you intervene in this case as soon as you possibly can.

I think you have a right to expect the bookstore to do their best to trace who this stranger was. Yes, it was kind of this person to hand in your glasses when they found them but it was blatant theft to collect them from the store, knowing they weren’t theirs. A sensible store will record the name and contact details of someone who hands in lost property or they might even have the person on their security camera footage. I’ll get in touch with the management to see what can be done.

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