Saturday 18 March 2023

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

They can't fix my phone!

Last year on the 20th of September I bought a phone from a store at Rail Park Mall. After 5 days I took it back as it was giving me problems. Upon returning it they say it's a software problem and they took it and told me to wait 45 minutes for it which I did and took it home but it still gave me problems.

This year on the 27th of January I took it back again and they told me to come back after 3 working days. I did and was told to come after two more days as it was not ready. I went back on Saturday and they told me something about IMEI which I didn't understand. They told me they would call me back which they never did. I had to call them almost every day and was told one lie after the other until this past Sunday I called them again and spoke to the guy who is the technician and he said I should give him a few days. He said they ordered a new software and he'll call me back. That hasn't happened until today.

It's still under warranty and I have all the receipts with me.

I'm beginning to lose patience with cellphone stores. Almost every day we hear from another customer with a story very similar to yours. They spend often large amounts of money on phones that almost immediately fail. I know that all technology brands have occasional failures but this is happening way too often.

I suspect what you do, that some of these stores are importing refurbished and second-hand phones and selling them as new. That's illegal, contrary to Section 13 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act which says that a supplier who:
"offers used goods shall inform a consumer that the goods sold are used goods by … placing a label on the goods that indicates that such goods are used goods (and) placing a notice on the invoice issued to a consumer". 
Do these suppliers not know that the penalty for not doing this is "a fine not exceeding P50 000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both"? 

I'm locked out of Facebook!

My Facebook account was hacked and thieves are using it talking to my friends as if its me. My friend's Facebook account was hacked so I thought I'm talking to my friend, I gave out all my details, they managed to create a new password and logged me out.

Now they are giving away a WhatsApp phone number so that people can make Orange money and send them money. They are updating Facebook status using my Facebook account, as soon as my friends reply they ask them to send P1,000 to that orange money number.

I don't have access any more, they changed the password, deleted my email address and phone numbers which were linked to the Facebook account, so I can't reset the password because there is no how the reset code can be sent.

Who can help me trace the number?

I'm sorry, I don't have any good news to give you. What you've experienced is a very common thing these days. People voluntarily give away their Facebook ID and password and before long their account has been hijacked like yours. The scammers who do this can then pretend to be you and contact all your friends trying to scam them.

Why do people do this? Why do they hand over their details? They do so most often because they've been offered money. If you're on Facebook you'll have seen posts offering prizes for answering the silliest of questions. When you answer the question, hoping to win the prize, the scammer demands access to your Facebook profile to "validate" your prize. They then try to sign on to your Facebook account, clicking the button for when you've forgotten your password. When Facebook send you the OTP code, the scammers will ask for it and then they're in. They'll immediately change the password and you're locked out. Forever.

Just think what a scammer can learn about you from your Facebook profile. It's not only your posts they can see, it's also all of your private messages, the images you've shared and exchanged, and who knows what else. Would you be comfortable with a total stranger having access to all of this?

Unfortunately, the only practical solution is to create another Facebook profile. And to be much more careful in future.

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