Friday 20 November 2009

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1 

I do trust you help me on the one. I met this guy in town on Saturday and he introduced me to a marketing company by the name of WINALITE which he says is new in Botswana. This guy managed to convince me to join this company but I want to confirm from the ever scrutinising Watchdog if this is safe to deal with looking at the benefits that they say you get when using their products. I went into their website but I fail to understand how a sanitary pad can do things like relieving stress, improving immunity, healing fibroids, increase of oxygen in the womb and lungs.

Hope you will help me before I jump into any decision that I may end up regretting?

This sounds very suspicious to me. How were you approached and what did the guy offer you? Was it a pyramid-style structure or something else?

The sanitary towel that they offer seems to be based on utter pseudoscience. Take this for instance:
"The new anion-chip is proved to launch anions and far infra-red function by detection, hastens human microcirculation, inhibits reproduction of anaerobic bacteria, while hastens women`s partial micro-circulation, raise the growth of bio-enzyme and improve women`s self-protection ability."
You don't need to be a gynaecologist to know that they're talking complete hogwash. I would steer way clear of this. It way too risky. 


[The consumer got back in touch as follows. I’ve quoted the whole message because I think it’s interesting to hear how pyramid-style selling schemes work. Be warned!]

I was in a restaurant and this gentleman came to sit next to me waiting to be served. He greeted me in a Zambian accent and we ended up having a chat during which he asked me what I am doing for a living. I told him I have a job and he asked if am satisfied with my earnings because he had something that could change my life instantly and which would enable me to quit my job. That’s when he showed me the Winalite product quide and business opportunity book. The joining fee is $90 which comes to P700. I understood this is a pyramid style business when he told me that the more people I recruit the more cash I make from the points i accumulate from the new recruit’s sales. He gave me his business (WINALITE) website and we were to meet after I have read the documents he gave me so he could explain further anything I haven't understood.

I am not going to continue with this business. Immediately I received your email I called this man to tell him I have changed my mind because I confirmed with Consumer Watchdog if the business is safe and he promised to call me back. Thanks for your quick response and for your advice. Thanks very much. 

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2 

On 4th August I purchased a queen bed from Style for P3039.95. I paid a deposit of P760 and gave them 5 post-dated cheques to cover the payments from August to December. In mid-August I realised that the bed was not in a good condition, it was creaking and uneven. I called the owner of the shop to let him know about this. He promised he would replace it. By the end of September there was still no replacement and no communication from the shop. I then returned the bed and asked for my refund since they didn't have a replacement in the shop.

When I returned the bed the owner’s wife told me that the owner is the only one who can do refunds. She also told me that he was in South Africa and that she was unsure when he will be back. I kept calling every week to check if he was back. On 30th October I called, he was in and I spoke to him. He was so rude to me, telling me that I have been harassing his wife and that I should stop doing that and all kinds of stories. He went on to say that he has not even inspected the bed. I have waited for this gentleman for over a month and what I get is him disrespecting me.

Please assist me, all that I need is my refund.

Where do some furniture stores get their owners and managers? Like so many of their products the owners themselves are simply not “fit for the purpose”.

We called the owner and he told us a sob-story about how busy he was, how much he was travelling and he confirmed that he hadn’t had a chance to inspect the bed. More worryingly he told us that his trading licence had expired so he couldn’t go to the office at the moment. Of course that’s utter rubbish, of course he can go there, he just can’t trade. There’s nothing stopping him honouring his legal obligations to you. There’s nothing stopping him from giving you the refund you deserve. We’ve been trying to call ever since and now he’s not taking our calls either.

Please let us know if you hear from him. Particularly if he comes up with any more excuses about why he can’t honour his legal obligations!

We’ll keep hassling him as well.

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