Friday, 9 March 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I received an email from a friend that said:

“WARNING!!!!!! Don’t buy and drink a newly introduced bottled water product called “DEW”. The Department of Customs says it was shipped from Tanzania . It killed 180 people. Its said to contain poisonous chemical. Please forward to your departments, relatives and friends.”
Is this true?

No, this is certainly NOT true. It’s a hoax.

This email, and variations of it, have been circulating for a long time. At one point the supposed deaths had happened in Nigeria but the Nigerian authorities investigated and reported that there was absolutely no truth to the story. Surely if this was true we’d be hearing about it on the radio, in The Voice and on TV instead of by email? You really have to consider how trustworthy the medium is. Emails are NOT a very trustworthy source of information on health issues.

I suggest that you go back to the person who sent you the email, suggest to them that they should do a Google search for this and find out the facts before circulating hoaxes and wasting their employers bandwidth.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I bought a butter cream cake at a supermarket for my kids, but we realized that the cake was not in a good state to be eaten because its taste was sour and it was having a gassy smell.

I took the cake back to the shop the following day where I was helped by a manager or shop assistant (not sure) and she told me that to her the cake is ok and they is nothing she can help me with. I asked to see her senior and she told me that she is the last person I can see as the manager is not around and she took the cake and did not refund with anything. She told me to leave as they is nothing she can help me with.

You don’t have to be a food hygiene specialist to know that this is completely unacceptable. Not only is it discourteous and disrespectful, it’s also contrary to the Consumer Protection Regulations, the Food Control Act and the Public Health Regulations. It’s potentially life-threatening. Don’t forget that although the most common victims of food poisoning are the very young, the very old and the frail and unwell, it can also kill the healthiest of people extremely rapidly. I’m sure we’ve all had minor doses of food poisoning but the next one might be the one that kills you.

Luckily this issue was sorted out fairly quickly. The store manager called the customer and apologized profusely, gave him a full refund and promised him that this will never happen again. Meanwhile the store clearly needs to train it’s staff on basic food hygiene standards as well as how to deal with customers who have reasonable complaints!

Investment update

Several people have now contacted us about an “investment scheme” calling itself ”Three Link Connection”. They require “investors” to give them P11,800 and they apparently promise that this will double within 4 weeks. As you can imagine this is yet another scam. In fact, this seems to be a reincarnation of an earlier scam that was called “Young Stars Investments”. The founder of that particular scam, Daisy Mogale, was prosecuted in South Africa but it seems like she’s back again.

The lesson is simple, so simple that it should really need to be said. There is no way you can make money as fast as these scammers will suggest. Surely if it was possible banks would be doing it all the time? The only people to get right from Get Rich Quick schemes are the scammers who invent them.

We’ll be speaking to the authorities that have the power to intervene with schemes likes these and giving then the information they need to take action. Watch this space!

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