Friday 27 July 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I bought a camera memory card from some big IT shop at an unbelievable cheap price and the first time I used it, 2 weeks or more after purchase, I opened it and it had some files in it. I tried to delete them but they turn to be permanent viruses. I used the virus cleaner to remove it but it could not be cleaned.

What do you suggest I do next time I purchase one and what are my rights?

I suspect that what you bought was actually a used memory card. Someone bought it, used it, innocently infected it with a virus and for whatever reason returned it to the store. The store then repackaged it and sold it again as new. No, before you ask, this is NOT acceptable and breaches various Consumer Protection Regulations.

The memory card wasn’t “of merchantable quality” as required by Section 13 (1) (a) of the Regulations. More importantly if I’m right then it was sold as new when it was actually used or second-hand, contrary to Section 13 (1) (c).

I suggest that you take the memory card back to the store from which you bought it and show them this newspaper. You should suggest to them, very politely, that they need either to replace the card with a brand new one or give you your money back. If they give you any problems, let me know.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I received an email from the Norton Financial Group inviting me to partner with them and offering me their financing program. Can I trust them?

No. You can’t. This is a scam. Here’s why.

This is what part of their email says:
“We offer flexible loans and funding for various projects bypassing the usual rigorous procedures. This Financing program allows a client to enjoy low interest payback for as low as 3% per annum for a period of 5-25 years. We can approve a loan/funding for up to USD 500,000,000 or more depending on the nature of business.”
That first sentence is all you need to read. “Bypassing the usual rigorous procedures”? What lender does that? What lender contacts total strangers and offers to lend them $500 million? What serious lender uses a free email address, operates from a UK re-directable cellphone number and sends out spam emails?

The “Norton Financial Group” is genuine, it’s a UK-based finance company, but this email is nothing to do with them. This is yet another advance-fee scam. I guarantee that they’ll offer you an astounding amount of money at an astoundingly low interest rate with no checks and just before you get your hands on this fictitious money they’ll be a sudden, last minute requirement for you to pay THEM some sort of fee. It might be for a fake lawyer, tax or commission but that’s what the whole scam is about, that “advance fee”. If you pay it they’ll then concoct a series of further payments you’ll need to make and they’ll keep doing this until you realize you’re being scammed. Either that or until you run out of money.

This is yet another email you should just delete. Or you could send them a really rude reply telling them where they can put their scam emails!

Facebook warning

I love Facebook, I really do. It’s a great way to share information, to keep in touch with friends and relatives and even to learn a few things. However, just like the rest of the internet, there are dangers.

Several people have been in touch to ask about some of the schemes they see advertised on Facebook.

As I type this I can see an advertisement for investing in gold, when the gold price is today at an all-time HIGH. Why would I want to buy something when it’s at the most expensive level it’s ever been? Another offers a treatment called Baariz that claims it can remove HIV from your body and can cure AIDS. This is, of course, a lie.

The message is simple. Facebook is no different to the rest of the internet. Don’t believe anything you read unless you have a very good reason to do so.

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