Friday 16 November 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I bought a laptop from Game in F/town some time back in February through credit/lay bye terms. I then lost my receipt and the laptop crashed in September. I took it to them for repair on the 17th September and they told me they can’t help me if I don’t have the receipt because they are not sure the product is theirs. We argued a lot since I knew they have a copy of my details in their system.

We then agreed that they will fix it for me and I pay the charge and I agreed to that. Right now my concern is that they haven’t given me my laptop back. I gave them my serial no and asked them to check in their system and they told me they cant find anything including my credit details. I contacted the person who made the sale and he confirmed making the sale but the manager still says he can’t help mi because I don’t have proof of purchase. Please help!

I admit I was a bit confused by the mix-up this customer was in. Game took his laptop for repair but then wouldn’t return it because he didn’t have proof of purchase?

Rather than waste any time I got in touch with Game and asked them to take a look. Within moments I got an email from their Head Office in South Africa asking for more details. It turns out there had been a problem recording your details in some computer system somewhere, which is why the store was a bit confused.

This was quickly sorted out and I got the following message from the customer two days after his original complaint:
“I want to take this time to say thanks to the Consumer Watchdog team. It’s a good work you doing guys. I have been compensated at Game Stores and got a new laptop. Thanks again without you we consumers are nothing. Big up to you guys.”
It’s very kind of you to say that. All Game needed was a gentle reminder and they fixed things swiftly, efficiently and made you a very happy man. I’m not advertising them but every time we’ve sent problems like this to them in recent years they’ve sorted things out very quickly. All a decent company needs, when they’ve slipped up, is a gentle nudge and they’ll fix it. Good for them.

Scam update

Despite being scumbags scammers aren’t stupid. Another thing about scammers is that they evolve. Although there are still some traditional “419” or “advance fee” scams going around the scammers have moved on to other ideas. They’ve tried recruitment scams when they claim to offer you a fantastic job in a far-flung country, so long as you pay them up-front for a fee. They’ve also tried conference scams, where you’re invited to attend some exciting conference in an exotic location, all expenses paid, EXCEPT one. It’s usually the cost of a hotel room but that’s’ what the scam is ALL about. That’s the money they want.

More recently they’ve invested a lot of time in technology and run so-called “phishing” scams where they attract you to a web page that look exactly like your bank’s online banking web page.

The latest trend I’ve seen is the business complaint issue. An email arrives beginning like this one:
“The Better Business Bureau has received the above-referenced complaint from one of your customers regarding their dealings with you.”
In the following email, which you can imagine must seem rather alarming, there was an attachment that would have launched a piece of “malware”, which Wikipedia defines as “software used or created to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems”.

Please don’t be alarmed if you receive such an email, just delete it and please DO NOT open any attachments or click on any links, in emails from a strangers.

A request

Who’s given you excellent service recently? Who really WOWed you? Who deserves a pat on the back?

Please let us know when you get service that really impresses you. We’ll celebrate them here in The Voice and we’ll also celebrate them with their MD or CEO. Maybe if we all start recognizing the service stars that we know are out there excellent service might spread?

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