Friday, 8 February 2013

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I moved in to a house last year July 2012, then by end of the year I gave my landlord notice of a month and told her that we can no longer afford to stay in her house as we can't afford it.

She informed us that the lease was for two years and had no exit clause, that’s no notice on it. We discussed and agreed that she keeps the two months deposit and we shall also pay the estate agent's fee to find her a new tenant. We got three people interested in renting and she selected one. She delayed from her end in formalising the lease and as a result the prospective tenants declined. Now she still insist that we continue to pay her rent. None of the estate agents want to work with her as she is difficult. How am I supposed to get her a tenant when the estate agent don't want to deal with her.

Is the no law that protects the lessee in such a situation?

I'm sorry to hear of your trouble. However I don't think there's much help I can offer. The key fact is that you voluntarily signed a 2-year lease without an early termination clause. You are committed to that agreement.

It's normal practice to allow a tenant to find a replacement tenant if they want to leave early but there's not much I can suggest if your landlord is unreasonable and makes it too difficult for a new tenant to take over. It might be useful if you tried to assist in getting the new tenant’s lease agreed with the landlord. Anything you can do to make that happen will help you to move on. I certainly suggest that you keep trying to find a new tenant.

I’m truly sorry I can't be of more help but this is a valuable lesson from with others might learn. Only sign a contract like this if you are 100% certain that you can stick to it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a property lease, a mortgage, a store credit agreement or even a marriage. If you think there’s a risk you won’t be able or willing to stick to it then don’t sign it and walk away!

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I contacted a UK company for an iPhone 5 by email. On the same day I got a reply email from Robert Wortley who said they could ship it for me If I pay the total fee of $500 plus an additional $50 for shipment costs and I would receive the package in 2 days time, he said I should pass the payment to Western Union and upon confirmation of payment I would receive a tracking number to monitor my package till delivery.

I asked if they have a branch back here but he said its in the UK and as confirmation of payment I would receive the tracking number and be fully refunded if there is a problem, but my main question is from whom? The guy contacted me thrice on my mobile and the number was hidden strangely but the quality was poor I guess due to the network, first he called me at around 9pm on Sunday local time then again on Monday at 11am local time and again at 1pm, asking whether I would make payments today or not I told him I would reply as to when I would pay. Due to the different times he called don't you think its strange business hours due to time zone differences or he is just an over zealous business man? So is this company legit?

I don't trust them for several reasons.

Firstly this “company”, calling itself “Mobile 9 Ltd” operates solely using a Gmail account. Real businesses don't do this, they have their own domain. What’s more, the address they give, “252 Albert Road, Leyton, London” is a private house, not a business address. So, no real addresses. Why don’t they have a phone number? They don’t even seem to disclose a cellphone number which is even more suspicious.

Secondly if they're a UK-based company why are they charging in US dollars?

There IS a company registered in the UK called "Mobile 9" but its registered address is in Birmingham, 200km away from the address given in London. Yet another indication that you should be very careful.

Finally, I simply don't trust ANY company that uses Western Union as a payment mechanism. Real companies have bank accounts that you can send money to. It sounds to me like they’re trying to hide their location from you.

One last thing. I did find a phone number for the people you spoke to. Curiously this was a number in the United Arab Emirates, a very long way from London.

In summary there are just too many warning signs here. I don’t trust them. I think you're lucky not to have sent him any money!


The Head Office reception staff at BOMaid and the staff at Café Portugalia at Game City in Gaborone, both for their friendliness.

Keep the celebrations coming in!

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