Friday 1 November 2013

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

My friend applied for a loan in July and he was told that his name was blacklisted, his name was with ITC. He went to ITC to check why his name was blacklisted and he was told that sometime in 2012 he ordered a bedding from Home Choice in South Africa and he never paid. Mind you the things he ordered were never delivered thats the reason he didn’t pay. Of lately he’s been calling Home Choice everyday for them to remove his name but they are not willing to help him and now he is stuck because he wanted the loan urgently but now he cant get it because of the home choice issue. So I need you help here?

This sounds like a complete mix-up. You’d think that a company would know when goods had been returned, don’t you? However mistakes happen, you judge a company not by whether it makes mistakes (they all do) but by how they recover afterwards. That’s IF they recover.

I contacted the head people at HomeChoice in SA and their reaction was actually very good. I got this email from them.
“We have investigated this matter and have noted that there was a delay in processing the credit note to the account. We have subsequently credited the account and have requested the Credit Bureaux to remove the default listing as well as the payment profile. As soon as we receive confirmation that the default has been removed, we will advise [Mr X] as well as yourself. We have already received confirmation from TransUnion ITC that this has been actioned.”
They later confirmed that they had removed his listing from two other credit reference agencies as well.

So not bad. A mistake happened and the company fixed it. You can’t ask for more than that, can you?

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2
In 2008 I got a credit card from a bank with a credit limit of P15,000. As might be expected, I emptied the contents into my head (alcohol) literally in no time. Soon thereafter re-paying became an issue. When I checked last I owed about P9,000. As you might have guessed at this stage the account have been frozen because I wasn’t making repayments. Logically the bank forwarded my details to a credit bureau.

Well I learnt that in 2012, when after I have stabilised financially and quitting alcohol, wanted to procure a facility from the bank I have since moved to. Today, I am in a sound position financially and though I can not secure another loan, I wish to thank the bank for having made sure I do not sink deeper into financial mess by borrowing more and more. I also wish to thank them, for, instead of taking me to lawyers to demand payment which would have been impossible and more damning. I am now in a very sound position to repay the credit facility off in one stroke of a pen. The trouble is apparently I can not clear or pay my credit card loan if I do not have an operating bank account with them. This is my issue. I admit, I owe them (today is at P21,000) it has been growing. I accept it and I want to pay it off, so that I can become free of the credit bereau). I do not want to open an account with them, I simply wish to be allowed to pay what I already owe and close the deal. They want me to write a letter to re-activate my current account with them, they want a copy of my payslip etc. I have cash ready to pay which needs no proof of my employer. It is from my savings and it is enough to clear the 21,000. I do not wish to re-open my account since I simply need to clear my loan and continue where I am. They have been good to me when I was in trouble, by not making me pay through my nose and I do not wish to destroy that relationship. How should I do it?

I’m publishing this question because I admire you enormously. You admit that you got into trouble because of your own behaviour but you have the backbone to admit it. You admit that you owe the bank a lot of money and that you’re willing to pay his debts. You’ve also straightened yourself out and are now living a much cleaner, more honest life. I think you deserve our admiration. If only more people had the courage and strength to admit their failings.

You can rest assured that we’ll speak to the bank and encourage them to help you out. You deserve it.

Update. We contacted the bank and they thought the same as us, that he deserved a break. His problem has been sorted out.

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