Friday 28 February 2014

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I thought I'd share. I ordered onion rings from a restaurant at Game City. After a 20 minute wait (when I was told it would take less than 10 minutes to prepare) I watched in horror as the cook put the onion rings in the container using his hands! No gloves or anything. He went to the back and returned to my order where he continued to remove the burnt rings and push down the good ones using his bare fingers. I told them calmly that I would not accept the order as I'm uncomfortable with their food and health standards. I demanded my money back and got it back. No apology just a sullen face. If they use their hands I'd rather not see and I know other fast food establishments use gloves.

Forgive me, I’m not a food safety expert, but isn’t is unacceptable for people preparing food to touch it with their bare hands? Isn’t that Lesson 1 in the food hygiene class? Am I missing something?

I think you were entirely correct to refuse to accept the food you’d ordered. You were perfectly entitled to demand your money back and you are entitled to know that the restaurant management will take immediate action to stop this ever happening again.

We’ve contacted the people in charge and I think you can expect, at the very least, an apology and if they know what’s good for them, their profound thanks for alerting them to a gross breach of basic rules. Good for you for sticking up for basic hygiene standards.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2
I bought a Nokia Lumia 520 last year in November and within two weeks it gave me problems, I had to charge it three times in a day so I took it back to them. They took the phone to the technicians and even after they gave it back nothing changed, it continued to do the same thing. I gave it back for the second time and when they gave it back it started to freeze plus continued with its charging problems.

By the beginning of this year I then took it back to them for the third time and even now as we speak they haven't given me back my phone. I made follow ups but they keep on making empty promises. On their warranty card they stated that their average repair turn-around time is three days and now its almost a month and they haven’t given it back which is inconveniencing me.

Let’s construct a list of the sections of the Consumer Protection Regulations that this store appears to have broken? Firstly they’ve sold you a cellphone that is clearly not “of merchantable quality” as required by Section 13 (1) (a). They should have offered you one of the 3 Rs by now: a repair, refund or replacement.

Then they’ve breached Section 15 (1) (a) which requires them to offer service “with reasonable care and skill”. Clearly they don’t know what they’re doing with your phone. You deserve better from them.

We contacted the store and as yet they haven’t been able to give us any clue what they’re going to do about your phone. I wonder if they’re going to claim “water damage” or perhaps that you mistreated the phone? If they do that without evidence they will have breached Section 15 (1) (b) which says they mustn’t quote “scientific or technical data in support of a claim unless the data can be readily substantiated”. In other words they can’t make stuff up without justification.

Finally they’re clearly in breach of Section 19 (1) (a) which specifically forbids irritating the Consumer’s Voice by ignoring a consumer’s rights to a decent service.

What do you mean I made that last bit up?

Tuesday 25 February 2014

WorldVentures is definitely a pyramid scheme. So say the Norwegians.

I've mentioned WorldVentures several times in the past.

WorldVentures is yet another pyramid scheme basing its so-called business on the sale of holiday discount vouchers. As we've said endless times before, a discount is not a product, it's just a reduction in price of a product. Because there is no real, tangible product offered by WorldVentures it's surely fair to call it a pyramid scheme.

We're not the only ones who think this. The Norwegian Gaming Board has recently announced that following a lengthy investigation, they have evidence that WorldVentures is indeed a pyramid scheme. Their main criteria for deciding this is simple. 95% of all the money paid out to recruits is from the recruitment of other people, not from actually selling things. That's a sure sign of a pyramid scheme.

Thanks yet again to Kasey Chang for the heads-up.

Friday 21 February 2014

Protect your health

I can cope with poor service. When we hear from readers who’ve been treated poorly by a store I’m obviously sympathetic, often frustrated by the stories they tell but I don’t get angry.

Likewise, when a reader has encountered bureaucracy, inefficiency or just really SLOW service, I’m sympathetic, but I don’t get angry.

Even when a reader gets in touch to report a scam, I’m curious, often righteously indignant but it’s been a long time since I’ve become angry as a result. Ok, correction, there are scams that get me angry: the “romantic” scams where the victim is coaxed into feeling affectionate, perhaps even loving towards the scammer who is trying to extort money from them.

Luckily most potential victims realize quite quickly that all is not what it seems. If they’re not already sufficiently skeptical they contact us and we confirm that they’re about to give away money to a liar. Of course I can’t say how many victims actually fall for it and hand over their money, never to see it again. They’re the type that when they finally realize they’ve been duped, hide away in shame and embarrassment. Those are the only scammers make me angry.

Even the pyramid and Ponzi schemes rarely make me angry, mainly because the “victims” have often been willingly duped with the promises of riches. Greed got the better of them.

The worst that people recruiting for the distant cousins of pyramid schemes, Multi-Level or “Network” Marketing schemes have ever done is irritate me with their silly sales-pitches, exaggerations and hints that their products can boost your health or your wealth. They’re just an irritating, they don’t make me angry.

No, my anger is mainly reserved for a particular group who I would happily see tarred and feathered, put in the stocks and pelted with rotten food or dragged before a customary court for well-deserved thrashing.

People selling “cures” for AIDS.

Several times in the last couple of weeks I’ve seen advertisements on the internet for various products making some remarkable claims. First there was the “Mo-gae” miracle soap that apparently protected people from HIV infection “better than a condom”. Their web page said that it offered “100% protection against HIV and sexually transmitted diseases”, that consumers “can have a child with your HIV positive woman without the risk” and, bizarrely that you should “use it religiously such that if your partner is promiscuous what she acquires is hers alone (three of mine tested positive but I am still ok because I trust Mo-gae not a person)”.

This is dangerous, sociopathic nonsense.

Luckily the Ministry of Health were alerted and very quickly took measures to warn the public not to waste their money or risk their health. Their press release reported that the Ministry was “extremely alarmed” by the misleading claims the supplier was making. They urged the public “to ignore such claims as there is currently no known vaccine against HIV/AIDS infection.”

Unfortunately the creator of this ridiculously dangerous nonsense, Londane Mokolwane, wasn’t taking this setback lying down. He wrote to an online newspaper claiming that having washed with his soap, “I am incapable of being infected with anything”. That isn’t funny I’m afraid. It’s homicidal.

The there was more. An ad you can see on Facebook offers a product called “Herbal Wash Xtra” that, the ad claimed was an “Amazing New Nano Based Tonic for Chronic Infections, HIV, Cancer, Skin Problems, Pain Relief”.

To be fair, they go on to say that it's useless. They say that to "describe the active ingredient, you can take your pick. However, the truth is that there is no particular active ingredient."

Nevertheless they claim that it "will pull toxic metals out of your system, detoxify your blood leaving it free of viruses and bacteria. Herbal Wash Xtra encloses the toxins in its revolutionary nano-sized (that's 1 billionth of a meter)particles, Once enclosed, these toxins are rendered harmless and then your body can naturally dispose of them."

Frankly if this was true someone somewhere would have won a Nobel Prize by now. They haven’t so I think it’s safe to assume they’re liars. Most worryingly, these charlatans have found distributors here in Botswana and my feeling is that if these people are selling this products they deserve to see the inside of a cell.

Finally there was a third appalling product, also advertised on Facebook. This one, calling itself Topvein International operates from a website called “AIDS Cure Found” and claims that it is a “scientifically tested herbal medicine that is used as the best alternative medicine in the treatment and cure of HIV and AIDS at 99% effective”.

[Want a closer look?]

Without offering any evidence at all, they proceed to suggest that it “is effective against all opportunistic infections and 35 diseases due to HIV-1 subtype B and subtype C which is largely found in the sub Saharan region and also HIV-2” even though they say it “has no side effects in both humans and animals and has never shown any known side effects when tested in children and pregnant women”. Any treatment that has no side effects is one that has no effect at all, like homeopathy.

Tragically, there have been various people supporting these charlatans, some criticizing the Ministry of Health for warning us, others (the more deranged ones) supporting these peddlers of dangerous nonsense.

As my hero, Carl Sagan said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. None of these products have any evidence in their favour at all, let alone any extraordinary evidence. Given that the producers of all of these dangerous products can produce no evidence at all I think it’s fair to say they’re liars and charlatans and they deserve to be run out of town.

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

We recently bought a car from a second hand car dealer in Mogoditshane. On a test drive I noticed a light on the dash board which at the time the seller dismissed as normal. After all necessary documentation and payment of P65,000 with a balance of P10,000 still to be paid for the car we had to travel back to work. On arrival the car started giving me problems with engaging the gears and I called the seller who suggested I look for a local mechanic. My mechanic couldn't fix the car so we agreed with the seller to have the car sent to his garage so he uses his own mechanic, I paid the car carrier to have the car taken to him. It turned out the car had a gearbox problems and I suspect the warning lights were just that, warnings that something wasn't right with car. The seller is currently busy with his mechanic to have the car fixed and its proving to be a tough task as it has been with him for almost a month now. I never get any feedback on the progress of the fixing from them unless I call. Please advise on the options I have, especially that I'm still to pay him P10,000 balance on the vehicle and his last receipt is inscribed "no guarantee" with a pen on top. Do I deserve a refund or exchange for another or the "no guarantee" inscription mean I'm doomed?

Under no circumstances should you pay him the outstanding P10,000, that’s probably the only way you can apply pressure on him to get your car fixed.

There’s a lot of nonsense said about the “no guarantee” or “voetstoots” business when you buy a second-hand car. Yes, it means that you’re taking the car “as seen” but that doesn’t mean the dealer can sell you something that doesn’t work.

However I do think you were very unwise to take the car when it was showing warning lights before you paid for it. The dealer might argue that having seen those warnings you knew there was a problem with the car when you bought it.

However, I suggest that you write the dealer a letter saying you require either a full refund of the P60,000 or a prompt repair, given that the vehicle was not “of merchantable quality” as required by Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations. Let me know how it goes.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2
I am having sleepless nights with the thought that I have been impoverished by our insurance policies. I joined one Funeral package scheme in 2009 for myself and three family members with a monthly subscription of P155, my source of income got rough in 2011 and I started defaulting until I was later told my policy had elapsed.

I later found another source of income in 2012 and I went back to renew the same policy and I also added another family member and the payment rose to P255, although I was aware of the past I read the contract firmly and I later had a cash inconvenience and my contract was again terminated. I made them aware that I can settle the whole amount on the last day of the month but they refused to listen. I still want my poor family covered and I want to renew my contract, is there anywhere or any law which can save us or at least negotiate for a cashback plan rather than get swindled of our hard earned cash?

I don’t want to sound unsympathetic but I can understand why the insurance company is being resistant and inflexible. On two separate occasions you signed a contract with them and then midway through both policies you stopped paying. They already allowed you to renew the policy after defaulting the first time, which was probably “generous” of them, I think it might be too much to ask them to reconsider after you defaulted a second time.

With your permission we’ll get in touch with the company and ask if they can reconsider but frankly I’m not optimistic. Don’t hold your breath.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Be brave

Standing up for your rights isn’t always easy. Sometimes it takes courage.

To be fair, most companies are fairly receptive to criticism. Nobody likes being criticized but a sensible, mature adult and a sensible, mature company will be smart enough to take it on the chin and deal with it.

However there are times when you need a bit more backbone, when you need to assert yourself more than normally.

I was taught at school that there’s only one way to deal with bullies. With courage. I know that’s easy to say but the alternative is to allow yourself to be a victim and it’s victims that bullies feed upon. It only takes a few people to stand up to them and bullies show themselves to be the cowards they really are.

Over the last few years one of the biggest, longest-running issues Consumer Watchdog has dealt with has been the surge of fake universities selling fake degrees for money. The names have varied but the idea has always been identical. Whether they call themselves Belford, Northern Port, Panworld, Headway, Corllins, Ashwood, Rochville, MUST, OLWA or McFord “university” it’s always the same thing. Hand over a few hundred US dollars and within days you’ll get a degree certificate in the post at the level and in the subject of your choice. Want a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate in Nursing, Law or Clinical Psychology? Just cough up a few hundred dollars and it’s yours. No essays, no dissertations and no exams are necessary.

Personally I’m not sure who I despise the most, the fake establishments selling these bogus qualifications or the people who buy them. Probably the latter. Let’s make this perfectly clear. If someone gets a job or a promotion, in fact any financial benefit by having a fake qualification, they’re a fraud. They’ve taken a job from a more deserving candidate who got his or her qualifications the hard way and they deserve to be fired and then have a charge of fraud laid against them with the Police. And then they deserve to serve prison time.

The fake degree industry is sophisticated. Many of the fakes that you find online and all of the ones mentioned earlier, are part of an “empire” of fakes operated from Pakistan by a guy called Salem Kureshi. He’s been forced to shut down some of them but it’s easy enough for him and his rivals to create new ones in moments.

The amount of money the people running these bogus establishments are making is clearly huge and they are very keen to protect themselves which is why they often adopt bullying approaches to defending their ill-gotten gains.

In 2012, following our exposure of the so-called Headway “university” we received an emailed letter, claiming to be from a law firm calling itself “Joyce and Nielsen” demanding that we retract our suggestion that Headway was a fake and threatening us with fire and brimstone if we failed to do so.

There were various curious things about the letter we received. It didn’t give an address. The English used on their web site was not what you would expect from a law firm based in an English-speaking country. The content of their web site had been largely copied from the web sites of two legitimate law firms, one in the USA, the other in the UK. Their “Managing Partner” didn’t seem to exist. They claimed to be members of a non-existent legal association. I could find no trace of them being a registered company. In short, this law firm didn’t really exist. The people behind Headway “university” were so troubled by being exposed that they had created a fake law firm to send fake threats about fake universities.

As you can imagine I ignored the fake threat and just posted the fake letter online for everyone to laugh at.

It didn’t stop there. A month later they set up an entirely fake web site and a blog that they called “Consumer Watchdog BW”. Both the web site and the blog stole comments we’d made about Headway and adjusted them to say the complete opposite. My comment “It's a fake university, that's for sure” was transformed into “It’s not a fake university, that’s for sure”. They’ve also posted fake comments from fake visitors to support their claims that Headway is genuine.

More recently they created another blog that specifically targeted me. This one was entitled “Truth About Richard Hariman” (no, they couldn’t spell my name correctly) and contained a single entry. This is what it said:
“Richard Hariman is a paid blogger. Who gets paid to publish and create different sort of blogs just to defame organizations. He charges $2000 for this service. His aim is just to confuse consumers to get the good and real things and education. Kindly do not publish his blogs and believe on him. He is a big big big liar.”

Frankly I wish I DID get paid $2,000 every time I blog. Given that so far I’ve written 1,105 entries on the Consumer Watchdog blog I’m owed more than P20 million. Please note that I want it in cash please?

The fact is that the people behind these fake universities are upset that people around the world are waking up to their scams and are talking about it. Better still, the people who bought fake qualifications from these people are also beginning to feel some anxiety about being exposed as frauds.

As a result they’re all becoming bullies and, like I was taught a school, the only way to respond to bullies is to remember one of the best quotes from Winston Churchill:
“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
My message to the crooks running fake universities is simple.

We’ll never give in.

Friday 14 February 2014

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I bought a Samsung phone from a store in 2012, which worked for two months. I took it back and after a year of following them up I wrote to you for assistance and after you intervened on my behalf, they called me to say I must collect the phone which I did, very happy that at long last I got my phone back. My happiness was short lived, the phone worked for less than an hour.

I took it back the minute I realized that it was still not working and from last year till today I still don't have my phone. From time to time I would go to the store to check but they always promise they will follow it up and get back to me, which they never did.

During all this I stopped paying my account because I felt that I was being cheated. I even wrote informing them about this problem and also that I will not pay till I get my phone, and I also said that I feel that it's only fair that they should cut off the interest they are charging me as it is their fault that I don't have my phone.

I think I was owing around P1,000 but I received a call yesterday from some guy telling me that they sent my name to ITC and I'm owing P5,000+, so I must come and pay. I told the ITC guy that I will not pay jet till they give me back or replace my phone. He said he didn't know how to handle that, so I must talk to the store.

May you please assist me?

I’m sorry that this has dragged on for so long. You deserve a lot better than this.

Clearly the store has failed miserably to abide by the Consumer Protection Regulations. Firstly they didn’t sell you a phone that was “of merchantable quality” as required by Section 13 (1) (a) of the Regulations. They’ve also failed to demonstrate “reasonable care and skill” when repairing the phone as required by Section 15 (1) (a).

The issue of you not paying is a problem. Store hire purchase agreements are very one-sided. Even if the store fails completely to do the right thing you are still committed to paying the installments.

However, considering their complete failure to offer you a decent service I expect them to fix the problem for you. I’ll get in touch with the store’s Head Office in South Africa and see if they’ll do the decent thing and fix this appalling situation for you.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I bought a wardrobe set from a store in Kanye in 2009. I made a few installments and then had financial challenges and started missing my payments. I wasn't a regular payer but tried to service the account. My account was always in arrears and I struggled to bring it back to normal until one day in 2012 the shop called me to settle the account with P840. By then the interest had accumulated to P5300! Very shocking and irresponsible on my part!

I reacted fast when I was given this offer and came as soon as I could and paid the P840 and my account was declared settled! This was in 2012.

Last week I get a call from the store demanding that I come settle my interest charges of P5300!! I was shocked and demanded an explanation to this. I was informed that the shop made a mistake by allowing me to "settle" the account and they are making losses as interest owed should have been paid instead of being "settled".

I need you to advise on this matter. Should I pay them as they are threatening to take the account to debt collectors? Please advise on this?

Firstly I admire you for not trying to avoid your obligations. The store clearly made a mistake when they allowed you to “settle” your debt but that’s not your fault.

I contacted the store’s Head Office and they’ve agreed that it’s been entirely settled. You don’t owe them a single thebe any more.

Friday 7 February 2014

Judge not

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

One the very rare occasions that I quote the Bible it has to be the King James Version. The lesson (one that many self-appointed prophets, pastors and moral leaders would do well themselves to consider) is that unless you occupy the moral high-ground you are not in a position to judge others.

When it comes to consumer issues, that’s nonsense. In fact I’d modify the teaching to say “Judge, for it is thy sole protection.”

As consumers, not only are we entitled to judge, I maintain that we absolutely MUST judge people offering to sell us things.

I think you can even take it a bit further. You can judge organizations by the people that represent them.

A few years ago a bank approached us asking to take a look at the way their products were being sold. They had decided that rather than relying on their own salaried staff to sell their products, they had invited independent, self-employed individuals to sell their products on a freelance basis. They got no salary, no expenses, just a commission on every product they sold. That’s not in itself a bad idea, it certainly provides a good incentive to people to work hard. The problem is that it was beginning to go wrong. The independent agents were telling lies, making false promises and acting in a generally shady way. They were inviting potential customers to meet in car parks, on street corners and, if they were lucky, in chicken restaurants. Customers were seeing the agents, and therefore the bank they represented, as a bit like drug dealers. Needless to say the bank swiftly changed the way their products were sold, realizing in time that their image was being ruined. People were exercising their right to judge the bank badly.

Just like it’s reasonable to judge multi-level marketing schemes by the way their independent operators sell the business and the claims they make. Firstly they all make the suggestion that joining these schemes is a good way of making lots of money, so long as you work hard. In fact the opposite is true. Almost everyone who joins a multi-level marketing scheme (and some estimates say as many as 99%) makes no real money from doing so. But that’s not what the people busily recruiting will tell you. What they also often do is make some extraordinary claims. I’ve heard from Herbalife distributors in the past who claimed that they have products that can “help with reversing heart conditions”, can help treat prostate cancer and can even improve the CD4 count of someone suffering from AIDS.

To their credit Herbalife were furious about this, presumably because they saw that their reputation was going to be judged by these charlatans.

I’ve also spoken to victims and potential victims of the Eurextrade Ponzi scheme that collapsed almost a year ago. They also had suspicions based on how it was sold to them. They were being approached in shopping malls, in restaurants while waiting for takeaways and at their workplace. They wondered (correctly it turned out) whether this was how a reputable business would operate. Luckily a few of these people were skeptical enough to run away screaming at this point. Unfortunately many people were so blinded by greed that they ignored their skeptical better nature. If more people had been courageous enough to judge Eurextrade by the way it operated they wouldn’t be so poor right now.

You get exactly the same thing with all the other Get Rich Quick schemes. At the moment there’s a scheme going round called Karatbars. This is a German-based scheme that involves buying tiny quantities of gold, supposedly as an investment. The irony is that this is probably the very worst time to buy gold in recent years. The gold price has dropped from over $1,700 to less than $1,300 in the last year. Why would you want to invest in something that is dropping in price? You don’t have to be an investment specialist to know that’s just silly.

However you can also judge Karatbars by the way their local representatives operate. One of the reps are going around the country saying that “it has been approved by [the German] embassy, BURS, Dept of Mines and (sit down before reading this) Consumer Watchdog.” Another posted at length on Facebook. He said:
“To check if its not fake we visited the Germany Embassy and they gave us the green light that its registered in Gemany. We have a letter from the Germany Embassy. We will show it to you ka Saturday. Because the company trades in Gold we went to the department of mines, they gave us the green light. We then went to BURS. They also gave us the green light. The doubting thomases then went to consumer watch dog. They also gave us a thumbs up.”
I called the German Embassy and they confirmed that all they ever did was confirm that Karatbars is a company registered in Germany. They certainly didn’t “approve” Karatbars. BURS also told me that they never endorse or give companies “the green light”. They just collect taxes.

Finally let me make this perfectly clear. Consumer Watchdog does NOT approve of, endorse, support or even like Karatbars. Karatbars is an incredibly bad investment and, what’s more, is probably a pyramid scheme. Their sales material makes it very clear that you can recruit multiple layers of people beneath you and implies you can make loads of money by doing so. That’s why we urge you to show anyone from Karatbars the door, or your middle finger. It’s all they deserve, given that their representatives are telling lies.

We are entitled to judge them because of this, just like every other company that operates on deception.

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I got a loan from a certain micro lender. These people after giving me money changed the terms of our agreement and now I’m expected to pay a higher installment. They said the agent who was processing it did a mistake so I’m paying for his mistake. The worst thing is that they are making more than 100% profit out of this changed cancelled contract. I borrowed P50,000 and their profit is P59,000.

I personally do not have a copy of the agreement but they have a file at their offices. They did not give me the copy.

Where can I go because I need them to refund me as I believe they have been unlawfully overcharging me. What can I do?

I think this lender needs to get some education. Firstly they need to know that they can’t just change an agreement like that. If their employee made a mistake (and I’m not sure I believe them) it’s their job to fix it somehow. Secondly they need to learn that they can’t lend you money without giving you a copy of the agreement you made with them.

I know the best people to teach them these lessons. Our good friends at the Non Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority, NBFIRA.

We should be grateful for not only the existence of NBFIRA but also the fact that they’re prepared to get their hands dirty when it’s needed. We know of many occasions when NBFIRA have called in badly-behaved micro-lenders and made them suffer a bit before insisting that they follow the rules.

Call NBFIRA immediately and get them to investigate.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I signed a lease agreement as a lodger in someone's house. The terms of the agreement were that I will stay for a year but may terminate at or after 6 months. However prior to signing the agreement, I cited 2 or more reasons that may cause me to stay less than the six months period. The landlord agreed and made provision for that though not in writing. However, social issues began to knock on my door and thus pleaded before my landlord to allow me to move. At the time she agreed and she had no hard feelings about it and we agreed that I shall pay the Feb rent and may move mid month or end. However, 2 or 3 days later when I went to pay rent she said that my moving out will inconvenience her and thus it will be treated as breach of contract and I'd have to pay for the penalties including advertising if she doesn't find a tenant or consequently stay until the lapse of six months. What can I do?

I'm not a lawyer but that's never stopped me speaking my mind in the past. The bad news is a bit of law called the parole rule. This says that when an agreement is reduced to writing then that writing constitutes the entire agreement (lawyers are welcome to correct my phraseology). In other words once you've signed a contract (such as a lease) any verbal agreements cease to exist. The bad news is that you are in breach of the lease by leaving early regardless of whatever was agreed verbally.

I know it’s unfortunate for you but you are legally (and morally) committed to the agreement you voluntarily signed. It might seem unfair but you did agree to stay in the house for at least six months.

On the other hand how is she going to get the money from you? She can use legal remedies but is she really prepared to do that? I’m not sure.

Is this why Hadley "university" is angry with us?

I suspect this is why the people behind Hadley "University" are so upset with us.

Guess what comes top of the list when you do a Google search for "hadley university fake"?

You know you're doing something right when...

You know you're doing something right when the best the opposition can do is defame you. An "ad hominem" attack is always a sign of either having no argument, a lack of intelligence or being a crook. Most times all three.

This morning I received an email alerting me that someone had posted a comment on this blog entry about the fake "Hadley University". This was the "university" that was prepared to sell me a Doctorate in Nursing within a couple of weeks if I coughed up enough cash.

The email went like this:
"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Hadley "University", yet another bogus establishme...":

what did you say about this ?"
The link in the comment goes to a blog entry on a blog created within the last few days that has just one entry. The blog is called "Truth About Richard Hariman" and is authored by "Real Fact".

It says:
"Richard Hariman is a  paid blogger. Who gets paid to publish and create different sort of blogs just to defame organizations. He charges $2000 for this service. His aim is just to confuse consumers to get the good and real things and education. Kindly do not publish his blogs and believe on him. He is a big big big liar."
Firstly, and most outrageously, this moron can't even spell my name correctly.

Secondly, is it possible that my new friends "Anonymous" and "Real Fact" are the same person who created an entirely fake law firm to threaten us a couple of years ago when we helped to expose "Headway University", yet another peddler of fake degrees?

Finally, given that this is the 1,103rd blog post I've made here, where the bloody hell is the $2,206,000 I'm owed?

Cash only please.

Saturday 1 February 2014

I don't like Herbal Wash Xtra and the people selling it

Of all the abusive scumbags we deal with the lowest of the low, the very worst, the most despicable are those that abuse people concerned for their health.

Let's confront the big issue, the "elephant in the room".

We're in Botswana and HIV/AIDS is a big issue for us. That's why I get particularly angry when I see anyone advertising treatments or cures for anything to do with the immune system.

Like these scumbags who advertise on Facebook.

Herbalwash claim that their product, "Herbal Wash Xtra" "has been designed to detoxify the Liver, kidneys, Bladder, and all vital organs, purify the blood and boost the immune system."

To be fair, they go on to say that it's useless. They say that to "describe the active ingredient, you can take your pick. However, the truth is that there is no particular active ingredient."

Nevertheless they claim that:
"Herbal Wash Xtra will pull toxic metals out of your system,detoxify your blood leaving it free of viruses and bacteria. Herbal Wash Xtra encloses the toxins in its revolutionary nano-sized (that's 1 billionth of a meter)particles, Once enclosed, these toxins are rendered harmless and then your body can naturally dispose of them."
In case you're wondering, the technical description of these claims is (forgive me for using technical jargon) bullshit.

The fact that it contains "no particular active ingredient" doesn't stop them from making amazing claims, suggesting that it "is effective in managing" a range of conditions including tumours, eczema, bladder infections, skins conditions, migraines, arthritis and (get this), "various cancers" and HIV/AIDS.

Of course advertising such a product in Botswana would be illegal because it would be making claims outlawed by Sections 396-399 of the Penal Code, wouldn't it?

I wonder what exactly their local agents are selling?

Nothing illegal I hope?