Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

Hello, I am looking for an online university, and I wanted to ask if a degree from the Academy of Arts University and Atlantic International University are accepted in Botswana?

The Academy of Arts University appears to be legitimate but make sure you’re really dealing with them rather than an imposter and I can’t make any comment on the quality of the educational services they offer.

However Atlantic International University is most certainly a fake university. They even (almost) confess this on their web site. They say that their learning programs “are unique, non-traditional and not accredited by the U.S. Department of Education”.

So it’s not actually accredited. Even the agency that they claim has accredited them, “Accrediting Commission International”, is itself not a real accreditation agency and is just as fake as they are. An education authority in Oregon was once quoted as saying that any establishment “accredited by ACI … is either fake or substandard”.

Atlantic International University is a fake university accredited by a fake organization that sells fake degrees, it’s as simple as that. “Qualifications” you buy from AIU are worthless and won't be recognized in Botswana. You must realize that if you ever got a job or a promotion using a fake degree like one from AIU then you’d be a criminal. You’ll have committed a fraud against your employer, just like anyone else who obtains a financial advantage by lying.

One final curiosity is that Atlantic International University claims to be based in Hawaii. So why do they call themselves "Atlantic International University"? Hawaii is in the Pacific Ocean, not the Atlantic. I hope AIU don’t sell geography degrees!

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I took a loan around September 2013 and February the same year I bought recliner sofas from a furniture store in Palapye. I was interdicted from duty last year December and I have been put on half salary which leaves me with a balance of 0.00 on my salary advice slip. I physically went to both companies to explain my situation and that I would be able to pay my debt until I go back to work and they acceded to my request which was done verbally and I even produced my payslip for proof of my situation.

I am not yet back at work but I am now receiving constant calls from both creditors that I must update my account to avoid my name being submitted to ICT as a bad payer. I am experiencing financial hiccups and there is literally no means I could engage to mitigate the situation.

I recently went to the loan company and I was given a statement reflecting the owed amount as P8,362.65 but the balance was P0.00 followed by a line 'Bad Debt Written Off". Is there any way that I could be helped to ward off the creditors until I am in a position to settle their debt? And how can loan & hire purchase insurance be off any use to me?

I really wish I could say something helpful about this predicament but unfortunately you’re in a very difficult situation. Nevertheless you have my respect for not trying to avoid your obligations. Unfortunately the insurance that comes with most loans and credit purchases only covers you against being retrenched, not disciplinary issues or voluntary resignation or retirement so I suspect that won’t be of much use to you.

My first suggestion would be to do exactly what you’ve already done, which is to be open about your situation to the lender and the store. However it seems that the loan company have now passed your debt to a debt collector and you need to ask them which company they used. Then talk to that debt collector and explain your situation to them as well.

A simple truth that’s often overlooked is that debt collectors don’t want to take you to court or repossess your belongings unless they have no other choice, They just want to collect as much money as possible and it’s in their interest to do a deal with you to get as much money back from you but, most importantly, in a way you can afford. Talk to the debt collector and see what can be arranged.

You mustn’t forget to keep the furniture store updated as well. They have an equal claim to whatever you can afford to repay as well.

If you have any problems let us know and we’ll get in touch with them both.

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