Saturday, 9 August 2014

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I received an email that was an “Exclusive Invitation” to be included in the “Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals”. Is this real? Can it be trusted?

No, this is just another fake award. Like fake degrees there’s an industry that does nothing but sell people fake awards and prizes. In the past couple of years we’ve seen a number of them, including the “Global Society of High Intellect”, the “International Order of Merit”, the “Twentieth Century Achievement Award” even the list of “2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century”. They’re all bogus awards, none of them are based on any real criteria other than your ability to pay to get it.

Earlier this year I was offered the “opportunity” to accept the “Global Society of High Intellect” award. All it needed was $150 (about P1,500) to get this award.

None of these awards are ever checked to see if the person deserves an award, or if they even really exist. I know this because I nominated an entirely fake identity to be included in the ludicrous “2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century”. Shortly afterwards I got a letter inviting me to send them $255. They also offered me a "Suite of diplomas", a "Citation of Meritorious Achievement" and "Medal of Intellect", all for even more money.

They’re a bit like those service awards you often see companies bragging about. You know companies pay for them, don’t you? They either cough up cash for a table at a gala dinner or they sometimes are more indirect, requiring the company to buy the awarder’s services in order to be included. I know this because one of these companies approached us last year inviting us to do the research for their awards ceremony for them. We politely declined.

My suggestion is simply to ignore this silly offer for this silly award. Spend you money on a good book instead. Learn something the old-fashioned way!

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2
Please, I need your help. I got married last year March and the videoman we hired did not do a good job, the video is not clear, it has many bubbles. I don't know whether he was trying to decorate or what and he edited too much.

A week after receiving them I called him telling him about his video and I asked to keep the unedited video and he agreed but when we were supposed to meet he would make excuses saying he is in Maun or Kasane. I then asked him to give the video to somebody on my behalf since he stays in Francistown and I am in Gaborone, Again he agreed but never did. I kept on calling him and he promised to look for it.

Sometime this year I phoned him again and he told me he can't find it, but all along he said its there. I phoned him again he said there's nothing he can do but we paid him full amount, so I asked him to give me my money back for the video and he refused. So I am asking for your advice on what should I do because I have been calling him since May last year.

What is it with people offering wedding services? Why are so many of them useless? Every few weeks we hear stories exactly the same as yours. The wedding industry seems to have more than its fair share of unreliable cheats. They don’t seem to understand or care that this is someone’s special day and they deserve once-in-a-lifetime service.

I suggest that you write this guy a letter explaining that Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations says that suppliers must offer good and services that are “of merchantable quality”. Section 15 (1) (a) of the Regulations also requires them to offer services “with reasonable care and skill”. He has done neither of these things and he has failed you completely.

In your letter tell him that he has 14 days to give you a complete refund or you’ll be taking legal action to recover the money you paid him. If he doesn’t respond with your money in that time then go straight to the Small Claims Court and seek an order from them. You should also mention that you contacted us. We’ll be happy to contact him to explain how decent people respect someone’s big day.

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