Friday 30 October 2015

The Voice - Consumers Voice

Is this just a scam?

Please assist, I would like to know if this is legit or its just a scam. The person said hes in France and can loan us some money to start businesses here in Botswana and Africa. His email says

“I'm in France, particular lender, I work with enough Bank, the interest rate is 2%, as a document I simply request a copy of your ID or passport and some additional information. Then the notary will contact you to settle your loan contract that will be signed, so that your loan is approved and there Bank to directly send your money by bank transfer.”
He said the conditions were
“To be major. Being of good character. Being consent for a 2% interest for any request. The repayment term varies from 06-360 months. Be prepared to provide certain information and documents. Being mutually agreed to sign a loan agreement. Your loan repayments are necessarily fit your budget. You may request reimbursement of your modulation mode up or down every 06 months.”
This is certainly a scam, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. Real lenders don’t operate like this. Real lenders certainly don’t lend to people in foreign countries at unbelievably low interest rates. Real lenders can express themselves properly. And I bet the email he sent you didn’t even use your name? That’s because he probably sent it to thousands, maybe tens or hundreds of thousands of people at the same time.

This is the beginning of an “advance fee” scam. Sooner or later they’ll ask you to send them money, perhaps for attorney’s fees, an account opening charge or a tax payment, either way that’s what the scam is all about, that money in advance.

Please don’t send them any money, just ignore them and delete any further emails you get from them!

Can I get a refund?
I booked for accommodation at a Bed & Breakfast at Mogoditshane for P300 on the 8th October at about 1740 and we put our bag in the room and about 1810 we were called by a customer to attend them. We spoke to the receptionist and narrated the story and requested the refund and he told us that it is not possible for them to refund us. I request the number for the supervisor and he gave the cell number for the manager, I gave my partner the number and he called but the manager said their policy does not allow refunds.

He asked the manager where is the policy he talking about been displayed so that we can read for ourselves and said it has not been displayed and failed to give the reason why it not displayed and then he was given the email address and he said he will email it the following day in the morning and up to now he has never done that and no follow up call that he made. He was told that we have not option but to report the matter to Consumer Watchdog and he said we can go ahead no problem.

I am asking your office to assist us in getting the refund or any possible option.

Unfortunately I’m not sure that you’re entitled to a full refund for a couple of reasons.

Firstly you did actually occupy the rooms, even if just for a very short while. I’m not sure whether the rooms were “used” in any way, but technically they had been and might require cleaning before being offered to another customer. Certainly if I was the next guest after you in that room I would want it cleaned before I occupied it.

Secondly, and more importantly I think they might be justified in withholding your payment because you effectively “blocked” the room for the night. They could have offered the room to another customer who would have stayed and paid the full rate for the night. By booking the room and then leaving at the last minute you effectively prevented the B&B from offering it to someone else and earning income as a result. Giving you a refund would lose them that night’s income from the room.

You ask about whether the no-refund rule should have been displayed. Not necessarily. Not all rules need to be displayed for them to be enforceable. It’s common practice for hotels and B&Bs not to refund some or all of the payment if people fail to stay the night having previously booked it. It’s not a strange or unreasonable thing.

Sorry that I can’t be more helpful.

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