Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

He sold me an accident wreck!

I bought a second hand car two months ago from someone, it’s a Nissan Bakkie NP200 1.5. The car was advertised in the advertiser and when I met the seller I asked him why he was selling the car but he said he was selling because he needed some money for his business. I also asked him if the car had never been involved in an accident he also said “no”. I ended up buying this car from him and just last week on Friday I sent the car for service to Supreme Nissan in Zeerust and unfortunately they could not service the car because they discovered that it had been involved in a terrible accident so it’s in a mess and they alleged it could stop any time as whoever was fixing it did not do a good job.

Is there anything I can do as I think I have been robbed. I need your advice.

I'm really sorry for your trouble. Unfortunately, the second-hand car market has more than its fair share of crooks, liars and cheats. You seem to have encountered a particularly bad one.

Many times when you buy a second-hand car you’ll see in the sale agreement or on the receipt the word “voetstoots” or maybe “as seen” or “as is”. That a way for the seller of the car to say the buyer accepts the car in exactly the condition it’s in and that no promises are made about the state of the vehicle. I think we all understand that, it’s up to buyers to inspect the car and satisfy themselves before they hand over their money. However, that doesn’t allow the buyer to deceive you. If you asked him whether the car had been in an accident and he lied to you then he’s a lying, cheating crook.

I suggest that you go to the Police and tell them you want to lay a charge of “obtaining by false pretence” against him. You can quote Section 308 of the Penal Code (“Obtaining by false pretence") to the Police if they need advice.

Alternatively, you can lay a charge of cheating, contrary to Section 310 of the Penal Code (“Cheating”).

Either way you need to stress to the Police that he lied to you when he sold you the vehicle and that you need them to understand how seriously you’re taking this. Don’t let this guy get away with it.

Let me know how it goes.

Should I join a Multi-Level Marketing scheme?

Good morning Mr Harriman, I have a full-time job but I am looking for a part-time job and my question to you is about the "recruit and build kind" of businesses like Herbalife, Amway, GDN and so on. Are they worth it and can someone invest their time on them or are they another opportunity to enrich someone? I just want to understand my friend referred me to you and said that u can advise me on such. Thank you and I appreciate your help.

Everyone knows by now that I’m very skeptical about multi-level marketing schemes like Herbalife, Amway and all the others. I simply don’t see how a business model like theirs can make anyone any money, other than the people at the top of the pyramid. But don’t just rely on my skepticism, you should rely on the figures that these companies are required to publish.

In various countries, including the USA, following legal actions by the authorities they publish income statements showing how much their recruits actually make from the business. For example, Herbalife published figures in the USA that covered 2015 and which showed that 90% of all the money earned by Herbalife representatives was earned by the 10% at the top. The remaining 10% of the money had to be distributed between the 90% of people stuck on the lower rungs.

The average annual income of the group at the bottom was a mere $303. And that's their income, not their profit. That's before they paid their expenses, the phone bills, the transport costs and their electricity bills. It’s safe to assume that their profits were either zero or more likely negative.

It’s the same story with other MLM companies such as Amway. Their figures show the same pattern and there’s no reason to think other MLMs aren’t the same. The only way to make any money from MLMs is to be at the top of the pyramid making money from the suckers lower down who do all the hard work.

Please don’t waste your time.

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