Saturday, 9 September 2017

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

I want a refund!

On 31st of July I bought a phone at a store by the Gaborone station. Upon arriving home I realised it was not performing well and on the 2nd I took it back only to be told by the shop assistant that it only needs to be flashed and maybe it has virus. She did this and I went back home only to realize that following day the phone was still not performing, I went back again for the 3rd time and was told maybe it needs to be updated software and thy asked me if I don't have WiFi at work. I said I have and they showed me how to do it. When I get at work but it showed that the phone was updated in only 5 seconds but the problem was still there and I went back again and that time I only wanted them to give me a new phone or my money back of which they owner said the phone needs to be repaired. I was shocked that how can I buy something new and be told it needs repairs? I refused and decided I will look for help, I’m hoping you can be of help to me.

Section 13 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations states that goods and service must be “of merchantable quality” which means they should be “fit for the purposes for which commodities of that kind are usually purchased”. In other words, a cellphone should make calls, send messages and do whatever smart things it says on the box. Clearly in this case the phone isn’t of merchantable quality.

In these situations the store is obliged to offer you one of the three Rs: a refund, a repair or a replacement. However, and here’s the difficult part, the store can decide which of these three Rs it chooses. The store is entitled to say that they’ll try and repair the phone, however much you would rather just get your money back. It’s only after they fail to repair it that I think you can demand a different solution, like a refund.

I suggest that you give the store the opportunity to repair the phone and then see what happens.

Meanwhile, we need a change to the law. We need to follow the other countries around the world that now allow consumers to demand a refund if something they buy fails within the first 7 or maybe 14 days. I think that’s a right that we deserve, don’t you?

Can I trust them?

Hi Mr Harriman, kindly assist and unpack another too good to be true scheme marketed by Men of God. It is called Atlantic Global Asset Management (AGAM) or Questra World. Is it a scam or not?

Atlantic Global Asset Management and Questra World are a scam. They make some remarkable claims, such as you making “4-7% interest every week”. One of the people trying his best to recruit victims posted on Facebook that “You invest n see ur money making u money without lifting a finger.” Isn’t that a very clear warning sign?

The same person, someone fairly well known as a religious leader, has been presenting on the supposed benefits of this scheme in various locations around the country recently. I think it’s interesting that in 2010 he was marketing TVI Express, a pyramid scheme that eventually collapsed, leaving many people poorer and desperate. In 2015 he was doing his best to recruit people into the Xtreme Fuel treatment scheme, selling a product that they claimed improved fuel efficiency but in fact did nothing of the sort. And now he’s recruiting people into a new Get Rich Quick Scheme. Looks like a pattern, don’t you think?

Rather than describe the Atlantic Global Asset Management and Questra World business, I’ll quote the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority who expressed very clearly their feelings about Questra. They said that the scheme “clearly resembles that of a pyramid scheme or, at the very least, a Ponzi fraud." Similar warnings have been issued by the authorities in Italy, Slovakia, Austria, Liechtenstein, Poland, Spain and the UK.

I think the lesson is simple, don’t you? You can trust this new scheme as much as you can trust the other schemes this person has tried to sell people. They were scams and countries around the world think this one is a scam as well. Why should we think any differently?

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