Friday, 9 February 2018

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Can I get a new laptop?

I bought a laptop using my store card last year December. So two weeks later my house was broken in they took all electrical appliances with the laptop included but the other shops gave me new items after I brought the police report affidavit. But the laptop which I bought they are refusing to replace the laptop but I'm paying every month for something which is not there so please help.

One of the few good things about hire purchase, perhaps the only one, is that it usually comes with an insurance policy that covers you if the items you bought are stolen or destroyed. That's what I assume happened with the other items that were replaced by the other stores. However, this doesn't mean hire purchase is a good idea. The price that most stores charge for this insurance is several times the cost of a household insurance policy you could get from an insurance company. What's more, the household policy would cover everything in your house, not just one item.

However, in this case I have bad news. You didn't buy the laptop using hire purchase which had an insurance policy, you bought it using your store card. I checked the terms and conditions of that store's card and while it includes insurance it only covers you against your death, disability and loss of income. In those situations your store card debt would be paid off but in this situation you're out of luck. It doesn't cover theft.

The lesson from this is the value of insurance. A household insurance policy would cover everything in the house and most policies would allow you to include a laptop or cellphone, even when they're taken out of the house. It's a lot cheaper than you think and those people who think insurance is expensive should ask themselves whether it's as expensive as not having insurance!

Can I trust Paypal?

I am currently selling one of my cars, a 2007 BMW. I advertised it on Social Media and one guy claiming that he is from UK showed interest. Now he asked me to open a Paypal account so that he can carry out transaction in it. He said he will make the full payment after which his shipping agents will contact me to deliver the car. He said they will be coming from Turkey to pick it up from me after the payment has been successfully made.

How credible is a Paypal account and whats your advise in the whole set-up?

There's nothing inherently suspicious about Paypal. I've used it before and I know a lot of other people have used it successfully and safely. It's actually one of the safest way to spend money online. But that doesn't mean that everyone who uses it, or who claims to use it, can be trusted.

I suspect that Paypal isn't the issue here. I doubt Paypal will ever even be involved.

Let's start with a few basic questions. Why would someone in the UK want to buy an eleven year old second-hand car from Botswana? And why would they send an agent from Turkey to get it for them? Can you imagine how expensive that might be? It would cost a vast amount of money to travel from Turkey to Botswana and then to ship the vehicle to the UK. And why would anyone do this when the second-hand car market is so much bigger in the UK? Don't we all know of people who have imported cars to Botswana from the UK because the prices there are seen to be cheaper?

I suspect that this is the beginning of a scam. Sooner or later they'll ask you to make some payment to them. They might say it's a legal fee or some tax or duty that they'll say becomes payable before the car can be shipped. Whatever it is, it'll be a fee they ask for in advance of the payment they're tempting you with. That's why it's called an "advance fee" scam.

It's time to stop communicating with this guy. Please don't fall victim to his lies!

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