Exhibit A. Hamptons Festival
The original event was postponed, and tickets were offered to the rescheduled event. However, some people either couldn’t make the rescheduled date or just chose not to.
But for some of those people, refunds were very slow to arrive.
Exhibit B. Gaborone Motor Show.
Following the sale of many tickets, some of which included entry to a raffle, the Motor Show organisers posted the following message:
“NOTICE: Our raffle has been cancelled! All persons who bought our P100 Raffle Tickets should claim their refund at our entrance points at the 2018 Gaborone Motor Show… We would like to sincerely apologize to all affected customers for this cancellation we were unable to get registration in time!”However, several people were disappointed. One commented:
“The prize car for the raffle was not a brand new vehicle; the raffle itself was cancelled; and some issues arose with the young ladies tasked with working at the event. As per the post, I tried to claim my full refund at the entrance of the event and they told me the rules had changed and that they no longer give full refunds. Even after showing them this very post, they refused to give a full refund and stated that those will only be possible after an audit was carried out.”The law is simple. All competitions, including raffles, must be approved by the Gambling Authority and that takes a while, it's not something that can be done quickly. The Motor Show organisers had plenty of time.
The lesson is to read the small print on tickets. Always ask about cancellation terms before you buy the ticket.
2. Jamalife – is it legit?
Jamalife describe themselves as:
“an online cum offline network marketing organization and was born out of the need to build up people financially all across the globe to the point of experiencing high quality life in all areas of living”.That's meaningless gibberish. Describing their products they say they have offer “Human Capital Development”, “Food Security”, “Online mail”, “Flight and hotel booking”, “Assets and Property acquisition” and “Financial empowerment”.
More meaningless gibberish.
What Jamalife really offers is multiple layers of recruitment. They call them Builder, Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Diamond, Crown Diamond, Ambassador and finally Crown Ambassador. Each of these layers include at least another two layers. Jamalife claim that once you reach the top of Crown Ambassador level, they promise that you can get R3,900,000 and a Range Rover worth R2,210,000.
But here's a question. To get to that level, how many people would you need in the pyramid beneath you?
The difference between a Multi-Level Marketing scheme and a pyramid scheme is simple. A pyramid scheme is focussed primarily on the recruitment of people rather than the sale of products. Jamalife say this:
"any rewards or earnings that are offered from Jamalife Helpers Global through the Business Plan is the result of members referring or signing up other willing members."Their own words...
3. Where’s my policy?
A customer started an education policy in 2015, paying P300/month. This was meant to mature this year but:
“I was told I have closed the account in 2015 and it stopped deducting. Now they say I have to pay all the instalments in order for me to resuscitate the policy yet they don’t have any proof that I instructed them to stop the policy. They closed it because they say i wrote a letter instructing them to close it but they can't provide the stated letter.”The important thing is that it is a customer’s job to monitor the payments, not their employer or their bank. It's the Custoemr's job to check bank statements and payslips to check they are making the payments they must.
In this case, the solutions is to pay the missing instalments. She still has the money after all.
4. World Ventures (yet again)
“Is it legit?” The Norwegian authorities say not. They found that 95% of all money earned is from recruiting other people. It's another pyramid scheme.
World Ventures base their pyramid on supposed travel discounts but discounts aren’t products. And anyway, there's no need to pay to join a discount when hotels give them away for free. You can get discounted hotel stays in South Africa but visiting booking.com, bid2stay.co.za where they give away discounts for free. Or consider something like Airbnb.
Regarding World Ventures, the latest income figures they published for the USA showed that two thirds (actually 68.7%) of all the income went to the 3.7% at the top. The median annual income was a mere $33 (around P330). And that was income, not profit.
5. How to complain (in 2018)
A customer had a problem with a takeaway.
“I was contacted by one of their managers for the poor service I had received. When I got their I ordered the same food and asked to see the manager. The lady took her time and I went to buy a drink, I came back she still took her time and when she came she did apologies for the mistake they did but she was not interested in helping me and started interrogating asking silly questions about why I had to run to social media and wat not. I received no help concerning the poor service I had received. These people have no respect for us as consumers. Now I think it's time I took my case to consumer affairs.”It’s 2018. How should we complain?
However the hell we want to!