Saturday, 9 June 2018

Radio show notes - week beginning 4th June 2018

Source: Wikipedia
1. The crooked husband

A woman's husband asked her to co-sign a loan application form but she refused because they were already in debt and he hadn't discussed it with her. She told us that
"He is so desperate that I think he might even forge my signature. I went to the bank to ask them if its possible to block him from processing this loan since I don’t agree and I suspect that he might even forge my signature. The loan sales personnel said there is nothing they can do to help me and if he forges my signature the loan will be successful. Please help me, what can I do to block this loan. Is it ethical for the bank to say they will process the loan even if the signature is forged?”
Ethical? NO WAY! If she's right and he forges her signature he could go to prison for up to seven years. Even if she trusts him so little that she thinks he might do such a thing, she's got problems.

I suggested to this lady that she needs to find a better husband.

I also suggested that she contacts the branch manager at the bank and warns them about the risk they're all facing from his potential conduct.

2. Is this real?

In comes a message:
“I have a problem and I don’t know if you can help me. My friend sent me a parcel from the UK and it is now in South Africa. From January until now they have been asking for money to clear the parcel by sending them money and I have sent them P3,000 but until now its not here and they are still asking for more money. The parcel is at the South Africa airport now. What must I do as its been a long time? Please help me and another thing is that they sent me to the Bank of South Africa as my money is there and said they want me to send them another R10,000 to my account. Is this right what the bank is doing?”
Nothing is real here. There is no friend, there is no parcel, there is no authority in South Africa demanding money, there is no "South Africa airport", there is no "Bank of South Africa". The only thing that's real is the money that this victim has sent to the scammers. It's an advance fee scam and unfortunately, scammers don't offer refunds.

3. Winter Wonderland - an update

MANY people have asked us about this event that was scheduled for late last year at the Grand Palm Resort but was postponed until Easter this year and then cancelled completely.

One message said:
“I bought family ticket for this event at Grandpalm last year, it was cancelled and announced to be this year Easter. Even now I have never heard from them. I called a number of friends who also bought the tickets, they are just as worried as me. I have called Grand Palm, they seem not to take responsibility.”
In March 2018 the Grand Palm issued a Media Statement that:
“confirms that the Winter Wonderland event has been cancelled by the promoter of the event. Tickets for this event were sold by its promoter, who is an independent third party, and in no way affiliated to or employed by the Grand Palm Hotel.”
They advised affected consumer to seek refunds from the promoters themselves. They concluded by saying that:
“The Grand Palm was not responsible for any ticket sales and therefore, regretfully, cannot make any refunds.”
I contacted the promoter who told me:
“Yes the event has unfortunately been postponed yet again pending confirmation upon erection of the ice plant and assorted equiptment (we cannot communicate a date to customers yet again, prior to actual erection).

We've been innundated with operational challenges due to supplier/ technical partner issues. In an attempt to salvage the event and not abandon the initiative (which really would change the entertainment tourism sector nationally) we've decided to resolve issues with suppliers and completely localize the venture, as opposed to being a promoter for an Expatriate company. This has tied us up in quite a bit of red tape we're trying to expeidately resolve. Kindly be advised, these set backs are in no way shape or form a result of any local partners particularly The Grand Palm Hotel & Resort as they were venue / food - beverage and accomodation sponsors.

We have a data base of all customers, those whose refunds are pending and those still awaiting confirmation of deployment.

A full refunds recon has already been advised to technical partner as well as attendance list. We're awaiting transfer of bulk refunds capital, the deployment/ erection of said event possibly just before winter's end this year; and finally the launch of the international operation spear headed from Botswana.”
I think the promoter misunderstands a few things. People don't want the event "salvaged", they're not concerned whether the organisers are local or expatriate, and they have no interest in "confirmation of deployment". They just want their money back. The question is when they'll get it. It needs to be soon.

The other question is whether the Grand Palm has any responsibility for the situation. I suspect not. Can they be held accountable if someone rents a hotel room and sells drugs from it? Or if a financial advisor hires a netting room and then steals people's money? I think not.

4. Travelling to London?

In April 2018 we heard from a passenger who was refused entry to UK because her boyfriend who lived in the UK couldn't prove that he had have enough money to sustain her during her stay. Ethiopian Airlines told us that they had been charged a detention fee of P7,000 by the UK Immigration authorities and wanted to pass that on to the customer.

We heard this week from a travel agent who forwarded us an email sent out by Ethiopian Airlines. It said:
"Kindly note that some passengers (Botswana citizens) visiting to LHR, still come to the airport without the minimum basic required documents of the LHR immigrations, of which most passengers ‘claim’ they were not advised of such when they purchased the tickets. Be advised that, there is a detention fee of GBP10.40/per hour if the immigration authorities decide to return the passenger, which the passenger must settle.

The required documents being:
* The passport copy of the person they are visiting
* The bank statement/pay slip of the person they are visiting
* An invitation letter, stating the purpose of the visit, the addresses of who they are visiting, also the duration of their stay.

NB: Please also advise customers that they should have enough cash in hand (minimum GBP300) for any cases that might arise in the airport including REFUSAL OF ENTRY BY UK IMMIGRATION. Kindly advise our esteemed passengers in order to avoid inconveniencies and for our smooth operation."
5. Looking for clues

We saw an advertisement on Facebook for the "Africa Service Excellence Awards" to be held at the Cresta President Hotel in Gaborone on 29th June. The ad said:
"Enter Into This Year's Awards And Get A Chance Of Getting A Top Award In Customer Service Awards Entries Now Open"
Does that mean that you must spend P800 to attend and then you get "a chance" of winning an award? You're paying for the possibility of an award?

This event is being organised by the "Chartered Institute for Customer Management" which their web site claims is
"a renowned customer service and call centre organisation with its head offices in the UK and regional head offices for Africa in South Africa."
I was curious so I took a look at the addresses they give for these offices in the UK and South Africa.

This is their UK office, an address that also hosts several other companies.

This is their South African office.

It's possible this is perfectly legitimate. Just be skeptical.

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