Saturday, 25 August 2018

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Must I pay?

I would like some help or advice from you. My story goes like this: I once helped a foreign friend to buy furniture from a furniture store on credit. After that a sales consultant personally called me to help them again because they are their customers and they trust them they will pay and I did that. Unfortunately the gentleman fell sick and died in South Africa and I was not able to get hold of the wife and other family members. I went back to them and told them what has happened and I wanted to talk to the sales consultant on what to do because she was the one who talked to me and they said I can’t talk to her as she has been transferred somewhere. I kept on going to them and ask what to do and they kept on saying I must look for the deceased wife who has been signing all the paperwork at the shop of payments and all the staff.

Now I have been taken to debt collectors because the furniture is in my name. What should I do because I wanted the sales consultant to be involved but they are not telling me where she is. Does this mean I will have to pay even though they know the whole story and I don't have those things?

What should I do Sir?

This is going to be very difficult. You don’t need to be a qualified attorney to know that once an agreement is put in writing that’s all that matters. There’s even a name for it, the “parol rule”, which says that “when a transaction has been reduced into writing, the writing is regarded as the exclusive memorial of the transaction and no evidence may be given to contradict, alter, add or vary its terms”.

The problem you face is that the only written agreement is the one that says that YOU are the customer and that YOU are the owner of the furniture. YOU are the one that owes the company the money.

Of course, if there was a written agreement between you and the deceased South African friend, then you might have a way to get the money from his estate. Did you have such an agreement?

Whether you had such an agreement or not, you need to do your best to find the South African family and see if they can’t help you out. I’d be happy to try but if not you might need either to invest in tracing him or just accept that you’re the one who a dead man’s bills.

Is he real?

Hello Mr Richard. I need your help. I've been communicating with someone on Facebook claiming to be the Nigerian musician Davido. He asked me a few questions saying it was a competition. He just forwarded this. Is it genuine? “You've just won yourself a brand new apple Laptop iPhones8+ MacBook and a plasma TV as promised. Please to claim your prize you will whatsapp the FASTWAY COURIER NIG ENTERPRISES DELIVERY SERVICES on this digits: +2347080044292 also on whatsapp +2347080044292, and give him your parcel number [NIG6283ZAM] He's a disciplined and principled man just tell him you won a package from me and drop your parcel number.,NOTE they will charge you $100usd for transportation of your gifts to your various destination, Congratulations once again”

Do you think this is real?

No, I don’t think that this is real, I am 100% certain that this is a scam.

Firstly, why would a celebrity contact people like you and me about a competition? And why would they be doing this using Facebook? Remember that it is one of the easiest things to create a Facebook profile, even to create a profile pretending to be that of a celebrity. It takes just a few seconds to copy pictures and updates from a genuine celebrity and a few more to create some posts to make the profile look convincing.

I took a look at the Facebook profile account that sent you this message and it’s clearly fake. Why, for instance, would a famous Nigerian singer be so interested in Botswana? In fact, almost all the groups he’s joined or pages he’s liked are connected with Botswana and none seem related to Nigeria. This is a profile deliberately created to scam us in Botswana.

Then there are the usual clues. The number given is a cellphone number and I think it’s safe to assume that the courier company is fake as well. This is just about the $100 that the fake celebrity is demanding. It’s nothing but a scam.

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