Friday 26 October 2018

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Can I get my deposit back?

Please advise on this situation I am in.

I engaged a kiddies party planner for a package for a birthday party on the 28th of October. My package was that they would be providing venue and I hire equipment and do my own decor. I paid 50% of the P2500 fee which was P1250 on 28th September.

I had to cancel the booking on the 11th of October and requested for a refund but I was only refunded 50% of my deposit which is P625.This "policy" was never mentioned and was surprised that I didn’t get my P1250. I did not complete any booking form or any documentation. Everything was just communicated on Whatsapp. Is this correct to not give me my full refund?

It is actually normal for there to be a cancellation fee when you book someone or a company to deliver services like this. If you think of it from the service providers point of view you can understand why this is done. Depending on the service they’re booked to provide, the supplier has to book equipment, food and drink, staff, a band, clowns, security, who knows what. If the customer then cancels the supplier can be out of pocket.

In your case, where you were just booking the venue but providing your own materials the principle is still the same. When you booked the venue, did they later turn away other customer who wanted the venue? Will they lose business because of your cancellation?

However, it’s normal practice for any company with some common sense to have a booking form that describes this so the customer can see, understand and accept the cancellation conditions it contains. It was probably very unwise of this supplier not to ask you to complete such a form. You might not have any luck but I think it’s worth writing to the owner of the venue saying that you never agreed to any non-refundable deposit condition so you’d like your deposit back “promptly” as required by Section 15 (1) (e) of the Consumer Protection Regulations 2001. Good luck!

Have I been hacked?

I received an email which said someone had hacked me. The email said.
“I infected your operating system with a virus (trojan) and have been monitoring you for a long time. Even if you changed the password it does not matter, my virus intercepted all the caching data on your computer and automatically saved access for me. I have access to all your accounts, social networks, email, browsing history. I have the data of all your contacts, files from your computer, photos and videos.

I took screenshot through the camera of your device, synchronizing with what you are watching. I think that you do not want all your contacts to get these files, right? If you are of the same opinion, then I think that $564 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created.

Send the above amount on my Bitcoin wallet. As soon as the above amount is received, I guarantee that the data will be deleted. Otherwise, these files and history of visiting sites will get all your contacts from your device. Also, I'll send to everyone your contact access to your email and access logs.”
What should I do?

Nothing. Do nothing at all.

While the technology does indeed exist to do all the things mentioned in the threat, I seriously doubt that it’s the case here. If it was true, don’t you think they would have used your name when addressing you? Don’t you think they would have been a bit more detailed, a bit more specific? Don’t you think they would have taunted you with some of the “dirt” they claim to have gathered?

In this case I’m certain that this is a scam. Don’t send them a thing.

Meanwhile, please be VERY careful what you download from the web and about which web sites you visit. It certainly IS possible to be infected with malicious software (“malware”) that can do a variety of bad things to your computer and the data contains. Be careful!

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