Monday 13 April 2020

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Why can’t they help me?

There is a petrol/fuel station in Serowe that issues receipts/ till slips with a Lobatse address. When I asked for a hand written receipt to present to my employer the stamp they put on it still showed a Lobatse address.

When I queried they told me no one has ever complained about the address. They also said my employer could always call like others do to confirm that I fuelled in Serowe, not Lobatse as per their receipt. I feel this is an inconvenience as calling them would cost time and money. They felt I was being unnecessarily difficult. What's your view on this matter?

I can see that there might be good reasons why the receipts give an address in a different town. It’s likely that the company that owns the filling station in Serowe is based in Lobatse. However, clearly they don’t understand, or don’t care about the impact this has on that minority of customers, like you, who need receipts for claiming expenses from their employers.

Normally I would suggest that we try to persuade the owners of the filling station to consider their corporate customers and find a solution to this that doesn’t inconvenience them so much. However, from what you say, that’s not something they seem to care about.

The better solution is to find another filling station in Serowe, one that is a little friendlier. They deserve your money more than these guys.

Who must pay?

I am in need of your advice.

On the 18th of March I received a phone call from a debt collector that they have been engaged by my college for collection of my outstanding debt.

Please note that I made a transfer of the outstanding P6,000 to the college on the 3rd of March and as per the email the gentleman who called me from the debt collector he says the college handed me over on the 4th of March. This is the same thing that the gentleman at the college told me and I questioned him and he did they tell me that they are handing me to debt collectors and he said to no however they will rectify that and to that they handed me my clearance letter and I collected my certificate.

I sent an email to ask now who is going to cover the debt collector's fees and to date there is no response. Now I am getting constant phone calls from the debt collector to pay the P1,300 else it is accumulating interest monthly. Please advice on way forward on this matter.

It’s normal practice for companies to pass on the costs of collecting debts to the people who owe them money and that can sometimes be a lot of money. Firstly, that’s just a fair thing. It’s not the fault of the company that you owe them money or have failed to keep to your side of an agreement. They’re entitled to get their money from you. It’s also what you agreed when you signed your contract with them. If you look closely, you’ll find that the contact has a clause saying that if you fall behind with your payments they’re entitled to take whatever legal action they see fit to recover the money they’re owed. That will include engaging debt collectors, of if that fails, instructing attorneys to come after you.

However, in your case, things might be different. You paid your debt before they engaged the debt collectors that are chasing you. Furthermore, they admitted they’d made a mistake and promised to rectify the situation. It’ now up to them to honour their promise and sort this situation out for you.

I suggest that you first contact the college and tell them that you hold them responsible for fixing this situation. Tell them that you will telling the debt collectors the same thing. Then you should contact the debt collectors and tell them that you have disputed the debt collection charges with the college and that you are holding them responsible for the problem. Insist that they record in their files.

I’ll also get in touch with the college and see if I can encourage them to help fix this situation.

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