The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Sharetrackin — Underhand / unethical marketing
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
My husband received a call from Mr Andre Engelbrecht’s (based in Centurion) PA for him to explain and introduce to us investment on the JSE. We set and appointment for Thursday 19 August 2010 and he visited our home (in Middelburg) at 19:00.
After introducing the concept to us, we as laymen listened intently and questioned various items of the investment approach. He told us in detail of how the investment process works, where after the costs involved was explained…only a tank’s worth of petrol per month for a host of services that will keep us busy for 5 – 15 minutes a day. That seemed in order, but we still had some doubts. We enquired about the cooling-off period. “No problem”, he said, “there is a cooling-off period of 7 days”. We opted to take it, which opened up a whole other avenue of underhand marketing tactics thought out by the now apparent master-of-schemers in the business. Eventually we succumbed to the deal because it was set out as follows:
• 7 day cooling-off period remains available;
• 2 month / 15% profit on the simulator or money back guarantee on the software; and
• 6 month / 40% profit on the simulator or money back guarantee of the software.
It seemed a good deal and the stipulations were indicated on the contract, however, very quickly, and without much time to read the contract. We agreed to purchase the software on the budget facility (our very first time using it), and Andre explained that after the 36-month pay-off period we only have to pay R203 per month for their professional services from thereon (not subject to escalation). He arranged that his technician Thinus de Jager install the software on Saturday, 21 August 2010 and provide the introduction to the software. This all happened as arranged, however, we haven’t paid much additional attention to the contract since it was explained so thoroughly…or so it seemed.
By the end of Thinus’ session we were overwhelmed…this is definitely much more complex than we anticipated, and will need a great deal of attention. We took some time to calm down and re-read the contract thoroughly over the remainder of the weekend. We realised that we fell hook, line and sinker to the companies’ underhand methods, and contacted them immediately on Monday 23 August 2010 to cancel the deal, to no avail as Andre Engelbrecht referred us to Marika Drodskie, and she in turn could not commit to helping us.
We met with Jan Pieterse from C&K Moneyline on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 in Centurion and explained that we feel that we are still within the cooling-off period, and that we intended to cancel the subscription and return the software, as well as cancel the debit order of R203 per month, which is apparently now due from the start of the contract and is escalated annually. He was not helpful either, since he couldn’t commit to helping us either, and promised to set up a teleconference with Andre and ourselves to resolve the matter. This was to no avail since he did not respond to date (01 September 2010).
We have learnt some very important lessons in this, amongst others:
• Read your contract VERY thoroughly and identify ALL matters that might come back to haunt you.
• ALWAYS fall back in the safety net of a cooling-off period and rethink your decision – you can always let the consultant drive twice rather that sign right away…it’s much more cost effective.
• Do your research before and after the consultant’s visit.
In addition, I feel that this is a seriously horrible lesson to learn in life, but let me also be partaking in sharing this valuable lesson to my fellow citizens. I intend to:
• Post this story on Carte Blanche’s website for investigation (have done so already);
• Post the story on hellopeter.com;
• Send this letter to the local newspapers in Emalahleni and Middelburg;
• Send this letter to RSG’s consumer programmes such as Sakpas, Verbruikersake and Geldsake;
• Send this letter to the Department of Trade and Industry; and
• Send this letter to SANCU, the consumer union.
If this wasn’t a good example to others, let it then be a terrible warning!!!
I really hope this gets published and some good comes out of it.
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