As corporate mess-ups go, it was pretty big. A “pre-legal credit controller” employed by cellphone service provider Altech Autopage sent an e-mail to 45 of its subscribers earlier this month, many of them former subscribers, telling them to pay up or face the consequences.
“We refer to your Altech Autopage account which has gradually digressed into an arrear status.
His name is Johannes Ignatius Bartosch, and he’s the R699 man.
He’s been chosen by attorney Duncan Heuer of Port Elizabeth law firm Pieterse, Cary, Finlaison Inc, as the person to represent all Satinsky clients in a notice of motion the firm’s legal counsel will take to the Port Elizabeth High Court tomorrow to have a class action brought against Satinsky and the banks.
There was a time when the manufacturers of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, commonly referred to as “junk food”, could happily punt them to children using cartoon characters, celebrities, gifts and the like.
The saga now commonly referred to as “the six-nine-nine cars” is far from over, and I’m busy investigating a few humdinger cases involving grossly inaccurate information on credit application forms, and a car sold as new when its registration history says otherwise.
But here’s a story of someone who thought he had a good credit record but could not get a bank to finance a used car.
At 1.30 on Friday morning, I got an SMS from the man at the centre of the “New car for R699 a month” saga, Albert Venter, chief executive of the Satinsky Group and the mastermind of the deal that saw people being paid for advertising – mostly for the deal itself – on the back of their new cars.
That is until last week, when their worst fears were confirmed – the fees dried up altogether.