Almost daily I get e-mails from organisations inviting me to business workshops. “Dear Executive”, they begin, inviting my ever-so-important self to learn things every journalist needs to know, such as “management reporting for accountants” and “financial skills for purchasing and procurement”.
Despite me going through the “unsubscribe” process, the e-mails keep coming, and straight into Trash they go.
A few weeks ago I tackled the thorny issue of defective cars and the Consumer Protection Act; the upshot being that while the act entitles you to choose a refund or replacement over a repair in the case of a sofa or a fridge which breaks within six months, it’s a different story when it comes to cars.
It’s a very complex issue, thanks mainly to the huge cost of cars and the bank finance issue, plus the fact that Motor Industry Ombudsman Johan van Vreden and the National Consumer Commission (NCC) have to balance the needs of the consumer with that of the industry, which, Van Vreden says, would be “brought to its knees” within months if forced to replace cars with relatively minor problems.
Unless you regard the internet as being home to a bunch of fraudsters and scoundrels, who spend their days concocting elaborate scams to get you to part with your money, sooner or later you’re sure to be scammed.
Sorry to be so cynical, but I regularly interact with people who fell victim to these scams because they were too trusting, and didn’t question what they were told.
I continue to get e-mails from readers expressing outrage at having discovered a “content” charge on their cellphone bills for a subscription to some “value-added” service they insist they did not agree to.
These third-party companies, which get subscribers’ money via an agreement with the networks, are called wireless application service providers, or Wasps.