I have just discovered something about the Consumer Protection Act which has me absolutely gobsmacked.
When you sign a contract in person with a company, you walk away – or should – with a copy of that agreement, with relevant terms and conditions, as proof of what was agreed between you and the company.
I have thousands of readers to thank for the fact that I’m wise to most things which trip up consumers, be it face-to-face, on the phone or online, from outright scams to rip-offs and clever tricks used to part us from our money.
So today, I share some of what I’ve learnt from the “please help” |e-mails which pour into my inbox in their hundreds every day. Except for late December and early January, when they slow to a trickle, for which I am grateful.
I’ve had quite a few responses to last week’s column about “penny auction” website Viaziz, which has duped many South Africans into believing they were just registering on the site when in fact they were agreeing to buy about R2 500 worth of “credits”.
The site invites people to “sign up for free” then supply their credit card details in order to complete the “registration”. But the small print reveals what they’re really agreeing to when supplying their credit card details: “Package: 300 new customer welcome credits. You will be debited R2499.99.”