Consumer Watch

Glenda

Glenda Thompson

Hi Everyone,

Ballito and the greater North Coast is definitely the place to shop this Festive Season!  The levels of service, both retail and the hospitality industry have really gone up several notches, thanks to the competitive nature of business and the fact that we just seem to have the nicest people living here!  The number of complaints about service related problems that I’ve received from consumers lately has dropped right down, and instead, I have just had good positive feedback, on both the new and the old establishments in town, too many to name, but I would just like to give a massive pat on the back and shout out and thank everyone and wish all our service providers and retailers happy, successful trading over this happy period.

The level of crime always escalates at this time of year, so just remember to keep a close look over your shoulder at all times.  Some interesting stats from the crime prevention unit: Fifty percent of hijackings take place in residential driveways and parking lots and within a 5 km radius of a victims homes and 80 percent of vehicle theft occurs at shopping centres and at social events – over weekends and public holidays.  The remote control lock jam devices are still very much in use.  Avoid stopping on the highway.  Take the next off ramp to stop in a more public place.

Make sure you have your roadside assistance and emergency numbers close at hand on your cell phone so that you are well prepared for any eventuality.  It’s also a good idea, especially at this time of year, to join a personal safety group, like Mobi Claw 911 for instance.  They are tactical rapid reaction co-ordinators, and if you’re in a sticky situation, it’s just a matter of pressing the panic button on the app to get an immediate response.  Download their app – the cost is minimal and it could save your life.

Bank fraud is also bad at this time of year – actually on the increase everywhere it seems. If a client is deemed to have acted negligently when it comes to a fraudulent case, the bank will not take responsibility.  In fact last year, only 22% cases of internet fraud in South Africa ruled in favour of the customer.  It’s no wonder that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have created such a hype.  Bitcoin has literally soared in value and it has just been launched on the CBOE futures exchange in Chicago.  This is Bitcoins debut in the futures market (futures are typically based on the price of a real commodity, like oil).  I have had personal experience with Bitcoin and have found its meteoric rise pretty thrilling – and profitable.  Currency of the future?  According to the guys in the know, like Branson and Gates, definitely.  Locally, there are several very knowledgeable people who can give good advice on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency in general.  Contact me on gjthomo@gmail.com and I will point you in the right direction.

Remember that if you have any complicated queries – especially those bordering on the legal side –  go straight to the Consumer Council  – KZN Consumer Complaints Hotline number: 0800 333 667 which is a free service to the public. OR  go to the SMALL CLAIMS COURT in Stanger.  This is particularly with regards to money that needs to be claimed back – if it is a small amount. Contact them on 032 551 1201. The only payment involved is the fee payable to the Sheriff – depending on how far he has to travel to serve.

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