Service is back in transmission
Vodacom bows to refund request
NCEBA Luzipho can now finally breathe a sigh of relief and get a good night's rest.
Last Wednesday Vodacom and the Eastgate iStore outlet agreed to refund his R210,000.
Two weeks ago Consumer Line detailed Luzipho's plight of being in the throes of a R461,000 iPads and iPhones scam.
He bought the items under the impression he had been awarded a government tender to supply the goods. But he discovered he had been duped.
Armed with that realisation and an affidavit, he went to the goods' suppliers to return the unused products in a bid to recoup his money. Service providers duly gave him a refund, barring the aforementioned iStore.
The store's refusal to give Luzipho a refund was in contravention of the provisions laid down in the Consumer Protection Act and their own refund policies.
The iStore says its reluctance to refund Luzipho was informed by an instruction given by a Vodacom manager who, it says, told it not to refund Luzipho since Vodacom would follow the same route.
But, on Consumer Line's intervention, the iStore agreed to refund Luzipho.
But Vodacom store manger Michael Sacks denies influencing the iStore.
Sacks says: "All I asked them is what are they going to do - and the manager told me that it was up to their head office to make the call."
He adds: "I have spoken to the owner of the store and we will give a refund for the six phones as long as they are not broken, used or the seals have not been broken. I will require a bank account number and the money will be transferred."
An iStore official says: "We will refund the money."
Luzipho says: "It feels like I'm waking up from [a] nightmare. Now I will sleep easy."
The businessman was almost conned by fraudsters who use government departments as a front to rip off up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
Luzipho says he received a call from an "official" calling himself Jeffrey Mashele who invited him to quote on iPads and iPhones with a collective value of R461000.
After "winning the tender", Luzipho took out a loan with a friend - because he could not secure one from the bank in such a short time - and proceeded with the purchase of the iPhones and iPads as he had to beat a five-day deadline, he says.
He says he procured 19 iPads and 15 iPhones for Water Affairs and the Forestry Department as per the condition for winning the tender.
Luzipho says it later turned out the tender was a scam.
He says he became suspicious when the supposed officials told him to deliver the goods to a warehouse and not to the departments' offices in Pretoria.
He says he has done business with the government before, and has never been asked to deliver goods anywhere other than in Pretoria. He says he was directed to flats a stone's throw from Ekurhuleni to make the delivery but, he says, he refused to enter the premises as there was no indication it was a government building.
"After being lured away from the 'department's' reception I became suspicious since I had not delivered wares anywhere but there in my previous dealings with the same department," he says.
Luzipho says he called "Mashele" to complain about his being escorted to the flats instead of a government building.
"Mashele" tried to convince him he was at the right place. But Luzipho decided to go to the department where he was told it was a scam, he says.
On reporting his ordeal at a nearby police station he discovered he was not the only one who had been lured by the fraudsters.