Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
IF YOU have been blacklisted over credit you are unaware of, chances are that your identity document might have been used fraudulently.
Steven Musandiwa of Louis Trichardt in Limpopo cannot obtain a bank loan because Autopage has blacklisted him as a bad payer though he never entered into any contract with them.
He discovered this six months ago when he tried to apply for a loan from Standard Bank to renovate his home.
But Autopage has not responded to his enquiries after they promised to investigate the matter.
Musandiwa said he discovered in November last year that he "owed" Autopage R8000 for two cellphones.
"I have never applied for or received any cellphones, nor signed any contract with Autopage," he said.
When he enquired about the debt he was advised to send a certified affidavit stating that he has not applied for a cellphone contract from Autopage. This he did.
Musandiwa said he made further enquiries and Autopage insisted that he owed them and must pay the bill.
Hesaid he never received any letters of demand or statements from the company though they had blacklisted him.
"Why didn't they block the cellphones when they realised I was not paying and allow the bill to be R8000?"
He said there must be something wrong within the company to have allowed any defaulting client to have a bill that was so high without giving a warning.
Musandiwa said he was advised to fax his affidavit and a copy of his ID to facilitate an investigation.
"I faxed an affidavit certifying that I never had a cellphone contract with Autopage but I did not fax a certified copy of my ID book as I was afraid they might use it against me," he said.
He said he trusted that Autopage would investigate his case and clear his name at the credit bureau, but to date they have not done so.
"To my limited understanding, they have details of the agent and the courier company that delivered the goods to me," he said.
Musandiwa said he expected Autopage to tell him where the phones were delivered but instead they wanted him to provide his details.
"Then again they must have documents I allegedly signed in their possession after I received their cellphones and the address where the cellphones were delivered and this has not been revealed to me," he said.
On March 31 he went to re-apply for a loan at the bank and discovered that Autopage still had him blacklisted as a bad payer.
He contacted the company again and only then was he told that he had entered into a contract with Autopage over the phone.
He said he demanded that the company produce the tape recording they were referring to, but nothing has happened.
"If the contract is entered into telephonically, were the alleged two cellphones delivered to me telephonically? If not, at least there must be a name of an agent, time and address where the cellphones were delivered," he said.
Autopage has not responded to these allegations after Consumer Line sent the company a several written and phone enquiries.
Credit ombudsman Mannie van Schalkwyk has agreed to investigate the alleged unfair practice.
The office of the credit ombud is mandated, among other things, with the duty to enforce fairness in credit and credit bureau matters.
The office offers its service free of charge.
Complaints can be lodged at086-166-2837 or www.creditombud.org.za. For general credit-related information it can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org