False promises of help that will make you a stock market pro

CAUTIOUS: Be wary when buying products touted as money makers - check the contract thoroughly. Pic. Jeremy Glyn. © Sunday Times.
CAUTIOUS: Be wary when buying products touted as money makers - check the contract thoroughly. Pic. Jeremy Glyn. © Sunday Times.

There is a company that encourages consumers to buy software packages that allow them to use their computer to help them understand how to trade in securities and on stock exchanges.

There is a company that encourages consumers to buy software packages that allow them to use their computer to help them understand how to trade in securities and on stock exchanges.

But the company does not deliver the software or train its customers after receiving their money.

Kgwadi Thobane and Mehlo Nkutha said they paid R10000 each for software from Stock Market College (SMC), aka Quick Charts, but have not received it.

SMC's Hardus van Pletsen told them his company was mandated by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the Department of Finance, and the Department of Trade and Indus to try to teach black people about the operations of the JSE.

But Thobane and Nkutha had have not been trained as they had been promised and when they tried to cancel their contracts they were referred to a five-day cooling-off period.

Nkutha said: "The trick is that the last day of the cooling- off period coincides with the first day of the training and I would not think of cancelling when I was looking forward to being trained."

Thobane decided to cancel his contract after the cooling-off period lapsed, but was assured that he would receive his goods.

"This promise was never fulfilled," he said.

He has received a letter of demand from attorneys Etsebeth, Erasmus and Associates.

They are demanding a further R8054 from Thobane for a product he has not received.

SMC's Zelda van Pletsen said she was not aware that Thobane and Nkutha had not received training and had attempted to cancel their contracts.

"Your fax is the first I have received indicating this."

She said SMC had changed its training system because its customers were not being trained satisfactorily.

"Nkutha and Thobane seem to have fallen prey to that system," she said.

But Consumer Line has correspondence that shows that the company was aware of their plight.

Thobane was threatened with "blacklisting" by SMC because he wanted out.

"Please take note that I will list you on ITC with immediate effect and hand you over for legal collection.

"I would not want to waste my time with you ... " read an e-mail Hardus van Pletsen sent to Thobane in October.

Van Pletsen is adamant the contracts cannot be cancelled.

"He [Thobane] will receive an updated disc and training.

"We will also credit a stockbroking account for him to the value of R1000 once the paperwork is completed."

l If you receive an offer of speculative software and are in doubt about it, contact Consumer Helpline at 0861-843-384 or fax 012-394-2436.

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