South Africa ( 8 )

Mila vs Patricia Govender

After spending 11 years abroad, we decided to return to South Africa permanently. We hunted houses for rent online through web searches and also posts on social media. A woman called Patricia Govender messaged my husband on Facebook to introduce herself, saying that she was a rental agent who got our details from a mutual friend. She had several beautiful houses for rent in the Southern Peninsula, Cape Town, and they were well priced too. We were impressed with her service; she would send us photos of the houses and their surrounds, and kept in touch daily, taking interest in our family. She said she chose to take special care of us because of our mutual friend. We thought we had gotten really lucky.

We chose a house in Fish Hoek that seemed like a bargain; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, double garage and a fenced garden for R8000 p/m. The deposit was two months' rent, and an 'administration fee' of R1500, which we felt we'd gladly give. My husband was a bit alarmed that we had to make the payment into what seemed like a private bank account but 'Patricia' found a way to assure him. We paid R17 500 into the account, and never heard from her again. I emailed and we tried to call numerous times, but the email address stopped working, and of course the phone number didn't exist. Our 'mutual' friend later denied knowing any such person.

Mila vs Pizzahut
Pizzahut has always been a favorite for Saturday suppers. We went to Highveld Pizza Hut restaurant and put in a large order for the family for a sit-down meal. The pizzas arrived, some cold, and with less cheese than usual. In addition, I found a hair in my pizza. My husband called the waiter, who called the manager Paul. Paul was uncooperative and rude from the word go. He insisted that the pizzas were the right temperature, and that my children were being difficult. He also insinuated that I had put the hair in the pizza which shocked me and hurt my feelings. This meal was a big disappointment for us as a family, we loved going to the restaurant, but we will not do so again.

The next day I called the franchise headquarters to lodge a complaint. We were given vouchers for free meals at a Pizza Hut of our choice.

Mila vs Mercury Insurance
I insured my car with Mercury Insurance when I bought it in 2012. Early in 2013, I was caught in a hail storm and my car sustained damage. I contacted the insurance, and at first they were helpful and diligent. I was sent a claim form which I duly filled out. The assessor was supposed to contact me to asses the damage. Trouble started here. I contacted the insurance office numerous times over months, and I was given multiple excuses, or my calls were put on hold. I even battled to get a schedule out of them. They also got unfriendly and off-putting. Eventually I just gave up and cancelled my assurance with them.

I reported them to the Ombudsman, but have not received any feedback.

Anonymous vs Hammond Pole Attorneys and FNB
A year ago I had problems meeting my repayment obligations towards FNB, as I had lost my job.
Spoke with the branch manager and we made an arrangement.
Despite this, my account was still handed over to Hammond Pole Attorneys, who started calling me once a day.
I explained their mistake to them via telephone and got an email address to which I was asked to send a written explanation.
The email address was incorrect and the email bounced. It took almost a year before they stopped contacting me, long after the issue was solved with FNB.
They say on their homepage they're serious about service. Serious about crap service yes.

Anonymous vs PayPal
I was recently informed by a client that money was sent to me via my Paypal account. However, I have not used my account for approximately 18 months, and had lost my password. The email and cellphone number associated with my account are also no longer in use. I had no way of logging into my account.

I browsed the PayPal website extensively to find a way to make contact with someone at Paypal in order to rectify this issue. NO email address is supplied to contact their help desk unless you're logged in. Which I couldn't do. A phone number is supplied which I was instructed to use to 'call as a guest'. The number doesn't work. There is NO WAY for me, an existing client, to log into the Paypal website, and NO WAY to contact anybody at PayPal in order to solve this issue. On the blogs, I could see that I'm not the only person with this type of problem.

The following is what PayPal claims on the landing page of their site: "We've got you covered. We can reimburse you if something’s not right.
Shop with peace of mind..." This, to me, is gross marketing lies of the service they offer - they clearly don't care about their clients. Period.

Anonymous vs CIty of Cape Town
Numerous emails, waiting for weeks to get my car registered, and then I receive an email at close of business that instructs me to pay a large sum of money on the same day. See the attached file *rollseyes*

It was impossible for me to make the payment that day and was almost fined as a consequence.

Anonymous vs Co parenting South Africa
I approached Co-parenting for assistance with an ongoing custody battle, and was asked to pay Co-parenting R5000 up-front, which I did. The case was complicated, but that's why I looked for advice and representation. The manager, Christof Sharp, appeared reassuring and knowledgeable, and he may be so for others, but to me he was just a smooth-talking, greedy crook. He made a few phone calls on my behalf, but that's it - very little of what was promised to me during the initial interview actually transpired. I managed, with the help of other professionals, to gain legal custody of my child. Fortunately my drama is over, but this man and his company cannot be trusted.

Anonymous vs Joan Clos and George Laffor
In this scam/ spam email United Nations, US Homeland security, U.N International Financial Investigation Unit and the Association of Better Business Bureau have all jointly decided to pay me for the spam I have been getting. Can you believe this....