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Caution is your saving grace

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Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

CONSUMERS'S VOICE

I’m a 17-year old girl looking for a modelling agency. I recently searched for agencies on the Interne and I came across a website which offered an endless list of top modelling agencies. I want to believe that this website (modelscouts.com) is not a scam. I want to enter the model search which the website offers, however, I am required to pay $129 for submitting my photo or pay $149 for submitting my photo and being entered into the model search. I don’t know if this website is a scam or not, I want to be sure that I wont be throwing my hard earned pennies away by sending the required fees, could you please help me find out whether this website is a scam or not. Thank you.

I think you’re right to be cautious, this is way too suspicious.  I checked the web site you gave and while it and the company seem superficially impressive it doesn’t take too much research to find many people who have raised many concerns about this particular company and others like them.

Basically my main concern is that like recruitment agencies, the legitimate modelling agencies don’t require YOU to pay THEM to recruit you.  Modelling agencies, like recruitment companies, make money from the clients, not the recruits.  Obviously I’m not an expert on the modelling industry but I’m sure what this company wants can’t be the way it should work.  I also would be very worried indeed if a sister of mine, or more likely a daughter, got involved in a company that based itself on recruiting pretty young women, taking their money and then making them feel extremely optimistic.  You can no doubt imagine the rest, can’t you?

Please don’t waste your money on this.  Find a real model agency that doesn’t demand cash up front, you’ll be a lot safer.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I am planning to purchase some laser products from a company called LaserRaymax. The website is www.laserraymax.com.  The website seems not to give information as to where the company is located geographically. When I sent my enquiry about the products, I received a reply via yahoo email. The address of the sender is Allen Selseleh [[email protected]]. I am suspicious of the yahoo email whether it is a genuine distributor of the product or a scam. Please find out  for me before I commit my money.

Someone else who is wise to be cautious.  The products this consumer is asking about are “Hair and skin rejuvenation systems”.  The idea, according to the web site the consumer mentions, is based on “Low level laser therapy” which they claim “employs a very low dosage of coherent laser light that has been proven to vitalize the cells by increasing the mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in the cell”.  This apparently increases nutrients flow to the hair follicles, which miraculously “stimulates and accelerates hair growth”.

I won’t bore you with the endless parade of pseudoscientific rubbish that follows but it can be summarised as “shine a light on your head and it will make it hairy”.  We all know that’s nonsense, don’t we?

Anyway, our advice is, give it a miss.  If you’re going bald then learn to live with it.  Besides, don’t women seem to flock towards the cool bald guys anyway?

A warning
Last week we reported on an Orange customer who contacted us because his mobile Internet bill had soared from around P400 per month to over P20, 000.  Yes, twenty thousand Pula for just one month.

It may sound a tremendous amount but it could actually be quite easily to do this.  For instance a DVD feature film takes up about 4 gigabytes (a gigabyte is a thousand megabytes) and as the cheapest excess download charge is around P1 per megabyte you can see how a film could cost as much as P4, 000 to download.  Download a few films and you could easily get a bill of P20, 000 at the end of the month.
However, Orange, have explained that normally their mobile internet packages have a capping mechanism that will warn customers as they approach their free monthly allowance and certainly when they reach it.  It seems that for some customers this mechanism didn’t work in April and May.  They’re still researching this particular case but they’ve promised to get back to the consumer and us once they’re figured out what happened.

The lesson is clear.  You must read and UNDERSTAND your mobile data contract BEFORE you start using it for anything out of the ordinary.  An allowance of something like 150MB is almost certainly enough for a few emails and a bit of web-surfing but be very careful indeed if you do anything more than that.

An appeal

Which company in Botswana gives you really dreadful service on the telephone?  Let us know who you think sucks on the phone and we’ll phone them, record their abysmal service and then send a recording to their CEO or MD.  Let’s demonstrate how bad things are to those who have the power to do something about it!

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