A new breed of sophisticated manipulative business people are operating at the coast. Members of the public are called from a South African phone number (number withheld) and informed that they have won anything from N$30 000 to N$50 000 or a holiday.
They then receive a confirmation sms and are invited to come and claim their guaranteed prize at a local hotel.
The Namib Times was alerted by numerous concerned members of the public who wanted to know if the business was legitimate and resolved to dispatch a reporter to inves-tigate after staff members at the company also received calls and confirmation sms's. The reporter accompanied a lady who went to claim her prize. Upon arrival at the hotel the couple was warmly welcomed by two fancy dressed gentlemen and a lady who stated that they represented a certain holiday club.
One man introduced himself and asked the couple to make themselves at home in the lounge where he provided the lady, who had come to claim her prize, with a form to be completed before she could receive her prize. “You will have to listen to a short presentation before you can claim your prize” he stated.
Upon hearing that the lady was not accompanied by her husband he immediately changed his tune and suggested that she leave her contact details and address. “We are a sales team with a difference and would love to visit you at home to do the presentation, have a barbeque and hand your prize to you in the presence of your husband” he said while continually stating that you only had to listen to the presentation in order to receive the prize. He reiterated that the business was completely legitimate and that an advertising campaign was being aired via Kanaal 7 Radio. Heidi Bok, the Assistant Marketing Manager at Kanaal 7 responsible for the scheduling of advertisements and competitions refuted this claim and stated that she was unaware and did not have any knowledge of the specific holiday club’s campaign. Numerous other couples arrived to claim their prizes but none left with any after they listened to the presentation but refused to sign any documents. Zirk and Henrita also advised Namib Times readers via the newspapers letters page on 2 August to be cautious and not to get involved with a company called African Club Innovations (ACI), not the one referred to in the article, which according to them had misled them and cost them more than N$40 000 over a period of ten months after they increased administration fees without advance notice from N$560 to N$1 041. They allege that the company's presentation was based on empty promises and lies and that they withheld important information during contractual sessions.