The unsolicited goods scam:
This kind of scam is where a company gets you to purchase something from them (refurbished printer cartridges is a favourite). Once you’ve paid for this order, even if you do not order anything from then again, they’ll again send another parcel with an invoice. This is when things begin to get nasty. If you refuse to pay for the unsolicited goods, they threaten legal action or use other intimidation tactics to get you to pay. Sometimes they even tell you that they have a phonecall recording that proves that you ordered the second parcel! This is successful enough that they stay in business and continue with their unethical and illegal business practices.
The truth is – if you receive unsolicited goods, whomever sent the goods has to fetch it AT THEIR OWN COST within 20 business days of being notified (a fax or registered letter is best). If they don’t do this, they CANNOT legally blacklist you or take any other legal action because the judge will laugh them out of the court – even with their fake record of a call! They’re also VERY quick to threaten legal action BUT they NEVER follow through. They KNOW that they don’t have a legal leg to stand on, yet people get so scared of being sued, that they rather pay up. The ONLY way to get rid of them, is to refuse to be intimidated, NEVER pay up just to get rid of them and tell them to go ahead with their legal action. Chances are that you won’t hear from them again! (And they won’t send more unsolicited goods!) According to the Consumer Protection Act, you can also sue them for any amounts you’ve paid towards unsolicited goods INCLUDING interest! Suing them for the money is also a sure-fire way to get them to leave you alone! As soon as they know that you know your rights, they should usually crawl back under the rock they came from.
If they ever threaten you with physical harm, you can also get a restraining order against them. If they make their threats over the phone, it’s usually quite easy to make a recording if you have a smartphone by downloading one of the many call recording apps available. Even if they call you on an office phone, you can ask then to call back within 10 minutes and then forward the call to your smartphone and still record the call. The important bit is to tell them that the call is being recorded as soon as they identify themselves. There are some legal loopholes where they can get the recording thrown out as evidence if you do not tell them it’s being recorded.
It’s ALWAYS a good idea to check up on a company by using HelloPeter BEFORE you do any business with them.