When I opened my business I agreed to uphold the Hospitality Industries Code of Conduct to 'respect the rights, dignity and professional integrity of clients and guests.'
As I was naïve I believed that travellers were nice, and honest until I accommodated Dr Knowles from the UK for four days.
He told me that 'he had only booked at Terrylin as it looked as though I needed his business and his mate in Kyalami was on holiday and they got mixed up with his arrival.'
On his departure he asked me to call for a taxi immediately to take him to his mate's house.
Dr Knowles then presented me with the following request:
Three separate invoices. One for accommodation and meals. The second for internet usage and clothes washing. The third for transport.
I printed these and Dr Knowles peered into his wallet for the credit cards with the sole intention of confusing me.
"But, I also need some cash for spending money. At least R1 000. You can debit each card as follows, R200 on this one, R700 on the next one and the balance on the third," he said.
I gave him R1000 as the taxi driver arrived.
"Let him in and tell him I'll be out soon," instructed Dr Knowles. "In the meantime, I will put the cards through and sign the slips just to help you."
Dr Knowles' mate 'phoned. "Just tell him I'm on my way. Can't talk now," rushed out Dr Knowles, telling the taxi driver 'to hurry up.'
Later I realised that the good doctor had conned me out of R2 420 so I called him on his mate's landline.
Dr Knowles: "Where did you get this number?"
"From my 'phone," I replied.
"Ha, Ha, I didn't know South Africa was so advanced. Anyway, I knew I had scored. Tell you what you can meet me at the airport when I leave. Not sure what day yet. You can trust me. I'm a doctor. Or I can refund you from the UK. This will be better as I can't come over to you now. And, you don't know where I am," he lied.
"Yes, I do," I replied. "The taxi driver has given me the address. Tell you what, e-mail me your card details authorising the debit or I can collect the cash from you. Tell your mate I am on my way."
The e-mail arrived within minutes with - I hope you are happy. You overcharged me anyway. I have a good mind to send a review to TripAdvisor letting everyone know what a con artist you are.
Five years on I am still waiting.
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