Dealership pays after dodgy salesperson nabbed

2010-07-10 13:22

Imperial Toyota in Bedfordview, Johannesburg,

has compensated a customer who nearly lost R45 000 as a result of a dodgy deal,

and suspended the ­salesperson implicated.

Fuzile Tsheto, of Dutywa in the ­Eastern Cape, acknowledged receipt

of the money on Monday.

Tsheto, who received his money after six months, said: “I thought

all I was ­doing was giving the salesperson a chance to ­return my money when I

­remained ­patient with him, but he made me look stupid.”

The self-employed Tsheto makes a living from transporting school

­children in a private car.

Late last year, he wanted to buy a new minibus taxi and his

brother, who lives in Johannesburg, recommended ­Imperial Toyota.

Tsheto’s brother even went to the dealership to find a salesperson

who could assist him with the transaction.

They found Ivor van Heerden, who conducted the sale


On Van Heerden’s advice, Tsheto completed the paperwork and faxed

it to the dealership on December 8.

Two days later, Van Heerden advised him to pay a deposit of R5 000

into a Standard Bank account belonging to Van Heerden.

This was because Van Heerden said he would personally hand over the

­money to their accounts department.

On December 15, Van Heerden asked for a further R20 000 to impress

the manager because another prospective buyer wanted the vehicle.

Tsheto said: “I paid the money into the same bank account. Van

Heerden later advised me to pay a further R20 000 to make a full deposit of

R45 000.”

For two months, Van Heerden made empty promises to deliver the


In March, Tsheto laid a formal ­complaint with Imperial Toyota

against Van Heerden and his manager Glen ­Watkins.

At the end of March, Watkins ­refunded Tsheto R20 000 and another

R2 000 at the end of April. When he struggled to receive the balance of R23 000,

Tsheto decided to contact Hotline.

We referred the complaint to Christa Rheeder, group customer

services ­manager at Imperial Toyota.

She said Van Heerden might have ­acted unethically and promised to

pay the ­balance.

Rheeder said: “Van Heerden has been suspended but there is not

sufficient proof against Watkins. We regret this reprehensible behaviour. This

is ­contrary to every principle on which we conduct our business.”

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