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Thread: 'R699' car deal owners in despair

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    'R699' car deal owners in despair

    Read this article on IOL Motoring http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/indust...ers-in-despair


    Independent Newspapers June 23 2014 at 08:50am By Wendy Knowler

    Durban - To thousands of South Africans, the “Drive a new car for R699 a month” deal seemed like the perfect solution to their “want a new car but can’t afford it” dilemma.

    You get a new car, with a 100 percent loan from a bank, making you responsible for the full repayment amount every month, but you offset that expense by signing a second contract with Hong Kong-based Blue Lakes Trading and Promotions, in terms of which you get paid a sizeable amount every month in exchange for turning your car’s back window into an in-your-face moving billboard advertisement, mostly for the scheme itself.

    The Satinsky group of companies owns Drive Car Sales, the company driving the unique car ownership model throughout South Africa. Satinsky is also the management agent for Blue Lakes Trading and Promotions and operates Blue Lakes’ help desk in the country.
    Is this still news? What, you didn't know? This has been a scam from day one. A perfect scam to exploit the stupid and seekers of short cuts.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    When things look to good to be true then they most likely are, yet lots of people fall for this sort of nonsense daily.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The Blue Lakes deal was questioned here a year ago, I see. Seems not much has changed since - the income that comes in from the scheme is far from a sure thing, and if you want to pursue the matter, you would seem to need a lawyer in Hong Kong.

    However, applying the principle that when things seem murky, just follow the money -

    The money being used for pay outs (even if less than expected) has to come from somewhere.
    The contract talks of advertisers, and everyone seems to perceive Blue Lakes SA as the primary advertiser being referred to in the contract (as all the adverts are for the scheme).
    But what are they actually promoting?

    The scheme, yes. But that scheme in essence is promoting the sale of cars.
    The car dealership(s) selling the cars just has to be paying Blue Lakes SA a slice of the car sale. It's the only place that the money can be coming from!
    The car dealership just has to be the actual advertiser referred to.

    So let's go back to the Wendy Knowler article, and particularly this quoted response from the Satinsky Group representative:
    This is the response I got from Siyanda Zuma, media liaison manager for the Satinsky group.

    “The Satinsky Group of companies consists of a number of divisions including Drive Car Sales and Just Group Africa.

    “Blue Lakes Trading & Promotions is a separate company with no ties to our company. It is based in Hong Kong and is a trading, promotions & advertising company.
    Now if a company in the Satinsky Group is selling the cars, and a company in the Satinsky Group is contracted to operate the local help desk for Blue Lakes (whatever), the claim of "no ties" seems a little less than entirely truthful. What seems more likely is that there is actually a significant, mutually beneficial relationship between Blue Lakes and the Satinsky Group, and one could postulate that Blue Lakes has intentionally been positioned as the cut-out in an elaborate scheme ultimately designed to help a member of the Satinsky Group sell cars.

    Of course that doesn't in itself make the scheme illegal, or a scam, or a pyramid etc. It would just help someone argue why a case might be pursued here in SA against the Satinsky Group rather than in Hong Kong against Blue Lakes - if there is a case to be answered.

    The other possible angle worth exploring is the reports of folk where the instalments become patently unaffordable without the expected income. Is this (apparently unreliable) income stream perhaps influencing the affordability testing used for the granting of credit? If yes, that might open the door to folk seeking relief under the reckless credit provision of the National Credit Act.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    AndyD (24-Jun-14), flaker (25-Jun-14)

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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Unfortunately there's just so many who'd fall for these things. I actually felt the same about those cheap car-loans where there's still a 30% residual (or more) at the end. It works reasonably if nothing goes wrong, like an accident or you've driven slightly to far or haven't traded it in exactly at the optimal time.

    The point is, there's no free lunches and very few cheap lunches (unless they're poisonous). My rule: if something surprises me I get VERY suspicious, if I can't see myself offering such a deal (placing myself in their shoes) then I "know" it's a scam.
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    From the link above -
    Clients fear they will lose their cars because they cannot afford to pay for them. Satinsky did not provide clients with copies of their signed contracts. Satinsky made applications to the bank on behalf of the clients, raising questions of possible misrepresentation in contracts.


    Might be worth a shot at claiming reckless credit protection, then.

    And if the banks stand to lose out due to misrepresentation, they certainly should have the funds and motivation to pursue the matter with the Satinsky Group with some vigour.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    R699pm car business falls apart: report


    http://businesstech.co.za/news/gener...-apart-report/

    its come to a gravely end!

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Last edited by Dave A; 05-Jul-14 at 07:35 AM. Reason: fixed link
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    From that story -
    So here’s the thing. All three banks say they didn’t factor in the anticipated advertising fee from Blue Lakes when they assessed whether the applicants could afford the repayment. They say the applicants passed the affordability tests based on their earnings and expenses. End of story.

    So something is not adding up. Consumer activist Simon Lapping told me that he’d spoken to people who claimed to have disclosed their monthly living expenses in an application on the Blue Lakes website, but when they saw the bank document later, the figure was quite a bit lower. Someone had altered it. In one case I’ve seen, a woman who earns a gross salary of R8000 a month, had her total monthly living expenses - rent, fuel, food, insurance - listed as R1270. She says that’s not what she declared, and it could be argued that the bank involved should have queried such a low amount.

    Simon’s advice to those affected is to get copies of their loan applications and agreements from their banks in order to get to the bottom of the affordability issue, and establish whether there is a case to make for reckless lending.
    According to the National Credit Act, if you can prove reckless lending, the lender may be forced to write off the debt.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Now I'm the first to grin when a bank is in trouble, I hate them with a passion. And according to that it's quite clear that the banks didn't do their homework on these loans. So you'd expect I'd be one of the guys saying: "Yay! the banks need to own up that they (at best) didn't check on this pyramid scam, and thus they need to foot the bill."

    And I do feel for these people caught in the trap. They obviously don't have the capability to afford the "true" debt repayments. So they're in trouble at least. But what am I to do (or you or the rest of us)? It's not like we're all billionaires capable of throwing money away in pseudo altruistic nonchalance. We've got responsibilities of our own, and some of us are equally on the bread-line.

    BUT...

    What would that mean? It's not as if the banks would be personally harmed by this. The owners and managers wouldn't suddenly have to dish out cash from their own pockets. Nope, what a bank does is use other people's money - they never take any risk on their own part. So if this goes through expect increases in your fees, higher interest on your loans, lower interest on your savings, etc. I.e. those of us who didn't fall for this rip-off are then going to pay for those who did, not the banks, not the scammers themselves (they're already on a beach enjoying all that top-of-the-pyramid profit), but the rest of us.

    Now if the law can make the owners / shareholders in those banks take personal responsibility for these bad debts, then it's only slightly better. The trouble is, there's so much intermingling and diffusion between them that the physical person(s) profiting from the "ownership" is protected by layers-on-layers of various holding companies. And these in turn could very easily then find another way of passing those losses on to the general public instead. It's how our whole financial system operates. Accountability is just a word, it has no meaning.

    Yet again ... another example of why my signature must be hammered into school kids from day 1! Avoid debt like the plague! It's only beneficial if you can make a profit out of it, else you're ALWAYS worse off in the end.
    Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves. - Norm Franz
    And central banks are the slave clearing houses

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