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Saturday, April 24, 2010

You Can Trust Me. I'm a Doctor

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 honest until I accommodated Dr Knowles from the UK for four days.

He told me that he had only booked at Terrylin as I looked as though I needed his business, and his mate in Sandton 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 Kyalami Estates.

Dr Knowles then requested the following:

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 presented me with three credit cards.

"But, I also need some cash for spending money. At least R1000. You can debit each card as follows, R200 on this one, R300 on the next one and the balance on the third," he said.

I give him R1 000 and the taxi driver arrived.

"Let him in and tell him I'll be out soon," continued Dr Knowles. "In the meantime, I will put the cards through and sign the slips just to help you."

The 'phone rang. Dr Knowles' mate. "Just tell him I'm on my way. Can't talk now", he said and told the driver to hurry up.

Later I realised that the good doctor had conned me out of R2 420 and I called him on his mate's landline.

Dr Knowles: "Where did you get this number?"

"From my 'phone," I told him.

"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 am a doctor. Or, I can refund you from the U.K. This will be better as I can't come over to you now. And you don't know where I am."

"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 this from you. Tell your mate I am on my way."

The e-mail arrived in 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 for the review.

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