Name and shame them

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - BILL HAR­TARD

I READ YOUR AR­TI­CLE (1 March 2007) “Bid­der beware” with con­sid­er­able in­ter­est. It’s in­ci­dents of this na­ture that give auc­tion­eer­ing a dirty name.

This In­sti­tute re­alises that it does hap­pen and it’s for this rea­son that we en­deav­our to con­vince the pub­lic to only make use of the ser­vices of our mem­bers.

We have an ex­ten­sive Code of Con­duct and ethics, so we do have some con­trol over mem­bers who trans­gress.

It’s ob­vi­ous from the ar­ti­cle that the auc­tion­eer in ques­tion was sell­ing his own goods and not goods on be­half of a client. It’s worth not­ing that the con­duct you de­scribed in­fringes Chap­ter 14 of the “Pre­vent­ing and Com­bat­ing of Cor­rupt Ac­tiv­i­ties Act, 2004”. It fur­ther flies in the face of Chap­ter 47 of the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Bill. *

The prob­lems are there­fore:

The pub­lic at large is un­aware of th­ese two pieces of leg­is­la­tion. Prov­ing in­fringe­ments can of­ten be dif­fi­cult. Peo­ple who at­tend auc­tions and who be­lieve they’ve been cheated – and can prove it – are re­luc­tant to “get in­volved” and one can un­der­stand their rea­sons.

I do wish more jour­nal­ists would name and shame such auctioneers, who of­ten have no fixed busi­ness ad­dress or land­line – only a cell­phone num­ber.

*For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact the SA In­sti­tute of Auctioneers.

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