Tag Archives: Barbados Consumer Issues

When banks charge morgage interest rates like credit cards… it’s called USURY

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

A couple of days ago we approached our bank about rates for a commercial mortgage and were quoted rates of between 11.5 and 14.5 per cent interest.

Yet only recently I saw an article where the banks were attempting to pressure the Central Bank to lower the interest rate paid to depositors from the current minimum of 2.5 per cent.

How can we in the private sector and Government, at least giving lip service to encouraging small businesses and entrepreneurship, tolerate ludicrous spreads like this of 9 to 12 per cent?

We are already forced to accept a level of poor service that would simply not be put up with in the countries where many of these banks have their origins: Unanswered voicemail messages and because its almost impossible to speak to a human being, lengthy and time wasting queues. There are endless delays in trying to procure critical documentation. Managers feel they have no obligation to respond to the written requests of their customers.

Small wonder that the President of The Bankers Association stated that 43 per cent of the non-performing loans were in the tourism sector. How on earth with all the other escalating costs can any small business service an interest rate of 14.5 per cent, let alone repay the capital.

This is an area that Government must intervene.

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues

Anonymous email making the rounds about Barbados Public Workers Co-operative Credit Union Ltd.

Barbados Free Press editor’s message: Folks, we received several copies of the following unsigned message. Each came through anonymous emailing services out of Germany, The Netherlands and possibly Russia. The message is anonymous and might or might not be containing wrong information or out and out lies. We have no way of confirming any of it: but as our readers will see there are certain informations that ring true and that we’ve heard elsewhere.

We’re going to print it and see whether our readers can make some sense of it. Now remember, folks: the people who are mentioned in this anonymous letter volunteered to be in public positions of trust and therefore are prepared to take some public vetting once in a while. Most people everywhere are hard-working and honest, so remember that as we discuss this letter and try to determine how much fire is under this smoke…

On the Ides of March – BPWCCUL has 14 days to respond!!!

The last blog posted regarding BPWCCUL has resulted in the wrongful dismissal of several workers including a very hard-working and honest Finance Manager, the continued harassment of an equally honest and sincere Internal Auditor and a professional and competent IT Manager. It has also triggered the running of two Directors who I’m glad to see the back of and the resignation of the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee. We only hope the Financial Services Commission is taking note.

As a pre-cursor to the Annual General Meeting it is essential to fully ventilate the issues and therefore we shall be posting on a regular basis to try to make sure that what has happened at CLICO does not happen here. In this situation more than fifty-thousand Barbadians would be affected.

This first post is a friendly game of 20 questions but if the Board is not forthright with members then it will be escalated with severely damaging information. Nothing short of the stepping down of the BPWCCUL President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Director Marilyn Mapp, Director Keiva Cadogan, the CEO, CAPITA’s Chairman, Deputy Chairman and CEO will avert this course of action.

These issues have not been raised officially with the Supervisory Committee because that has proven to be 100% ineffective and impotent. Remember, money talks and once Supervisory Committee members are offered trips to attend meetings across the Globe, they forget their duty and chase after a Board position.

So the 20 questions:

1.    Who is the individual or firm that was paid nearly half a million dollars in fees to provide services during the Credit Union’s acquisition of CLICO Mortgage and Finance Corporation? Why was there no contract and no Board approval or knowledge of the transaction and what is the relationship between this individual and the CAPITA CEO? Was this relationship declared to the Board in accordance with the Act? Was this the single-largest fee during the acquisition? Is it true that neither the legal fees nor the due diligence attracted fees this high? What services could have cost so much? And were there any BPWCCUL Directors who benefitted financially from this transaction? Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Consumer Issues

Tests show LIME boosts speed temporarily when user complains, but then…

click photo for larger

“This is robbery on any scale”

Good morning Lime team,

I am at my whit’s end with Lime and it’s service.  So if the internet service that Lime has been extorting me for over the past 6 to 8 months is not resolved and my account credited in some way, for the months that the deficient internet service which payment is mandatory, by the end of this week you (Lime) can cancel your less than mediocre Broadband internet service and come to collect your superfluous equipment.

This is ludicrous.  Too long I have been having this issue with below standard internet after having increased my service on this new account since I moved house.   I have called the helpline and reported this issue.  After not hearing anything from anyone at Lime, I called again to be told that there was no record of a previous complaint.  I unwillingly reiterated and made another complaint and was told a technician would contact me within 48 hours.  Well, 5 days went by before someone from Lime called.  Some tests were conducted and the speed surprisingly was up again.  Within a matter of 4 shocking days, the service speed dropped again.  So it appears that I am being charged full price to only receive ‘80% of the 1.5mbps’ service, but only actually getting .59mbps to use on a good day. I am sure this is robbery on any scale.

“After speaking to a few Lime and IT technicians I happened to know, I paid for someone independent to come to my house and perform a few tests on your sub-par Broadband service.”

His summation was that the line attenuation is too high as it should be around the 100 mark, the SNR should also be lower; and that the Ping test to the Lime server is taking too long to return.  You can find attached the screen shots of the tests carried out, pay close attention to the date.  (Speed test, ADSL and Ping). And yes, to date not a damn thing has changed.  I would have to say the internet service that I am mandated to pay for religiously each month is not good enough and a waste of my hard earn money, especially in these economical times.

I recently visited friends in St. Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.  To my disgusted surprise, they pay far less for their internet and get more than we do in Barbados for their personal use. Almost everyday for the 2 weeks I spent in St. Lucia the family was simultaneously Video streaming to the television, children on Kindle and iPad, and laptop played online radio stations.  Now its only myself and my brother at home here in Barbados.  We have very demanding jobs and do not use the system like my friends in the other small islands.  Pray tell me, on an island like Barbados which is more developed, how are majority of Lime’s customers paying substantially more for such a poorer rated purportedly High Speed Broadband Internet Service?

Like I said, if my long-standing internet issue is not resolved by Friday, February 24th, 2012, which would prove even more outrageous, you can then consider this as my written notice to discontinue the internet service provided on (246) xxxxxxx and collect your unwanted equipment.

I am no longer prepared to be duped and robbed by a conglomerate such as Lime.

Yours truly,

(name provided but withheld by BFP editor)

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues