#OutAndAbout: SpellBound Ripping off Clients

SPELLBOUND Pvt Ltd, a Mobile Phone dealer headquartered in Harare is engaging in some usurious and punitive transactions on their cashless or swipe platform in a bid to scuttle government’s efforts of promoting the use of plastic money in the wake of a biting cash crisis.

An undercover survey conducted by the TechnoMag #OutandAbout crew reveal that most phones across its  branches are priced differently depending on whether it’s a cash or cashless transaction, a move that can be described as counter revolutionary and anti people considering the massive reduction on all cashless or plastic money transactions that was introduced by government in June this year.

By Deputy Editor

In what could be described as daylight robbery and utter tomfoolery, SpellBound is effecting a 10% extra charge on all transactions that are done on their swipe or Point Of Sale  (POS) platforms.

“We are selling phones and pegging prices according to the kind of transaction one wants to engage in. For a cash transaction for example let’s say you want a Huawei P9, you pay $600 and if it’s a swipe or cashless transaction you pay $660.

“We determine the pricing on our own, you know my brother its business, all we want is for customers to at least pay in cash rather than swipe.

“We do this on all phones and some are actually buying using the cashless system. getting money from banks is so difficult these days and we would’t encourage our customers to buy through the swipe platform,” said a shop attendant who refused to be named for security reasons.

Under normal circumstances and basing from the tariff review on POS transactions, SpellBound is supposed to be selling the Huawei P9 for $606 instead of the $660. The market price for the Huawei P9 is $600 across most Huawei outlets around town.

To prove the validity of the attendant’s words, the TechnoMag crew toured some of SpellBound’s outlets from the one at Coppa Cabana, Kwame Street and its Head office.

Most shops have installed Point of Sell (POS) machines in their respective shops in a bid to ease the transaction burden which has been brought about by the liquidity crunch.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in June this year announced the reduction of cashless transactions fees. Electronic fund transactions now attract a minimum of 33 cents and a maximum of $2.10 while a POS transactions of up to $10 now attracts a charge of 10 cents while those above $10 are being charged $2,50.

Meanwhile, other phone dealers have proven to be law abiding citizens as they are charging normal rates that were stipulated by the new RBZ requirements. For example, an i Phone 7 is going for $1, 800 at GoldTech for both the cash and cashless transactions.

First Pack which recently moved into the Mobile phone business are also charging similar rates for their phones be it a swipe or cash deal.

Marvelous Chibagidhi

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