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17.05.2022 Featured ‘N2.9m but No Car’ — Another Customer Regrets Patronising Afialink Int’l

Published 17th May, 2022

By Opeyemi Lawal

Obinna Victor, a Canada-based Nigerian, has joined the growing list of customers that have accused Afialink International, an auto company, of fraud.

Victor claimed the company defrauded him of N2.9 million, an amount he paid for the purchase and shipment of a Blue Hyundai Sonata in July 2021.

Obinna told FIJ he had contacted the company after seeing an advert showing that the car was up for sale on its official Instagram page.

“I immediately made a financial commitment towards buying the car with an initial payment of N950,000 before later completing the payment,” Obinna told FIJ.

Part of the payments Victor made to Affialink
Part of the payments Victor made to Affialink

“The payment of N1.75 million was for the car while N1.15 million was for the clearance of the car from the port because they told me the car was to be shipped from the US to Nigeria. I paid a total of N2.9 million to them.”

READ ALSO: Afialink Int’l Demands N300,000 to Release Car 2 Months After Receiving Full Payment

NON-RECEIPT OF CAR PAID FOR

Victor said he showed up at the company’s office address in Ikeja, Lagos, during a visit to Nigeria and was shocked to find it locked.

“In August 2021, I began disturbing them to release my car and then they promised I would get it by September 10 of the same year. When I visited Nigeria, I decided to go to their office in Ikeja because the car was not forthcoming,” said Victor.

“When I got there, I was shocked by what I met. The office they directed me to was always locked. I went there about four times. It was in a plaza, but nobody worked there. Each time I called the number attached to the office, I got confusing directives that I should call the manager, and when I got to call the manager, he would say we didn’t do business together and that I should call whoever I did business with.

READ ALSO: SWAT Protects ‘Unlicenced’ Driver Who Killed Motorcyclist in Ogun Community, But Jails Innocent Residents

“But I continued to mount pressure on them, and in December, Afialink sent me a document. They claimed the document contained details of my car, stating that it would be delivered as soon as possible. However, prior to this, there was nothing like that.”

Victor said he contacted Afialink again on Instagram in March and demanded a refund when it became clear the company was not ready to deliver the car to him.

“The person who responded to me said I would get my refund within 10 working days,” Victor said.

Chat with Afialink

Obinna said after 10 days of the promised refund, Afialink stopped responding to his phone calls and messages.

“Then in April, I got a message from Afialink, asking me to add an extra N500,000 to the initial N2.9 million I paid. They said the money was meant to clear the car. I refused and insisted on having my car delivered to me. Later, they asked if I would pay N200,000 to clear the car. I insisted on not giving them a dime, and till now, I have neither received my money nor car,” he said.

READ ALSO: Auto Company Afialink Int’l Refuses to Deliver Car Despite Receiving N4m Since November

AFIALINK’S RESPONSE

When FIJ contacted Afialink’s manager, he said the extra fee the company demanded from the customer was a result of the ‘expense accrued due to shipping delay’.

“The extra fee is from the shipping company. It is an additional fee the shipping company brought out after shipment,” he said.

When asked why the company did not properly communicate what the extra charges were meant for to Victor and other aggrieved customers, he said ”some customers are selfish and usually lie that nobody explained to them what the extra fees are meant for”.

Victor's Conversation With an Afialink Staff
Victor’s Conversation With an Afialink Staff

“I’m sure everything was explained to the person by whosoever that contacted him or her, but because of some customers’ selfish reasoning, they can lie and pretend that nobody explained to them. Believe me, everything was explained to him. Probably he or she is one of the selfish customers the company has,” the manager said.

READ ALSO: With False Job Slots, FMC Lagos Staffer Defrauds Two Teachers of N120,000

He said most customers do not always receive their cars on time because sometimes it takes them months to complete their payments, and that the process is sometimes slowed down because most payments are made in naira.

“Conversion from naira to dollar usually slows down the process,” he said.

“Also, please note that we have thousands of customers. For any customers whose goods don’t arrive on time, 90 percent of it is caused by them. The remaining should go to the shipping company.

The Hyundai car Victor ordered
The Hyundai car Victor ordered

“For example, it might take a customer two months or more to complete their payment. Remember, they pay in naira. These naira payments need to be converted to dollar before paying auction and shipping companies.

“Some of them will still be holding part of the money, waiting to receive their cars. For a car that was sold with a profit of N50,000 for example, the customer will be owing N300,000, expecting the delivery and forgetting that this money is not for our company but for them.”

Published 17th May, 2022

By Opeyemi Lawal

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