The Inherent Stupidity of Irish People

Posted on July 23, 2010

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A few months ago Philip Voucher-Hayes (I think it was) jetted off to an abandoned estate of condos which had been purchased by a number of Irish couples whom it turned out, were all scammed out of their money. It was an eye-opener, not for me personally as I can barely afford a pack of crisps, no less say a condo but for those among us whom the Celtic Tiger was good to. I remember thinking at the time, ‘well that’ll teach people to have their lawyers check this out, or deal through an agent, or at least make sure everything is documented and done in person’.

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How wrong was I?

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Catching the Joe Duffy programme on the radio today (as I unfortunately frequently manage to) I was regaled by tales of woe from people who, upon seeing an ad for an apartment in Puerto Banus in The Irish Independent and The Evening Herald went right ahead and booked it with a man called Michael Haden.

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Sounds fair enough says you? Well, maybe, but while the sympathising was wafting around the radio room (thankfully Duffy himself wasn’t there. I quite enjoyed my lunch today and would hate to have to see it again) no one was stating the main facts. And they are thus:

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• You booked an apartment off a newspaper ad which was advertised as 5-star and was only €500 a week. What planet were you living on? Even in a recession, you will not get a 5-star apartment in Spain for €500 a week.

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• Bank Drafts to pay? Bank Drafts went out with last year’s snow, which admittedly isn’t that long ago what with our changing climate but still.

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• A number of people commented on the fact that Haden sent very professional emails and used a website for a Quantity Surveying company (whom I’m sure are delighted to be dragged into this mess) but perhaps they don’t realise just how easy it is to create a professional looking email. It’s easier than making soup.

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• One woman who phoned in said that Michael Haden text her to tell her he was swamped with work and would post the key to her the next day. He text her. A professional company does not send texts to its clients.

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Of course I have to sympathise with the people who were duped by this man and especially with the woman who received a threatening text from him – this is truly despicable and I do hope Haden is caught and punished for his activities.

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But maybe, just maybe, people will now realise that the official channels are the best way to go on these things. Just because someone sounds lovely on the phone and sends a great email, it doesn’t make them genuine or trustable. If that was the case I could be scamming you… I’m not but I’m just making the point.

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Here’s hoping Mr Haden is apprehended and these people get their money back.

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Here’s also hoping people will grow some sense.

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