Paint Ad Scam

By Lynn Cruz

HAVANA TIMES – A few days ago, due to the acute gasoline crisis in the country, I decided to check the site to see if I could find an ad for enamel and anticorrosive paint with home delivery. I found an ad.

I wrote by WhatsApp to contact 50266231.

We maintained a cordial correspondence.

Shortly after, a young man of medium height was at my house. He couldn’t have been over 25. He opened each of the buckets and showed me the product. It seemed normal.

We had agreed through the chat two buckets of white paint and one of anticorrosive.

Several weeks passed before I was finally able to start painting. Using the gray anticorrosive, the painter began to complain that some had gotten into his eye and it didn’t even burn. Then he realized that it did not admit diluent. However, being anticorrosive, the fact that it also had no shine was not something that alarmed him. However, he had to use the entire bucket on the grate, which, although it was rusty, the painter still had his suspicion about the Delacrom mark on the label.

“To begin with, this brand is international” -he tells me- “it is not possible to make it at home”. “However,” I suggested, “we should wait for the white paint to be completely sure that it was a total fraud.”

After a few days the painter had decided to wait to be sure that the gray anticorrosive dried completely, he began to give the first coat of white paint.

After a whole day of work, the exhausted painter began to notice that he could not give a second coat, since the already painted area was falling off. “It has no shine, nor does it smell like enamel.”

At that moment I understood that we had a serious problem. When I passed my hand over the grate I realized that the protruding drops of the supposed Delacrom paint, when they exploded, were full of water. Like the blisters from the rubbing of shoes on feet, after a long walk.

I decided to write to the young man via WhatsApp to complain about the fact that, since the product did not correspond to the presentation on the label, I had decided to return the third bucket so he would return me at least that money, so that I could then really look for decent paint.

It is a fact that I cannot paint the fence again with that paint. In addition to being bad, it endangers the state of the grate, which, probably in three months, the rust could come out again.

After explaining all this to him, the dialogue seemed to be cordial. The young man agreed to come to my house the next morning. I called him early to specify the time, he replied that at 2:00 pm. After 4:00 pm I called him, and he hung up on me. I sent him messages via Whatssapp and SMS and the last SMS bounced back.

Around 7:00 pm I called him from another number, and he said: Tell me? tell me? And then he hung up on me, probably to pretend “he didn’t have cell phone coverage.”

Then on WhatsApp I saw him online. He had seen my messages. But he didn’t answer anymore.

The young man has no photo or name on that social network. He knows very well what he is doing. I recommend not buying this type of product online. There is no way, unless you are an experienced painter, to check at first glance that the paint is legitimate.

Read more from the diary of Lynn Cruz here.