Archive | February, 2016

Who will tame Zimbabwe’s CABS and ECONET and Others from fleecing citizens through bad services?

27 Feb

It can be challenging to distinguish whether it is a company providing sub – standard services or the bad service is a result of the general comatose economic situation in Zimbabwe. Neverthel…

Source: Who will tame Zimbabwe’s CABS and ECONET and Others from fleecing citizens through bad services?

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Who will tame Zimbabwe’s CABS and ECONET and Others from fleecing citizens through bad services?

27 Feb

It can be challenging to distinguish whether it is a company providing sub – standard services or the bad service is a result of the general comatose economic situation in Zimbabwe. Nevertheless, it is also challenging to continue with silence when one’s hard earned money is fleeced by corporations in scandalous ways and they remain quiet about it. For now I will raise my issues with two corporations: the bank: Central Africa Building Society (Commonly known as CABS) and the cellphone network provider: ECONET. At the least one would expect the Zimbabwean government and its power wielding regulatory bodies to look into these matters as a matter of regular monitoring and provide much needed protection to consumers. I have been into contact with a number of service providers and have found their service provision sub – standard. In instances, where there have been apologies, this has become so regular to be ridiculous. I am of the view that while most companies would plead other excuses, the general conditions are scandalous to the extent that at least they are deliberate and at most ignored in a bid to fleece unassuming Zimbabwean consumers of their hard earned money.

Central Africa Building Society (CABS)
In the month of February 2016 alone, I have been to several Central Africa Building Society (CABS) ATMs in Avondale, Westgate, Bond – Mt Pleasant and the city center and have found the machines “out of order”. This can be quite distressing especially if this is on a weekend when the bank halls are closed and there is “nowhere else” to get cash. One has to end up making phone calls to look for cash from other people or having to cancel whatever plans one had that particular day. I don’t even want to imagine what happens to those people who have to buy medication or pay for goods in the highly cash operated economy in Zimbabwe. The inconveniences are just too much.

But that is beside the point. My argument and observation is that the bank in this instance (CABS) is benefitting unfairly from such a situation where its ATMs are perennially “out of order”. Firstly, when an ATM is “out of order” one is either forced to go back home or use other banks’ ATMS. The use of “other” ATMs automatically attracts a service charge. Secondly, when the ATM is “out of order” one has the option to wait until its working or go into the bank where a set service fee will be charged. On both occasions, the customer has to pay for these charges and also endure any other connected inconveniences. I do not think that this is tenable in a situation where the bank’s ATMs and their systems are always out of order.

I contend that the CABS is making a hell lot of undeserved money and the “out of order” ATMs have actually become a source of revenue for them. The amounts involved can be very small depending on who is talking and affected but a mere crunching of the numbers of people who go through the banks’ counters when ATMs are “out of order” will reveal that the banks are earning more than they deserve. This is pure fraud and a sort of “organized” fleecing of clients by the banks. Either the Minister of Finance and or the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe needs to note such anomalies and crack the whip on the banking industry.

Recommendation:
My recommendation would be that if the ATMs are not working, banks should be forced to serve their clients free of charge inside the banks until they restore services or their systems. The argument by banks that they are not responsible for power cuts or the internet fluctuations cannot hold water. Zimbabwe has experienced power cuts for so long and internet services have never been that good anyway. By now the banks should have invested in companies that offer better services for their internet services to work and to push that power is guaranteed so that the internet grid is always working. This situation is untenable and should now be seen as corporate fraud of some sort.

ECONET
Besides the internet and calling costs on the mobile networks being so expensive in Zimbabwe, the service is fraught with numerous problems ranging from poor connectivity to not being accessible at all in a number of instances.

The experience with ECONET over the past few weeks has been hellish to say the least. On a number of occasions I have had tried to use the WhatsApp calling service with little luck at all. The network always tries to “reconnect” after 7 seconds of initiating a WhatsApp call to wherever I will be calling.

To put all this into perspective, ECONET has a number of promotions for their internet services and one of them expires on a daily basis. Now, considering that most Zimbabweans use this particular service it is important to note that the company is unfairly benefitting from such a service/product. When a customer buys for example, the data service for a $1/day the time starts ticking as soon as the purchase and confirmation is made. This is devoid of whether the internet service is good/bad; connected/unconnected and unavailable/available.

The experience with this ECONET service has been that the data is so slow that it takes time to open browsing pages; the WhatsApp calls never go through as the network is always “reconnecting” and even just refuses completely to even download emails.

So even after this “terms and conditions apply” $1/day service has been purchased, ECONET still enjoys the pleasure of taking one’s money even when the service paid for is not performing up to standard. I’m sure it would be difficult to measure when and for how long the service would be down however I also believe that a serious investigation by government regulators or even the company itself would reveal other information useful to inform how they can tackle such problems.

Recommendation:
I am thinking that the ECONET technicians can see on a daily basis how much data has been purchased and how much is used and also be able to gauge when their internet is down or performing slowly. The Post and Telecommunications Minister/Ministry should also be monitor and receive complaints about such issues. It cannot be that such big corporations operate in a vacuum and there is no one to watch how they operate.
In such instances where customers make genuine complaints the company should be able to reinstate or compensate what has been lost by the customer.

Conclusion:
The need for corporate responsibility and making sure that private corporations do not benefit unfairly in Zimbabwe is important. Big corporations cannot continue to riding on the back of monopolies, weak government inspections, government regulatory inaction and or poor customer agitation unabated.

Where services are deemed to be poor corporations must acknowledge and be able to compensate customers. The profiteering attitude exhibited thus far by most corporate service providers in Zimbabwe cannot continue unabated.

They must just do the right thing and provide good services!

NB: Just to note as well that I have complained on several occasions verbally and with CABS, the bank tellers at the Westgate Branch apologized and noted that there was nothing she could about the “out of order” ATM but I still had to pay for the charges incurred for transacting in the banking hall. One bank teller at the Avondale branch told me that if I could not afford the “bank hall charges” I had to wait until the ATMs were repaired and she was not in control of how long that would take.

With ECONET, the attendant at the Westgate shop noted at first that there was something wrong with my handset, but after a while noting that the handset has worked well in the past she then said she would call their technicians to fix the problem. The internet problem persists. I am sure I can get another service provider but that is not the point. ECONET just needs to provide a good service worth the money paid for by its customers.

White supremacist nonsense and black subservience in Kenya right there in your face!

23 Feb

Source: White supremacist nonsense and black subservience in Kenya right there in your face!

White supremacist nonsense and black subservience in Kenya right there in your face!

23 Feb

So another rough and ugly incident occurred between a white man and a black Kenyan woman police officer in Nyandarua, Central Kenya on Sunday, 21 FEB. This white man, this Allister Brown shoved the woman police officer and shouted at her that “she should her do her job”, whatever that means!? Do her job, my foot! Debate has been raging on whether the incident was racist or purely a heated argument blown out of proportion by social media. I will argue that the incident was purely racist for a number of reasons I will outline below.

Firstly, there was no absolutely no reason whatsoever that any citizen and worse still this pilot would have assaulted, shouted or shoved the almost defenseless policewoman. The question that does not need any answers which people will try to continue asking is what exactly had the police woman not done to deserve such? The danger in asking such a question is that the answer will serve to unjustifiably redeem the white man. I’m quite convinced that if he had not been a white man seen to be privileged and worse still a pilot he would not have done what he did. He committed that crime because of his whiteness and he foolishly thought that he would get away with it. In any case, assault should be a crime in Kenya and thus he should be charged for it, so no need for debates.

Secondly, the behavior exhibited by this white man, this Allister Brown is not alien to many Kenyans and other Africans living there. There are so many white misinformed people in Kenya who think because they employ black Kenyans as their house helps, gardeners, cooks, baby sitters and what have you, they can afford to ill – treat them and any other black person they get into contact with. It would be unfortunate to paint all white people with the same brush but the general trend in Kenya is that most black people are so scared out of their wits by just the sight of a mzungu. This is true and we cannot deny it. Who will forget the Artcaffe incident some time in 2013? I have seen with my own eyes crass behavior by some white people on the roads, at malls and in offices behaving in outrageous ways because they think they are privileged. This Allister Brown, this white man committed this assault on the Kenyan police woman because it is entrenched in his brain that black people can be shouted at, beaten and nothing will happen to him because he is white!

Thirdly, it is a known fact that most black Kenyans are so intimidated by white people they will jump so high at being called by a white person. The assumption is that mzungus are rich, they are powerful and they must be feared. Well depending on where one is coming from it could be true that most white people in Kenya as expatriates, business people and what have you are rich compared to the ordinary Kenyan. Last Christmas at the Carnivore Restaurant I was nearly denied a sit in the main restaurant because apparently they were “fully booked” but all the white people that came after me and my family were shown tables without a fuss. I had the guts of asking one white guy if he had booked earlier for a table and he told me that he had just walked into the restaurant and I wondered if the mzungu money was more precious than mine.

On one occasion I took a taxi with my white friend going to the Village Market, I paid for the taxi and the taxi driver tried to give the change to my white friend and I had to quickly ask him why he was doing and he spoke to me in Swahili that he thought “wacha tupatie mdosi pesa yake”. I told him to go to hell and hand me my change. Recently I was in a bank at the Village Market, got a ticket to be served and my number was called for but there was no one to serve me at the counter I was directed to by the machine calling out. However, on further enquiries after seeing two white people wo had come after me being served I was told that they don’t serve people who don’t have accounts in that bank! What crap is that? It is the kind of nonsense that this white man, this Allister Brown is riding on to make him this cocky and racist.

I have given the stories above to just illustrate the level of craziness that has now gripped Kenya and must be exorcised. I am not too sure how this will be done but it needs to be nipped in the bud before this cancer gets out of hand. I am sure Steve Biko and Malcom X must be turning in their graves right now!

The racist tendencies exhibited by the majority of white people in Kenya should be taken head on by all Kenyans. It baffles the mind every time when an incident of racist behavior is brought and the white people start crying foul that Africans are being barbaric. I remember one time a white colleague telling me that racism is sick and its worse when black people try to retaliate or correct a situation when wronged by a white person. Yes, if someone does not want to listen and know that being racist is not on and they want to do it in a country that is not theirs then they must be forced to behave the right way.
This white man, this Allister Brown, must be charged with assault and then deported on the condition that he will go back to whatever racist dungeon he comes from and gets into rehab (RACIST ANONYMOUS) kkkkk!

It would be a shame if Deputy President Ruto were to continue using this pilot or even be seen to be trying to defend him.

And please please white man, mzungu Allister Brown do not come up with any crap that you have any of these funny diseases and conditions that you crank up when you are in trouble that your wife left you, or you had a difficult childhood, short temper or you have mood swings or any of that crap.

And please you black Kenyans stop defending this white man. What he did was wrong and he did it because of his white stature and privilege. It is not black people who are being problematic here, he needs to deal with his stupid, misguided, sick and racist behavior acquired from his white background!

NO TO RACISM and WHITE SUPREMACIST BEHAVIORS IN KENYA! PERIOD!

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