Friday, 11 October 2013

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I bought a BlackberryQ5 on 29th September at a value of P4,995 to replace my older Blackberry. When I got home I realised that the phone SIM card slot is too small and my SIM card does not fit in it so I decided to go back on 2nd October. I told them about this problem but I was told that nothing can be done to help me and I should go to Mascom to ask them to make a small SIM card for me. I told them that I have business information on the SIM card that I can’t afford to lose. I asked them to let me get another Blackberry in the shop that fits my current SIM card and they refused yet they never told me that the Q5 will need a small SIM card.

Please help!

It’s probably true that the store should have told you that the Blackberry Q5 takes the new Micro SIM card, not the larger SIM card that we’ve been used to in the past. However many phone manufacturers, including Apple, Samsung and Blackberry have switched to the smaller ones in recent years.

I understand your problem though. All the contacts, calendar items and whatever else you have on your SIM card are valuable and you don’t want to lose them. I can think of a couple of solutions that might work for you.

One solution is very simple. You might just need a pair of scissors. The Micro SIM card is in fact identical to a conventional SIM card but with just the extra plastic removed. The gold bit that holds all the data is exactly the same. When I converted to a Micro SIM card I downloaded a template from the web that showed exactly how to cut the excess plastic off and I got busy with the scissors. You have to be very careful but it’s really as simple as that.

Perhaps a better option would be simply to transfer your existing data to a new SIM card. I asked some people who know more than me about Blackberrys and they all recommend a free Blackberry service called Blackberry Protect. According to Blackberry this allows you to “Back up data from your BlackBerry smartphone (including Contacts and Calendar; Memos and Tasks; Browser Bookmarks and Text Messages)” and to “Restore your data to a new BlackBerry smartphone, or simply switch from one BlackBerry smartphone to another”.

That sounds the best option to me. All you need is a WiFi connection and a Blackberry ID that you can get for free online. Good luck!

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

My wife has got an MTN line which she bought when she was in South Africa, she is keeping the line roaming while she is here in Botswana, now on 30/09/2013 she received an sms from no+ 27725004956 that she had won R250,000 in Rica promotion 2013 ref no 2200KP and to contact Asanda on +27733826485 for the claim. When she phoned that Asanda she was told that she had really won that amount then was told to send bank account details or postal address. She sent postal details and Asanda replied with no+ 27791559927 that "you are required to pay R1 650 before courier will deliver the cheque to ur door step. Call Kevin on 0218369355". When she phoned Kevin he told her that there are in Cape Town and should send money before cheque expires on 05/10/2013. So can u research for me if these guys are genuine or not. Thanks in advance.

This is certainly a scam, there's absolutely no doubt about it.

Here are some of the clues. Firstly you can't win a prize in a competition that you didn't enter. It’s never happened and it never will. Secondly, like almost all scammers they are using cellphone numbers although remarkably this one gives a landline number in Cape Town, a number that no longer works. Then there’s the fact that many other people have reported this scam. Finally there’s that fee they demand from you in order to get your “prize”. That’s what it’s all about. It's basically just an advance fee scam. If you pay them that money they’ll keep on inventing new reasons to ask you for money. They’ll only stop when you either run out of money or finally realise you’ve been scammed.

Please don't send any money, you'll never see it again.

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