Friday 30 January 2009

Scam alert! The John Major Foundation

Unfortunately someone else has fallen for a scam. Ghetto Artists, a Francistown-based community theatre group were reported to be flying to London courtesy of the John Major Foundation to attend a conference on HIV/AIDS. Supposedly this foundation was established by John Major, the former British Prime Minister and the conference was due to be attended by people like former US President Bill Clinton.

The story is covered in Mmegi here.

However they were told at the last minute that their trip had apparently been postponed due to a terrorism alert. You can see the report of this here.

The bad news is that this is all a scam. There is no John Major Foundation. It doesn't exist. All that exists is a web site that is registered to an address in, yes, you've guessed it, Lagos, Nigeria.

Tragically Ghetto Artists had already paid the scammers P18,000. This was supposedly for accommodation costs but, like the Foundation, no such accommodation exists. No conference is happening. It's all make believe designed to get a victim's money.

We've contacted Ghetto Artists to let them know the bad news and we suggested that they call the Police and register a complaint. There's no chance they'll get any money back but at least the Police can record it and the rest of us can learn a lesson.

Be skeptical. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

A test of character

As everyone knows the entire world, and Botswana is no exception, is heading towards a recession. Of course this is depressing and frightening, but I think that perhaps the worst mistake we could make would be to panic.

I think that a crisis such as the recession we're facing is a test. It's a test of the courage we can summon. It's a test of resolve and determination but perhaps just as importantly, it's a test of creativity and imagination. At the end of the day it's a test of companies who can put all those things together into action, not reaction.

So what should a company do? When profit margins are already tight, when the shareholders are bugging you and when consumers are showing signs of staying at home rather than buying your products, what should they do?

I believe that the companies that stand the best chance of survival are the ones that, instead of retreating and hiding, evolve. Instead of staying still and failing to adapt to changing circumstances, smart companies should be like our ape-like ancestors and adapt to the new environment and embrace the changes it requires.

The clever ones will be the ones that develop imaginative new products, introduce greater flexibility in their offerings and improve their service to a whole new level.

Of course launching new products becomes harder in a recession, the products have to be cheaper, to offer value for money and to be much, much more desirable. But they are actually not the most important thing. There's something much more important.

The quality of the service delivered. More important that minor price reductions will be the emotional bond a company has made, or now tries to make with it's consumers. Good times produce careless, extravagant and sometimes even foolish consumers. The bad times give us much more careful, more prudent and more emotional consumers. They still want good value products but they also want feelings of security, safety and care. They want somewhere where their money can be well-spent and where they and well looked after. They'll want comfort and security, warmth and signs of genuine care. They'll want a bank, a store, a service that suggests solidity, conservatism and security and not something brash, risky and unreliable.

There are many psychological tricks you can use to do this. You can do this with obvious psychological measures like warmer colours, the right temperature and ambient music but there's something much more powerful than these tricks.

Old-fashioned, customer-focussed service.

Quality of service and trust are what will see a company through a crisis like the looming recession. In fact they might be the only things under a company's control that can help the company survive.

That's what companies can do, what about consumers? How can they protect themselves?

They can do it by doing exactly what they know to do already, only more so. They can be MORE demanding. Now is exactly the right time to shop around before buying something, to compare prices, to seek that wonderful deal. Now is the time NOT to be ripped off when you buy something expensive and you don't read the purchase agreement, the credit contract or the warranty before you part with your money.

This is going to be the time to tell Store B that Store A has an identical item for a lower price and get Store B to battle hard for your money. This will be the time to haggle with a store. Ask for a discount, complain that the price is just a bit too high for you. A smart store will either reduce the price a bit or they'll throw in something else as a treat. All you have to do is ask.

Above all, it's even more important not to fall for superstition.

There is some evidence that during recessions, entire countries become slightly more superstitious. They become a bit more likely to believe the unbelievable. During hard times people, presumably from desperation, turn more to quacks, charlatans and the villains who prey on the naïve and gullible.

That's one of our predictions for 2009. Rather than getting rid of the thieving scumbags we're going to encounter more and more crooks selling us miracle cures, salvation, prosperity and supposedly easy solutions to difficult problems. The common link will be money. They'll all want some. From you and me.

That’s where Consumer Watchdog’s appeal to reason comes in. We can all do it, it’s nothing to do with education, background, gender or age. All we have to do is not believe what we’re told until there’s a good reason to do so.

In the last week, members of the Consumer Watchdog team have been invited (yet again) to join the Success University pyramid scheme, to pay to join a silly South African coupon-based web directory, told that we should eat alkaline foods and that we should pay an American astrologer money because she felt “strong vibrations which have been amplified by the energy waves produced by the Reiki Grid which I performed for you”.

This is all utter nonsense but the danger is that in desperate times people tend to grasp at anything that offers a magical solution to a worrying problem. The truth however is that these miracle solutions are always fraudulent, naive or just plain stupid.

Money is going to be tight for a while, shouldn’t we all do our best to keep hold of what we’ve got and stop it falling into the pockets of frauds like these?

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

I was in a DVD rental store recently and noticed that some of the DVDs they were renting said “Not for rental” on the boxes. Also many of the covers of the DVDs were obviously very poor quality photocopies. When I asked the staff they said to ignore it and couldn't explain why the sign was there. I left the store and went shopping but when I passed by the store later the manager came out and accosted me. He demanded to know why I had been in his shop. I explained that I had wanted to rent a DVD. I asked him about the DVDs and he told me that I had been on private property, that I had been trespassing and that it was none of my business.

What can be done?

What we can do is investigate. We'll send one of our mystery shoppers to the store and we'll publish what we find on our web site.

However, the first thing YOU can do is tell everyone you know that this is a store that is renting pirated DVDs. You can tell your friends, relatives and neighbours that sooner or later this store is going to be prosecuted.

You don't believe me, do you? When was the last time you heard of anyone being prosecuted for copyright infringement in Botswana? When did you last hear of a company that sold pirated DVDs or software being dragged before the courts?

Last week!

On 20th January two owners of Micro IT, a local IT company, were convicted of criminal copyright infringement for selling pirated copies of Microsoft Windows XP and Office 2003. Micro IT was one of many little local IT companies that sell home-made and cheap PCs and laptops at unbelievably low costs. They achieve the low costs by not including the basic software with the computers they sell. The software would be sold to you illegally for a small fee after you bought the PC.

They got caught out by being stung by an undercover shopper from Microsoft. Microsoft and other big companies do this increasingly often and people and stores who sell pirated goods need to watch out.

It's not just the big guns who can do this, it's people like Consumer Watchdog and The Voice. If you sell pirated goods, you better be careful. That next shopper browsing your shelves might be the last customer you have before a trip to prison!

Sunday 25 January 2009

A scam-free 2009?

Last week I appealed for consumers to display more skepticism in 2009. I begged us all to be more critical, not to believe something just because a flashy salesman says it's so and to not to fall for the sort of scams that hit so many of us in 2008.

I gave the example of Success University, the pyramid scheme that is neither successful nor a university. However I was asked for more examples so that consumers start to protect themselves.

Here goes.

419 scams

Most people have heard of the “419” or “advance fee” scams. These are named after Section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code which outlaws “obtaining property by false pretences”. These scams begin with an unexpected email from a total stranger. This tells you of a large amount of money that is “trapped” somewhere and that you have been chosen to help them transfer the money out of the country. In exchange for your co-operation you are offered a large chunk of the cash.

When you contact them you are then led through a series of steps that boosts your confidence in the deal. Then, just before you get your hands on this non-existent money, there is a hitch. In order to process the payment you have to pay a third party for something. It might be legal fees, an export fee or a bribe to an intermediary. This is what the scam is all about. As soon as you pay this advance fee the scammers disappear completely, never to be heard from again.

Thousands of people from around the world have fallen for this scam and although estimates vary it’s likely that hundreds of millions of dollars have been taken from victims.


This is a very modern version of an old-fashioned deception. This usually starts as an email from what seems to be your bank asking you to visit a web site to confirm your personal or banking details for security reasons. The link in the email will actually direct you to a fake version of your bank’s web site. It will have been very cleverly constructed to look exactly like the real thing but in fact all it wants is for you to enter your username and password so that the authors can then use them to steal your money from your bank's real web site.

Phishing is very easy to avoid if you obey one very simple rule. Never, under any circumstances, click on a link in an email from what seems to be your bank. Your bank will never ask you to do this.

Job offers

We had several of these last year. An email arrives from what appears to be a recruitment agency in some far-flung, exotic place offering you a high-paid job. In fact this is almost exactly the same as the 419 scam. Once you have started a dialogue with the so-called agency you’ll be required to send them money, either as a fee or for the costs of your travel to the exotic place they tempt you with. There is no job, just profit for the scammers.

Lottery scams

It doesn't matter whether you learn about it from an email or a text message but you will never, EVER win a lottery that you didn't enter. One reader came to us with a text message saying they'd won a Toyota Landcruiser but when we called the number it turned out we either had to travel to Nairobi to pick it up or the scammer would have it shipped to us by “the next day”. Quite how a car can be transported from Nairobi to Gaborone in 24 hours is beyond us. However, this doesn’t matter because the car didn't exist. We know this we actually called the crook twice, each time with a different caller. Funnily enough they had both won the same car. Curious, don't you think?

We had more calls from people who had received emails saying that they had won cash lotteries, some in countries they had never even been to. Again, when we called them it was surprising how many of us had all won the same lottery.

I can understand how it must be tempting to fall for this but this is also one of the simpler scams to spot. You can't win a lottery you haven't entered.

Nutritional advice

We all have to be VERY sceptical about anyone who tells us what to eat and drink. In particular don’t trust anyone who says you have to take pills or “supplements” to help you live healthily. Unless you are pregnant, already ill, or very frail there is nothing you need to add to a healthy diet. Absolutely nothing.

Anyone presenting themselves as a nutritionist should be approached with profound caution. These are often people without any real qualifications, without any real professional body to regulate them and without any mechanism for assessing their skills.

Not long ago a woman in the UK ended up in intensive care after she had seizures and suffered permanent brain damage that were brought on by the high water intake diet a nutritionist quack recommended. That was just the effect of water, imagine if the quack had suggested something more potent.

If you think you need professional advice on your diet then see your doctor first of all. Trust them to recommend a specialist dietician if they themselves can’t give you the advice you need.

The lesson?

The only way to prevent yourself from falling victim to a scam is to use the skeptical parts of your brain. Just because someone SAYS something, doesn’t make it true. Engage your brain, question everything and never believe the unbelievable.

This week’s stars!
  • Cherie, Rachel and the team at Connect Resources for excellent service.

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

I am very disappointed with the XXX Car Dealers in Gaborone. I bought a vehicle from them early last year and was given a warranty of a year or 100 000 km, whichever came first. I was also told that the vehicle had to be regularly serviced at a cost of about P1,500 every 10,000 km.

I asked them what would be included in these services and they told me it would be oil changes,oil filter changes and checking brakes. I protested and asked if doing a service elsewhere would void the warranty and they said it wouldn't.

Since I bought the vehicle I've had endless problems including a steering knock, sticking clutch and gear lever, melting fuses, starter problems, the list goes on. I took the car to complain about the problems and the mechanic said I should bring the car for service. When I told him I'd changed the oil and filters then he said that I had voided the warranty. How can that be? Must the dealer do every little thing? The steering knock and starter problem have nothing to do with oil changes.

What can I do?

[We haven't had a chance to speak to this dealer yet which is why we've not given their name.]

This seems like a lot of problems you face.

Firstly they expect you to pay a fortune in servicing costs. You have to ask yourself why you must spend such a large amount of money on a car that is still covered by a warranty.

Then there's the ridiculous claim that you've voided the warranty by replacing the oil and filter and that they won't therefore fix the other problems. You need to examine the warranty you got when you bought the car but it's hard to believe that could really claim this. Send us a copy and we'll examine it for you.

Finally there's the failure of the vehicle to perform. I would write to the dealer before the warranty runs out saying that you consider it's not of merchantable quality and that you demand that they fix the problems you've reported.

If you don't get a suitable response from them let us know and we'll name them. I really don't think they want a fight with The Voice!

Friday 16 January 2009

A skeptical 2009?

In 2009 I think we need to learn some valuable lessons from what happened in 2008.

I don’t want this to be one of the traditional, rather tedious round-ups of the year but hidden amongst the stories of disaster, gossip and trivia, I think there were some events that mattered to consumers, events that teach us something about how we should behave, how we should protect ourselves and what to look out for. Some of them were local, others international but they all, in some way, had an impact on you and me.

I’ll probably be criticised yet again by these people (Bring it on!) but the appearance of the so-called Success University in Botswana was a great opportunity to think about pyramid schemes.

Success University, it must first be said, is not a university. It has no premises, employs no respectable professors and doesn’t award qualifications. Instead it offers you the chance, in return for your hard-earned cash, to receive up-lifting, empowering and fundamentally useless DVDs of a range of American evangelists waffling on about positive thinking, self-improvement and making yourself enormously successful and wealthy.

None of these things are inherently bad of course, they’re just not going to happen just because you bought a mass-produced DVD that thousands of other people are also buying.

What Success University really want is to recruit you. They want you to join their pyramid and start recruiting other people beneath you who will buy the DVDs. You then encourage those people to recruit others beneath them and you start to build a pyramid that earns you a fortune. They say you can earn up to $40,000 per month if you have thousands of people beneath you in your pyramid.

Of course that’s never going to happen. There simply aren’t enough gullible fools to go around, particularly in a small population like ours. Also, sooner or later, the various regulators are going to realise that this scheme is dodgy, like they have in Namibia, where the Central Bank has declared them a pyramid scheme and therefore illegal. Our regulators should do the same.

OK, I confess that’s a fairly insignificant example but I think it parallels another story that we’ve probably all heard that’s much, MUCH bigger.

Better qualified people than me can comment on the so-called credit-crunch and the looming global recession that has already started to bite, even here in Botswana. However the thing that interests me most is one of the things that the potential crisis exposed. The world’s largest Ponzi scheme.

These frauds are named after an American crook of the early 20th century called Charles Ponzi. Ponzi managed to separate people from their money by offering them enormous and rapid returns on their investments. With their eyes lit up with greed people would give him their money and the early ones would indeed see large returns. It works like this.

I suggest to A that if he gives me P100 I can offer him an almost instant P50 return. I do this by recruiting B in the same way who also gives me P100. I take P50 of B’s money and give it to A and I keep the other P50. I then recruit C and do the same, giving P50 of C’s money to B and keeping the rest for myself. And so on with victims D, E, F and all the way up to Z and beyond.

However like all fraudulent schemes they eventually fall apart. This can happen when victim A wants his original money back, when he demands more of the wonderful interest he now feels he’s entitled to or when the fraudster runs out of victims to pay the earlier investors. It can also happen, as it did with the original Ponzi, when the press find out and a sceptical reporter starts asking awkward questions.

Usually Ponzi schemes stay fairly small so they don’t attract too much skeptical attention. Quite how the recent Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme managed to evade detection is a major question for the American money markets to answer. In an economy that is regulated and where the stolen investments might exceed $50 billion it’s astonishing that Madoff got away with it for so long. It’s astonishing that so many people with so much money were deceived. It just shows that wealth and skepticism aren’t correlated.

The lesson consumers must learn from the Madoff fraud, as they should from the nonsensical claims from Success University, is that consumers can only rely on themselves to provide first-line protection. Regulators, central banks, the police and even Consumer Watchdog can usually only intervene AFTER something bad has already happened.

Quite rightly, and probably thankfully, we can’t patrol the streets preventing people from signing credit agreements, from buying fancy new cellphones that don’t actually do what they claim or from throwing their money into the pockets of charlatan preachers.

On that last point, yes preachers ARE a consumer issue, not just a spiritual one. If a crook steals your money and drives around in a fancy car it doesn’t matter whether he was selling investments or salvation, you paid him for something he wasn’t able to deliver, you deserve your money back and he deserves to be thrown over the border or put behind bars.

The only way to prevent yourself from falling victim to a scam is to use the skeptical parts of your brain. Just because someone SAYS something is valuable and it will make you rich, doesn’t make it true. Engage your brain, question everything and never believe the unbelievable.

This week’s stars!
  • Smarts at Dros in Gaborone for excellent problem solving skills and understanding a customers perspective.

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

My girlfriend bought an HP 6720s laptop computer from HI-FI Corporation in August this year at a cost of P5,169. We installed Microsoft Office since it the laptop only came with a trial version. In September the laptop reset itself somehow. All the information we had stored was lost, including the software we had installed. The Microsoft office software we had installed had disappeared and in its place was the trial version that I had personally uninstalled. Basically the laptop was exactly the same as it was when my girlfriend first got it from the shop.

We then went back to HI-FI with all the accessories including the back up CDs that came with it. That’s when I noticed that one of the CDs was for Windows XP Professional while the operating system on the laptop was Windows Vista Business and the sticker on the laptop says “Vista Basic”. The service attendants could not give a satisfactory answer regarding why this was the case.

Can you help?

Actually this is quite common. Many computer manufacturers offer a “downgrade” from Windows Vista to Windows XP. This is because many consumers have been put off using Windows Vista because of a variety of complaints. Some people say it is too slow on low-powered PCs, others say it is too difficult to support a new PC with Vista if all the other PCs you have use Windows XP. Some people, myself included, just don’t like Windows Vista very much.

In response to this Microsoft still allow PC manufacturers to sell PCs with Vista pre-installed but give the purchaser the XP “downgrade” disc if they want to use Windows XP. That’s what I suspect you have.

We contacted HiFi Corporation about your problem but they haven’t responded yet. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear from them.

Thursday 15 January 2009

An invitation to join Success University

This is my response to an invitation I got to join Success University. The invitation is at the end of my response.


I urge everyone to ignore offers of financial success from Success "University".

Success "University" is a pyramid-selling scheme and was recently declared illegal in Namibia by the Bank of Namibia because of the way it operates. At Consumer Watchdog we have urged the authorities here in Botswana also to take action against them.

Ask yourself this: Why would they call themselves a University when they aren't a university? They don't employ lecturers, don't have premises and, above all, don't award qualifications. They call themselves a University because it's a scam.

You can see more at: Consumer Watchdog then click on the link to "Scams" or in the Mmegi column section - look for the articles published on 19th December and 28th November or on the Consumer Watchdog blog at:
Lying to Scammers
Success University
An email regardng Success University
A visit from Success University
Advertisement from Success University

You can also download the Bank of Namibia press release here.

You can also read the Consumer Watchdog column in Mmegi this coming Friday which mentions them again.

Keep your money safe, don't throw it away in a pyramid scheme.



Richard Harriman

On Jan 13,09, at 5:02 PM, Collins wrote:


My name is Collins and I’m based in Gaborone, Botswana.

I would like to share with you a personal development program which is changing many lives around the world. Where you can learn on-line on topics such as:-

- Leadership -Sales
- Motivation -Real Estate
- Internet Marketing -Nutrition
- Network Marketing -Finance and Investment
- Communication -Health and Fitness
-Many more topics

You can also earn passive income in US dollars (USD) if you share this concept with other people.

I currently run my on-line business which pays me in US dollars part-time besides my full time job as an Accounts Manger for a leading media house called the Business Diary.

For more information please visit my website;

I believe you will be inspired.

Yours truly,

Collins XXXXX [name removed to protect the innocent]

Monday 12 January 2009

Euro College in Botswana

Following an article in the Sunday Standard on Euro College.

The Editor
Sunday Standard
By fax to 3188795

12th January 2009

Dear Sir

In your edition of 11th January you reported on the visit to Gaborone by representatives from Euro College from the Republic of Ireland marketing the courses they offer.

I am concerned that, as reported in the article, they claim to offer “courses that were currently in demand, especially with regard to the Information technology industry, Nursing and Engineering.” Readers might think this is somewhat disingenuous given that, in fact, Euro College only offer English language courses. They do not actually offer any courses in IT, nursing or engineering.

Euro College, and many other colleges based in the Republic of Ireland have, in recent years, been heavily criticised for offering entry into the European Union via the more relaxed immigration rules present in the Republic. Their representative explicitly mentioned this in his comments that you reported.

Your readers might not know that Euro College has been in the spotlight in Ireland over the last few years, being the subject of a TV program that reported a number of concerns over their marketing and the confused expectations they had allegedly caused in the minds of foreign students.

While there are obviously very many perfectly reputable and respectable training institutions in the Republic of Ireland readers should be aware that there are very many that are, in fact, fraudulent, non-accredited and which exaggerate the quality and nature of the courses they offer.

I am obviously not suggesting any wrong-doing by Euro College but I urge Batswana to be extremely careful before parting with their money in the hope of entering the European Union via an Irish educational institution. Some research beforehand is well worth the time.

With best regards

Richard Harriman
Consumer Watchdog

Links relating to Euro College:
Euro College
Irish Independent - April 6 2006
Irish Independent - April 14 2006

Saturday 10 January 2009

The Apple iCanOnlyPhone

It’s not often that this column reviews a new product. I like the idea of being given things for nothing by suppliers to test but it doesn’t fit in with our ethics. I might be persuaded to change my mind if someone lends me a new Jaguar for a few months or perhaps even indefinitely but anything less than that isn’t worth it.

However this item wasn’t for free. We bought it for money. Our own money.

We bought an Apple iPhone.

I should begin by explaining my background with Apple. I adore Apple. I always have done and I suspect I might always adore Apple products. I’m writing this on one of the new Apple MacBooks and it’s perhaps the cutest, sexiest, loveliest piece of technology I’ve ever bought. It’s full of gimmicks like a keyboard that glows when the room gets dark, a glowing Apple on the back of the screen so everyone else can feel jealous as they watch me showing off and it’s made of sleek, smooth aluminium. It’s also incredibly powerful, almost immune to computer viruses and even runs Windows when I need it to. In short, it’s adorable.

I also have an Apple iPod which is the second cutest device I’ve ever owned. Mine is a cute little green one and it’s amazing how much music, how many podcasts and how many videos you can load on it.

I adore Apple products and I was therefore very jealous when friends overseas told me about their lovely new Apple iPhones. I could only imagine how wonderful it must be. OK, I did read some reviews that were critical of it but Apple often get that from people who just don’t like Apple products.

So I was very excited when Orange announced just before Christmas that they were now allowed by Apple to sell the iPhone legitimately in Botswana.

I was even more glad when my wife bought one rather than me.

The good news is that, as an object, the iPhone is beautiful. It’s sleek, smooth and sexy. It has an enormous screen that you use by touching, sliding and stroking. You can probably even control it by kissing it. You might be tempted to, it’s that sexy.

The other bit of good news is that it makes phone calls. It even receives them. It does both of these things perfectly.

But that’s it.

The bad news is that almost everything else the iPhone does it does either poorly or badly. Very badly in some cases.

Take text messages. It can send them, in fact it’s incredibly easy to do so. Likewise receiving them. But why on earth won’t it let you forward a text message? Haven’t we all forwarded a text message occasionally? It’s not the end of the world but it’s an irritating omission.

Then there’s Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a technology for connecting devices that are fairly close together, usually within a few metres. It’s a great way to swap pictures, contacts, sound or video files. Many phones and computers these days have it. I probably use Bluetooth several times a week to transfer something from somewhere to somewhere else.

The iPhone has Bluetooth. Almost. The problem is that you can only use Bluetooth on the iPhone to connect to a headset. There’s no file transfer. None. If you take a picture on your iPhone and want to send it to someone you’ll need to connect the iPhone to your computer, copy it over, and save it on a memory stick or email it to the person sitting next to you.

I don’t call that having Bluetooth. That’s almost having Bluetooth.

Then there’s the wireless internet capability. You really can sit at a cafe with your iPhone surfing the web on your iPhone. Unless you want to visit any web site that uses Flash video. This is probably the most common way of viewing video on the internet. Sites like YouTube use flash video. The iPhone can’t see flash videos. There is a link to YouTube on the iPhone but that’s a special version with non-Flash videos created specifically for the iPhone.

So what about all the clever music things that Apple iPods are so famous for? Isn’t an iPhone an iPod as well? Yes, it is, and very good it is too.

Unless you want to buy music online. You CAN do that but only if you have a European, American or Asian credit card. Those of us with African credit cards can’t buy music on the iPhone. So yet another incomplete service.

Lastly there’s the built-in GPS receiver. This is just a joke. While you can use it to get detailed maps of New York and London you’ll laugh out loud when you see what it has for our capitol city. The word Gaborone with four roads emerging from it. Other GPS receivers have the detailed maps of Gaborone showing every tiny street, every turning, even bars, restaurants and stores. The iPhone GPS function is just ridiculous.

Do I blame Apple? Yes, I do, for the ludicrous SMS and Bluetooth omissions. Do I blame Orange? Yes, I do, for marketing a phone that does less than my 2-year old phone but without explaining to us that it’s incomplete.

The iPhone in Botswana is, I’m afraid, a bit like a supermodel. Exceptionally beautiful, highly expensive to obtain, painfully thin and not that useful.

This week’s stars!
  • Brian at Apache Spur for friendly service.
  • The team at Maxiprest for scrupulously honest service.