Friday 27 November 2009

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1 

I have a question about the rules a landlord can impose when I rent a house.

I finally found a place in Tlokweng but the landlord told us there were several rules if we took the place.

Rule No.1. Girls not allowed as our visitors. I thought this was difficult because I knew that our class mates would love to visit us for revision purposes. He also warned us about male visitors.

Rule No.2. Cars not allowed in the yard.

Rule No.3. Visitors not allowed to stay more than a week. This one is so heart aching because our younger brothers and sisters had to suffer as we did while starting their tertiary education though we thought we had accommodations, and they are suffering because of the so called rules and regulations for leasing a house.

My concern is how these rules are set. Isn’t the law involved in this issue or can each citizen running this kind of business set his own laws in his yard? If not, how can we as citizens tackle this because these people are abusing and violating our rights as their tenants.

What can I do?

I think you have to be reasonable here. When you sign a lease to rent a house, or even just a room in a house, both parties, the landlord and the tenant, must respect each other’s wishes and requirements. Nobody is forcing you to rent this property from this landlord, just as nobody is forcing the landlord to rent the property to you.

What’s more, this is actually HIS house. He IS entitled to set the rules. Of course these rules can’t contravene the law but as long as he respects your legal rights he IS entitled to set rules. Yes, you might think his rules are silly, out-dated and impractical. I agree with you, I think they are too. But he IS entitled to set them. Remember that you have no right to rent this particular property, just as you have no right to buy a particular product from a store and no right to get a loan from a particular bank. The company or person providing the product or service can decide who they want to sell it to.

The answer, of course, is to shop around. Most landlords will impose certain rules to do with your conduct while you’re a tenant but shop around until you find one that suits you best. If you don’t like his silly rules move on and find a more accommodating landlord.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2 

Some months ago I visited a web site that offered me a free astrological reading. I got an email from the site from someone called Sara Freder. She sent me a long email but at the end it wanted me to spend money to get the full report which I ignored. Since then I received many emails asking for money and warning me about both good and bad events in my life that only she can tell me about if I give her money.

Do you think I should send her the money?

Absolutely NOT. Please don’t even think of sending this crook a thing. Two reasons why.

First, you do realise, don’t you, that astrology is hogwash? This is one of those ideas that needs to be consigned to history’s dustbin. There is simply no sense to astrology. Every time real scientific research has been done into the relationship between your birth date or your star-sign and your life events or personality it has shown there is simply nothing to it. It’s all rubbish.

Then there’s the web site you visited. Let’s get straight to the point. Firstly, this “woman” called Sara Freder is really a man called “Jean Christopher Maires” who lives in France. Are you suspicious yet? (More links here 1, 2, 3)

In the interests of research I did a little experiment. I went to the web site and completed the form asking for basic personal details twice, once as a man, once as a woman but both times giving the same date of birth. I gave two different email addresses and waited to see how similar the “readings” would be. When they arrived it was clear how this worked. The two readings were, on first glance, different but as I read them it became clear that they had been constructed from basically the same text, it was just the order that was different. Both emails talked in the vaguest possible terms about my future but the message was very simple. I get more when I pay for it.

That’s all there is to this scam. The Frenchman just wants your money. Once you’ve paid you can be assured that there would be more and more emails sent your way, encouraging you to spend more money for more readings.

I’ll make an astrological prediction for free. If you send this crook money for a reading, he will get richer and you’ll get poorer. Guaranteed.


Still no legal action from the fraudulent, scamming, crooked “University of SouthCentral Los Angeles” who got all shirty and threatened us with legal action when we exposed their fake degrees business. Shame, I was so looking forward to a fight with a scammer!

Another update

This is important and it’s wonderful. It’s taken a while but the laws of Botswana, OUR laws are now online for free, courtesy of the Attorney General’s Chambers. Go to and see for yourself.

We’ve been campaigning for this for years and it’s brilliant that it’s now happened. Good for them!

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