Saturday 1 December 2012

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I bought a Blackberry 9810 at a store at Riverwalk on Tuesday the 20th November 2012. I was told that it doesn’t come with a memory card. Today one of my colleagues went to another branch on Old Lobatse Road and bought a Blackberry 9360. Surprisingly it came with a memory card. I then called the store on Old Lobatse Road to find out if they have Blackberry 9810 and if it comes with a memory card. They confirmed that yes they have it in stock and it comes with a memory card.

I was just wondering if it’s possible for one company with different branches operating differently. I haven’t confronted them yet because I wanted your advice. The funny thing is that I was told to take it to Old Lobatse Road store if I experience technical problems. I have already opened the packaging but the phone is still new. What do you suggest??

This is a tricky one. I did some very brief research about Blackberrys (I’m an iPhone sort of guy) and it seems that although many older Blackberrys came with memory cards, the more recent models do NOT. If you do get a free memory card with your phone then it’s probably a freebie from the store.

However I find it strange that two stores within the same company would differ but then perhaps that’s just the nature of the free market? I know which store I’d buy the phone from if I had the choice.

Probably the lesson is just to ask and to make a few phone calls before you hand over your cash. Maybe even tell Store B that Store A offers a free memory card see what Store B can offer to beat them?

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

My laptop was stolen a few weeks ago, already someone has hacked my 3 email accounts tried 419 scams in my name to 200 of my contacts, causing Yahoo and Hotmail to block my accounts and Google to issue a warning. Any advice on locating the laptop or stopping the reputational and worse financial damage?

Some laptops with the right software can be traced when they connect to a network. For instance any Apple device with wireless capabilities that are linked to an iCloud account can be traced very easily to within a few meters, but only if you set this up first. It’s also possible to buy tracking software that you load on a Windows-based laptop that enables you to trace it if it’s stolen but you need to do that BEFORE it’s stolen. In your case it’s too late for that.

However there are other things you can try. If the thief accesses either your or his Gmail account and sends emails it might be possible to trace him using the IP address the laptop was given when it connected to a network. I’m no expert on this but it might be worth finding one who can help you. I’ll try and find such an expert for you but if one is reading this please get in touch to assist.


A couple of weeks ago we had an email from a reader who had some problems with a cellphone he’d bought in December last year. Over several months he’d had several problems but the store had been reluctant to replace. The good news is that he got in touch recently to say that he’d been given a brand new replacement phone.

However he asked “there is still 1 thing that I am not happy about, they want to use the warranty of the phone I took back to them for the new phone which ends on the 21 of December 2012. They said I must bring the receipt so that they change the serial number and not the warranty which I refused. What steps should I take next?”

Although it seems strange I think this is probably reasonable. When he bought his phone in January he got a 1-year warranty which expires next month. Even though he was given a brand new phone the item he spent his money on was bought last December and the warranty was for a year from that date. Remember that the new phone was entirely free so I think he’s done fairly well. It’s highly unlikely that a brand new phone is going to fail in the next few months.


Boitumelo at Nandos in Palapye gave our reader “impeccable service”. Christo and his team at Wireless@Home / BBI also went out of their way to keep an existing customer happy, being described as “above and beyond” her expectations. Well done to all of them.

Keep the celebrations coming in!

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