Saturday 25 November 2017

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

My lawyer lied to me!

I had engaged a lawyer and he said he had registered the case with High Court and I paid for case registration, paid for summons delivery and paid for his service a total of P4,600 and later discovered that he did not even register the case. Now he has my documents and is refusing to refund. I went to court to check and it was not there. What should I do?

I think we have a right to expect somewhat higher levels of service from certain industries, don’t you? I expect a bank, an insurance company and an airline to be highly professional, even if sometimes they don’t always do as well as we’d hope. This also applies to “the professions” such as medicine, accountancy and, in this case, the law. We have a right to expect the attorneys we consult to be experts in their fields. I’ve met a number of extremely skilled attorneys who have impressed me enormously but I’ve also met some attorneys I was surprised had made it out of secondary school, let alone law school. Just as worrying is that I’ve also met some attorneys who were distinctly shady characters that I wouldn’t have trusted with my legal affairs or my money.

I suspect your attorney might be in that last category. What he’s done isn’t just to offer poor customer service, I suspect he’s broken the basic rules of conduct that are expected of attorneys. He’s taken your money, not done what he was meant to do and, worst of all in a profession where honesty is so important, he’s lied to you.

I suggest you escalate this and speak to the Law Society of Botswana, the legal profession’s oversight authority who can investigate and take action against him if they establish that what you say is true. In extreme cases they can even close an attorney down if they find that their misconduct was serious. You can call them on 3900200 or email them at

Is Martinville University legit?

I received an email from Martinville University which they say is one of the top educational institutes providing campus based and online education based in California. They said I had been awarded a scholarship and could get a degree based on my prior life experience. Can this be true?

Martinville "University" is a fake, there’s no doubt about it. Here’s why.

On their web site is a link offering a Live Chat facility and I used it to have a conversation with one of their advisors. I told him that in order to get a position as a senior nurse I needed a degree in Nursing as quickly as possible. I made it clear that the only qualification I had was a diploma in health and safety. In case you’re wondering, this was all lies.

He told me that all I needed to get the degree was to send them my resume, showing that I had some experience and $500 and I would be sent a Bachelors degree in Nursing within 10-15 days. He told me that “this does not require a study, or to undergo an exam”.

Everyone knows this is fake, surely? Doesn’t everyone know that people only get degrees by studying, writing coursework and dissertations and sitting exams? We all know that people don’t get real qualification just with a credit card, don’t we?

My conversation with the advisor then became even more bizarre. He suggested that I could not only get a Bachelors degree but a Masters degree in Nursing as well, just by paying them $1,000, $500 for each degree. He told me that they would “need to backdate your bachelor's degree” if I wanted both.

Although this might seem surprising, perhaps even amusing, it’s actually very dangerous. I wasn’t asking for a degree in Marketing or HR Management where having an unqualified person in a job would probably cause little harm, they were offering me advanced qualification in Nursing. If a hospital HR department failed to check my qualifications, who knows what damage I could do. People could die.

So that’s why I say Martinville University is a fake. Just like the qualifications they sell. And just like anyone who buys one.

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