Anwar-FazalIn the 1980s, CI’s then president, led the call to also introduce a set of consumer responsibilities to compliment consumer rights.
These remain crucial principles for many consumer rights organisations today:
Critical awareness – consumers must be awakened to be more questioning about the provision of the quality of goods and services.
Involvement or action – consumers must assert themselves and act to ensure that they get a fair deal.
Social responsibility – consumers must act with social responsibility, with concern and sensitivity to the impact of their actions on other citizens, in particular, in relation to disadvantaged groups in the community and in relation to the economic and social realties prevailing.
Ecological responsibility – there must be a heightened sensitivity to the impact of consumer decisions on the physical environment, which must be developed to a harmonious way, promoting conservation as the most critical factor in improving the real quality of life for the present and the future.
Solidarity – the best and most effective action is through cooperative efforts through the formation of consumer/citizen groups who together can have the strength and influence to ensure that adequate attention is given to the consumer interest.
On 15 March, 1962, US President John F. Kennedy delivered an historic address to the US Congress in which he outlined his vision of consumer rights. This was the first time any politician had formerly set out such principles.
‘Consumers by definition, include us all,’ Kennedy said in his Congressional Statement, ‘They are the largest economic group, affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. Yet they are the only important group… whose views are often not heard.’
Over time, the consumer movement has developed this vision into a set of eight basic consumer rights that now define and inspire much of the work CI and its members do (around areas such as financial services and communications):
The right to satisfaction of basic needs – To have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation.
The right to safety – To be protected against products, production processes and services that are hazardous to health or life.
The right to be informed – To be given the facts needed to make an informed choice, and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labelling.
The right to choose – To be able to select from a range of products and services, offered at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality.
The right to be heard – To have consumer interests represented in the making and execution of government policy, and in the development of products and services.
The right to redress – To receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.
The right to consumer education – To acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.
The right to a healthy environment -To live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.
The Electronic Payments System is being targeted more and more by fraud. In order to prevent you from being a victim, always be vigilant with your debit card activities. The ease of shopping and comparing products and prices online has made it an attractive option for many shoppers. If you notice any unusual debit card activity on your statement, please notify the bank immediately to see what your bank can do to help.
Using a card provides you with extra protection if things go wrong – protection that you don’t necessarily have if you pay by cheque or cash. In addition to this extra protection provided, there are steps you can take to safeguard yourself.
Incorporating the practices listed below into your daily routine can help keep your cards and account numbers safe.
- Check your statements. Don’t wait for the statement to come; check your online banking regularly. Watch for transactions that you didn’t make.
- Limit your online purchasing to one card. When you use more cards, you allow access to more accounts.
- Invest in a reloadable card when making online purchases. Reloadable cards allow you to limit the amount you place on the card and are not linked to your bank account. For example the Nakumatt Global Card and the KCB Pepea Card
- Open a second checking account specially used for internet purchases. Don’t allow this account to be connected to your other accounts. Transfer only the purchase amount into the account.
- Keep record of your internet transactions. Check your email for a confirmation after you have made purchases online. Verify your mailing address with the post office and financial institutions.
- Save your receipts to compare with your statement.
- Don’t give your information out over the phone unless you’ve made the call to a company you know.
- Your bank should have your information on file, so, don’t give out any personal or card number information if you receive a call to “verify fraudulent activity.
- Use an online payment service like PayPal.
- Use familiar websites. If you’ve never done business with them before, first do an online search for reviews or complaints.
- Destroy your card when it expires or when a new card becomes effective.
- Memorize your PIN. Do not write it on your card or keep it with you. Never give it out.
- Remember to pick up your ATM receipts before leaving the ATM.
- Be aware of added fixtures to ATMs, Skimming devices allow fraudsters to collect card and PIN information.
Finally, your card company should be your first point of contact – not the police. It will be up to your card company and not you the account holder, to pass details to the police. Where an additional crime has been committed with the fraud, for example, you have had your wallet stolen or your card used fraudulently as a result of a burglary, or if you want to claim on your household goods then this should still be reported to the police.
We live in a time of terms and conditions. Never before have we signed or agreed so many. But one thing hasn’t changed: we still rarely read them.
While companies need to protect their interests given the frivolous lawsuits in vogue, you should know when terms and conditions become more than standard operating procedure and turn into ransom notes. The consumer is forced to agree to the terms in order to proceed to the next step, whether it is to use a service or install software.
Here are some of the things that you should look for before clicking ‘I accept’.
Free mobile apps
Many so-called free apps for your smartphone or tablet are supported by ads. Read through the terms—the app could be accessing your personal information, mainly to deliver targeted ads. Also, as mobile ads will be delivered whenever the app is active, it will add to your data usage at the end of the month.
Photo sharing and printing websites
You own the intellectual property rights to your photographs, but what happens if you upload them to a photo sharing website? Who owns them if you upload them to a stock photo site? Or to a photo printing website? You might be shocked to learn that several photo sharing/printing websites retain the right to use your photographs in any way they see fit in a ‘perpetual and irrevocable’ manner. So, check before uploading.
Buying online/booking tickets
This is one area that can have a lot of ambiguity. Do manufacturer warranties apply to products bought online? What happens if there is a defect or you need to return the item? If case of airline tickets, prices are volatile and you need to read the fine print to make sure that you can return and get a refund. Many ‘special fare tickets’ are sold on the condition that they will not be returned/refunded.
Protecting Twitter & Facebook accounts
A rising trend points towards websites allowing you to sign in and start using their services by using your existing Twitter, Google or Facebook ID. Though you skip the registration process (which encourages more users), the website identifies its visitor and gets more information. This is officially allowed using Facebook, Google connect and Twitter sign in. However, you may find automated posts and tweets being sent on your behalf. Check the permissions you are granting the site or app before allowing access to your account. If it says ‘Allow app/site to post/send tweet’ or ‘Grant permission to post on your behalf’, cancel and run.
Have you ever thought how your name and e-mail address find their way to various websites that you have never heard of? Whenever you sign up for newsletters, to comment on an article you read, or for a community forum, your personal information can be misused. Not only could this website start sending you e-mail spam (special offers, notices), but could even sell your e-mail ID to third parties without your consent.
Sharing personal information on e-mail
Ever notice how the text ads in your e-mail inbox are creepily ‘right on the money’? All the baby clothing store ads appear if you’ve had a baby. Camera stores materialise if you’re a photographer and local restaurants pop up if you’re discussing a dinner date with a friend. Targeted ads, especially those with accurate location and demographics, can earn a lot of money. By agreeing to the terms, you become the conduit.
By accepting these terms, you are literally agreeing to anything and everything the service provider may ask of you, now or in the future, as long as you are availing of its services. There aren’t too many ways out of the situation, other than opting for another service provider. However, needless to say, it is time you started reading the terms carefully, and more frequently.
Any criminal activity that uses a computer either as an instrumentality, target or a means for perpetuating further crimes comes within the ambit of cybercrime.
All crimes performed by abuse of electronic media or otherwise, with the purpose of influencing the functioning of computer or computer system. The followings are the top listed types of cybercrime:
Hacking is a simple term means illegal intrusion into a computer system without the permission of the computer owner/user. Hackers usually do that with the intention of obtaining confidential information.
Virus itself is software that attacks other software. It may cause for data loss, deduction of bandwidth speed, hardware damage etc. Trojan Horse, Time Bomb, Logic Bomb, Rabbit are the malicious software.
Theft of software through the illegal coping of genuine programs or distribution of products intended to pass for the original.
Credit Card Fraud
You simply have to type credit card number into www page of the vendor for online transaction. If electronic transactions are not secured the credit card numbers can be stolen by the hackers who can misuse this card by impersonating the credit card owner.
Sale of Illegal Articles
Narcotics, weapons and wild life etc. are sold by posting information on websites, auction websites, and bulletin board or simply by using email communication. Many of auction sites are believed to be selling cocaine in the name of money.
Intellectual Property Crimes
These include software piracy, copyrights, infringement, trademark violations, theft of computer source code etc.
A spoofed email is one that appears to originate from one source but actually has been sent from another source. Personal Relationship may be jeopardized because of email spoofing.
With help of computers and/ or the Internet When any defamation takes place it is called cyber defamation. It can tarnish personal image of any individual or reputation of any company, bank or institution.
Cyber stalking involves following a person’s movement across the Internet by posting messages on the bulletin boards frequented by the victim, entering the chat-room frequently by the victim, constantly bombarding the victim with emails etc.
Email bombing can be committed by sending huge number of emails to the victim resulting in the victim’s email account ( in case of an individual) or mail servers ( in case of company or an email service provider) crashing. Thousands of emails are sent to the personal account or mail server until it is crashed.
Data diddling may be committed by altering raw data just before it is processed by a computer and then changing it back after processing is completed. Government offices may be victims to data diddling programs inserted when private parties were computerizing their systems.
For the commission of financial crimes salami attacks are used. Here the major thing is to make alteration which is so insignificant that in a single case it would go completely unnoticed. “For example a bank employee inserts a program, into the bank servers, that deduct a small amount of money from the account of every customer. No account holder will probably notice this unauthorized debit, but the bank employee will make a sizeable amount of money every month.
Child pornography is online trading of images of the children
involved in sexual activities.
Kenyan IT services firm Colour Planet has sued Safaricom over its use of the Okoa Stima name to describe its mobile-based electricity loans, claiming a violation of its ownership right. Colour Planet said it registered the Okoa Stima trademark with the Kenya Industrial Properties Institute in May, the Business Daily reported.
The IT firm, Color Planet, claims it registered the Okoa Stima trademark name in May with the Kenya Industrial Properties Institute (KIPI). It then alleges that the Telco has violated its ownership rights to the name by using a similar name. Colour Planet says the name Okoa Stima is one of an electricity purchase software it developed and even introduced to Kenya Power seeking to partner in November 2013. The company further claims it has worked on the software since 2012 and that the infringement by Safaricom has in deed watered down the quality of the Okoa Stima trademark. The IT firm wants Safaricom barred from using the name until the case is resolved.
This blogger will be following the developments in this case.
Mobile phone service provider Safaricom has sued its competitor Airtel over trademark infringement.
Safaricom accuses Airtel of using a trademark similar to that of M-Pesa to promote its Airtel money services.
The trademark is displayed on adverts carried by Airtel.
In suit papers, Safaricom says Airtel printed the adverts in different retail outlets in Mombasa, Narok, Kitui, Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega, Nairobi and Central.
Safaricom has filed pictures in court that it claims show evidence of Airtel Kenya’s usage of signs that are identical to two of its registered M-Pesa trademarks for the promotion and marketing of Airtel Money, its mobile cash transfer service.
“Airtel has infringed and continues infringing on the plaintiff’s trademark number 60093 by printing and advertising on retail outlets, boards and plates for the promotion and marketing of its Airtel money,” says Safaricom in court documents.
The telco accuses Airtel of riding on the goodwill and extensive market share of M-Pesa, which has over the years grown and taken a commanding lead over Airtel Money.
One of the infringed M-Pesa logos was registered as trademark number 60093 for use in respect of advertising and business management administration while the second M-Pesa logo registered as trademark 62612 is for use in respect of clothing, footwear and headgear.
The 60093 trademark has a phone with a note on it between the letters M and Pesa of the logo while the 62612 trademark has the words joined with a hyphen.
The two M-Pesa logos are used for branding of the 85,756 retail outlets that provide Safaricom’s mobile money transfer services.
This blogger will be following the developments in this case
A lawyer has specialized skills and expertise to help you get something done or solve a problem that involves the law. Lawyers are trained to understand the law and to work within the legal system to assist their clients. People count on a lawyer’s assistance when they prepare a will, buy or sell a house, separate from a spouse, start a company, have a claim against someone for damages, need to defend themselves against criminal charges, or want to right a wrong … those are just some of the many reasons you may be asking a lawyer for advice.
But while you may be asking for legal advice as a client, below are some the feelings and thoughts clients’ exhibit when they seek assistance form lawyers:
Insecure- I’m out of my depth
Threatened- I need advice to mitigate risk
At risk- how much will this all cost
Impatient- I need this sorted now
Worried- My work isn’t a priority for them
Ignorant- I don’t understand
Sceptical – whatever they suggest is for their ends
Suspicious- Am I being taken for a ride
Piece of advice: You need to be able to communicate easily with your lawyer, to feel comfortable asking questions and to feel confident that you can work together to accomplish your goals.
Source: David Maister
There is a magic moment in Advocate- client relationship. It is that moment when a client knows, not believes but actually knows that hiring you was the right choice.
For the most part, your clients aren’t able to judge the quality of a brief, the brilliance of a closing argument or the skill required to negotiate a favorable outcome. They must look for something they can measure, so they look for value in other areas. To help them develop a perception of value around your services, you must deliver value in a way they understand.
Before that moment, every client and prospective client will use all other indicators to establish in their mind just how good you are as a lawyer.
Below are a few indicators of the clients perception of the lawyer.
• If your office doesn’t return phone calls promptly, you are arrogant, unapproachable or you just don’t care.
• If they have to wait on hold or in your office past their appointment time, you must feel that your time is more valuable than theirs, or again you are just arrogant.
• If a commitment is made to them and that commitment is honored, on time, you must be one of the few lawyers who are fully committed to your clients and your practice.
Too often, perception is reality. Everyone who has contact with your firm of course prospective clients and clients will make an evaluation of your skill as a lawyer based on every experience they have with you.
Finally, it is observed that although you may hear negative comments about lawyers in general, most individuals have positive things to say about their own Lawyers.