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Conference emphasises need for consumer education

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Conference emphasises need for consumer education
ADVISING: Dr Dow answers a legal question

Speakers at the just ended Consumer Watchdog Conference have cast some light on the dark reality for the need to educate consumers on their rights.

The speakers who were drawn from different sectors of the economy believe there is a need not only to reeducate consumers, but also to offer insight into the tertiary sector of industry.

Speaking at the event, aptly themed “Back to School”, that was held at Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC), Minister of Basic Education, Dr Unity Dow, said she felt so strongly about the lack of knowledge pertaining to consumer rights that she was not opposed for it to be incorporated into school syllabuses.

“If consumers know their rights, they demand better service which in turn improves quality.

We, as a nation, are sometimes clouded by politeness. You are entitled to information about your rights so much so that schools should teach consumer rights,” she said.

For his part, Orange Botswana CEO, Dr Patrick Benon, elaborated on how smart-phones had become such an essential part of people’s lives, consequently making it imperative to offer the best customer service to facilitate daily mobile usage.

He elucidated further on the point by revealing that Orange was on the verge of launching a new initiative titled “The Smart Stall”.

The Smart Stall is in essence, a stall one can visit in order to be enlightened about one’s device.

Benon highlighted how many mobile users utilized only the basic functions of their phones and neglected a large part of their devices’ capabilities.

Other notable speakers included the likes of Bilkiss Moorad – CEO of Botswana Life Insurance, who provided an animated presentation on eccentric leadership.

She highlighted several characteristics that facilitated such leadership which included; a non-conformist attitude, creativity, curiosity and idealism.

She further emphasized the need to nurture creativity and quoted author, Robin Sharma’s observation that; “Leadership’s notatitle.It is a behavior. Live it”.

Next on the agenda were the highly anticipated Consumer Watchdog Awards, dispensed for excellent customer service.

Among the winners were employees from First National Bank, Botswana Housing Corporation, Botswana Accountancy College, Orange Botswana, Stanlib Security, Ackermans and Engen Botswana.

The latter two were the standout achievers as they won unprecedented two awards, respectively.

Retail Manger of Engen Botswana, Bobby Tlhabiwe, elucidated on how Engen had achieved such a feat.

“Energy, Enthusiasm and Enjoyment are the principles we operate under at Engen Botswana. These awards are a testament of those principles,” he said.