Data Theft, Over-Starched Boubous and other African Nonsenses



For the past 3 days, I have been trying to upload a beautifully designed wedding book to blurb.com for printing. These are the hurdles I am dealing with now:

First of all Blurb doesn’t ship to Ghana. In fact, you can’t pay them from Ghana. In fact, Ghana is not even on their list of countries. As far as they are concerned Ghana doesn’t exist. Period.

I know these are the times when you want to scream at the West and their racist ways blah blah blah and totally ignore the fact that Ghana, Nigeria and a few other countries are labelled high risk countries because of how tolerant we’ve been of those 419/ Sakawa boys and girls.  It sucks when you are not the one doing the s#iting but the smell still ends up in your nose. 

I wish the above was the biggest of my hurdles. It isn’t. I have spent a total of 6 hours over two days in the Vodafone Cafes in Cantonment and Osu. One would think I was uploading data on a 128kb network. My files are still sitting on my desk. I feel robbed but who do I complain to? What difference will it make?  

We live in a country where you can buy 3.5gb of data on any of the networks, download a movie that’s 700mb in size and be told your balance is 268mb. Where else in the world do businesses get away with such fraud and incompetence at the same time? My experiences here are not limited to Vodafone. I have bundled data on MTN, Vodafone, Glo and Airtel and my experiences are not far from each other.  

 I believe consumers like me are fed the rubbish we are fed because the people with the power to correct things are choking on some good meat. They are eating fat and juicy frogs at my expense… and that is Africa’s only problem.

Ours is a culture where the people we appoint, elect or nominate to seek our interest, go and seek only their interest. It is why African countries end up with presidents who are richer than their countries, even though they came into power poor. It is the reason why Nigeria and Angola can run out of fuel, and their citizens  queue at filling stations or are left stranded on the roads. It is the reason why almost every young, ambitious university student wants to become a career politician. They’ve seen their seniors develop pot bellies by the minute.  

Yesterday, Apple released iOS7.  Samsung will react soon. Everybody is seriously making headway in this new world whilst we still dance by the fireside and tell Ananse stories, play ludo and go chasing small small girls. And then we cover all our crap up with nice suits, over-starched boubous and plenty of bad English and French. Nonsense.

5 comments:

nana 20 September 2013 10:55  

I experienced the same with tigo. I got reimbursed 3 months later after constant follow up only to be notified the ff day after no download that the 1.5GB has been used up. I don't get it. I think we need to mass up support and defend ourselves as customers from these dubious service providers.

Alex Fox 22 September 2013 12:20  

This is super super frustrating, I"m sorry you've had to deal with this!
A bunch of my friends here are also unable to use paypal, so therefore unable to set up etsy shops, big cartel.. they have to rely on a friend or colleague from the "western" world so they can sell their products online.

Really frustrating. That on top of all the data issues. I use Afrikiko's Cafe Des Amies for my uploading of videos/pictures as their internet is reaaaaallly fast (and free). It's only working about 60% of the time, but when it is working, it's the best place to go!

Good luck,
Alex

eyuseh 27 September 2013 13:10  

Well said. Utter nonsense all over.
You should try Photobookworldwide. They ship to Ghana, but you have to request for "Offline payment" to be able to make payment because Paypay doesn't 'regard' Ghana (mind you Togo and Benin are on Paypal's list oh. NONSENSE again!

eyuseh 27 September 2013 13:12  

Well said. Utter nonsense all over.
You should try Photobookworldwide. They ship to Ghana, but you have to request for "Offline payment" to be able to make payment because Paypay doesn't 'regard' Ghana (mind you Togo and Benin are on Paypal's list oh. NONSENSE again!

Anonymous 18 October 2013 12:04  

"you can buy 3.5gb of data on any of the networks, download a movie that’s 700mb in size and be told your balance is 268mb"

Your device checks the integrity of the data as it downloads, if a part of the file doesn't pass the integrity test, it gets re-downloaded. This happens a lot on unstable or poor networks, even more so on mobile networks, especially if you are moving around, as the connection gets dropped when you move between cell towers.

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