Dear mobile operators, stop treating us like morons

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South Africans are well accustomed to being treated like morons by the ANC but there’s no reason we should take that from the private sector too.

international_airtime_transfer_clip_image002In taking SA mobile operators to task I could be talking about their rapacious data prices or mind-bending bundle configurations designed to confuse us into signing over large chunks of cash monthly. But I’m not. Not this time.

No. I’m talking about the bullshit around different types of airtime.

Sign up with any one of the four mobile operators in this country for a top-up contract and you’ll soon learn what I’m talking about. The bundled airtime, for which you pay a monthly ransom, is “not-transferable” and “non-convertible”.

In other words, you have no ability to share airtime with others or use that airtime to buy SMS or data bundles. Oh no, if you want to do that you have buy more “prepaid” airtime.

Fuck off. That’s just theft. Airtime is fucking airtime. It doesn’t matter how or when we pay for it; It’s bloody airtime and it’s paid for. It should be as transferable or convertible as the money what purchased it.

It’s long past time that somebody took the mobile operators to task on this and many other questionable practices they have evolved over the years.

Unfortunately, there is nobody to do that. Icasa is a hopeless case because, whenever a bright young thing starts to make a mark there, one of the thieving foursome makes them an offer too good to refuse. In this way, they collude to keep the regulator weak and ineffectual.

All of which leaves us consumers with nowhere to turn. We end up venting on soapboxes and in irrelevant forums like this one. We desperately need another Isabel Jones.

Carbon trading goes tits up

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Excellent news just picked up courtesy of an email from my brother Nigel: it seems that Saint Gore’s carbon trading scam has gone tits up. Interestingly, although not entirely surprisingly, it went out with barely a whimper. Indeed, Steve Milloy has blogged about it here. For the uninitiated, the MSM he refers to is the mainstream media. It’s a great article to read in its entirety but, for the time-constrained among you, here are a few key bits:

In a little reported move, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) announced on Oct. 21 that it will be ending carbon trading — the only purpose for which it was founded — this year.

… a funny thing happened on the way to the CCX’s highly anticipated looting of taxpayers and consumers — cap-and-trade imploded following its high water mark of the House passage of the Waxman-Markey bill. With ongoing economic recession, Climategate, and the tea party movement, what once seemed like a certainty became anything but.

Despite ending carbon trading, the CCX isn’t vanishing altogether. It intends to transition into the murky world of dealing in carbon offsets. Once again, however, with the tide leaving on carbon regulation and increased concerns about fraudulent carbon offsets, the future of that market is quite uncertain.

Good riddance. For my money, that we have the thieves and bean-counters who precipitated the global financial crisis to thank for this and the general decline in climate hysteria gives new relevance to an old adage: set a crook to catch a crook.