Zambia takes consumer issues online

A very technical definition of a blog is an online journal or informational website displaying information in the reverse chronological order, with latest posts appearing first.

Better put, it refers to a platform where a writer or even a group of writers share their views on an individual subject.

Generally, people blog because they believe they have something they wish to share with the world. 

Sometimes what is being shared is good, sometimes it’s bad. But can it be both? 

Yes, actually.

Take the case of a customer service blog. As one would expect, such a blog would be about the bad customer experiences people go through on a day-to-day basis. Very few people blog about good customer experiences.

So the good comes in the simple fact that when bad customer service is exposed, it’s a huge step forward for addressing some of these negative issues.

It thus explains why communities/countries with limited consumer lobbying tend to opt for the blog.

Take the Southern African country of Zambia, for example. Its popular blog, ‘Consumer Diaries’ is a key tool in highlighting Zambians’ issues with bad customer service.

The ‘Consumer Diaries’ is essentially a consumer’s mouthpiece written strictly by consumers for other consumers.

Consumer Diaries consists of four pages of which the first page has consumer submissions on a broad range of subjects; the second page is entirely dedicated to publishing responses and or reactions from manufacturers and services providers whose products or services have been discussed within the blog; while the third page is dedicated to providing information to consumers on various issues such Consumer Rights and responsibilities, processes and systems available for consumer redress in the country. And the fourth page describes all about the blog.

An overview of the blog shows that it consists of a compilation of reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services based on reporting and results from consumers themselves. 

“This is done in order to help people have an opportunity to rate product/service experiences that they have had, and also to investigate new products or services in order to make informed decisions,” says the developers of the growing blog.Big companies in Zambia, such as ZANACO, MTN and power utility ZESCO have all fallen under heavy criticism by bloggers using the ‘Consumer Diaries’ platform.

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