Blog Comments

  1. Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    So glad you found it useful, Sparks. Thanks for reading.
  2. Sparks's Avatar
    Thank you for the great blog. It certainly was informative. Very well laid out with all that was required but nothing unnecessary. It was also an easy read due to the lack of jargon. Thank you very much. Writing tutorials is not a joke but I believe you have mastered it.
  3. Sparks's Avatar
    Only just getting to your blog now again for the first time. I am an electrical contractor with a keen interest in 3D, photography and CADoodling. I am not artistic but wish I was, with the result that I am forever trying things out to keep out of mischief when I have spare time. I enjoy doing 3D modeling and just for the hell of it will sit and do a technical drawing of whatever pops into my mind then make a 3D model of it. I am by no means good enough at it to market it but I do enjoy doing it. A few friends are happy with the results of their requests but that is as far as I go in public. I do however use it to make visual presentations for my quotes though. Just to make sure that the client knows what he will end up with before I start. It helps prevent ending up with an unhappy client.
  4. vieome's Avatar
    Excellent Blog Mark. You might find this link interesting, it is on the pyscology of color [URL=""][/URL]
  5. Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    Thanks Dave! And what an adventure it will be!
  6. Dave A's Avatar
    Good luck with the new blog, Mark. I look forward to following your adventure for years to come.
  7. Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    Hi Upstairs, thanks for commenting. Joomla does involve a bit of a steep learning curve and I think this is why many critics (*cough* Wordpress users) have so much to say about it. Once you know your way around Joomla the possibilities really are just about endless.

    What would you like to see in future blog posts? I have been extremely busy just recently so haven't put out any blog posts. Next month should bring more free time though, so feel free to suggest some topics and I'll try to tackle them for you.
  8. Upstairs's Avatar
    I started to learn more about joomla. Great stuff. Problem is most geeks have no idea on how to write a decent instructional manual. Learning curve worth it for tech newbies like myself. Awaiting your regular posts on joomla. R
  9. Ann Williams's Avatar
    I'm glad to know that things are being sorted out for you and for other students Mark. Theoretically most of your concerns could be a considered a matter of contract law eg. did the contract you signed when you registered (and yes there would have been one even if they didn't actually show it to you) eg. only getting 50% refund on cancellation.
    The business about keeping your refund in their account and not giving it back to you is a completely different story.
    If anyone else has that problem with any learning institution where they refuse to give you back money that has been refunded, I would suggest that you immediately go to the Consumer Protection Commissioner. The Consumer Protection Act says that refunded monies MUST be given to the client if the client wants it back. (Nb! If the client wants to leave it with the organisation - say for the next semester's fees - they may do so.)
    But is the client's decision and not the provider's as to whether that cash is paid out or not.
  10. Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    I'm not 100% sure of what those credentials entail, but I'm sure that they are accredited with the necessary.
  11. Yvonne's Avatar
    Does Varsity College hold SETA/SAQA accreditation?
  12. Dave A's Avatar
    Quick update - The credit was passed in this month's statement, so that's now sorted.
  13. Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    Thanks Dave! That's very interesting indeed. I must say that the MD has been quick and efficient in addressing these problems.

    I received my refund cheque on Monday, just two days after my meeting with Odette. I was told that my class mates in the same situation could contact the principal directly to address their problems. One such friend phoned yesterday and was told that she would be paid out in full immediately because the situation is the same as mine. (I was referred to by name apparently )

    The fact that your credit has not been passed yet is something of concern. Especially seeing as a timetable clash qualifies as an "academic reason" in the eyes of Varsity College. I must say I've never really had a problem with the delay in processing credit - just problems with the other things mentioned above.

    I would contact them about that. If they don't act, contact the principal. If still no joy, I'll give you Odette's email address.
  14. Dave A's Avatar
    Mark, you might be interested to know that my daughter was polled for her view on the lecturer concerned. The fact that a number of students at the Westville campus had withdrawn was mentioned.

    The other interesting thing to keep track of is how long it'll take Varsity College to process the credit. My daughter had to cancel one module with them for the second semester due to a timetable clash. It's now well over two months later and the credit has still not been passed.
  15. Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    Thanks Ian. I think it ended up as a win-win because Odette realises and accepts that the students are customers of Varsity College, not children. I don't think that a lot of the employees on the ground realise the impact of that particular fact (as it is probably quite unique to a business in the education sector) and this results in sticky situations such as the one I ended up in.
  16. IanF's Avatar
    Well done Mark, it sounds like you got what you wanted and Varsity College wants to listen to it's customers. A win-win.
  17. Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    So I met with Odette Francesconi, MD of Varsity College today. We spoke for well over an hour about the situation and came to an eventual resolution where I will be paid out my second semester registration fee in full for that particular module and she will begin procedures to look into and rectify certain VC policies and procedures in order to avoid a similar situation in future.

    I must commend her on her handling of the situation. She seemed sincere and her tone, demeanor and the genuine care she displayed for Varsity College was rather disarming. Characteristics of a great leader, I'm sure. Now I just hope that she follows through on her promises.

    Well done Odette. You have shown that perhaps Varsity College is not just another big corporate trying to take advantage of the consumer.

    I was also wrong in saying Varsity College would not move towards corrective action. It seems they have taken my article to heart and are going to work towards a fair and equitable policy.

    Let this be a lesson to other big corporations. Your customers are right at the heart of your business. Do not neglect them and allow issues to spiral, resulting in frustrated customers having to resort to writing articles such as the above.
    We do not want to name and shame, we just want fair practice. Provide a good service and you will get your money. Basics, basics, basics.
  18. Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by gordo
    i think in a few years all that will change.
    I think you are spot on, Gordo! It's just sad that we have been so slow on the uptake.
    Thanks for commenting!
  19. Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rfnel
    Also, I don't watch much TV, but I can't recall that I've ever seen any televised ads for, WantItAll, or any of the other players in the online retailing market.
    You definitely don't watch much TV. advertises frequently on TV. "Click click. Ding dong." ring a bell?

    Thanks for the comment, though, Riaan!
  20. rfnel's Avatar
    While it's sad that there are still people using dial-up, we should also consider the fact that almost half of the South African populace are living in poverty, and probably have no internet access whatsoever. If we exclude the 50% of our population living in poverty, that means that about 20% of 'internet-able' South Africans are on Facebook. Looking at the USA, where around 14% of the population lives in poverty, we can use the same logic to guesstimate that almost 60% of their 'internet-able' population is on Facebook. We're still lagging very far behind, but maybe not quite as far as it would seem at first glance.

    I should point out that I got the above stats from a quick search on Google, so I can't claim that I've done in-depth research.

    As for our reluctance to buying online, I think that South Africans (of all races) have always been very 'hands-on'. We prefer face-to-face interaction, because that's the culture that we grew up with. We'd rather deal with a person (with whom we can negotiate) than with a computer (that just crunches numbers and takes our money). Also, I don't watch much TV, but I can't recall that I've ever seen any televised ads for, WantItAll, or any of the other players in the online retailing market. Perhaps better marketing will lead to an increase in the number of people who shop online. For the record, I prefer online shopping over crowded shopping centres.
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