global electronics companies rated on their 'green' credentials

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2006-09-14 15:37

Greenpeace recently ranked top electronics manufacturers on their use of toxic chemicals and their e-waste policies in their quarterly Green Electronics Guide.

The ranking criteria reflect the Toxic Tech campaign's two demands of electronics companies.

    clean up products by eliminating hazardous substances;
    takeback and recycle products responsibly once they become obsolete.

I was not too surprised that European company, Nokia was ranked at the top of the log. Albeit they still have some way to go in order to impress Greenpeace, clocking in at a rating of 7 on a nominal scale of 10.

Innovation and design leaders Apple failed to make the grade scoring a measely 2.7 and coming 11th out of 14 companies rated. So maybe owning an iPod is not so cool after all?

Admittedly the Guide does not take into account labour practices, energy use or other environmental issue

consumer activism at

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2006-08-25 12:40 is a great site to check out for lodging your complaints (or compliments) where the rest of the world can see them.

You would think that most companies would be interested in seeing what actual customers think about them. And maybe even respond to complaints. Or at least show in a superficial way that they cared. Or at least manage the risk to their reputations and brands by responding and repudiating your claims. Or explaining their side of the story, right?

Wrong. Some of SA's biggest companies don't give a damn. We don't care what you think. We're megaprofitable and our shareholders like us... so $%^&@ off! That's the message I get when someone doesn't care to respond.

In order of the most complaints logged against them, here are the top ten who couldn't care less:

TELKOM (626 complaints on - why am I not suprised!
South African Airways (293) - another state owned company in second place, surprise, surprise.
BIG Concerts (192) - lots of allegations of not managing concerts responsibly
Standard Chartered/20twenty (168) - "where's my money?"
Nokia (140)
SABC (106)
Ster-Kinekor (105)

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do advertisers get away too easily with misleading us?

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2006-08-25 10:30

This was the title of today's After 8 Debate on SAFM. And listening to the panelists and the callers phoning in, I'd say yep it is way too easy for the South African public to be misled.

What are two products that everyone owns (assuming that you can afford them)? A car and a cellphone come to mind. And which products were those that were most complained about? Misleading advertising of car purchase plans and cellphone contracts!

Car finance companies (usually the car manufacturers) are guilty of hiding the REALLY IMPORTANT TERMS AND CONDITIONS conveniently in the small print. They don't want you to know that after paying your R600 a month for 4 years they will repossess your car because you are unable to afford the R30 000 residual value (such a euphamism!) to make the car legally yours. John Perlman said that a particular motoring magazine was scrutinised and 9 such payment plan centered adverts found of which 1 spelt out the residual payment.

Cell phone contracts and charges are as difficult to to understand as your banking fees. Where else in the world are you tied in to a 24 month contract for a "free" cellphone. Actually it's a 25 month contract as one caller pointed out when it comes to Cell-C.

The advertising agencies seemed to be sidestepping the issues neatly by placing the responsibility of misleading advertising with their clients. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) admitted that they can withdraw unethical advertisements, but only once a complaint has been received by the public, so they will always operate in a reactive manner.

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