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Saturday, June 27 2009
The 24 hour supermarket the first of its kind in Kampala has shopping vouchers ranging from 5,000/- to any amount the customer so wishes. The vouchers can be exchanged for goods to the tune of the value on the shopping vouchers.
The value on the shopping voucher has to be consumed to zero balance because no cash can be refunded for any un utilized credit. This is the advantage the gift cards enjoy over shopping vouchers. If there is a balance on the gift card, it can be carried forward to another spend.
Gift cards are valid for 180 days or six months from the time of activation. Shopping vouchers or Gift vouchers do not expire according to the officer we talked to though a disclaimer of ''Valid for six months from date of issue'' was very clear on the Nakumatt Gift Voucher we looked at.
The gift vouchers are redeemable in all Nakumatt outlets in Uganda though currently there is one branch in Uganda as two more will be opened in future. Other services available at Nakumatt are shopping accounts which entitle you to credit of one month and at the end of the month you issue a check to Nakumatt of whatever is due.
Smart Cards that earn you points everytime you spend are also one of the services the 24 hour shop extends to its customers. Accumulated points can be converted into a discount or exchanged for an item from the supermarket at some point.
Nakumatt Uganda is located next to Garden City on Yusuf Lule road.
Thursday, June 25 2009
Banks have become very aggressive with marketing loans specifically to salaried employees who are soft targets for the practice. Loans are good per say and a vital tool to boost your investment plans if put to good use.
Banks have partnered with various service providers to make sure you have that dream car you have always desired to have, To have your dream house through mortgages and very lately wedding loans and school fees loans have been introduced among others.
Before the economic melt down, a loan deal could be struck by a phone call on looking at the history of your account but this has slightly changed because a top up of your loan could require you to sign fresh papers before it is approved.
Assuming you have got a loan of 12,000,000/- which should be able to get you a 50*100 decimal piece of land in Mukono plus construction of a two bed roomed house to window level, this will be considered a good spend for this particular loan and within one month of getting that loan, all that should be in place if that was the purpose for the loan.
However here is where very many borrowers get trapped. It is termed as a "Top Up". In the above example if the 12,000,000/- is going to be serviced within a period of 24 months or two years and yet you spent it within two weeks of getting the loan, sooner than later you will notice the recoveries biting.
Within 6 months you may want to go back but the bank will assure you that you need to at least service the loan for a period of one year before you qualify for a top up. After one year you can hardly resist the top up because the gap that was created by this loan has heavily impacted on your operations.
Supposing your loan balance is 6,000,000/- and you want a top up, these bankers will tell you that we have to buy off the old balance which is 6,000,000/- and then give you the difference of 6,000,000/- to make a total of 12,000,000/-. You will continue paying like you got 12,000,000/- yet in actual sense you got 6,000,000/- less processing fees and other charges. In most cases you might even have nothing to put on the house which has been at window level for the last 12 months.
In conclusion loans are good and highly recommended but there is need to work out a plan of getting out of them as opposed to being hooked in debt because the rat race syndrome will come into play. Otherwise the benefits are greater if you service the loan to completion as compared to getting top ups.
Tuesday, June 23 2009
Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe is a luxurious hotel by all standards and you can afford to give it the highest rating possible when it comes to 4 or 5 star in as far as Uganda hotels are concerned.
It is a stone throw away from Entebbe International Airport and it would also take you 30 minutes drive to get to Kampala from this hotel. Two guests were booked in the rooms and decided to make their way downstairs for a quick bite only to be told that the meal at the beach would take a few minutes as opposed to that in the hotel. These guests went to the beach side which was lively with loud music.
A waitress approaches them with a menu which read in part "Chicken with Chips" 18,000/- then another section of the menu which was purely for children read "Beef Sausages with Chips 9,000/-". These guests ordered for Chicken with Chips which in this case would go for 18,000/- and in an addition ordered for Sausages.
The meal is served as they ordered for it i.e. Chicken, Chips(French Fries), A pair of Beef Sausages per plate. The meal was accompanied by some drinks and at the end of it all the guests want to leave. The waitress says 99,000/- verbally.
On demanding for the breakdowns, the figure was not tallying with what had been consumed. The waitress tried to explain but the explanation was not strong. Apparently the explanation that was given by the waitress was that Chips and Chicken is 18,000/- which was okay because that is exactly how it was indicated on the menu. However the explanation for the sausages was not convincing. Sausages and Chips goes for 9,000/- and that was the price to be paid and yet the chips had already been taken care of in the pricing of Chips and Chicken.
There was a misrepresentation of issues on the part of the waitress who instead maintained that the guests did not want to pay. To the utter annoyance of the guests a gentleman of Indian origin who was later perceived to be part of management made matters worse by saying that the guests do not want to pay. It took a Chef all the way from the Kitchen very humbled and explained the details on the menu and on behalf of management apologized for the oversight.
When you are here most especially at the beach which is open to both residents and non residents of the hotel you should make sure that whatever order you place, the pricing is discussed way before because if what is written on the menu and what is delivered do not tally then there is a problem. In the case above, it means an extra plate of chips per person was paid for and yet not consumed.
Then for management of the hotel if a client ordered for Chips and Chicken which you have priced at 18,000/- and they want a pair of sausages added on to the same, it does no harm if you come out clear and say that the price for sausages will not be reduced from 9,000/-. Thank God the Chef understood, apologized but unfortunately he was doing the job of the people that actually served these guests.
Wednesday, June 03 2009
It is not just withdrawing and banking money alone, there is more to it than just basic banking. Barclays bank has Prestige Banking which means more banking hours for those signed up to it and better exchange rates in case of forex or transferring money.
Prestige customers will pay slightly less in terms of charges and attractive rates are accorded to them if one is sending money. The discount might not be much but the mere fact that a discount can be tagged to your transaction is good enough.
With Prestige banking you are supposed to be comfortably seated as opposed to dealing with long queues in other normal banking halls. You can choose to have a cup or tea/coffee and at times chocolate if you so wish as you wait, but research has it that an average prestige client is not walking into the banking hall for tea but instead they are there for convenient banking.
The same discount can be extended to loans in terms of interest rates. As a prestige client, once in need of a loan, the interest rate applied to you is normally lower than the market rate. In line with credit, a credit card can only be given to prestige clients who meet the terms for that purpose. Supposing you are not a prestige client but you have the minimum balances required to get you a credit card, you will still not qualify for it not until you upgrade your status to prestige.
You can still do away with a prestige account at your choice but it can only be compared to the convenience that comes in with you doing everything that matters and then do shopping last at Nakumatt now that it is open 24hours. Prestige centres do not open 24hours but at least they close late and by the time they close, the rest of the banks have closed 2 hours earlier.
The monthly fee for prestige currently stands at 35,000/- monthly which is the same as 420,000/- per year but that is the only charge you pay and transact to the fullest with your account. Mini statements, Statements, ATM Withdraws, can all be done at no extra charge.
Prestige centres are Barclays Rwenzori Courts, Barclays Luwum Street, Barclays Garden City and Barclays Muyenga. If you go to none prestige centres and you are a prestige client, the staff there might accord you the same treatment like any ordinary banker which might leave you offended and yet you have paid a little extra to get exactly that. It is the very reason the Barclays Prestige Card is Maroon and the others are Blue in colour.