Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


The Consumer Complete Ass Awards 2006

30 January 2007

The Consumer Complete Ass Awards 2006

Consumers' Institute has announced the winners of the inaugural Consumer Complete Ass Awards. These awards recognize those products, services and companies who seem to go out of their way to screw over the Kiwi consumer.

The Awards
1. The Fine Print Award:

In February 2006, Consumer declared open season on asterisks, fine print and hidden terms and conditions. Many of our members sent us appalling examples of fine-print duplicity.

…And The Ass goes to: Mitre 10 Mega!

They have big stores, a big spokesmodel, and make big, clear promises in their big ads. Promises like “Best range. Lowest prices. End of story” and “In the event that you do find a lower price… we’ll beat it by 10%”. Our asterisk hunter found roof paint on special at Guthrie Bowron ... then he found out about the fine print. When he asked Mitre 10 Mega to beat the price by 10%, they refused, saying that in order to get the discounted price, the item elsewhere must be full purchase price. What happened to "lowest prices, end of story”?


2. The Lazarus Award - For the product, service or scam that refuses to die.

…And The Ass goes to: Txt 8555 competitions!
Ditzy Aussie blonde invites you to enter a ludicrously simple txt competition, to win a great prize. But wait, is that a stain along the bottom of your TV screen? Nope, that’s the small print explaining that you’ll be charged $3 for each text message the organizer, TMG Asia Pacific, sends you! To un-subscribe, txt STOP to 8555. Do it now.

Those are very expensive TV ad slots. It means TMG are raking it in. The only way to combat this insidious scam is not to succumb to it. If you feel the urge to txt 8555, DON’T!


3. The Pet Rock Award - For the product or service that continues to be promoted and sold even though it’s as much use as a pet rock.

…And The Ass goes to: Harvey Norman for extended warranties!
Come on folks! We’ve been bleating about this for years. We’ll say it one more time. Extended warranties aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. They usually offer no more protection than you are already entitled to under the Consumer Guarantees Act. Yet retailers continue to push these warranties on unwary buyers. Why? Because they’re good little money earners. You pay them for the legal rights they have to offer you. Extended warranties – just say no.

… A Half-Ass is awarded to: Noel Leeming for extended warranties!
It was a close-run race this year. We counted up the number of complaints about extended warranties and despite a late charge by Noel Leeming, they were pipped at the post by Harvey Norman – but only just.


4. The Technology Has Not Improved This Product Award

…And The Ass goes to: The Goldfinger GF003 GPS navigation system!
In August 2006 our two resident petrol-heads set off on a mission to navigate urban and rural roads using GPS navigation, online maps and traditional road maps. We described the Goldfinger GPS as “woeful”. It took ages to recalculate its position, changed its mind, gave contradictory instructions, and sent us through a bus-only tunnel. On the other hand, if you use a map – online or paper – you usually have only yourself to blame if you get lost.


5. The It’s Only Natural Award – For the product that’s jumped on the organic bandwagon, but isn’t quite what it seems.

…And The Ass goes to: Herbal remedies!
Our August 2006 report on herbal remedies found a lax attitude amongst patients using herbal remedies. We found self-prescribing and swapping of medicines among friends was common. Just because it’s natural, that doesn’t make it safe. Hemlock is natural. Would you feed it to your child?

We also found that some Asian-sourced herbal medicines contain herbicides, pesticides, arsenic, lead, mercury and bits of insects. Puts a whole new spin on natural medicine doesn’t it?


6. The Consumer Supreme “I really don’t give an ass” Award – The best example of a Complete Ass.

…And The Ass goes to: Telecom’s Xtra Broadband!
In October 2006 Telecom Xtra “unleashed” the beast – giving us unlimited speed for broadband connections. Since then we’ve been inundated with complaints of slower speeds and frustrating cut outs. Our free online broadband speedtest (www.consumer.org.nz/speedtest) has revealed some users are reduced to slow dial-up speeds on their broadband connections during peak hours.

Adding insult to injury, fed-up broadband customers can’t switch on the telly or radio or open the paper without being confronted by the leering geek-band, the XtraOrdinaries, proclaiming unlimited broadband speeds and no data caps! At least the broadband connections are too slow to download the animated, whiz-bang XtraOrdinaries banners…

Telecom Xtra and other broadband providers blame internet traffic, content-heavy websites, distance from the exchange, information superhighway road hogs, and each other. We’re done with the finger pointing. We just want it fixed.

To find out more about The Consumer Complete Ass awards go to www.consumer.org.nz

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Prices Up, Volume Down: March NZ House Sales Drop 10% As Loan Curbs Bite

New Zealand house sales dropped 10 percent in March from a year earlier as the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on low-equity mortgages continue to weigh on sales of cheaper property. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Chorus To Appeal Copper Pricing Judgment

Chorus will appeal a High Court ruling upholding the Commerce Commission’s determination setting the regulated prices on the telecommunications network operator’s copper lines. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Cars: Precautionary Recalls Announced For Toyota Vehicles

Toyota advises that a number of its New Zealand vehicles are affected by a series of precautionary global recalls. Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services Spencer Morris stressed that the recalls are precautionary. More>>

ALSO:

'Gardening Club': Air Freight Cartel Nets Almost $12 Million In Penalties

The High Court in Auckland has today ordered Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel International AG to pay a penalty of $3.1 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act. Kuehne + Nagel’s penalty brings the total penalties ordered in this case to $11.95 million ... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Revenue Below Projections

Core Crown tax revenue has increased by $1.9 billion (or 5.0%) compared to the same time last year. However this was $1.1 billion less than expected and is reflected across most tax types, continuing the pattern of recent months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news