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Aldi breaks Australian laws with impunity

The German-based multi-national Aldi should hang its corporate head in shame over the actions of its store manager at Riverlink in Ipswich.

Despite breaching State and Federal laws, the store manager refused to refund the purchase price of a defective Apple iPod Nano bought by a local teenage consumer, Alyssa Beasley of Walloon.

This was in spite of Aldi's 60-day refund policy with proof of purchase.

The Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Kerry Shine was forced to step in, making it clear that consumers are legally entitled to a refund, exchange or repair on a product which was faulty, did not perform as stated by the vendor or did not match the relevant product sample.

Which is all pretty simple stuff.

Aldi has been in Australia long enough to know what our State and Federal consumer laws say, yet they are apparently happy to skirt around those laws with their posturing and prevarication until they are forced to act by Queensland's Attorney-General who puts people first.


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NSW Police get Taser boost

New South Wales Police are likely to get virtually unrestricted use of Tasers in their fight against uncooperative street criminals.

Taser guns inflict 50,000 volts of electricity over a period of 5 seconds to subdue violent offenders.

The New South Wales Police Association has called for Tasers to be more-widely available "as a non-lethal option for controlling violent situations".

Which should be fantastic news for the 24-year-old man from Bulimba in Brisbane who got a 50,000 volt jolt where it really hurts after the Queensland Police caught him urinating against a shop window in Fortitude Valley at 4.30 in the morning on Christmas Eve.

The cops directed him to stop - which was probably impossible after a night on the turps with a bursting bladder.

When his emotions kept pouring forth down the shopfront window, the cops Tased him on the spot, rendering the hapless individual into a blubbering mess on the footpath with parts of him no doubt shrivelling up beyond recognition.

Who said the Queensland Police don't have a sense of humour at Christmas time?


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BAC should sack spokesman Jim Carden

If the Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) ever wanted to redeem its credibility with the new Federal Labor Government and Prime Minister Rudd in particular, it should immediately sack its whingeing, whining spokesman Jim Carden who appears to be doing his best to undermine the BAC's relations with the Government.

After Prime Minister Rudd announced an investigation into a possible curfew at the Brisbane Airport to overcome years of unacceptable noise levels for residents on Brisbane's southside, what does the quick-thinking, ever-diplomatic Jim Carden do?

He announces that the BAC might pull the plug on the $1 billion second runway project in retaliation!

Either Jim Carden is a complete dill or he is trying to find an excuse to scrap the project, because his threats of blackmail against Prime Minister Rudd are a corporate tactic which might have worked with the previous government but not with Kevin Rudd.

You see, Jim, governments are elected to represent the people - not to fatten the profits of large corporations who couldn't give two hoots about the 100 complaints a month which they receive from the long-suffering residents of Brisbane.

Jim Carden is typical of the old-fashioned breed of corporate giants which make dire threats against governments when they cannot get their own way.

Who cares if they pack up their bat and ball and scrap the project? It will make a lot of angry residents very happy, Jim.

Your company has repeatedly ignored genuine complaints from members of the public, treating them with disdain and claiming that the company's only duty is to its shareholders.

That sort of corporate thinking belongs in the 1950s.

It's time the BAC re-examined its position and said: "Sayonara" to Jim Carden if it wants to forge a proper professional partnership with the new Federal Labor Government.

The BAC should start working with the government and the people of Brisbane - and not against them.

Jim, are you listening? .... Jim .... Jim .... Jim .... Jim?


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Brisbane Airport Corporation - A company of political dunces!

If you are going to run a major airport corporation, the first rule for being politically-savvy is to work out who the rising stars of politics might be.

If the Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) had any brains in the past, they would have worked with the Federal Member for Griffith who stood up for his constituents when they were overwhelmed by unacceptable aircraft noise.

The BAC has always been happy to ride roughshod over the rights of Brisbane residents. Just look at the DFO at 1 Airport Drive, which saw the BAC hide behind the Australian Constitution by exempting itself from having to apply for town planning approval from the Brisbane City Council just because it was located on Commonwealth land.

Now, the DFO has created a total nightmare for motorists and the BAC couldn't care less about the problems they have created. They have even had the audacity to claim that the DFO hasn't had any effect on the Gateway Arterial / Airport Drive roundabout.

Now, back to the Federal Member for Griffith who took the BAC to court to try to stop the construction of a second runway. He lost the case but it didn't stop there. The BAC hounded him into the ground for their own legal costs which could have sent him bankrupt which would have caused him to be thrown out of Parliament.

The BAC would not accept that he was acting in the public interest as they went on to extract their pound of flesh from the Federal Member.

The Federal Member for Griffith was Kevin Rudd who went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia in 2007.

Like many politicians, he never forgets.

Now, the BAC is squealing like a stuck pig over Kevin Rudd's plan to have an investigation into a night curfew at Brisbane Airport.

The BAC pays homage only to the Almighty Dollar and, based on its past performance, doesn't care two hoots about the residents of Brisbane.

This week, Airport spokesman Jim Carden put up a hopeless argument when he attempted to justify their current operations by claiming that the BAC only receives 100 complaints a month.

Only 100! Only 100! Bloody hell - 100 complaints and the BAC thinks this is normal.

Jim, you must have your head in the ground and your backside in the air, if you think that that is an acceptable level of complaints from the general public.

With people like you as the company spokesman, Prime Minister Rudd will have a field day as he goes about imposing a much-needed night curfew in his usual logical and systematic manner.

All of this will be great news for the long-suffering people on the Brisbane's southside who have been treated like dogs by the BAC for years.

And when the night curfew commences, the BAC should sit back for a long dose of navel gazing and realise that they should always treat elected members as honourable citizens and not as scumbags who might affect the company's bottom line.

Because the "scumbag" that they might be trying to destroy today, may become Prime Minister of Australia tomorrow.

And as this saga continues to play out, it it going to become one of the funniest political stories ever witnessed in Australia.

Except, of course, for the broken-hearted BAC whose political naivete will become legendary throughout the world as a result of their long-term public relations disaster when they tried to destroy a Member of Parliament who was just doing his job!



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Dr Mohamed Haneef wins second appeal in Federal Court

The Full Federal Court of Australia has tossed out the appeal by the previous Federal Government against the original decision by the Federal Court to reinstate Dr Mohamed Haneef's original work visa.

Now is the time for:





1. Dr Haneef's visa to be immediately reinstated by the new Immigration Minister Chris Evans who should show the people of Australia that he is running the Immigration Department and not faceless bureaucrats.



2. The Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty to tender his resignation forthwith. You only have to recall the words of Tony Morris QC about Mick Keelty : "On his own admission, as the chief law enforcement officer for the commonwealth, he was willing to allow a miscarriage of justice to proceed without taking any step to interfere - and then attacked Haneef's lawyers for their efforts to prevent that miscarriage" to see that there are serious grounds now for the Commissioner's resignation.



3. Clive Porritt to be reinstated today to his former position as a Commonwealth Prosecutor in Brisbane after being shafted and hung out to dry by his own Department.



4. The former Minister for Immigration Kevin Andrews to quit politics before Federal Parliament sits and offer himself up to the Australian Federal Police for questioning over his role in the Haneef affair and whether or not he committed an offence under Section 43 of the Commonwealth Crimes Act which carries a 5 year jail sentence for conspiring to pervert the course of justice in Australia.



5. Dr Haneef's lawyer Peter Russo to be awarded the upcoming award for Australian of the Year for his persistence and tenacity in the face of enormous political and legal obstacles in securing justice for a humble doctor who was simply returning home to see his newly-born child and who was innocently caught up in a web of deceit and political bastardry by the outgoing Liberal Government which was prepared to do anything - even allowing an innocent man to "hang" - just to hold onto the spoils of political office!


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Greater Union / Birch Carroll & Coyle thumb their nose at Christmas!







Is nothing sacred anymore?
Just the Almighty dollar!



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RACQ Phone Pay System is a complete shambles

Whoever approved the "Pay-By-Phone" credit card payment system now being used by the RACQ should be sacked for being the most-incompetent dunder-head ever employed by this august, 102-year old organisation.

The system is a complete shocker!

Most corporations with phone pay facilities such as Telstra, Australia Post, Origin Energy, Suncorp and local Councils have quick, efficient systems which respond immediately with self-keyed details being processed and finalised in seconds.

Not so with this supposedly voice-interactive, u-beaut RACQ system which has all of the efficiencies of a clapped out morse code set.

Its voice recognition capabilities rate somewhere between non-existent and hopeless, frustrating callers and forcing them to be handed over to a live operator at additional cost to the RACQ.

Which defeats the whole purpose of having an interactive system anyway.

Take this example this morning on 13 1905 which went along the following lines:

After a prolonged, meaningless, time-wasting introduction, the recorded computer voice asks:

"So tell me in a few words, what's the reason for your call?"

(Isn't it obvious what the reason for the call is, if a caller is ringing the quoted number for credit card payments!!!)

After 3 aborted attempts, the system finally recognised that I wanted to pay a membership bill.

Wow-ee!! In the same time to get this far, I could have paid a Telstra bill.

"And you're using a credit card, right?"

"Yes."

"Sorry, was that yes?"

"Yes."

"Sorry, was that yes?"

"Yes."

"Good. Is your payment overdue?"

"No."

"Is your payment overdue?"

"Not, it's bloody not."

"Just say, yes or no."

"Yes or no."

"Is your payment overdue?"

"Nooooooooooooooo."

"Please state your Reference Number located in the top or bottom right hand corner of your account."

"Nine, two, zero, zero, two, four, five six, etc etc.... ."

"Sorry, please say or key in your Reference number."

(Why didn't "The Voice" ask for the number to be keyed in, in the first place, because it wasn't going to recognise the voice anyway!)

What is the amount on the notice?"

"Sixty-two dollars."

"Sorry, I am having trouble with that. What is the amount on the notice?"

"Sixty-two dollars."

"Sorry, I am having trouble with that. Please wait while you are being transferred to an operator."

"Good morning. Can I start with your Reference Number........"

Here we go again!

Only a total dunce could have come up with this unfriendly, interactive mess.

Sure, they would have been "sold" on the new system by a suave,quick-talker from some external corporation who convinced the RACQ that this was the way of the future and that all of their pay-by-phone problems would be solved with this state of the art technology.

More like "state of the ark" technology.

The sooner it is ditched in favour of a simpler, consumer-friendly system the better.

And the clown who signed up for the system should be made to repeat 10,000 times:

"I will not be conned by computer geeks ever again."

Sorry, you didn't hear that? I will repeat it for you:

"I will not be conned by computer geeks ever again."

Sorry, your are the biggest loser, goodbye!


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Thieving Australian oil companies to face the music!

The greediest, most-thieving corporations in Australia are the oil companies which have thumbed their noses at the Government and consumers for years.

They have ripped off motorists for decades, jacking up prices close to weekends and public holidays and manipulating petrol prices from one day to the next.

Now, the new Rudd Labor Government is about to take these corporate giants head-on.

The Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Chris Bowen has announced that the Federal Government will consider regulating petrol prices to stop the Australian public being ripped off any longer.

Minister Bowen said he would consider a 3 cents per litre cap in any 24-hour period, if there was evidence of retail collusion.

A 5-year old schoolboy could tell you that that there has been corporate collusion going on for years - with the oil industry fat cats counting their rapacious profits while laughing all the way to the bank.

But is Minister Bowen's approach going to be a big enough stick?

With a 3 cents a litre maximum increase every 24 hours, oil companies would be able to jack up the price of petrol by 12 cents a litre over any 4 day period.

If the Government is really fair dinkum about cracking down on these corporate ripoff merchants, then the maximum allowable price rise should be 1 cent a litre UP or DOWN in any 24 hour period.

This would mean that if the oil companies are going to manipulate the price UPWARDS, they will get caught short if their competitors don't follow suit because their competitors will be able to stay at the lower price - or move even lower - as the price manipulators scramble to match the lower prices, which might take them days, depending on their never-ending greed.

And the winner out of all of this? - The long suffering motoring public of Australia.

Bring on these price controls now!


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Peter Foster's time in clink is well deserved

I don't normally applaud the jailing of felons but the four and a half year sentence handed down in the Brisbane Supreme Court by Judge James Douglas to convicted international conman Peter Foster is a well-deserved penalty for this notorious Gold Coast fraudster.

This 45 year old shark has been peddling his fraudulent practices for over two decades with fake slimming pills, bank fraud, impersonation, passport tampering, laundering money, false misrepresentation and intimidating witnesses - just to name a few of his more-conniving efforts in duping the public from Australia to the UK, Fiji and Vanuatu and a stack of countries in between.

He conned his way into the life and pants of Samantha Fox and he once duped the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.

Peter "Conman" Foster doesn't care who he defrauds, who he hurts or who he rips off - as long as there is a fast buck in it for him.

Of course, this baby-faced conman always claims to have been wrongly accused or completely misunderstood or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and it was really someone else's fault.

When he gets out of the lonely life of a Queensland state penitentiary in 2010, this habitual conman will undoubtedly go back to the only life he has known over the past 20 years - one of conniving, thieving, hurtful deception of thousands of innocent people.


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Hopeless start to Brendan Nelson's first week as Opposition Leader

Brendan Nelson's honeymoon was over almost as quickly as it began.

First, he was forced to admit lying in 1993 to a public rally in Melbourne as AMA Vice-President when he declared: "I have never voted Liberal in my life".

He has since claimed that he made the statement because "a couple of bus loads union thugs" had turned up to the rally. Really!

Although Dr Nelson did not actually admit to lying, he said this week: "Well, it wasn't true" - which sounds pretty much like a lie to me.

As Paul Keating said on election night, this guy was better when he had an ear ring in his left ear!

And if Dr Nelson's political woes weren't enough, his political foes - mainly his arch rival Malcolm Turnbull - have cast doubt on the validity of the Liberal leadership ballot which Dr Nelson won by 45 to 42 votes.

After he lost the ballot, "Silver-Spoon" Malcolm cried foul, claiming that two Liberal Senators whose plane had arrived late should have been allowed to vote and that the Northern Territory MP David Tollner, who was behind in the count and subsequently lost his seat, should not have been allowed to cast a vote for the leadership.

Which all seems pretty fair comment on the lamentable election processes of the Liberal Party.

For the next 3 years, we are going to endure a Liberal Leader who lies to the public and an aspiring Liberal Leader - who thinks he was born to rule - undermining his Leader at every opportunity to gain the coveted political prize which he believes was his - from the day he was born with a large silver spoon in his mouth!

All this, with Kevin Rudd laughing all the way to the next election.


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Judicial Inquiry into Haneef Affair might see Kevin Andrews jailed!

On the day that Kevin Andrews was dumped by the Liberal Party from the Shadow Ministry, the new Rudd Labor Government announced a Judicial Inquiry into the disgraceful Dr Mohamed Haneef affair which was all created, produced, directed and stage managed by Kevin Andrews himself.

Even the Liberal Party is now acutely aware of the incompetence and political liability of this former Immigration Minister who shamed Australia in front of the world media when he revoked Dr Haneef's visa to keep him in jail, after a Brisbane Magistrate had granted him bail on a trumped-up charge which was later withdrawn.

The real losers in all of this have been Dr Haneef and his family and Commonwealth Prosecutor Clive Porritt who was demoted after innocently giving the Court wrong information based on factually incorrect material provided by the Australian Federal Police.

If this Judicial Inquiry is fair dinkum, its findings will recommend:

1. That Dr Mohamed Haneef was treated illegally and unfairly and should have his visa returned and receive substantial compensation for his treatment at the hands of a sullied Government that was trying to turn this into "Tampa 2007".

2. That DPP officer Clive Porritt should be reinstated to his former senior position.

3. That Mick Keelty should be removed as head of the Australian Federal Police for his role - or lack of it - in the Haneef affair.

4. That former Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews should be prosecuted under section 43 of the Crimes Act 1914 for attempting to pervert the course of justice by pre-determining to revoke Dr Haneef's visa for an unlawful purpose, to keep him in jail should his bail application succeed.

As well, my own recommendation is that Dr Haneef's lawyer Peter Russo should be awarded an Order of Australia for persistence in the face of adversity in the greatest case of political bastardry ever witnessed in this country since 1901.



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Queensland Liberals' Shotgun Marriage!

Fair dinkum, the Liberal Party must think that the voters of Queensland are all complete dunces.

First, they oust the hapless Dr Bruce Flegg from Moggill who is not a bad bloke - but destroyed by the media on the day he became Liberal Leader in 2006.

Then the Party room was locked 4-all on a new leadership vote in a bitter split which proved almost impossible to resolve.

Then someone dreamt up the idea of a shotgun marriage between the Member for the Blue Rinse Set of Caloundra Mark McArdle and the Member of the Chardonnay Set of Inner Brisbane Tim Nicholls.

This political odd-couple were engaged, married and said "I do" quicker than Bruce Flegg could pack his bags and head back to the tranquil life back on the prairie beyond the back of Kenmore.

Voters can be sure that this shotgun marriage will never be consummated because this pair absolutely hate each other.

Their honeymoon was over after they both gritted their teeth and smiled appropriately for the happy snappers from the media.

Shotgun marriages rarely last and trying to turn this pair into a loving couple will be more difficult than matching up Paul Keating with Bronwyn Bishop!

Like all of the Queensland Liberals' attempts in recent years, this shotgun marriage will end in divorce with another acrimonious Party split guaranteed in the not too distant future.


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Santa sacked from Myer Centre for singing "Ho, ho, ho"

SEVENTY YEAR OLD SANTA
SACKED FROM CAIRNS MYER
CENTRE FOR SINGING:
"HO, HO, HO."


CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?

The giant retail corporation Myer should hang its head in festive shame for allowing the sacking of Santa at its Myer Centre in Cairns in Far North Queensland.

Santa's crime? Singing "Ho, ho, ho" to the little children.

Seventy-year old John Oakes was summarily dismissed by the head Santa employer Westaff for reciting this ancient chorus.

He was told that it was "not appropriate" to say such a thing to young children.

Westaff employs 550 Santas across Australia and New Zealand and has reportedly directed all of its Santas - including John Oakes at the Cairns Myer Centre - not to say "Ho, ho, ho", as it could scare children or cause offence to women!

What a complete load of absolute cr*p!

The only people acting offensively in this debacle is Westaff.

This poor old septuagenarian in the sweltering heat of North Queensland, dressed day in and day out in a Santa suit, is given his own sack and told to rack off for giving a little bit of Christmas cheer to the young kids of Cairns.

Talk about festive spirit and festive cheer, the good people of Cairns should boycott the Myer Centre until Santa is rightfully reinstated.

They should shout: "No, no, no" to allow their local Santa to resume his "Ho, ho, ho!"


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Queen's Holiday: Move it - but make it Melbourne Cup Day!

Whoever in the Queensland Government dreamt up the idea of moving the Queen's Birthday holiday from June to the second half of the year, deserves an OBE - oops, an OA.

After New Year's Day, the first half of the year is littered with public holidays including Australia Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Labor Day and for many communities - a Show Holiday.

In the second half of the year, southeast Queensland has the annual August public holiday for the Brisbane Exhibition and then nothing until Christmas.

But why celebrate the Queen's Birthday anyway which is not even in June but on April 21?

Britain does not have a public holiday for the Queen's Birthday, yet her precious dominions 10,000km celebrate it annually - not for any fervour for the Queen of England but as another day off for workers and their families.

The Australian Queen's Birthday holiday should be scrapped altogether and replaced by a holiday on the first Tuesday in November - the day of the Melbourne Cup.

They already have a public holiday in Victoria for the Melbourne Cup.

Just imagine a Melbourne Cup public holiday in Queensland!

People would throng to racecourses and TABs. Local communities would have get togethers, BBQs and other events which would rival the days of an afternoon Rugby League Grand Final.

And a true sense of national pride would be instilled in Queenslanders as we celebrate a public holiday for the race which stops the nation.


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Anna Bligh is right on fluoridation

The Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has sunk her teeth into an issue which Peter Beattie and other previous Premiers have found too hard to handle.

Queensland children have the worst teeth in Australia which is the direct result of the failure to fluoridate the state's water supplies in accordance with internationally-accepted standards.

Townsville water supplies have been fluoridated for over 40 years with a massive improvement in the teeth of local children which follows on to their adult life.

All the doomsday scaremongers can scream and yell all they like, Premier Bligh is 100% right on the fluoridation issue. This is a major, long-overdue health initiative with the State Government bringing Queensland firmly into the 21st century.

Now for daylight saving for the southeast corner!


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Queensland Liberals - Every Child Player Receives a Prize!

The Queensland Liberal Party Leader Dr Bruce Flegg is finally on the ropes - battered and bruised by his own colleagues and has thrown the bloodied towel in.

And now the farce of Liberal Party politics Australian-style is about to be played out with the next leader to be chosen from a Lucky Dip!

The 8 Liberals are stuck 4-all on selecting a new leader and have discussed a Lucky Dip as the most-professional and sensible way of resolving the impasse.

Talk about choosing the best person to lead the Party!

This is all about a bitter, acrimonious factional split which will see Liberal Party Members die in the trenches rather than allow the Member representing the Chardonnay Set of Inner Brisbane to try to lead the Liberals out of the political wilderness.

If Tim Nicholls wins the Lucky Dip, he will be forever tarnished as the boy from Clayfield who thinks he is "One in a Million" but is really just "Won in a Raffle".


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Pizza Hut Ripoff - Day 25

Day 25 is the final day of this saga as Pizza Hut Australia has now responded to my complaint of 10 November 2007 which appears in full below.

Late yesterday, I received a personal call from Megan, the manager of the Goodna Pizza Hut to apologise for Pizza Hut's failure to respond to my complaint in a timely manner.

Megan advised that my complaint had been overlooked until the end-of-the-month check of all outstanding issues at the Goodna store.

She was quite professional in resolving the matter and offered a $40 credit against my account for the inconvenience involved and promised to follow up with her head office regarding a better approach to handling complaints such as mine.

On 10 November 2007, I would have been happy to simply have had a $2.50 credit applied to my account, to correct the over-charge.

Pizza Hut and Megan in particular are testament to the fact that persistence pays off and that consumers should insist on their rights and a "fair go" in redressing their complaints.

Thank you and congratulations for finally resolving this matter.

My original complaint on this site was:

You can bet your stuffed crust that the American-based Pizza Hut chain is making lotsa mozza in Australia, yet cannot offer a humble apology or any form of redress when caught out ripping off customers.

Pizza Hut opened its first store in Australia in Sydney in April 1970 but after 37 years, their corporate approach to handling customers' complaints needs to be seriously beefed up, as it leaves a lot to be desired.

It's not as if this corporate giant is not protective of its name and corporate image. On 13 June 2001, Pizza Hut rushed off to the Federal Court of Australia to stop the genuine Aussie brand of Eagle Boys Pizza from highlighting Pizza Hut's foreign ownership in Eagle Boys' television advertising.

The case was quickly thrown out by the Court in a decision which upheld the right of free speech in Australia and sent Pizza Hut packing back to their corporate headquarters in downtown Dallas, Texas.

When a complaint is received about service or a ripoff - accidental or otherwise - you would think that a company like Pizza Hut would do something quickly to rectify a customer's complaint.

My complaint - for which I am still awaiting a promised callback - is over a $38.40 telephone order picked up from Pizza Hut's Goodna store who gave me $9.10 change from a 50 dollar bill. In other words, I was charged $40.90 for a family meal with various add-ons.

When I queried the price and asked for the receipt, I was told that it was in the box which I was already holding and piled up with drinks and chicken wings and garlic bread, so I decided to check it when I got home.

And how much was the receipt for? - $38.40! So, I had been charged an extra $2.50 which I suspect was for a second bottle of soft drink, which was already included in the $38.40 bill.

They had given me a wrong receipt and double-billed me for a second bottle of soft drink as well! This was the third time that I had been asked to pay more at the Goodna store than the price I was quoted over the phone.In the past, I had not bothered to query this, as I figured that I may have misheard the figure given to me by the telephone operator or there had been a miscalculation of the price by the operator which was rectified - upwards - at the point of sale.

Not so on this occasion. I knew that I had been ripped off and by exactly how much! I rang back Pizza Hut central call centre an hour later and suggested that they credit my "account" $2.50 because the Goodna store was closing for a week for renovations and it was too much of a hassle to go an collect the missing $2.50.

Although the operator was pleasant, she offered no apology and told me that they could not credit me the $2.50 as it was the "store's mistake"!

Don't they all work for the same company?

She offered to take down the details and forward them electronically to the Goodna store for them to call me back immediately to sort it out. Pizza Hut can promise pizzas within 15 minutes of a telephone call but a day later, I am still sitting by my phone for a call back from the Goodna store.

Pizza Hut should not think that I will give up over this issue.I fought a case in 1990 against an Ipswich Night Club ripping off customers for $2 a head - and won! It was a case against the Jungle Attic Night Club and is reported in the law reports as
Tully v Ceridale P.L. [1990] HREOCA 6.

Even with inflation, a $2.50 court case against Pizza Hut would be well worth it.

Have you been ripped off by Pizza Hut?
Email me with your story.


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Flegg gone - new Liberal Leader unveiled!

Just when the Liberal Party in Queensland had the opportunity of pulling itself out of the quagmire with the resignation of its Parliamentary Leader Dr Bruce Flegg, it continues to lurch from one crisis to another.

Dr Flegg decided on a top-secret location to continue the Party's leadership debate, only to be confronted by the media on his arrival.

The Liberal Party has more leaks than a football stadium full of drunks!

After resigning as leader and with the party room locked 4-all on a replacement, the Liberal Party in Queensland now has no leader and no prospect of a new leader.

As idiotic as this might sound, they were better off when Dr Flegg was the leader - at least there was someone to blame for the Liberal Party's never ending woes!

Now, we have great pleasure in introducing the new Leader of the Liberal Party in Queensland :







CASPER THE FRIENDLY LIBERAL GHOST!


This is the site for thinking and politically-astute Australians.
Do you have a contribution about Queensland or Australian
Politics or a burning consumer issue or disgraceful ripoff?
Email me now with full details for the whole world to read.

Pizza Hut Ripoff - Day 24

Day 24 of this saga and Pizza Hut Australia has still not responded to my complaint of 10 November 2007 which appears in full below:

You can bet your stuffed crust that the American-based Pizza Hut chain is making lotsa mozza in Australia, yet cannot offer a humble apology or any form of redress when caught out ripping off customers.

Pizza Hut opened its first store in Australia in Sydney in April 1970 but after 37 years, their corporate approach to handling customers' complaints needs to be seriously beefed up, as it leaves a lot to be desired.

It's not as if this corporate giant is not protective of its name and corporate image. On 13 June 2001, Pizza Hut rushed off to the Federal Court of Australia to stop the genuine Aussie brand of Eagle Boys Pizza from highlighting Pizza Hut's foreign ownership in Eagle Boys' television advertising.

The case was quickly thrown out by the Court in a decision which upheld the right of free speech in Australia and sent Pizza Hut packing back to their corporate headquarters in downtown Dallas, Texas.

When a complaint is received about service or a ripoff - accidental or otherwise - you would think that a company like Pizza Hut would do something quickly to rectify a customer's complaint.

My complaint - for which I am still awaiting a promised callback - is over a $38.40 telephone order picked up from Pizza Hut's Goodna store who gave me $9.10 change from a 50 dollar bill. In other words, I was charged $40.90 for a family meal with various add-ons.

When I queried the price and asked for the receipt, I was told that it was in the box which I was already holding and piled up with drinks and chicken wings and garlic bread, so I decided to check it when I got home.

And how much was the receipt for? - $38.40! So, I had been charged an extra $2.50 which I suspect was for a second bottle of soft drink, which was already included in the $38.40 bill.

They had given me a wrong receipt and double-billed me for a second bottle of soft drink as well! This was the third time that I had been asked to pay more at the Goodna store than the price I was quoted over the phone.

In the past, I had not bothered to query this, as I figured that I may have misheard the figure given to me by the telephone operator or there had been a miscalculation of the price by the operator which was rectified - upwards - at the point of sale.

Not so on this occasion. I knew that I had been ripped off and by exactly how much! I rang back Pizza Hut central call centre an hour later and suggested that they credit my "account" $2.50 because the Goodna store was closing for a week for renovations and it was too much of a hassle to go an collect the missing $2.50.

Although the operator was pleasant, she offered no apology and told me that they could not credit me the $2.50 as it was the "store's mistake"!

Don't they all work for the same company?

She offered to take down the details and forward them electronically to the Goodna store for them to call me back immediately to sort it out. Pizza Hut can promise pizzas within 15 minutes of a telephone call but a day later, I am still sitting by my phone for a call back from the Goodna store.

Pizza Hut should not think that I will give up over this issue.I fought a case in 1990 against an Ipswich Night Club ripping off customers for $2 a head - and won! It was a case against the Jungle Attic Night Club and is reported in the law reports as
Tully v Ceridale P.L. [1990] HREOCA 6.

Even with inflation, a $2.50 court case against Pizza Hut would be well worth it.Have you been ripped off by Pizza Hut?
Email me with your story.


This is the site for thinking and politically-astute Australians.
Do you have a contribution about Queensland or Australian
Politics or a burning consumer issue or disgraceful ripoff?
Email me now with full details for the whole world to read.

D-Day for Bruce Flegg

Exclusive picture of what the Liberal Party
in Queensland can't stop doing to itself.




He mightn't be a bad doctor but as Leader of the Liberal Party in Queensland, Bruce Flegg has shown as much inspiration as a dead dog on a rubbish tip.

Today is square-up time for the 8 Liberal members of the Queensland Parliament who have been locked 4-all in a move to oust Dr Flegg.

Good governments need good opposition and Bruce Flegg simply hasn't cut the mustard with ordinary Queenslanders who have seen him as a clumsy and ineffective opponent of Peter Beattie and Anna Bligh.

With Gold Coast MP Ray Stevens now saying there needs to be a change at the top, Dr Flegg should be free to resume his full-time medical practice before midnight tonight.


This is the site for thinking and politically-astute Australians.
Do you have a contribution about Queensland or Australian
Politics or a burning consumer issue or disgraceful ripoff?
Email me now with full details for the whole world to read.

Pizza Hut Ripoff - Day 23

Day 23 of this saga and Pizza Hut Australia has still not responded to my complaint of 10 November 2007 which appears in full below:

You can bet your stuffed crust that the American-based Pizza Hut chain is making lotsa mozza in Australia, yet cannot offer a humble apology or any form of redress when caught out ripping off customers.

Pizza Hut opened its first store in Australia in Sydney in April 1970 but after 37 years, their corporate approach to handling customers' complaints needs to be seriously beefed up, as it leaves a lot to be desired.

It's not as if this corporate giant is not protective of its name and corporate image. On 13 June 2001, Pizza Hut rushed off to the Federal Court of Australia to stop the genuine Aussie brand of Eagle Boys Pizza from highlighting Pizza Hut's foreign ownership in Eagle Boys' television advertising.

The case was quickly thrown out by the Court in a decision which upheld the right of free speech in Australia and sent Pizza Hut packing back to their corporate headquarters in downtown Dallas, Texas.

When a complaint is received about service or a ripoff - accidental or otherwise - you would think that a company like Pizza Hut would do something quickly to rectify a customer's complaint.

My complaint - for which I am still awaiting a promised callback - is over a $38.40 telephone order picked up from Pizza Hut's Goodna store who gave me $9.10 change from a 50 dollar bill. In other words, I was charged $40.90 for a family meal with various add-ons.

When I queried the price and asked for the receipt, I was told that it was in the box which I was already holding and piled up with drinks and chicken wings and garlic bread, so I decided to check it when I got home.

And how much was the receipt for? - $38.40! So, I had been charged an extra $2.50 which I suspect was for a second bottle of soft drink, which was already included in the $38.40 bill.

They had given me a wrong receipt and double-billed me for a second bottle of soft drink as well! This was the third time that I had been asked to pay more at the Goodna store than the price I was quoted over the phone.

In the past, I had not bothered to query this, as I figured that I may have misheard the figure given to me by the telephone operator or there had been a miscalculation of the price by the operator which was rectified - upwards - at the point of sale.

Not so on this occasion. I knew that I had been ripped off and by exactly how much! I rang back Pizza Hut central call centre an hour later and suggested that they credit my "account" $2.50 because the Goodna store was closing for a week for renovations and it was too much of a hassle to go an collect the missing $2.50.

Although the operator was pleasant, she offered no apology and told me that they could not credit me the $2.50 as it was the "store's mistake"!

Don't they all work for the same company?

She offered to take down the details and forward them electronically to the Goodna store for them to call me back immediately to sort it out. Pizza Hut can promise pizzas within 15 minutes of a telephone call but a day later, I am still sitting by my phone for a call back from the Goodna store.

Pizza Hut should not think that I will give up over this issue.

I fought a case in 1990 against an Ipswich Night Club ripping off customers for $2 a head - and won! It was a case against the Jungle Attic Night Club and is reported in the law reports as
Tully v Ceridale P.L. [1990] HREOCA 6.

Even with inflation, a $2.50 court case against Pizza Hut would be well worth it.

Have you been ripped off by Pizza Hut?
Email me with your story.


This is the site for thinking and politically-astute Australians.
Do you have a contribution about Queensland or Australian
Politics or a burning consumer issue or disgraceful ripoff?
Email me now with full details for the whole world to read.

Brendan Nelson - White Knight awaits Alley Cat!

It didn't take long for the new Liberal Leader Brendan Nelson to wrong-foot himself with a serious gaffe on one of his first full-scale television interviews.

This new White Knight of the Liberal Party has failed to grasp the fundamentals of the Australian economy, declaring on national television that interest rates are 7.5% when the official rate is actually 6.75%.

It's early days for this former Labor sympathiser but with only 2 Federal Liberal Members needing to change their vote at any time during the next 3 years, Malcolm Turnbull will be sitting quietly in the wings like a malnourished alley cat, ready to pounce the moment the mouse walks across his pathway.


This is the site for thinking and politically-astute Australians.
Do you have a contribution about Queensland or Australian
Politics or a burning consumer issue or disgraceful ripoff?
Email me now with full details for the whole world to read.

Pizza Hut Ripoff - Day 22

Day 22 of this saga and Pizza Hut Australia has still not responded to my complaint of 10 November 2007 which appears in full below:

You can bet your stuffed crust that the American-based Pizza Hut chain is making lotsa mozza in Australia, yet cannot offer a humble apology or any form of redress when caught out ripping off customers.

Pizza Hut opened its first store in Australia in Sydney in April 1970 but after 37 years, their corporate approach to handling customers' complaints needs to be seriously beefed up, as it leaves a lot to be desired.

It's not as if this corporate giant is not protective of its name and corporate image. On 13 June 2001, Pizza Hut rushed off to the Federal Court of Australia to stop the genuine Aussie brand of Eagle Boys Pizza from highlighting Pizza Hut's foreign ownership in Eagle Boys' television advertising.

The case was quickly thrown out by the Court in a decision which upheld the right of free speech in Australia and sent Pizza Hut packing back to their corporate headquarters in downtown Dallas, Texas.

When a complaint is received about service or a ripoff - accidental or otherwise - you would think that a company like Pizza Hut would do something quickly to rectify a customer's complaint.

My complaint - for which I am still awaiting a promised callback - is over a $38.40 telephone order picked up from Pizza Hut's Goodna store who gave me $9.10 change from a 50 dollar bill. In other words, I was charged $40.90 for a family meal with various add-ons.

When I queried the price and asked for the receipt, I was told that it was in the box which I was already holding and piled up with drinks and chicken wings and garlic bread, so I decided to check it when I got home.

And how much was the receipt for? - $38.40! So, I had been charged an extra $2.50 which I suspect was for a second bottle of soft drink, which was already included in the $38.40 bill.

They had given me a wrong receipt and double-billed me for a second bottle of soft drink as well! This was the third time that I had been asked to pay more at the Goodna store than the price I was quoted over the phone.

In the past, I had not bothered to query this, as I figured that I may have misheard the figure given to me by the telephone operator or there had been a miscalculation of the price by the operator which was rectified - upwards - at the point of sale.

Not so on this occasion. I knew that I had been ripped off and by exactly how much! I rang back Pizza Hut central call centre an hour later and suggested that they credit my "account" $2.50 because the Goodna store was closing for a week for renovations and it was too much of a hassle to go an collect the missing $2.50.

Although the operator was pleasant, she offered no apology and told me that they could not credit me the $2.50 as it was the "store's mistake"!

Don't they all work for the same company?

She offered to take down the details and forward them electronically to the Goodna store for them to call me back immediately to sort it out. Pizza Hut can promise pizzas within 15 minutes of a telephone call but a day later, I am still sitting by my phone for a call back from the Goodna store.

Pizza Hut should not think that I will give up over this issue.

I fought a case in 1990 against an Ipswich Night Club ripping off customers for $2 a head - and won! It was a case against the Jungle Attic Night Club and is reported in the law reports as
Tully v Ceridale P.L. [1990] HREOCA 6.

Even with inflation, a $2.50 court case against Pizza Hut would be well worth it.

Have you been ripped off by Pizza Hut?
Email me with your story.


This is the site for thinking and politically-astute Australians.
Do you have a contribution about Queensland or Australian
Politics or a burning consumer issue or disgraceful ripoff?
Email me now with full details for the whole world to read.

McDonald's is a digrace to Australia!

The McDonald's ad featuring a carload of 17-year olds driving erratically and breaking numerous traffic laws while munching on McDonald's hamburgers is officially off the air.

With a P-plate driver at the helm on the day he received his licence, this was one of the most-complained about advertisements in Australian television history.

This advertisement featured in a scathing comment on this site on 9 November 2007.

Despite an investigation into this appalling advertisement by the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau, McDonald's fought valiantly to keep it on air.

But common sense finally prevailed when the Bureau ruled that the advertisement breached the Advertisers' Code because it contradicted prevailing community standards of health and safety.

What sorts of idiots run McDonald's advertising campaigns when a 10-year old could have told them that it was an entirely inappropriate advertisement?

But what is even more-galling is the outrageous responses given by McDonald's to members of the public who complained about the advertisement. You would think that McDonald's would take stock of the situation and not treat members of the public like burger-munching morons.

Published below for the first time in Australia is McDonald's official response to a written complaint about the advertisement which they received from a Gold Coast grandmother:

Thank you for you email regarding our Moments Advertisement. Our new brand advertising campaign was developed to capture and communicate some of the real emotions that are felt when an individual achieves a major milestone in their life... like passing their driving test and celebrating their excitement with friends.

In the development of this campaign we consulted with Vic Roads to work within their approved rules and guidelines and we followed the RTA guidelines.

Like all our commercials the Television Commercial was put into research to gauge customer reaction. Our research findings were that passing a driving test was a major milestone for people and remained one of their greatest memories. It was a moment that resonated across the research groups, and reignited fond memories of good times with friends and the sense of freedom that followed the driving test rite of passage.

The aim of the campaign was to reflect and illustrate the feelings and emotions consumers have towards the McDonald's brand. We can assure you any offence caused was most unintentional.

Once again thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's Australia with your feedback.

Regards,
Rebekah
McDonald's Customer Service


Fair dinkum, McDonald's should pack up and go back to the United States if they are going to serve up that sort of crap to Australian consumers.


They are claiming that the advertisement had the support of VicRoads, that it followed New South Wales RTA Guidelines and that it got the tick of approval from research groups when the message of getting a licence for the first time "resonated across the research groups, and reignited fond memories of good times with friends and the sense of freedom that followed the driving test rite of passage".

With due respect to "Rebekah" from McDonald's Customer Service, this is the greatest load of twaddle ever perpetrated by a multi-national company in Australia.

You could have been more honest and just told the complainant to: "P*ss off" because that's exactly what you have done, except that you used 193 carefully-crafted words to achieve the same result!

Have you received a less-than-honest response from McDonald's or another fast-food chain? Email me today with full details. Companies like McDonald's - which treat consumers as fools and idiots - deserve to be exposed every time they step out of line.


This is the site for thinking and politically-astute Australians.
Do you have a contribution about Queensland or Australian
Politics or a burning consumer issue or disgraceful ripoff?
Email me now with full details for the whole world to read.

Bruce Flegg turns mathematical genius!

Besides now showing an unprecedented degree of magnanimity, Dr Bruce Flegg - the Great Pretender to the Liberal Party throne in Queensland - has now turned into a mathematical genius.

After weeks of internal bickering and a 4-all deadlock in the Party room to replace him as leader with Tim Nicholls who is the rising star of the Liberals' inner-city Chardonnay set, Dr Flegg has now announced that he will stand down as leader if Tim Nicholls secures 5 or more votes in the upcoming ballot.

Well, bully for you Bruce. What a great fellow you are!

How long did it take you to work out that 5 out of 8 is a majority and that you would have to stand down anyway?

With intellectual geniuses like Bruce Flegg, no wonder the Liberal Party is a spent force in Queensland.


This is the site for thinking and politically-astute Australians.
Do you have a contribution about Queensland or Australian
Politics or a burning consumer issue or disgraceful ripoff?
Email me now with full details for the whole world to read.

Pizza Hut Ripoff - Day 21

Day 21 of this saga and Pizza Hut Australia has still not responded to my complaint of 10 November 2007 which appears in full below:

You can bet your stuffed crust that the American-based Pizza Hut chain is making lotsa mozza in Australia, yet cannot offer a humble apology or any form of redress when caught out ripping off customers.

Pizza Hut opened its first store in Australia in Sydney in April 1970 but after 37 years, their corporate approach to handling customers' complaints needs to be seriously beefed up, as it leaves a lot to be desired.

It's not as if this corporate giant is not protective of its name and corporate image. On 13 June 2001, Pizza Hut rushed off to the Federal Court of Australia to stop the genuine Aussie brand of Eagle Boys Pizza from highlighting Pizza Hut's foreign ownership in Eagle Boys' television advertising.

The case was quickly thrown out by the Court in a decision which upheld the right of free speech in Australia and sent Pizza Hut packing back to their corporate headquarters in downtown Dallas, Texas.

When a complaint is received about service or a ripoff - accidental or otherwise - you would think that a company like Pizza Hut would do something quickly to rectify a customer's complaint.

My complaint - for which I am still awaiting a promised callback - is over a $38.40 telephone order picked up from Pizza Hut's Goodna store who gave me $9.10 change from a 50 dollar bill. In other words, I was charged $40.90 for a family meal with various add-ons.

When I queried the price and asked for the receipt, I was told that it was in the box which I was already holding and piled up with drinks and chicken wings and garlic bread, so I decided to check it when I got home.

And how much was the receipt for? - $38.40! So, I had been charged an extra $2.50 which I suspect was for a second bottle of soft drink, which was already included in the $38.40 bill.

They had given me a wrong receipt and double-billed me for a second bottle of soft drink as well! This was the third time that I had been asked to pay more at the Goodna store than the price I was quoted over the phone.

In the past, I had not bothered to query this, as I figured that I may have misheard the figure given to me by the telephone operator or there had been a miscalculation of the price by the operator which was rectified - upwards - at the point of sale.

Not so on this occasion. I knew that I had been ripped off and by exactly how much! I rang back Pizza Hut central call centre an hour later and suggested that they credit my "account" $2.50 because the Goodna store was closing for a week for renovations and it was too much of a hassle to go an collect the missing $2.50.

Although the operator was pleasant, she offered no apology and told me that they could not credit me the $2.50 as it was the "store's mistake"!

Don't they all work for the same company?

She offered to take down the details and forward them electronically to the Goodna store for them to call me back immediately to sort it out. Pizza Hut can promise pizzas within 15 minutes of a telephone call but a day later, I am still sitting by my phone for a call back from the Goodna store.

Pizza Hut should not think that I will give up over this issue.

I fought a case in 1990 against an Ipswich Night Club ripping off customers for $2 a head - and won! It was a case against the Jungle Attic Night Club and is reported in the law reports as
Tully v Ceridale P.L. [1990] HREOCA 6.

Even with inflation, a $2.50 court case against Pizza Hut would be well worth it.

Have you been ripped off by Pizza Hut?
Email me with your story.


This is the site for thinking and politically-astute Australians.
Do you have a contribution about Queensland or Australian
Politics or a burning consumer issue or disgraceful ripoff?
Email me now with full details for the whole world to read.