Brrrr, winter

From this a few days ago:
Lookin’ over my fence – my neighbour’s trees.
To grey, stormy, windy, tree-bending winter weather today:
Perth gets weather! The same trees.
It is blowing a full gale at this moment.
I was at the big shopping centre yesterday and took the lift. I thought, “Why are there UP and DOWN buttons in this lift when there are only two levels? If you get in on the ground floor, of course you want to go up. You can’t go down. If you get in on the upper floor, of course you want to go down. You can’t go up.

Then I thought, why not have just one button: GO. Then I thought, why have a button at all? If you get in on the ground floor and the doors close, it goes up. And vice versa. Why do we have to press a button at all?

Why am I even asking the question? I know why.
This shopping centre was also doing its trick of using the escalators to force people into traffic zones.
There’s a big central atrium which has three escalators, two on one side and one on the other. But the two on one side are either both going up, or one of the pair is shut off. To go down, you have to walk around the atrium to the other side past all the shops. Clever.
This has been going on for years and I’ve made two written complaints over the years. The first time, they told me that the parallel escalators can’t be run up and down at the same time for Health and Safety reasons – they have to be more than a meter apart (they are!) and it’s too dangerous to run them in opposition (up/down).
What a load of cobblers.
A couple of years ago I again complained that the down escalator of the pair was always shut off and this time they told me they were doing their bit for energy saving by minimising their power use.
Another load of utter crap. I’ve been to a lot of shopping centres all over Australia and all over the world and this is the only one that does this. Once again, Australia treats its customers with contempt.

More importantly, I did my grocery shopping at Woolies and was floored by their new tactics of blatant deception.  I bought two small pre-pack containers of Indian food. One was marked (on the shelf, of course) at $2.98 and one at $5.68.

Going through the checkout, the prices came up as $5.98 each. “Hang on”, I said and explained that this was the wrong price. The girl said, “Have you got a Woolies Discount card?” Yes. “Oh well, let me scan it and the correct prices will come up.”

So I did, and a new line appeared, -$2.40 discount.  I grumbled but wasn’t sure whether this was the correct reduction so we moved on. When I got through and checked the strip, it showed both items were charged as $4.78 each!

I wasn’t having that so I went to the “Customer Service” counter to explain and complain. The poor, young, harassed girl looked at the strip, then said please wait and walked off to the other end of the shop to check the shelf prices.

I waited a good three minutes, with another woman making a similar complaint beside me, but the girl didn’t return so I walked away in disgust.

So the new tactic is, to get the shelf price, you have to produce your Woolies card. Otherwise you’ll be charged some higher price, which you may not notice. If you do, you may be home by then and not bother following it up.

This is outright deception and this time I’m going to make a complaint, not just to Woolies management but to the Competition and Consumer Commission. And CHOICE magazine, for that matter, because I’m a member.

I’ve been noticing this for years now – I shop for food about twice a week, not just at Woolies but at Coles and IGA too, and I almost always find a pricing error on my bill, almost always in the shop’s favour. It’s reached the stage where I have to check my bill as soon as I leave the checkout, because I am sick and tired of getting home, finding the error and having to go back to the shop to get it corrected. I’ve got two packets of alkaline batteries in my bag at the moment waiting to be returned to another shop because I found I was charged double the shelf price last week.

The shops have it made: there are no prices on the items, so it depends on your memory or sharp eyes to spot the errors. Then they rely on you either not noticing, or being too tired or lazy to follow it up. We are being cheated, people, big time. Check your bills!


Has anyone else noticed K-Mart? They were always a junky shop, the by-word for low priced rubbish, but they’ve gone so far down market now I just can’t shop there any more. I didn’t think it was possible to go any lower, but they’re doing it.

Almost everything in K-Mart is now their own brand in their own red/black/white packaging. There’s only one colour in men’s clothing anyway: drab. Just different shades of drab. Black dominates, but everything is dark, gloomy, dirty looking colours. Lots of purple and sickly greens.

So why do I go there? Good question – because I have to to. Unfortunately I need size 4XL and bigger, especially jocks, and K-Mart is the only place I can get them. Big-W sizes stop at XXL in men’s underwear.

However, even though K-Mart has my size, they only have a few in stock at any one time or any one shop. AND, they are doing their bit for our health: the big men’s sizes, 4XL, are on the bottom hooks, right down near the floor, so we big guys have to bend right down and fumble around among the jumble of sizes to find the few they have. The SM sizes for the small, fit guys, are at the top. Isn’t that great?

Something lighter to finish with:
Aaaah, Bali

This is the first frame of a video clip that was on the ABC web site a few weeks ago (hence the arrow in the middle). Nice, eh? I just had to grab it.