Caveat emptor

Water dragon 71

Watch out, they’re out to capture you. Copyright © PJ Croft 2015

Caveat emptor – buyer beware. Yes folks, the robbers have been at it again. Constant vigilance, that’s what we have to practise.

First, after a good review in Silicon Chip magazine, I decided to buy a Navman Mivue Drive. It’s a combined GPS and recording camera to record your path in the car, in case of accidents or just traffic stupidities and near misses.

I checked the web, of course, and found JB HiFi had it in stock at Clarkson for $249. Shazzam, I went there to buy it. But when I got there, the box was labelled $299!. One price was shown on their web ad, but another $50 extra when you get there. Nice. So I Googled the unit in the shop and lo and behold, Dick Smith were listed as $199 ! Dick Smith are not known for their low prices, so I was pretty agitated about this. I asked the JB guy if they could match that price. “Only for shops where you can walk in and buy”, he said. But Dick Smith is just down the mall! Of course I can walk in. “Oh, yeah, let me check.” So he goes away and comes back a few minutes later and says, “OK, we can do that”, as if he’s doing me a big favour. I bought it at $199. But if I hadn’t checked, I would have paid $249, and the poor sods who don’t check pay $299! Bloody robbers

Sunday: holy crap, another faulty product! This is a camera device which records to a MicroSD card. But it won’t work. Every card I try says the same thing, “Card not formatted.” I format the card, it say Complete, but it still won’t record and gives the same error message. I’ve tried three different cards. It gives the same error even if there’s no card inserted. Huh. So now I have to go through this tedious process of reporting it and following instructions. I’m tired of these faulty goods!

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Then I made the mistake of doing some grocery shopping at Woolies. Yes, they got it wrong again. An item prominently shown on the shelf at $5 scanned at $6.49! Always check your bill and your wallet after going through Woolies! They’re out to get you too. I went to the counter and complained and had to wait about three minutes while the woman went to the back of the shop to check. She came back with the shelf label and said it was two days out of date and should have been removed. Yeah, right. But she refunded the entire $6.49 so for once I got the benefit of the scanning code. But Woolies are robbers too! Check your docket, or better still don’t go there. I estimate 9 times out of 10 I’m overcharged by them. It’s notorious, it’s atrocious.

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In the news today: A Darwin employer has been prosecuted and convicted and fined for employing a group of 457 visa holders as cheap labour. He worked them for 60 hours a week without penalties or overtime, withheld their passports, extorted $200 from them as a “fee” and so on. He continued to do this despite two warnings. So there’s the good employer for you, who always has his employees’ interests at heart. We don’t need unions, do we? Like hell. This story is repeated all over the country every week and every month.

Then another item: there are 55 millionaires in this country who paid no tax last year. Zero. There are 55,000 with taxable incomes over $1 million who paid minimal tax, lower than the bottom rate.

And there are 5.3 million taxpayers on incomes of less than $36,000 a year. That’s barely enough to live on for a family.

I know at least one tax avoider. He proudly told me he paid no tax in 2010. He puts it all through his family trust. Yes, it’s legal, but it’s fucking immoral! He’s a heavy user of schools, airports, roads, immigration services, air traffic control, weather services and Medicare. Where is your shame?!

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