Danger Zone

Why recalls aren’t working

An episode from Tales from the Darkside

Is it a case of a horror movies come to life – are our everyday items out to get us? Last year, there were 670 product safety recalls  – up 12.4 per cent from the previous year. We better get accustomed to more recalls. Brands are worried about what happens to their reputation if they don’t do a recall, so you better start paying attention.

In an episode from Tales from the Darkside, a babysitter entertains a bunch of kids by inventing a creature that eats sounds. Things turn nasty when the vacuum starts eating everything and everyone in the house.

In real life, we’ve had:

  • chocolate laced with plastic,
  • washing machines catching fire,
  • furniture falling on kids, and
  • cars rolling away when left in ‘park’.

This year, we’ve had more cars recalled than ever before. There are plenty of disgruntled car owners, some even taking to youtube or kickstarter to raise awareness to what they perceive as a ‘lemon’ car.

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Danger Zone

This love will rock your world – but not in a good way

Picture of champagne glasses in romantic setting

As dating websites and apps become more popular, so do the number of online romance scams. In Australia, $28 million last year was lost in romance schemes. These figures are only the tip of the iceberg as many victims are reluctant to admit to friends, family or authorities that they fell for a scam.

We’ve spoken to many people who have fallen victim to romance scams and what’s important to know is that these aren’t silly people handing over cash within the first five minutes of meeting someone. They are regular folk looking for friendship or love.

So how likely is it that your new internet love interest will go after your bank account? And what are the signs to look out for?

We’ve compiled the Top 5 strategies used by love scammers.

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Danger Zone

Aussies now entitled to a refund on their video games

Today, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has made the case that EA has not been doing the right thing. By denying customers entitled to refunds, EA has been in breech of the Australian Consumer Laws (ACL).

“We Stand By Our Games. If you don’t love it, return it.” is the promise made by the world’s third largest publisher and developer of video games, Electronic Arts known as EA, who run the Origin video game distribution platform.

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Danger Zone

The 5 terrible shoppers we’ve all been at least once

woman holding shopping bags happily

Customer behaviour is getting out-of-hand and companies are shifting their policies in response to thorn-in-the-side or dishonest customers.

So does the blame rest with your fellow shoppers or could you be one of those never-to-be-pleased customers? Either way, bad consumer behaviour means, you lose out.

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Danger Zone

Wotif gives 20 million back to its users after abandoning cruel charging practices

Credit cards - watch out for surcharges

Easter means higher prices thanks in part to public holiday surcharges. If you’re in the midst of making holiday plans, there is some good news. Wotif has dumped its $5.50 ‘booking fee‘. It has also dropped the $16.95 charge for flights with full-service airlines and flights with low-cost carriers now attract a reduced fee of $9.95. How lucrative are these surcharges for companies? It’s expected consumers could save as much as $20 million a year from these changes made by Wotif.

But surcharges have gone beyond public holidays. There’s airlines – ‘fuel surcharge’, room service – ‘delivery charge’, taxis – ‘booking fee’, restaurants and cafes – ‘cakeage’, ‘corkage’ and a surcharge for a ‘group booking’. Even a concert ticket purchase comes complete with booking and ticketing fees. I’m sure you’ve got a few more of your favourites to add to the list!

So, what’s happened over the last decade that has seen surcharges become so prevalent in our daily lives? Is this a trend set to continue in the future?

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Danger Zone

The top 5 ‘free’ things to avoid this winter

Brown shopping bags with free things in them

Who doesn’t love a freebie? Whether it’s a friend offering a slice of used-goods heaven or a garage-sale orphan looking for a happy home, second-hand goods are quite a tantalising offer for thrifty shoppers.

Free things may give you a lot more than you bargained for (and that’s not always a good thing). If you’re looking to save a little money, you’ll do well to think twice before snagging these used or cheap products.

Here’s our top 5 free things where the initial save can cost you more in the long run.

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Danger Zone

5 common myths about charging your mobile phone battery

Girl with iphone mobile phone with low battery

As iPhone 5 owners are scrambling to find a solution for their dying batteries, we started to wonder what’s true and what’s not true about mobile phones and their batteries.

Your phone’s specs may say your phone gets hours and hours of talk time, but in reality the life of your battery never seems to live up to its expectations. Are you doing something right? Are you doing something wrong? You’ll never know if you believe the myths we’ve listed below.

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Danger Zone

A Queensland bus crashes. You wont believe what Translink did next.

Inala Plaza bus station Queensland

What does it take to get a refund on your bus fare? Not even a crash apparently.

On March 16th, a Brisbane City Council bus was involved in an accident on Logan Road heading towards Mt Gravatt at around 8 am. Janelle, the mother of one 12-year-old passenger rang Translink to ask for a fare adjustment for the $10 fare charged as passengers were hurried off the bus before they could end the trip.

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Danger Zone

The amazingly simple psychology behind door-to-door sales

Sales people in a row with colourful socks

This is part 2 in our series on fighting back against unsolicited salespeople.

Ever wondered why pesky salespeople keep going door-to-door, time after time, often only to have the door slammed in their face? You might imagine this as akin to banging your head against the wall.

The simple truth about door-to-door sales is that it can be highly effective given the right person and circumstances. Take Joe Ades, the man who made millions selling potato peelers on the street:

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Danger Zone

Get your defective iPhone 5 battery replaced for free

Girl looking at her iPhone 5 which requires the battery replaced.

If you find your iPhone 5 runs out of juice too quickly, Apple has a fix. Well, maybe they have a fix.

Apple has admitted their iPhone 5 battery is faulty. Yay for Apple. And they have been replacing some batteries.

Unfortunately customers have complained to us that Apple won’t replace their iPhone 5 battery even though their phone doesn’t last a day.

According to Apple, the problem affects only a very small percentage of phones, which they claim can be identified from a phone’s serial number. We believe the problem is more widespread than only a few phones. As a result, customers are missing out on value for money.

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