Category Archives: General

Reckless Drivers

While traveling home from work this evening at the back end of peak hour, I thought I was going to be a collateral damage in another car accident, caused by a reckless driver.

I was driving north along the Gold Coast Highway, just before the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in Southport. The traffic is zoned at 60kph through that section I think but the traffic was probably flowing at a little under 70kph. At that section of the Gold Coast Highway, there are two lanes in each direction and paralell parking against the gutter.

Out of a side street, some reckless young driver pulled out and instead of merging into the traffic like someone with common sense, decided he’d race up the shoulder of the road (between the parked cars & the left lane) at break neck pace. Remembering, we’re in peak hour traffic, traveling at around 70kph and he was passing us easily – I suspect he’d have been approaching 85-90kph.

Unfortately for the driver, the road narrows a little and the shoulder gets thinner. He decided to continue to charge forward and try and get into a very small gap in the traffic about 5 cars in front of him, but not before shattering his left hand side rear view mirror against the right rear view mirror of a parked car. I couldn’t believe what I’d just witnessed.

As it turned out, I had my passenger window down and he heard me talking to myself in disgust, while referring to him as a wanker. He of course said something to me but when I called him on the fact that he very very nearly smashed into the rear end of a parked car in peak hour at 80-90kph – he denied it completely as if it didn’t happen and his feet on the dashboard girlfriend began hurling all manner of obscenities at me.

He represents the very kind of idiot driver that we don’t need on the roads.

Complete Telecom, Misleading & Deceptive Conduct

Over the weekend at around 6PM, I received a call from a private number. Claire refuses to answer private numbers but I’ll at least pick them up to see who it might be.

In this particular instance, it was Telstra calling to let me know that I’d be receiving a discount on my future bills because we’d been paying our bills on or ahead of the due date. The phone call went along the same lines as you’d expect, they asked for me directly and proceeded to check out basic personal information.

Everything was going swimmingly, up until they required me to provide some sort of additional identification – it didn’t matter what it was, drivers license, Medicare, pension number or other. I was reluctant to provide any of that information to them, as it isn’t Telstra’s normal practice over the phone but went with the flow and provided them part of my Medicare number.

At that stage, the young bloke I was talking to transferred me to his senior something-or-rather to refresh me on what the change was and fill in any blanks. The next person was also quite slick and moved through things quickly and was happy to flash by the fact that the service was provided by Complete Telecom and not Telstra. Not to worry though, they use Telstra hardware to deliver the phone services so it’ll all be okay!

As soon as those words came out of his mount, I promptly told him that I didn’t want anything that he was selling, not to make any changes to what I considered to be the best home phone plan available in June last year.

The conduct from Complete Telecom was nothing short of deceptive and misleading. First off they introduce themselves and misrepresent themselves as being from Telstra, have the balls to ask me for some of my personal information, gloss over the fact that they are in fact not Telstra but placate me by telling me that the phone services are delivered over Telstra hardware.

Sorry Complete Telecom, that doesn’t make you Telstra at any level – it makes you a shoddy filthy lying scam ridden company that I will never, ever do business with – regardless of how good your deal is. I’ll be lodging a complaint with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, you can take it up with them.

Goodbye Telstar

Ford Telstar Ghia on the tow truck after being written off in motorway accidentAfter being involved in a car accident on the Gold Coast M1 in late June, my trusty 1989 Ford Telstar Ghia has been written off by my car insurance company.

I’ve been tottering around in the Telstar for the better part of 10 years and only now is the odometer finally approaching 200,000 kilometres.

George & Jude bought it for me as my first car while I was at university, which was a massive upgrade from the family Ford Falcon XM ute with distinctive blue cobra stripes. It was powered by a 2.2L 12 valve 4 cylinder engine, which even in its hay day probably wasn’t the most performant engine, nor particularly free revving – however I suspect that might have been part of its recipe for longevity. I still remember how excited I was, especially when I realised that it had a velour interior, power windows, power mirrors and wait for it, oscillating air conditioning vents in the front!

In that time, I really haven’t had any major problem with the vehicle either mechanically, in the interior or on the exterior of the car. It gets serviced once or twice a year, I put fuel in it and it just goes. On the mileage front, in my mix of highway and city driving to and from work, I get approximately 500km from a tank of fuel and over 550km if its strictly on the highway.

I’ll miss the Telstar, it has been a great little car and served myself and Claire really well over the years. Now I just need to find an adequate replacement and hope that I have a hassle free existence with it as the Telstar has provided.

Unsolicited Deceptive Phone Calls & Sly Salesmen

One evening during the week, I received a phone call after 7PM from a number I didn’t recognise. It turned out to be an overseas number, which didn’t leave me with much hope that it was going to be a useful phone call for me to take and not yet another person trying to sell me a holiday.

After struggling to hear the woman and also comprehend what she was saying through a very strong accent, the lady informed me that someone would be coming around in the following week to check the power at our house. It was hard to understand her but I did pick up Energex and Origin throughout the conversation. At that point I thought it must have been something official, which was reinforced when she said it was like the recent in person visit from a Gold Coast Water employee to check the water quality.

As indicated, someone did come around to our place and they were there to check the power. They asked to see one of our power bills to check whether we were being overcharged on our bill. The bloke went through and checked the bill against his sheets and shuffled some stuff back and forward in his folder and then confirmed that I was being overcharged. At this point I thought, fantastic – we’ll be reimbursed for whatever we have paid over the normal. At this point in time, then came the sales pitch – the guy was from Integral Energy and said he could save me 7% of my power bill by switching to them instead of Origin Energy.

It pisses me off that they were deceptive on the phone, dropping names like Energex and Origin Energy so I’d feel comfortable with what was happening. It annoys me even more that the lady said it was just like the recent Gold Coast Water check, however with one distinct difference – Gold Coast Water didn’t try and sell me something, they were legitimately here to verify that our water quality was okay. I’m frustrated that the salesman wasn’t upfront about his intentions. I think it is sly that he said he was on knocking on my door because someone else in my area requested them to come around – which apparently gives an excuse to knock on my door and sell me something I don’t need. I hate and I d mean hate, not dislike, that people selling over the phone and at the door think their best chance of getting the sale is to pressure me into it and not let me consider it on my own time and furthermore that when I say no – that they don’t stop their sales pitch and piss off.

This sort of behaviour is the exact reason why I won’t change my power provider to someone offering cheap power. Not only will I not use their cheap electricity, if someone asks me about them – I’ll now be the first to tell them not to take the up on their 7% savings on their discounted power plans.