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Tech Talk Radio Show 22 of 2009
Transmission date: June 1, 2009

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Ep 22: HTC's magic, ACMA closures, Amateur Radio, Microsoft Bing and Google Wave, ASIO's 3000 call taps

June 1, 2009

Advertising is a mugs game and telcos are the biggest mugs of all, followed closely by car sales and real estate. I know that’s a generalization, but the last week has seen Australia’s Consumer watch dog crack down on advertisements which misleading and confuse consumers.

It’s about time the regulators changed the way advertisers dish up prices to consumers in this country. Obviously advertisers want us to buy, that’s why they do what they do, but why not tell consumers the TOTAL COST of a purchase.

Take motor vehicles for example. “$29990 + dealer delivery and government statutory charges’. That can add thousands to the total purchase price. You could rephrase it “$1000 for the tyres + car +  dealer delivery and government statutory charges”. It’s a bit silly – I know – but it emphasizes Component Pricing – something rampant in real estate and motor vehicle advertising.

The ACCC recently clamped down on this sort of behavior in the telecommunications sector, so now they’re moving on to other industries.

On May 25 the law in Australia changed. So what do the new laws require?

In short, where a corporation makes a price representation to consumers, it may only use a component price (part of the total price) if it also ‘prominently’ specifies the ‘single (total) price’ payable for the good or service (where a single figure price is quantifiable).

Let’s see what happens now. Next the ACCC should target these bloody infuriating cash-back deals. They’re on the rise at the moment and a complete pain in the you know what. Consumers have to jump through hoops and wait months to receive their offer – and why?

Why don’t they just discount the product at the point of sale?

Laptops, PC’s and software sales seem to be top of the cash back pile at the moment. What purpose does it server to either the manufacturer, distributor, reseller or consumer? None that I can see. So as the ACCC closes one door another opens.

Also on the show this week:

  • Adam Turner looks at the HTC’s new offering here in Australia
  • Robert Broomhead from the Wireless Institute of Australia talks ACMA office closure in Perth and Adelaide and gives us an insight into Amateur Radio.
  • Illegal downloads go through the roof and
  • Microsoft's Bing and Wave about to open.