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Fair Go: August 31

Published: 5:18PM Wednesday August 31, 2011 Source: Fair Go

REVERSE MILLIONAIRES

Reporter: Phil Vine

Power bills - opening those ominous envelopes is always a nervous time especially after the incredible cold snap we have had.

But imagine getting a power bill the size of your telephone number.

The family who became reverse millionaires overnight.

HARDWARE STORES - HELL OR HAVEN?

Reporter: Ruwani Perera

Our latest Fair Go/Colmar Brunton Customer Service Poll puts six major hardware stores to the test.

Here are the results:

Overall net scores for good experiences (ranking)

1. ITM 49%

2. Mitre 10 Mega 45%

3. Bunnings 45%

4. Hammer Hardware 41%

5. Mitre 10 37%

6. Placemakers 23%

Sample 1785

Margin of error /- 2.3%

THREE STRIKES

Music, movies, TV shows - all stuff you can get first, and free, over the internet. Until tomorrow that is.

The illegal downloading days are over; if you get caught you face a hefty fine - even the chance of internet disconnection.

The worst thing is you might not even know it's happening on your internet account, but you'll still be the one punished.

If you want more information, check out these websites:

www.3strikes.net.nz (put together by InternetNZ - a very good resource)

http://lawgeeknz.posterous.com/ (Rick Shera is a lawyer who has spent a lot of time on these issues).

THE INSURANCE DISPUTE FIXER

Reporter: Ali Mau

Fair Go gets more complaints about insurance claims, than almost any other subject.

So where can you go when you and your insurance company just can't agree on a claim?

Karen Stevens is the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman. Karen and her team are able to negotiate with both sides for a (hopefully!) satisfactory outcome for both sides of the dispute.

There are some rules. For example, the claim (or the part of the claim that is under dispute) must be $200,000 or less, and the insurer, once the Ombudsman makes a ruling, is bound by the decision.

You must have reached the point of "deadlock" and have a letter of deadlock from your insurer before you take your case to the Ombudsman; and the insurer must be registered with the Ombudsman scheme.

We asked Karen for some tips on how to get a successful result, and also how to avoid some common insurance traps.

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