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Fair Go: May 15

Published: 2:24PM Wednesday May 15, 2013 Source: Fair Go


Reporter: Gordon Harcourt

Do the new contactless payment cards just feel wrong to you?

You can't escape the marketing push right now for the whizzy new payment technology - tap and go your MasterCard Paypass or wave and go your Visa Paywave.

But how can that sort of thing be secure?

We got an unnerving complaint from Steve the plumber. He bought some coffees with his EFTPOS card, $12.80, but ping, ping - up popped $12.80 on his new Paypass card twice, at the same place at the same time. He swears the card was in his wallet in his other hand.

The new cards have a little aerial in them which transmits your card details to the terminal. An American news channel has a disturbing story showing a guy wandering round an airport terminal scanning people's card details. He then creates and uses a new card with those details. A Kiwi IT security guy says it's all too easily done.

MasterCard insist this kit is secure, and the so-called "electronic pickpocketing" has not happened in reality.

It says Steve the plumber must have legitimately tried to use his card.

Check your card - you might already have a contactless card and not even know it. The cafe Steve the plumber visited insisted to me they don't even have the contactless terminal - turns out they were wrong!


Reporter: Pippa Wetzell

Podcast: What you need to be aware of if you're using flushable wipes.

There are a lot of handy disposable wipes around, for personal hygiene and for cleaning. Some of them are even flushable. Michelle Turney-Mitchell was impressed, she bought and used some of the flushable ones but was surprised when they ended up blocking her pipes causing a bit of plumbing nightmare.

We speak to a plumber who says he's seeing lots of cases of wipes clogging up household pipes - we tell you what you need to look out for and how to avoid your own plumbing disaster.

Appliance Repairs

Reporter Hannah Wallis

Podcast: Fair Go's tips on how to save money on appliance repair bills.

The service guys who repair our appliances say there's a lot consumers can do to save on repair bills.

Buy appliances that are fit for purpose and be realistic about how long you can expect them to last, given the kind of treatment you give them.

Read the manual or instruction booklet - follow the maintenance, use, and care instructions - that can be a real money saver. For instance - use the amount of laundry powder the manual suggests, not what's on the powder box. Too much powder causes slurry buildup, which can block the pipes and mean a $50-100 service callout.

And if you do need repairs, and want to save money with a one-visit, first-time fix, then give the service person as many details as you can when you call - model number, brand name and serial number - because even though the model is the same, different serial numbers can mean different parts.

Hunter's Dud Microchip / Animals for Adoption

Reporter Hannah Wallis

Podcast: Hundreds of animals have been microchipped with faulty chips, which means they are no longer safe if they go missing because the microchip will simply not scan - we tell you how you can find out if your animal is one of them.

The family of Hunter the Shih tzu reported to Fair Go that they had, by chance, discovered that the microchip implanted in their new puppy four years earlier, had stopped working. Which means if Hunter was lost or stolen, then his microchip number, with his owners contact details, would not show up when he was scanned.

Turns out hundreds of dud chips have been implanted in animals over the last few years, pretty much all the "Backhome" brand made by Virbac.The company says between 1.6-2% of microchips it's sold are faulty.

The duds have occurred in the following batches:

batch numbers with the prefix 9000 8800 or 90000 8800 and up to 90000 8800 259208.

You should have paperwork with your animal's microchip number on it - if it matches those batches - take your pet to the vet pronto. Virbac says it will cover the cost of replacing any dud microchips, including vet costs.

Animals for Adoption

If you are interested in adopting Corona the three-legged cat - go to and check out their lost and found section. The adoptable dogs featured in our story are at the Henderson Animal Shelter run by Auckland Council.

Go to this link


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