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Fair Go: Wednesday August 29

Published: 7:18PM Wednesday August 29, 2012 Source: Fair Go

Courier chaos
Reporter: Hannah Wallis
Elaine McGrath has been telly-less for 6 months. Back in January, her TV went on the blink. She took it to the Samsung Customer Service Plaza in Auckland, who said they'd return it with Fliway Couriers after Samsung had fixed it. Elaine lives on Waiheke Island - and as the TV would travel by road and sea she asked for it to be packaged extra-well. A month later it finally turned up by courier - wrapped only in bubble wrap. The fault might have been fixed, but the screen was cracked. The TV went back to Samsung - and the blame game started. Samsung said it was Fliway's problem, Fliway said the contract was with Samsung and they were null and void for any damages that may occur. Elaine said Samsung hired the courier company, so why should she be chasing it? Indeed.

Samsung says Fliways and the Samsung Service Centre (an authorised repair place, but independent from Samsung) couldn't agree on responsibility. But the Service Centre apologises - it won't happen again. They've supplied Elaine with a brand new TV.

So - if you do use a Courier or a moving company to shift your precious goods from place to place, just what does the Carriage of Goods act cover?

There are 4 types of cover:

Limited carrier's risk: where the carrier's pay out for any loss or damage is limited to $1500 per unit. It's the default cover if you don't have a written contract. It means if a mover drops a box, no matter what it contains, the most you'll get is $1500 compensation.

There are 3 options for written contracts:

At owner's risk: where the carrier isn't liable for any loss or damage, unless they intentionally cause it. This is quite common - if you sign a contract where the carrier opts out, you'll need to get your own insurance.

At declared value risk: useful for valuable or fragile goods. It might pay to have extra insurance - many home and contents policies don't cover your property while the goods are in transit.

On declared terms: this means you can negotiate all the terms of the contract. It's usually done between businesses, or when an item might need special care and delivery, eg a piano.

If your goods are damaged, act quickly. Carriage contracts often specify you have to make a claim within 7 - 31 days.

There are 3 key questions: what insurance do you need, is the company that you're using reputable, who will be liable for the damage should it occur?

Ezy come, Ezy gone
Reporter: Gordon Harcourt
We met Angie and Jeremy in June, after they bought a disastrous SUV from Ezy Buy Car Auctions Ltd, the so called "auction and tender centre".

The car got an OK pre-purchase mechanical inspection, but there was a serious steering fault.

They filed at the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal, and last week - on the last possible day - Ezybuy settled, with a full refund.

The MVDT has ruled that Ezybuy's tender form is a "sham document" and Ezybuy is "no different" from other dealers. Because they call their sales a "tender", Ezybuy say they aren't covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act, like every other car dealer is.

We found an interesting Fair Go connection at Ezybuy. General Manager Doug Rodgers used to run Tokyo Auto Auctions (TAA) which featured on Fair Go in 1993. If the seller of a vehicle didn't turn up to the auction, TAA would tell the seller a fake, lower sale price and pocket the difference.

In 1995 he and a colleague were convicted of conspiracy to defraud.

17 years ago is a long time, but we think that old conviction is very relevant to Doug Rodgers current job.

Ezybuy's lawyer says it's not relevant and we are reporting it for "prejudicial effect". He says Ezybuy is appealing a MVDT decision, and seems to be saying we shouldn't run any stories until that appeal. We've asked for details of the appeal.

Ezybuy owner Alan McCarrison won't talk to Fair Go, but told trade website Autotalk.co.nz that his company is "taking things to the boundary of the law".

UDC Finance Ltd has confirmed it has ceased its relationship with Ezybuy. And of course Ezybuy car auction is nothing to do with online fashion retailer Ezibuy.

Cabin Fever
Reporter: Pete Cronshaw
Tiaan Potter, a high functioning autistic boy, just wanted a place to call his own. His dad promised if he did well at school, he'd get a cabin built for him. He paid Robert Block from Kopu Cabins a $5000 deposit. No cabin ever arrived. At least half a dozen others were left hanging too. Robert Block claimed he couldn't do anything - he'd been locked out of his premises in a dispute with the landlord.

But now, thanks to the good blokes at MacDirect in Pukekohe, this story has a happy ending. Murray Grant was the knight in shining armour. He could understand the Potters' frustration - he's owed a few thousand dollars for timber by Robert Block too. He told Fair Go: "Somebody said no greater happiness comes from giving than receiving and you really feel it when you come into these sorts of situations."

Going Digital
Reporter: Gordon Harcourt
In just a month's time, Hawkes Bay and the West Coast will be the first regions to go digital - the analogue TV signal will be switched off.

If you don't have Freeview or Sky Digital you won't be able to watch telly.

We reckon that looming deadline is opening the door to people like Karl Bryant, owner of Edge Media Ltd.

We heard he's going door to door in the Bay, selling the Boxee.

The Boxee is a very cool bit of kit that lets you watch stuff off the internet on your TV.

But we say Karl Bryant was telling customers it can get Freeview. It can't.

I texted him - "want to know if your Boxee can get Freeview". He replied "hi there yes it can". That's not true.

He reckons he misread the text, he was in a meeting.

And if you don't really know what digital TV is, we explain the mysteries. Well, we try to!

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