Scarred For Life
Reporter: Ali Mau
We meet Gina, a redhead who wanted to treat herself to a skin refining treatment when she turned 40. She was badly burned at her first appointment for pulsed light treatment to remove sunspots. She underwent months of healing and eventually plastic surgery, but still bears permanent scars. Fair Go has discovered Gina's is no isolated case.
First things first, what is it? Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), Variable Pulsed Light (VPL) and lasers work by directing light/heat through the skin, where it's absorbed by the dark pigment in the hair follicle when being used for hair removal, or by the melanin in sunspots/dark pigmentation when being used for skin refinement. It's not for everyone! Those with white, blonde, grey or red hair can't be treated with pulsed light, and tanned or naturally dark-skinned people should not be treated.
Doctors say consumers should be wary of very cheap treatment costs - these are likely to be carried out by undertrained staff using substandard equipment, increasing the risk of being burned. Anyone wanting pulsed light treatment should go to a reputable salon or a doctor or registered nurse specialising in the treatment, and ask to see the training history of the person administering the treatment; ask for the brand name of the machine being used (and follow up by researching that brand) and make sure they get a comprehensive consultation where they are asked about pregnancy, medications being taken, and their skin is analysed.
Hey towie, leave that lady alone!
Reporter : Gordon Harcourt
We've covered this on Fair Go before, but this time we've got the video. It's a pretty disturbing video too, of towies acting in a manner we think is despicable. We also say it was unlawful.It was last week in central Wellington. Student Alex Clark heard a commotion - he thought it was an assault, so he got out his camera and videoed the scene. A deeply distressed woman, Adiam from Eritrea, was on the side of the road, her car on the back of a tow truck. She is screaming. One of the towies pushes her away, his mate drives off with the car, and the other towie jumps into the moving truck. So what's unlawful? The push? The jump? No, we say it was unlawful to tow Adiam's car once she turned up. She was parked on private land without permission. That's where the incident started. Alex's video is on the street, a few minutes in to the incident.
Why towing on private land is lawful
We say an obscure 1983 legal ruling means the towies lost the right to tow her car once Adiam was there.
Towing on private land is lawful because of a medieval common law principle called distress damage feasant. Basically it means someone can hold (distrain) something which causes damage - a cricket ball, a wayward cow - until the damage is made good.
That obscure ruling creates an important exception: If you are present.
When towing on private land is NOT lawful
The ruling is Jamieson's Tow & Salvage vs Murray, High Court (Wellington) 1983. Mr Murray turned up to find his car hooked up by a towie. He jumped in. He put on the brakes. The towie bled the brake fluid and towed Mr Murray's car with him in it. Mr Murray went to court and won, twice.
In his High Court ruling, Quilliam J concluded:
"the exercise of [distress damage feasant] in the presence of the owner of the offending chattel carries with it a genuine risk of a breach of the peace ... I am satisfied that the remedy of distress damage feasant was not available to the appellant"
Sorry, never heard of it
It's no surprise if you've never heard of it. But neither had 13 of the 14 towing companies we talked to across the country. The consensus was they generally release the car if the owner turns up, and ask for a release fee which might be less than the full fee. A couple of towies said once the wheels are off the ground, it's towed. That is Auckland Transport's policy, but that's for public roads. Mr Murray's case (and our story) is about private land.
Harbour City Tow & Salvage
Adiam's car was towed by Wellington company Harbour City. The evidence strongly suggests they damaged the car and told Adiam a rubbish reason.
We think they should pay for the damage.
We think they should apologise for the appalling way they treated her.
They wouldn't front, didn't answer questions, and haven't yet inspected the damage.
Reporter: Hannah Wallis
Cheri Phillips and Angela Coulson switched to TelstraClear two months ago after seeing their current television campaign:
"Our best ever price, $75month + phone, 40gb data plan, free wireless modem and your first two months free"
Cheri couldn't get her old wireless modem to work with TelstraClear, which meant she had no wireless internet - and she couldn't get help or answers from TelstraClear customer services. Anglela Coulson had the same poor service when she switched and ended up without internet for a week.
We've had similar complaints from others who've opted for the new deal - long waits for the phone to be answered, long waits to speak to the right person, having to tell the same story again and again to different reps, having to make multiple phone calls for the same problem, and customer services not returning calls when they promised to.
TelstraClear's head of customer, marketing and promotions, Steve
Jackson said yes, TelstraClear underestimated the response to the
deal and didn't put enough service people on the phones: "We
screwed up on the planning". They say they've now moved 30% of
staff from sales to customer service and added 5 response staff to
cover Twitter and Facebook queries. He's confident that will sort
the problem and if it doesn't he wants to hear personally - email
him directly on:
Angela accepted TelstraClear's offer of two months free service, Cheri decided not to accept the same offer, and switch back to Vodafone. TelstraClear will not charge her break fees.
Reporter: Libby Middlebrook
It's one of the most entrusted business arrangements you'll ever make. Leaving your loved ones in the hands of a funeral director.
Barb and Doug Matthews employed Faithfull Funeral Services to
take care of everything, when their elderly parents passed away
years ago. But then they discovered their parents' ashes had never
been interred. Brenton Faithfull from Faithfull Funeral Services
apologised, saying it was a one-off incident. But then we heard
from another family, who told us Faithfull Funerals did the same
thing to them.