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Fair Go: Wednesday March 28

Published: 5:53PM Wednesday March 28, 2012

Tourist trap revisited
Gordon Harcourt
Our first story this year was about what we called a tourist trap down an Auckland side street - a backpackers car market and garage working side by side.
Two young Canadian women saw that story, and it left them slack-jawed in horror.
They had the same story, but we think worse.
They bought a car at the Backpackers Car Market.  They got it checked out and repaired at Autoworx right over the road.   All good.
They got as far as Greymouth, where the guys at VTNZ discovered a horror story inside the front left wheel.  The brake assembly was about to fall off.  That could have jammed the wheel, with horrific consequences.
Autoworx worked on that wheel, so this week we go after the mystery man who owned it, Goran Stojanovic.  We think his company's incompetence or negligence caused the problem.
NB: In January, Mr Stojanovic sold the business that traded as Autoworx.  It is no longer called Autoworx.  The problems we uncovered occurred under Mr Stojanovic's ownership.

The Clampaign is back
: Gordon Harcourt
Four years ago Fair Go launched the Clampaign, to rein in the clampers.  We reckon it worked - in part.  The clampers upped their game with signage and professionalism, and the complaints slowed to a trickle.
Now we've suddenly got a new spike in complaints, for some reason.  The worst is from Pragya, who is pregnant and suffers terrible morning sickness - so bad she had to stop working and needs medication.  She and her friend got clamped when they walked away from the restaurant they were in to get her medication from a pharmacy up the road.
We accept that people who abuse private parking can legitimately be clamped.  We think clampers can and should exercise discretion.
Our Clampaign only worked in part because we never got any traction with the Government or Ministry of Transport.  There was no appetite for regulation.
Now we've got a report from the MoT which says the Government should look at intervention if self-regulation doesn't work.  It hasn't. 
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee this week indicates he is reluctant to regulate, but will look at it if pressed

Throwing Money Away
: Hannah Wallis
Kiwis buy mega millions worth of gift cards and vouchers every year - and every year, we let them expire, or lose them or ... for whatever reason, don't cash them in. Fair Go investigates how much we spend, how much we lose and asks - isn't there a better way?

Mango Mania
Hannah Wallis
Deb and Lynne both order a "free" sample of an African mango diet product they'd seen on their Facebook pages. Both gave up their credit card details to cover post and handling - and ended up being billed hundreds of dollars for further supplies they haven't received. Fair Go explains how this happened, how to prevent it,  and how your credit card company can help.

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