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Fair Go: Wednesday September 26

Published: 3:54PM Wednesday September 26, 2012 Source: Fair Go

Renovation nightmare
Reporter : Amy Kelley
Choosing a company to build or renovate your home is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. If something goes wrong on the job you need to know who is responsible. The Burgesses from Christchurch were sure they knew - they paid UDR (Ultimate Design & Renovation) $70,000 to build an extension on their home. The company chose to contract the job out to a builder, who in turn sub-contracted a plumber and electrician.
But when things went wrong, UDR said they weren't responsible. A dispute arose over who was supposed to pay the sub-contractors, and the men have been out of pocket for more than a year. They refused to sign off on their work, meaning the Burgess family couldn't get a Code Compliance Certificate. We look at the pitfalls of multiple-contractor arrangements, and whose responsibility it is to resolve this mess. UDR have finally agreed to a solution.

What's in a name?
Reporter: Phil Vine
Student nurse, Lana Picot-van Heusen is the first to admit that her name is a bit of a mouthful. She started using the double-barrel after she got her first passport aged 11. Van Heusen is her dad's name and Picot is her mum's and after they split up she wanted to reflect them both. Fair enough. When she got her driver's licence Picot-van Heusen was the name written on it. Same with every other official document she has, apart from her birth certificate. Trouble is she mislaid her driver's licence and the AA, an agent for the NZ Transport Agency said she could only use her birth certificate for identification. The NZTA agreed, even though Picot-van Heusen is registered as her name in their system. They said she'd have to go to a solicitor and get an official name-change. After Fair Go turned up the NZTA admitted they should have used more discretion and will now issue her a licence under her full name free of charge.

Direct debits
Reporter: Ali Mau
Recent stories on Fair Go about gym contracts and the like, have thrown up some interesting questions - like what is a direct debit and how is it different from a normal automatic payment? Some Fair Go viewers have got caught out by the provisions of their direct debit agreement and ended up paying more than they bargained for, others feel direct debits are hard to get out of even when your contract is over. We talked to one viewer who paid $600 more than she should have, and Payments NZ, the organisation that writes the rules on payments, tells us what our rights are.

The mystery of some missing Lotto tickets
Reporter: Libby Middlebrook
Graham Mentzer has been a customer of Park n Fly for years, leaving his van with the company during trips overseas. But earlier this year he had a rotten homecoming from a trip to Australia. He got back to his van, and found his Lotto tickets had gone missing. He says he left them tucked into his sun visor. Graham traced them, and found they'd been checked at a shop across town.
The owner of Park N Fly, Mohammed Alim, says he investigated fully at the time. He asked his staff, and they said they were not responsible.
He has offered Graham a $100 cheque as a gesture of goodwill.