Episode 23: September 1 | FAIR GO | TV ONE | tvnz.co.nz [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Episode 23: September 1
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Charity Lotto tickets

All the time we get asked to give our hard earned dollars to charity and New Zealanders give a lot, over 300 million annually. But should we be looking a little harder into where our charity dollar is going?

We've found out about a business that's selling one-line lotto lucky dip tickets for $2 each. Lotto sells them for just 60 cents each. So why bother? Because you're also putting money towards raising $50,000 for Auckland Cricket. But, out of the $2 ticket only 10 cents goes to Auckland Cricket, that's just 5 cents in each dollar.

The tickets are mostly sold in groups of 10. So you're paying 20 dollars for 10 tickets with 10 Lotto lines on them. At your Lotto shop those 10 Lotto lines will cost just $6, instead of 20 bucks. So you could think the rest of your money, $14 is going to charity.

Behind this concept is an Australian owned company called Affinity3. They buy the 60 cent lotto lines off lotto and re-print the ticket with the name of the charity on it. They then get a company called Cobra Group to sell the tickets on behalf of the charities. So these companies get a cut of your charity dollar, including the individual sellers who work on commission only.

 As far as we can find out, here's what happens to your two dollars:
- 60 cents goes to the Lotteries Commission to pay for the line of lotto.
- Affinity3 then print the ticket with the lotto line and the charity's name on it. They add 10 cents for themselves and on-sell it for 70 cents to the Cobra Group: the people who sell the tickets.
- Cobra Group then add a $1.20 for their own sales costs and profit margin and finally sell the ticket for $2.  
- Leaving 10 cents of your two dollars getting to the worthy cause. 

So what does Auckland Cricket feel about this? They're grateful for anything they can get. Chief Executive Andrew Eade says it's great, they've got thousands of dollars from the scheme and they dont' have to do anything. And that's the position of another organisation that's benefitted from the scheme the Royal Lifesaving Society...not to be confused with Surf Life-Saving New Zealand.

The Lotteries Commission told Fair Go they had absolutely no idea such a small amount was going to charity.  They say Affinity3 changed the deal they'd originally agreed with the Commission by getting the Cobra Group involved in the selling process. As far as the Commission's concerned Cobra Group shouldn't be selling any more tickets. Cobra group tell us they stopped selling tickets last Thursday.

As for Affinity3 they tell Fair Go they told the Lotteries Commission all about Cobra's involvement and what Cobra did. They say the grounds on which the Lotteries Commission terminated their agreement were totally unfounded, and they don't believe the Lotteries Commission was lawfully entitled to end the agreement. Affinity3 say Cobra's sales force got involved simply because not all charities have volunteers to sell "Fundraising with Lotto" tickets. They stress they disclosed exactly how much money ended up with the worthy cause.

We think charities happy to accept just 5, 10, 20, 30% of the public's dollar, so they don't have to do any fundraising themselves, are selfish and short-sighted. There's a limit to the amount New Zealanders can give to charity in a year. The more money that ends up in commercial fundraiser's pockets the less goes to our charities. The "I'm alright Jack" attitude of some charities who sit on their butt knowing the vast proportion of any donation is going to their fundraisers is a disgrace. It threatens to undermine New Zealanders' attitude to donations. And it undermines the many worthy causes who put the hard yards into their own fundraising.

Tracy's drain
Reporter: Greg Boyed

Wellington man Tracy Crook got sick of his back yard turning into a pond when it rained. So he decided to do something about it and called some plumbers. He got quotes and a range of prices. He decided to go with ABC Plumbing Drainage and Gas Limited in Johnsonville.

At $980 plus GST, ABC's quote was one of the cheaper ones, and they'd start at a time that suited Tracy. So in January (around six months after he first got the quote which ABC said was still valid) he paid a $500 deposit and work began.

The first bill was $2483.50. But the next bill cantered past that, it came in at $7447.50.
Tracy called ABC Plumbing to complain, but was fobbed off. A couple of days later he got a bill for $9930.78 and then a final bill for $13,323.85.

When Tracy called ABC to ask if that thirteen thousand dollar bill was some sort of joke, he was laughed at and told 'no it's not'. ABC Plumbing boss Gordon Anslow refused to return calls or answer questions on the phone about Tracy's job. So we paid a visit to the Johnsonville base of ABC Plumbing.

Gordon took the approach that Tracy needed to front up himself before he'd even discuss the matter. So Tracy turned up to see Gordon, hoping that the man who sent the $980 dollar quote then the $13,323 dollar final bill would talk turkey. Gordon's response though was to demand Tracy make an appointment with the accounts woman.

Tracy was also told she would call him.She didn't call, but a couple of days later Tracy got a 'revised' bill.It had the amount owed at $8600 minus a 'good faith' credit of $2300 dollars meaning the new final bill was a little over $6300.

The bill also told Tracy he'd get a call to arrange a meeting with him to discuss the matter the following week, from ABC. But from what we can see there is nothing left to discuss.  ABC gave a quote site unseen and that's a binding contract which they have to stick by. How or why the bill went up so much is really beside the point and just a case of tough luck for ABC.

Direct Cars update
Reporter: Simon Mercep

We updated our attempts to help Alex Goloskov, who's driving a Toyota which had its odometer wound back around 83,000km after it got off the boat in New Zealand.

Alex's car was imported from Japan by Direct Cars of Forrest Hill in Auckland. Fair Go identified Alex's car as one of six with wound back odometers. Direct Cars said it knew nothing of the problem, but after Fair Go's involvement, refunded other customers. But our attempts to help Alex stalled, mainly because he and his father were the second owners - the first, we understood, had left the country - and because of disagreement over the amount of compensation.

Fair Go went to independent car valuer Mike Hatch. He inspected the Toyota, noting signs of wear and tear. He suggested $1700 as fair compensation for Alex and his dad.
But when we informed Direct Cars boss Mark Broadhurst, he said he would only pay if we arranged to get the odometer recalibrated to take nto account its original reading.
Alex and his father agreed, and Fair Go arranged for the job to be done at Optimech, the company which originally inspected the odometer in Japan.

But Mark Broadhurst then told Fair Go he still wouldn't pay. He said Fair Go hadn't fairly reported his side of the story. He said he had no legal obligation to pay, as the contracts with his customers spell out that he can't verify the odometer.

Our view:

Fair Go believes that's Direct Cars' position is not good enough. Direct Cars bought the vehicles from Japan at one odometer reading, and then had them for sale on its yard at another odometer reading. The company should pay compensation to Alex and his father. Our inquiries into this story continue.

Team tips

Hannah: If you're a houseowner and have a boarder or flatmates living with you, you must  let your insurance company know.  They might increase your premium or your excess. But if you don't tell them, they may refuse to pay out on damage or loss caused by your flatmates.

Greg: Petrol prices are high enough. So you don't want to be giving out freebies to others at the pumps. If you're using a credit card in the swipe at the bowser.. Make sure you hang up the handpiece properly when you're done. If your don't, your card details can remain open and you'll be shouting  strangers a full tank.

Simon: We're getting lots of queries about "pro forma" advertising. That's where a publishing company falsely claims you've agreed to advertise in a magazine. It often has "children", "road", or "safety" in the title. You'll be asked to pay. Well, ask for proof you've ordered the ad. If they don't have it, don't pay, even if they threaten court action.

Jacquie: You probably know a gift voucher is almost always useless if the date on it's expired. But, did you know if the business where you bought the gift voucher changes hands, the new owner isn't always bound to honour the voucher... so be warned.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

How do you want your news

  • Mobile Devices

    TVNZ is available on mobile phones: Text TVNZ to 8869.

  • News Feeds

    See when TVNZ have added new content. You can get the latest headlines anywhere.

  • Podcasts

    Enjoy TVNZ on the move - a wide range of programmes and highlights are available.