Friday, 19 December 2008


Sent this off to 3 this morning:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Phone number 0425 XXX XXX

I have a complaint. I presently have no service on my mobile phone for inbound calls and text messages. It has been this way for nearly two weeks. Possibly even three.

I have lost count of the number of calls that I have made regarding this matter to get it resolved, only to be met by the response that it’s because of “Network issues.”

I spoke to Nam this morning was at least a little helpful, asking me to try various different settings with my phone before giving up and referring me to one of your shops with a repair ID.

To re-iterate, I cannot receive phone calls. I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you how inconvenient this is.

Or maybe I do: It is as inconvenient as a festering pustule on my bottom. And just like that sore, it is threatening to burst forth, exploding volcanically on to everything in the near vicinity with glorious golden pus. And maybe some blood.

Please get this fixed immediately. I use my phone for work purposes, and as a consequence I have been nigh on unreachable. I will not be paying a bill for this month, and am pretty certain that I deserve a credit for the previous two months bills as well.

Please email me back if you have any queries, because you will not be able to get me on my mobile.

Yours sincerely,



Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Catholic Health Australia


Disgusted some more.

Thought about it.

Still disgusted. And appalled.


Dear sir/madam,

I write to you with more than just a small degree of disgust over the blackmail stunt that you pulled today. I wish to complain about this as it is clear that you are behaving with an infantile level of dignity, decency and decorum.

Your board member Bishop Joseph Oudeman's threat to close your obstetrics wards in your Victorian member hospitals if the abortion bill successfully proceeds through state parliament is a national disgrace. Possibly even an international one. I cannot believe that you, in good conscience, would even consider resorting to blackmail to try to get this law stopped.

I can't even comprehend how you would even find blackmail to be appropriate.

All the bill requires is for doctors with a conscientious objection to abortion to refer women to doctors who do not. And yet, this isn't good enough for you: You have to enforce your concept of "life" on to the rest of us. Whether we're religious, specifically Roman catholic christians, or not.

How could you possibly do this?

All over the state, there are women who are going to need to give birth. According to stats on The Age's website, your hospitals deliver one third of them. Are you going to deny them assistance in a hissy fit over the laws, if they even become that? Law, that is?

And I read that your CEO, Martin Laverty, has stated that you will not require your doctors to comply with the law on this. This is a disgrace, and is completely irresponsible.

I can only conclude that you have the mental capacity of an eight year old who is threatening to take the bat and ball and go home if by chance he is given out. Please confirm when Mr Laverty and your board will be resigning over this matter.

Should you carry out your threat, I wish to advise that my wife and will have no alternative but to use condoms and birth control pills.

Yours sincerely,



Monday, 15 September 2008

The Australian Financial Review Part The Final

This is Part 10.

Click here for previous parts:

You pleased it’s all over?

Me too. Finally received this from Stuart from The Age this morning:

Thank you for your query regarding your subscription to The Financial Review. Your subscription has been extended by 8 weeks to compensate for the missed deliveries.

The contact number for any queries regarding subscriptions, deliveries or suspensions is 9604 1025 and is available 7 days from 6am. until 5pm Monday to Friday, 2.00p.m. Saturdays and 12 noon Sundays.


[Insert The Age graphic here]

I feel kinda sad that it’s over. But I’ll probably have something new to complain about next week.


Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The Australian Financial Review Part 9

This is Part 9.

Click here for previous parts:

8... 7... 6... 5A... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Right. Now you're all probably getting almightily sick of this whole saga, but there is now the small issue of compensation. I'm sure that we'll get to that eventually.

The reason I'm sure of that is because yesterday, I received this in the mail. Snail mail, that is.

Which means that I have to type the whole sodding thing in:

Dear Dikkii


Thank you for your correspondence received on 25 August 2008 with regard to your complaint concerning The Australian Financial Review.

I write to confirm that your complaint has been received. A Consumer Affairs Victoria officer will contact you further to talk to you about how we may assist. This may take up to two weeks, or longer in some circumstances, as a large number of Victorians have sought our assistance. If you require an interpreter or have any special needs, please let the officer know when you are contacted.

Consumer Affairs Victoria assesses complaints in accordance with it's Conciliation and Compliance & Enforcement policies. Copies of these policies are available on our website at .

To avoid any further delay in having your matter dealt with, please ensure that all relevant documents in support of your complaint have been forwarded to Consumer Affairs Victoria. We will not be able to progress your complaint until we receive all supporting documentation. Please quote the reference above when sending in any additional documentation.

Consumer Affairs Victoria provides an accessible, cost-effective, practical and fair dispute resolution service for consumers. Consumer Affairs Victoria staff members have extensive experience in negotiating dispute outcomes which might avoid the need for recourse to Courts or Tribunals. However, Consumer Affairs Victoria does not have a determinative role, nor can it compel parties to participate in any conciliation process or to accept any settlement proposals that may be under consideration. If Consumer Affairs Victoria is unable to reach a mutually agreed settlement, we can provide you with information and advice about alternative avenues which you may wish to pursue to resolve your dispute.

Should you have any queries please contact us on 1300 558 181 and quote the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Daniella Schmidt
Assessment Officer

I guess that I should be greeting this with a cheer. Instead, I fired this off to the Fin:

To whom it may concern,

I would like to thank you - and my newsagent - for my copy of The Fin, which was delivered on Saturday. I hope that this has been fixed, and look forward to my next copy.

With regards to my complaint below, there is still the matter of the previously undelivered eight weeks. Is it possible for someone to contact me to discuss some kind of arrangement?

Yours sincerely,


And you know, even though the resulting credit that I hope to get to my account will not be as great as the $75 this blog obtained from Harvey Norman, I hope to get some satisfaction out of this. I'm not letting go just yet.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Australian Financial Review Part 8

This is Part 8.

Click here for previous parts:

7... 6... 5A... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

My copy of The Fin was delivered this morning.  I breathed a sigh of relief.

Should I retract my complaint to Consumer Affairs just yet?  Unsure.  Certainly, I think that I'd like to know how the last eight weeks are going to be compensated for.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The Australian Financial Review Part 7

This is Part 7.

Click here for previous parts:

6... 5A... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Previously, on Double The Fist...

OK. Not that exciting, but I'll keep you up to date anyway.

Sonny from The Age rang me yesterday to see where I was at with this one. After I informed him that I hadn't, in fact, received my copy of the Fin on Saturday, this is what he said:

"I think that it would be best if I filed an official complaint for you."

I nearly shat.

"Sonny," I pointed out, "I've already done that. Twice."

"OK. But if I do it, I'll be able to get the right people to speak to you."

I asked the question.

"Sonny, are you aware that I've already referred this to Consumer Affairs?"

A pause.


"You have received a forwarded copy of the email thread containing my initial complaints?"

"I might... um that is to say... there is..."

"Look. All I want is my Financial Review delivered on Saturday. Can you fix it?"

Sonny assured me that he would. Not before also assuring me that other people would be calling me. Yawn.

The time for talking is through. I want my newspaper.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

The Australian Financial Review Part 6

This is Part 6.

Part 5 is here. (Part 5A is here.) Part 4 is here.
Part 3 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 1 is here.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!! You bastards!!!

Just stop for a moment and listen. Do you hear that? Yes, that's right. That's the sound of my Australian Financial Review weekend edition not being delivered, once more.

I can hardly wait until Consumer Affairs catch up with this lot. But just to underline the situation, I sent this off:

Dear sir/madam,

Even though I expect to hear from Sonny on Monday regarding this matter, I thought that I would let you know that this morning, just like for the preceding seven weeks, I did not get the Saturday edition of the Financial Review delivered to me.

I look forward to hearing from him on Monday.

Yours sincerely,


I'm getting extremely sick of this. Just to ensure that I get a response, I also sent this to the Fin's help desk.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

The Australian Financial Review Part 5A

This is Part 5A

Part 5 is here.
Part 4 is here.
Part 3 is here.
Part 2 is here.
Part 1 is here.

While I'm not yet in a position to post a Part 6 yet, it is interesting to note that Fairfax Media, publishers of the Australian Financial Review, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, has announced that it will cut 550 jobs.

First to get his marching orders was the editor of The Age, Andrew Jaspan.

Journalists have responded today by going on strike until Monday.

This blogger is, while disgusted, not going to let these issues at Fairfax sidetrack him from more important issues. Like the one about whether or not I actually get my copy of the Fin delivered on Saturday morning.

Monday, 25 August 2008

The Australian Financial Review Part 5

This is Part 5.

Part 4 is here.

Part 3 is here.
Part 2 is here.
Part 1 is here.

Goodness! I really don't know what it is that makes some companies move when you invoke the magic words that is the name of a complaints resolution scheme.

Banks move like greased lightning when you say "Banking Ombudsman".

Telcos will say "Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir," when you say "Telecommunications Ombudsman".

And so too, in this instance, just by saying "Consumer Affairs", I've seen Fairfax go completely berzerk in responding to each and every single email I've sent since.

Take this: I only sent my last email off last night. This afternoon, I got this back:

Dear Dikkii,

Thank you for your e-mail.

I have just found your account, and we have been having trouble finding you because you have accidently [sic] been emailing the Sydney office.

Anyway - I have contacted your newsagent and spoken to them about the missing deliveries and hopefully this problem will be resolved.

I have also contacted the Melbourne office, and spoken to a fellow called Sonny. He will call you on Monday next week to ensure that you received your paper on Saturday.

The number for the Age is 03 9604 1468 should have any further queries.

Kind Regards,

Jenny Cuthbert
Customer Service Team, or contact us on 1800 252 525 or 13 66 66

Let's just put this in some perspective for a moment. Under "Contact Us" on the website for the Australian Financial Review, it clearly states the following:


AFR newspaper subscriptions

Telephone: 1800 646 990
International: +61 2 9282 3800

Which, if my eyesight is not failing me, is exactly where I sent my initial request.

Let's look at Jenny's response.

Fairfax owns three of Australia's biggest daily newspapers - the Fin, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH). Whilst I'm aware that newspapers that are owned by the same owner like to remain independent from each other, it's clear from this email that the subscriber databases for the Fin, the Age and the SMH are separate operations.

This is a joke and I'm kinda glad that I'm not a shareholder. I may not be an efficiency expert, but even Blind Freddy will tell you that this is a costly exercise.

Secondly, if Fairfax haven't got the good grace to let their SMH staff know that they're also responding to queries about the Fin, then they have problems.

Lastly, as discussed ad nauseum, it's not my Age subscription that is the problem: It's my subscription to the Fin.

I wrote this in response:

Hi Jenny,

Thank you for your email. I am glad to hear that this is being rectified.

I wish to correct you on two things, however: I have NOT been "accidently [sic]... emailing the Sydney office". The Fin's website clearly states that issues relating to subscriptions and subscriber queries should be emailed to " ". If you want emails to go to the correct address, please amend your website.

Secondly, my subscription to The Age is perfectly alright. It is the Fin that I'm not getting.

I look forward to Sonny's call on Monday.

Yours sincerely,


Unfortunately, I then realised, after I had already sent my email to them that I'd cut and pasted the wrong email address into my email, so I had to add this correction:

Hi Jenny,

I'd like to correct my previous email.

At the website - , the email address given is , not the one I put down in my previous email. You and Alison emailed me from .

The email address that I quoted above ( ) is the one that my initial and second complaints were sent to.

Please ensure that Sonny leaves a message if he is unable to contact me on Monday. I can be hard to reach on every second Monday.

Yours sincerely,


Let's see if that's the end of this - I'm not rescinding my complaint to Consumer Affairs just yet.

The Australian Financial Review Part 4

This is Part 4.

Part 3 is here.
Part 2 is here.
Part 1 is here.

You'll recall that in our last exciting instalment, we made history. For the first time in the history of The Purple Headed Earls Complaints Blog, we escalated a complaint to Consumer Affairs.

Well, 24 hours is a long time, and I have now finally received a response to my complaint from Fairfax Media:

Dear Dikkii,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Unfortunately the account number that has been provided is for a Sydney Morning Herald account for another customer, not by the name of Dikkii.

I apologise for the nondelivery of the paper, If you could please provide your address details and any further information we will be able to access your account and look into and correct this problem, by crediting your account for missed deliveries and speaking with the newsagency in question. There appears to have been a lack of repsonse [sic] and communication which I again apologise for and hope that once the information is provided we will be better able to help in the matter.

Your subscription has been adjusted accordingly.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information or assistance.

Kind Regards,
Customer Service Team, or contact us on 1800 252 525 or 13 66 66

Another customer??? You must be kidding.

Utilising a skill I learnt somewhere when I was younger: I am holding in my left hand, while I type with my right, a copy of a confirmation and tax invoice letter that says, quite clearly that the number that I have quoted is mine.

And what is this "Your subscription has been adjusted accordingly" bullshit? They can't locate my account so how could they possibly have adjusted it?

I responded thus:

Dear Alison,

Thank you for your email. I appreciate your response on a Sunday and all, and only wish that you could have communicated this information to me earlier. If you had, we might have been in a position to fix this up before I sent my complaint to Consumer Affairs.

I have attached a scanned copy of a Confirmation and Tax Invoice letter dated 08/07/2008 which confirms my name, subscriber number, address and services provided (i.e. one annual subscription to the Fin, not the SMH).

Could you please confirm if you would prefer a different format to the .jpg file that I have sent?

Yours sincerely,


Not going to be rescinding my complaint to Consumer Affairs just yet. I simply don't know when I'm going to be getting a response to this email, if I ever do.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

The Australian Financial Review Part 3

This is part 3.

Part 2 is here.

Part 1 is here.

I thought after a second complaint I'd get a response to this one. No such luck. Instead, when I went to get my newpapers again this morning, there was no @#$%ing Fin again.

So I fired this one off to them:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write with regards to the two complaints that I have lodged over the past two weeks. I wish to thank you for your scant disregard of them, and also for the cavalier non-concern you displayed in your responses which, when I last counted, added up to precisely zero.

I would like to advise that, in addition to not receiving a copy of the Australian Financial Review again this morning for the sixth week running, I will now be referring this matter to Consumer Affairs.

Thank you once again for your time. Which wasn't any at all.

Yours sincerely,


It's now time to wheel in the big guns.

Step forward, Consumer Affairs, Victoria. Another wounded citizen needs you!

Consumer Affairs have a form-based emailer where you can type your complaints in. I went in there and typed the following under "Please explain your complaint":

I took out a full year subscription to the newspaper on 31/6/2008 and was charged for this 2/7/2008. I received one on 5/7/2008 but have not received one since (12/7/2008, 19/7/2008, 26/7/2008, 2/7/2008, 9/7/2008, 16/7/2008, 23/7/2008). I have complained each time to the newsagent who advised me the third time this happened to complain to the Australian Financial Review (AFR) directly if it happened again. Each of their previous responses amounted to, "We'll tell our driver." I complained to the AFR after it happened a fourth time. I have not received a response. I complained to the AFR after it happened a fifth time - still no response. This morning, it was, once again, not delivered, making a total of six Saturdays where it hasn't been delivered and one where it has.

Followed by this under "How do you want your problem to be solved?":

I would very much like my newspapers delivered. For the weeks where they haven't been delivered, I would like the equivalent amount credited back to me.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Reply for Harvey Norman coplaint for Kelly.

From: Argiropoulos, David [] Sent: Thursday, 21 August 2008 1:39 PMTo: Simpson, KellySubject: RE: reply to letter of complaint

Hi Kelly sorry for the delay. Just letting you know we have put a reversal of $75 against your finance to cover the delivery charge

David Argiropoulos
DOMAYNE - QV Melbourne
Furniture, Bedding & Homewares Shops 9-13 Upper Terrace QV Melbourne VIC 3000P - 03 8664 4358 F - 03 8664 4333

Monday, 18 August 2008

The Australian Financial Review Part 2

This is Part 2.

Part 1 is here.

I thought after my complaint last week, I would have had this problem sorted out with the Fin, but alas, no. Not only have I not received a response, but I bloody well didn't get one delivered AGAIN yesterday.

So of course, I had to send another one off:

Hi folks,

Last Saturday I sent you this complaint. I thought that I'd take a few moments to let you know how it's proceeding.

Normally, it would be you who'd let me know how a complaint such as this is proceeding, but this appears to be a special case. It's a special case because in the week that has gone by since I sent you my first email, it's curious to note the following:

A. I have not received a response from you confirming that you'll, at the very least, look into it; and

B. Yesterday, for the fifth (5th) Saturday in succession, I didn't receive my Saturday edition of The Fin.

So please consider my second complaint. The substance of this complaint is as follows:

1. I still, to date, have not received a response to my original complaint (below) which I emailed to you last Saturday, 9 August 2008.

2. I have a fully paid annual subscription to the Saturday edition of the Fin, which I took out just before the end of the financial year for which I have only received one (1) of the six (6) which I should have received under our agreement.

3. Yesterday, I did not, and I'll repeat that, I did not receive a copy of the aforementioned newspaper delivered to me for the fifth week in succession.

We have complained to the newsagent. They have, yet again, advised me that they will tell their driver. They have, however, once again suggested that I complain to you. I did this last week, and have not yet received a response.

So I wish to advise that I would like, at the very least, a response to this email by close of business Tuesday. I believe that two (2) working days is ample.

In addition, I would like you to confirm that it has been made crystal clear to my local newsagent that my Saturday Fin is to be delivered, every Saturday, as described in my Confirmation and Tax Invoice letter from you dated 8 July 2008.

Finally, I would like to discuss with someone there about either extending my current subscription by five (5) weeks at absolutely no (0) cost to me, or getting a credit or refund for these weeks.

If you have any queries at all about this, please read my initial email below, and then feel free to email me or call me on 04XX XXX XXX.

The ball is in your court, and has been for over a week.

Yours sincerely,


The clock is now ticking.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Posted for Cameron

Quick email to The Age online.

There is a small button that allows you to send new tips. So I did.

Tip Number 1: Find someone interesting to write Catherine Deveny’s column. Honestly it’s like watching re-runs of Burke’s Back Yard. BORING! Her opinions are about as relevant as a Hawiian tee shirt. Please, for the love of writers everywhere give someone else a go. Someone who is appealing, witty and purhaps semi attractive.


Cameron Davidson

Sunday, 10 August 2008

The Australian Financial Review

The Fin. They write great stuff about business. But if they can't sort out issues with their distribution network, then the message is clearly not sinking in.

Here's one I just fired off today:

Hi folks,

I have a complaint.

About a little over a month ago, I took out a new subscription to the weekend edition of the Australian Financial Review. It was a subscription for a year.

I got one delivered, and I thought "This is great. No longer do I have to traipse down to the local newsagent to get my Saturday newspapers."

But then, they stopped. No word from anywhere as to why.

The first weekend that this happened, I went to the local newsagent and informed them that I didn't get the Fin that morning. "Thank you for telling us," the girl behind the counter said, "I will inform our driver." I thought that would be the end of it.

Alas no. The following weekend, I received my copy of The Age, but no copy of the Fin was forthcoming. I set off to the newsagent again to inform them. "Thanks for that, and our apologies," said the girl behind the counter, "I will inform our driver."

And surely after two missed Saturdays, I thought that would be the end of that.

I was sadly mistaken. I went to retrieve my newspapers on the following Saturday morning to find that there were, yet again, only two rolled up packages waiting for me. Yes, you guessed it: Once again, only The Age had been delivered, and not the Fin. I had business elsewhere, that day, and so my wife went off to the newsagent to inform them about non-delivery. Once again, she was informed that they would inform their driver, and that would be the end of the issue.

And she was, just like me, misinformed. The next week, when I went down to complain, once again, the girl at the newsagent showed great initiative this time by not discussing the driver. Instead, she suggested that if it happened again, we should write to you.

So it was with great anger that I strode down my driveway in my pyjamas to get my newspaper, only to find that the Fin had, once again, not been delivered.

Folks, this is a disgrace. I want my weekend Fin delivered on Saturday mornings, and the newsagent is clearly not getting the message that I have a valid subscription. And I do not want to be having to go down to the newsagent every Saturday to retrieve a newspaper that should have been delivered that morning.

Please confirm that you will fix this immediately. If I do not get a Fin next week, I will not be visiting the newsagent to complain, I will be visiting you.

And I want this weekend's edition sent to me immediately. The weekend edition is quality reading that doesn't just contain news.

Yours sincerely,


All I want is the Fin delivered on a Saturday morning. Is this too much to ask?

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Harvey Norman complaint written for work collegue

To Whom It May Concern:

Go Harvey Norman Go! The light is green! Hello?? Harvey? Norman? Anyone? If anyone is listening or has the most basic of literary skills, this is the second time I have attempted to contact you in the faint glimmer of hope of a response. So, let me return to start of the situation and then move on to the comedy of errors and deplorable customer service thereafter.
My experience began on the 23rd of May at your Melbourne City outlet. Being armed with what I thought was the knowledge of you being a reputable organisation or franchise, whichever suits; I entered and ordered a couch/sofa/lounge, whatever suits, once again. Upon embarking on this epic, which it has now manifested itself into; I was assured by one of your representatives that the delivery timeframe would be 4-6 weeks. Understandable. Unfortunately, my item had not been delivered at the beginning of July so I decided to contact the store to get an update on the situation and a possible ETA. I was then advised that I would have to be contacted back. Understandable once again. This is the point where the real fun began.
Two days went by and we had not received a call. Great work. As you will have already guessed I was forced to call a second time. This particular instance I managed to speak to a person by the name of Paul who was my original sales person. After enquiring about the ETA of my item, Paul advised that there was a delay from the suppliers end and the delivery time would be another two weeks. Needless to say with the lack of communication and basic customer service at this point I was not a happy camper to say the least but I am a fair person and do understand that problems similar to this do occur from time to time.
However, after spending another four weeks sitting on a mattress in my lounge room where my non existent couch is supposed to reside and no correspondence between myself and your relevant department, my patience and understanding had fallen to a most inauspicious level. Therefore I again, AS THE CUSTOMER, was obliged to contact you find out what is or is not happening with the delivery. And here I was, thinking it was your job to do that. Silly me. This occurrence was on the 30th of July where I was lucky enough, or so I believed at the time, to speak with the sales manager by the name of Lee. May I just stop at this point and enquire what Lee is required to do as a sales manager? If he could have been more unhelpful and there was an event for this at the Beijing Olympics, he would be going home with the gold. If the sales manager is this incompetent and has such woeful customer service skills, it is not startling to discover that this is passed down through his department like an old footy jumper.
The next stage, when you could not even imagine it getting any worse, Paul managed to learn how to use the phone; 1 bonus point for him, and advised me that there was an “error”. The error I refer to was that somehow my couch had been sent to the Sydney warehouse and wouldn’t arrive here for yet another week. Bonus point deducted. And just when you thought I had finished, Paul advised he would contact me on the 5th of August to confirm the delivery date. Here’s a shock, HE DIDN”T!
If this entire debacle is not enough, the only compensation I have been offered is a $50 voucher. This is grossly inadequate and insults my intelligence. To add insult to injury, pardon the cliché, I decided to write a letter of complaint which no one has replied to of course, hence this displeasing jumble of words.
In conclusion, with all the “errors” and blatant lack of necessary customer service you require operating a business such as yours, the $50 voucher and non reply to my complaint is nothing short of a slap in the face. In direct accordance with this fiasco, I will not be doing business with your organisation ever again unless something is done by YOU, not me, as I have done everything else, to rectify this situation with the amount of compensation and customer service it truly deserves. Once again, if you did not get it the first time, which has become a pattern, a $50 voucher and no reply to a complaint, on top of everything else, is cringe worthy. It is quite distasteful, but in any sense, if this is not responded to, I WILL take this matter further.

Yours begrudgingly,

Kelly Simpson.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Posted for Camerom-Another Connex complaint

To whomever,

I wanted to provide some feedback on the pathetic situation I was faced with this morning.

Upon arriving on time at Surrey Hills Station this morning to catch the 7.37 express train I was confronted when walking up the ramp to the platform by about 20 people trying to use the validating machine. I walked past the group only to find that the only other validating machine was not working.

Rejoining the queue the train arrived, and due to the fact that I could not validate my ticket in time to catch the train I missed it and thus got to work late. This is where my issues lie!

1 – Why the hell does a station like Surrey Hills, which is one of the last zone one stations and has a car park that supports about 200 cars only have 2, yes that’s right 2 validating machines?! The same amount as Hawthorn that has a car park that supports 10 cars Surely Connex isn’t doing so badly in revenue that you can’t even afford validating machines so that normal paying customers can do the right thing and validate the tickets they bought!

Perhaps you should invest money in keeping your machines operational rather than investing in millions of dollars in “fare evasion” advertising. Or have you just invested in technology that was outdated 20 years ago. The fact that when purchasing a ticket from a machine the machine a) doesn’t accept a credit card even though there is a button for it on the console b) when buying a ticket with an EFTPOS card the machine takes longer that an espresso machine to make a coffee to spit the ticket out, and c) the machine can’t even work out change of more than $20. It’s absolutely pathetic!

I really wish I had something good happen to me on public transport so I could email positive feedback. The fact that on a daily basis I arrive at work angry and frustrated that such a simple process as catch a train can be made so painful that I would consider just paying the $75 per week to drive in myself and wreck the environment for future generations.

Get back to me as these things are really grating on my happy demeanour.

Cameron Davidson

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Herald-Sun Disgrace

Posted to Herald-Sun feedback

I don't think there is a strong enough word I can use that will accurately show my disgust at the Herald-Sun, its editor and anyone else who was involved in Thursday’s issue on the 10/07/08.
According to the Herald-Sun, it would seem, they hold the Olympics as a more important and newsworthy issue than the war in Afghanistan and Jana F#cking Rawlinson above the brave SAS digger who’s name you did not even mention on the front page.
Your headline reads, in case your moral and ethical standards temporarily blinded you: “Jana Out”, “Injury shatters champion’s Beijing Olympic dream”. To top it off, you plastered a picture of her sorry ass face draped in an Australian flag over two thirds of the page with an article underneath stating how heartbroken, numb and shattered she is. Did anyone, and I do mean ANYONE, give one seconds thought as to how the family and friends of Sean McCarthy (he is the digger that got blasted to pieces in case you didn’t hear due to Jana’s whinging) may feel? Did anyone consider they might be heartbroken, shattered and numb at the loss of their loved one?
Clearly that is a rhetorical question as we can all plainly see you did not. To have Jana draped in an aussie flag directly above shadowing a digger who has been KILLED defending our right to freedom and peace, was an even greater testament to your callousness.
Let me be the first to say, what an absolute f#cking disgrace and insult to Sean’s family and friends. Not to mention the rest of us. May I ask whose idea and decision it was? Was it the editor’s? Was it Jana’s? Or a collaboration between the two. Neither of these would surprise me as the all the editor cares about is making himself look good by selling papers and all that Jana cares about is herself.
Good to see our fallen digger made it to page three though along with tiny pictures of the other five brave souls who have given their lives serving this country on the ultimate platform. Unfortunately written words will not accurately portray my sarcasm in case you did not pick it up.
To follow it up, if that was not enough, on page four you continued by giving Jana more space to whinge and cry. First was her blatant arrogance in stating that, and I quote, “If the Olympics had of been last year, I would have been Olympic champion now. But it is not and that is fate. That’s sport”. And to follow, “I’m trying to remain positive and I’m looking beyond the Olympics to other challenges”.
For starters, it truly amazes me how one can assume that they will be world champion without even competing. The sheer arrogance and over confidence of this girl is astounding to say the least not to mention her talking about fate and looking beyond the Olympics to other challenges. How about the fate of Sean McCarthy? And if she wants a challenge, how about going to Afghanistan or Iraq and trying to come back alive? But I guess her sore toe and an accolade for sport is more important than the loss of a life, family member and friend.
In any event, it was a complete slap in the face towards Sean McCarthy, his family and friends and the armed forces who are risking their lives everyday for the sake of a better world. But hey, who cares? Lets just all go out and grab a box of tissues, take them around to poor little Jana’s place, dry her eyes, be a good listener while she whinges, embrace her selfishness and give her toe a massage in the sheer hope that we can get her back on her feet so she wins us aussies a gold medal in four years. I wonder how many more of our diggers will no longer be with us then.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

An open letter to artists everywhere (reposted)

I originally posted this at my other blog. Although it wasn't sent to anyone in particular, it qualifies as a complaint.


Oh man, this could be controversial. I risk being misunderstood, but, well, that's art for you.
Dear artists.

I've been reading avidly in the media about the Bill Henson affair, and realised that I don't like you very much.

Henson, I'm sure that you recall, may be charged with certain crimes for taking nude photos of young children and attempting to profit from them. Some people might call this porn, but Henson, and some of you, appear to think that because Henson did this as art, it's fully justified.

Personally, I'm staggered at the disingenuity of your assertion that Henson's photo's can be defended on the grounds of "art" or "culture", when you had a veritable arsenal of stuff that you could have used to defend this. Freedom of expression is one. Realism is another, given the fact that 13 year old girls are occasionally nude.

So strange as it may seem, you went and chose the one excuse that really shits me about art and artists, and the weakest and least defensible of the whole lot: Anything done in the name of "art" is apparently OK all round as far as you lot are concerned.

You are a pack of complete fucking idiots.

What's more, you are a fraudulent pack of complete fucking idiots. You're quite happy to defend Henson, because he seems to be well connected amongst the tortured artistic milieu. Yet for years, photographers in the porn trade have been ridiculed by you lot, mainly because they lack the airs and graces that define your artistic stereotype, which you only seem too keen to conform to.

And what's more, I'd say that there is someone busted for kiddie porn once every couple of months and sent to gaol in this state alone. When was the last time you defended their art? You disgusting hypocrites.

You defend Henson, because you contend that "art" was his intention. You complete bunch of nob ends.

It's quite possible that art was his intention. But so what? Society's laws and values, sadly in my opinion, aren't based upon intentions, with the exception of some. Like the ones in this case that mean that Henson probably will escape prosecution. Yet I don't see you campaigning to see other laws brought into line.

In France, a trader is awaiting charges based purely on the consequences, not the intentions of his actions. Where were you during this, eh? When did you speak out against his charges?

Thanks to you, we're now likely to get a barrage of kiddie porn thrown at us under the guise of "art". It doesn't take a genius to see that any porn photographer wanting to profit from exploiting nude kiddies will now just throw up a gallery somewhere and stick up their photos which might not only involve kiddies nude, but possibly "doing stuff" as well. Fuck you.

It goes further than that. I heard not long ago about people having their cameras confiscated on Australia's most famous beach, merely because they might have been photographing chicks in bikinis. I didn't hear a single one of you complain about this. Maybe if they'd uttered the word, "art" they would have been able to keep their cameras. You sanctimonious morons.

What, you don't like my "thin edge of the wedge" argument? Well, why the hell are some of you content to trot it out then? I watched the news tonight, and I saw some of you complaining about the potential for increased censorship across the board as a result of this.

Yet none of you complain about existing censorship regarding porn. For that is what Henson's art is.

I have to laugh, whenever I hear some of the lame excuses trotted out by you lot. So the children's parents consented. So what?

Ms Jones, I like your work. You paint nice. And your 15 year old daughter would be considered technically nubile in some cultures, but not here. So why are you defending Henson's work on the parental consent line? Didn't you tell me that you recently told your daughter to stop pleading with you to allow her to have sex with the young brickie next door who she's been flirting with outrageously? Why won't YOU provide consent? Because you can't legally?

Well then, Ms Jones. Why aren't you campaigning to have the laws changed so that you can? After all, you're happy to defend the parental consent line in Henson's case.

"But it's not sex," you say. So what, Ms Jones? You're still being inconsistent.

OK, so I made this scenario up. Let's call it "art" and that'll make it alright. I hate that. Why can't I just be an exaggerating idiot? Is there something wrong with calling something what it is? Why do Henson's nudie shots of 13 year old girls cease to be exactly that when they're called "art"?

Well fuck you, artists.

I hate the fact that you expect government grants and complain about businesses being provided with tax concessions.

I hate the fact that you hate intellectual property laws except where it's your copyright over your work.

I hate where you resort to defending bad taste, mistakes and half-baked concepts as "art", yet criticise fellow artists when they dare to do stuff that's entertaining.

I hate the fact that you sell your stuff in galleries for outrageous prices, yet criticise anyone deemed to have "sold out".

I hate the fact that you're so fluid with your definitions on what "selling out" actually involves.

I hate the way that you insist on being branded as "eccentric" and have the nerve to criticise anyone for pointless pigeonholing.

I hate the tortured artist thing with an absolute passion.

I hate public arts funding, and wish it would stop. I hate the way that our national broadcaster insists on foisting arts programmes on to the rest of us.

I hate the way that you believe that it's your right to profit from a hobby.

I hate most of your work.

I hate myself for liking quite a lot of your work.

I hate the fact that you're all so fucking hypocritical.

I hate the way that because I'm a musician and writer, this makes me one of you and therefore just as hypocritical as the rest of you.

And I hate the word "art". Seriously, it should be fucking well banned. The vast number of the rest of us do not want to hear you claiming that your latest unentertaining installation of questionable merit is good merely because it's "art".

Put jam on it and jam it up your arse.


PS: I'm not deliberately being ironic - I know that this technically qualifies as art. Fuck you.

Believe it or not, people wonder why I get so frustrated with the term "art". I don't think that this is going to make it any clearer.

Friday, 18 April 2008

My Two Cents About Connex - Posted for Cam

I thought I'd also throw my two cents worth in with the latest incident that has occurred with Connex officers bashing a passenger.

What does one expect if you hire staff that have delusions of grandeur?! Not once have I ever been spoken to by a Connex officer in a polite manner, and I don't expect to now that you've hired a pack of thugs, who probably didn’t even complete basic education. Just because you wear a trench coat and have a plastic badge doesn't give you the right to take the law into your own hands like your auditioning for the show COPS. Surely by hanging around in packs of 3-5 is patronising enough without the need to wear army boots and other apparel likened to a battlefield. Perhaps you’ve forgotten who pays their wages…

Can Connex do anything right this year?.....I really doubt it. Soon I’ll have to wear a flak jacket and battle armour to get to work unharmed.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Yarra Bend Golf club and no refund policy

Not a particlarly harsh complaint but a worthy cause. This is one I really do want to work!!!

To whom it may concern,

I have enjoyed your golf course for a number of years now and have just recently played a round there with a couple of associates. The date I played was Sunday the 6th of April. I called initially on the Friday to book in and was advised that you required payment by close of business the next day which I thought was fair enough.
When asked how many would be playing I stated that it should be a foursome but possibly three as I was having difficulty contacting one person to confirm. The clerk then advised me that I could just book for three and if the fourth was to join us that all would be fine and he would be able to tee off with us. At that particular point in time I was almost completely sure that we would have a foursome, so to avoid any trouble, I decided to book for four.
Before close of business on Saturday I called and made the payment for all four and also managed to get an earlier tee off time due to others cancelling which was great. Unfortunately though, one of our group fell ill the night before and was unable to join us for the round and we had little or no time to offer his spot to anyone else. Either way, the three of us left were still happy to play our round and we proceeded to the course.
However, upon arriving and informing you that we only had three it was made known to us that the green fee for the fourth would not be returned. I find this extremely hard to swallow. I do not see why we should have to pay and extra $25 for nothing!!! I also do not see why this was never mentioned when I initially booked? Had I have known I would never have agreed to book for that many just in case something went wrong, as it did. Further more, when asking for the refund, the clerk advised me that to get it returned, we had to give them one days notice. This was a completely ridiculous statement due to the fact that it was impossible for us to do that as the fourth in our group pulled out that morning. Needless to say, our hands were tied.
I find this extremely unfair, not to mention a rip off and excessively bad customer service. I cannot see myself (or my golfing partners) playing at this course ever again simply due to this situation. It does not make sense to me why this should be occurring. I would be more understanding if all of us pulled out and you did not refund or gave us a cancellation fee, but for one person out of our group? Come on. And again, if we had of been advised of this I would simply have booked for three.
As a result, my friends and I have had to wear the extra cost and due to this inauspicious situation, played a round of golf which was not very enjoyable. As I stated before, I will not be frequenting your course any longer unless something is done to rectify this problem as I believe it is grossly unfair and a shocking way to treat your customers.
Any type of response to this would be greatly appreciated.

Yours regrettably,
Ross Hughes.

Gloria Jeans and Mercy Ministries part 3

This is part 3.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

So this is a final response to Gloria Jeans. I don't expect a response back - Jean's have already indicated that they're not going to move on this.

I was absolutely mystified by the repeated Hillsong references - while I already know the nature of their Hillsong links (their founders Nabi Saleh and Peter Irvine are prominent members of this church and Saleh appears as a listed Elder on their website) it wasn't what I was complaining about.

Having said that, it wasn't beneath me to bag Hillsong in my email.

Dear Dianne,

Thank you for replying to my email.

I must admit to some confusion reading your email, and some anger as well, as it did appear to me that you cut and pasted a standard prepared statement that had minimal relevance to the email that I originally sent.

For example, you initially started by referring to Hillsong Church, which I did not refer to in my email. I should perhaps clarify that I am happy with Gloria Jean's statements up to this point regarding links, or lack thereof to Hillsong. I should further remind you that Hillsong was not the subject of my email - Mercy Ministries was.

The rest of your email appeared to be irrelevant guff, referring only obliquely to the points that I raised about your sponsorship arrangement with Mercy Ministries.

Somewhat strangely, you referred me back to the media statement made by Mercy Ministries which I will remind you, made me quite angry due to the fact that it, and I'll quote myself here, "doesn’t even contain a shred of sympathy for the women in question, nor does it suggest any action that the centre will take to ensure that such mistreatment doesn’t happen again."

Part way through this, you point out that you will only take action after due diligence has been undertaken. Dianne, organisations such as Bunnings, Rebel Sport and LG Electronics promptly cut off the organisation the next day after the allegations surfaced, and while everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence, the fact that so many organisations have terminated their sponsorship arrangements suggests that your due diligence process is either deficient, or wilfully ignorant. Indeed, the loss of corporate sponsors appears so embarrassing for Mercy Ministries that they have deleted all mention of who their sponsors are from their website.

Then for no apparent reason, you mention Hillsong Church again, once again denying links with this church.

I'm reminded of a popular misquote from William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much." I don't mean to sound blunt but I don't really care what kind of (non-)relationship you have with Hillsong Church, although for some reason, Hillsong reminds me of the goings on in a Californian church called Peoples' Temple, before their leader, Rev Jim Jones packed everyone up and moved to Guyana in South America. I'm sure that you don't need me to remind you how successful that turned out to be.

If I might quote you from the end of the email:

"The religious affiliation of our management, staff, Franchise Partners, charity partners has absolutely no relevance to how we operate our company."

If this is truly the case, then you will have absolutely no problems terminating your sposorship arrangement with Mercy Ministries forthwith. I expect that this is all talk but this much is clear: the ball is firmly in your court.

I would like to add to my initial complaint that I am unhappy that you chose to respond to my initial complaint with a prepared media statement bearing minimal relevance to my listed queries.

Yours sincerely, Dikkii.

So I'm going to completely avoid Jean's for my coffee requirements. I think you'll agree that I'm fully justified.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Gloria Jeans and Mercy Ministries part 2

This is part 2.

Part 1 is here.

I received a response to my complaint to Gloria Jeans. It's maddening to note that it's a standard response by numbers press release type thing that doesn't even address the points that I raised or the question that I was after an answer to.

I'll type a response a little later on. In the meantime, here is Hillsong's sorry, Gloria Jean's response:

Dear Dikkii,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We are deeply concerned with the recent media coverage related to our sponsorship of Mercy Ministries and association with the Hillsong Church and feel it is not reflective of what our business is all about.

Gloria Jean’s Coffees is a company built on family and community values with the vision: “To be the most loved and respected coffee company in the World.”

Our responsibility is to our Franchise Partners and our guests.

We are not religiously affiliated, or affiliated to any other beliefs or preferences. We are non-discriminatory and accept staff, franchise partners and guests from all walks of life.

We believe as a truly responsible corporate citizen, that we should have a positive impact on the communities from were we source our coffee and the communities we serve. Our values include: “Belief in people, building and changing lives”.

Our sponsorship of many international and local charities including Mercy Ministries is based on giving back to the communities who have helped us become the brand we are today, there are no hidden agendas.

We assessed Mercy Ministries along with many other potential charity partners several years ago now and found that their work transforming the lives of young women in crisis was a good fit with our vision, mission and values.

Our corporate donations amount to approximately $150,000 – $170,000 per annum plus the donations made by the public through the money boxes in stores.

Since then we have seen many young women’s lives transformed for the better. We have regularly visited Mercy Ministries homes to meet with the residents.

All our Franchise Partners in Australia have the opportunity to do this as well as all our Master Franchise Partners from the 29 other countries in which we serve coffee. We have several Mercy Ministries graduates working in and making a positive contribution to Gloria Jean’s Coffees both in our stores and support office.

We have been in direct discussion with Mercy Ministries and we will be working with them to understand what elements of their program could have given rise to these very concerning claims. We would encourage any member of the public that is concerned to review their response to these allegations on their website at

Many of the issues facing these young women are not easily fixed. While the vast majority of young women succeed in the program, there are those few for which this program is not the answer. Clearly they have the right to give their views.

We believe this however should not outweigh the positive impact Mercy Ministries has had on the lives of many young women. By removing our sponsorship without due diligence, we would be removing our support for the many young women dealing with eating disorders, unplanned pregnancies, abuse and other life controlling issues that are in desperate need for help to turn their lives around.

We have no relationship with the Hillsong Church. Gloria Jean’s Coffees is an Australian-owned private company and there are no financial or legal ties between Gloria Jean’s Coffees and Hillsong Church. This remains unchanged.

The religious affiliation of our management, staff, Franchise Partners, charity partners has absolutely no relevance to how we operate our company. Our responsibility is to our Franchise Partners, our guests and the quality of our coffee.

Thank you for your concern, we really do take your thoughts & feelings to heart in trying to ensure we serve you in the best way possible and in our journey to become the most loved & respected coffee house worldwide.

Yours faithfully,

Dianne Baise Guest
Relations Officer

Gloria Jean’s Coffees

I may even blaze away at them with a fisking, but I'm undecided, yet.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Gloria Jeans and Mercy Ministries

Like most Australians, I was pretty disgusted with the whole Mercy Ministries saga. If you haven't read about it yet, I've stuck links into my complaint down below.

It's good to see that their corporate sponsorship has dried up. However, and this is hardly surprising, Gloria Jeans have indicated that they will not be changing their sponsorship arrangements. So I will not be having another delicious white chocolate caramellatte from them until they rectify this.

(Although in fairness, I usually get my coffees from the cafe at the foot of the building where I work, anyway. I can't recall the last time I went to Jeans', Hudson's or Starbuck's)

Here's the complaint I sent them:

To whom it may concern,

I have been following the Mercy Ministries story closely. It is a sad and harrowing tale involving weird cult-like activity and some disgraceful treatment in a facility which purports to help young women suffering “the effects of eating disorders, self harm, abuse, depression, unplanned pregnancies and other life controlling issues”.

Like most Australians, I was shocked and horrified by the goings on at the centre on the Sunshine Coast as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 17 March 2008
( . I was even more amazed at the media response posted on their website
( accessed 1 April 2008 at 13:26) which doesn’t even contain a shred of sympathy for the women in question, nor does it suggest any action that the centre will take to ensure that such mistreatment doesn’t happen again.

So I was pleased when I read in The Age on 18 March 2008
( that most of Mercy Ministries’ corporate sponsors had cut all ties with the centre.

Most but not all. In that same article, it reported that Gloria Jeans would not be terminating its sponsorship and would in fact not even be changing their sponsorship arrangement. I understand that this article is dated 18 March, so things may have changed since then.

However, I still notice that Mercy Ministries appears on your corporate website, which I am taking as evidence to suggest that Gloria Jeans is not only still associated with the organisation, but has continued to support Mercy Ministries in an undiminished capacity.

Given the above paragraph, I wish to strongly complain, and would like to know when Gloria Jeans will be terminating their arrangement with Mercy Ministries.

Yours sincerely,


Just simply disgraceful.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Answer from Connex (excuses, excuses)

Case no: lm/08142

20 March 2008

Mr Ross Hughes

Dear Mr Hughes

We refer to your email received in this office on 5 March 2008.

Your correspondence raises a number of issues, namely:

The operation of three carriage services during peak periods on the Upfield line.
Metcard pricing.
Proposed upgrades to increase service frequency.

We welcome the opportunity to provide the following information.

Three Carriage Services – Peak Hour

By way of background, train services provided on the Melbourne metropolitan network are provided by either six or three carriage trains.

When train faults reduce the number of trains available to run services, we run out of spare trains and we have to make a decision between running three carriage trains, or cancelling services completely.

We also have instances of vandalism which can affect the availability of trains, and in many cases cancellations or the short running of services are inevitable, as significant time is required to have a carriage window refitted or graffiti removed from the driver’s window (for example).

Our records indicate that the 8:21am Anstey station departure on 3 and 5 March operated as a three carriage service due to multiple train faults reducing the number of trains available to run services.

We respectfully advise that running a three carriage service is an option we only turn to as a last resort. Cancelling a service completely would subsequently necessitate that the following service carries two services worth of passengers. In reality what usually occurs is that more passengers are unable to board their intended services. Operating a three carriage service in lieu of an outright cancellation can alleviate the demand for the following service.

We would also like to advise that when we are forced to run a three carriage train, it is more practical to operate these on the shorter train lines, such as the Alamein, Upfield or Williamstown lines.

This decision is also related to the historically lower patronage levels on these lines and the need to utilise resources, in this case carriages, in the most efficient manner possible. In effect, we are tailoring the service to the patronage demand.

With that said, however, we are aware of a continual increase in patronage levels across the network.

The unprecedented increase in patronage levels across the entire network (20% in the past two years), has contributed to overcrowding on our services. This in turn represents one factor which can cause delays due to the additional time needed for passengers to board and disembark.

Recently the State Government announced the purchase of 18 new trains, expected to be in operation by 2009, as a means to help alleviate current capacity issues affecting our ability to adequately supply services for the growing number of passengers utilising the train network.

We respectfully reiterate that the running of a three carriage train is favoured over cancelling the train all together, as a means of ensuring that passengers can still reach their destination.

Metcard Pricing

As you may be aware, a Metcard allows for travel on all forms of public transport throughout metropolitan Melbourne, as opposed to simply being just a ‘train ticket’.

The price of a Metcard ticket is regulated by the State Government. The Government raises the price every year and the average fare increase aligns with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The CPI is the measure of change over a period of time for consumer goods and services. The categories it covers include food and drink, clothing, medical care, education, recreation and transport. For further information, please refer to the Department of Infrastructure website:

Franchise Agreement – Proposed Upgrades

Your comments regarding “selling the network to someone who can operate it with some sort of competency” are noted.

Contrary to popular opinion, the metropolitan rail network is not privatised. It is a public/private partnership between Connex and the State Government, managed through the Department of Infrastructure (DoI).

Under the terms of the franchise agreement, we are required to manage the day-to-day operation of the network. All infrastructure remains an asset of the State, including trains, tracks, stations and signals, etc.

Connex is also required to maintain the infrastructure which was ‘in place’ at the time when the franchise agreement began (April 2004). We are continually working at devising strategies to utilise the infrastructure we have available, including plans to revise maintenance programs and signalling systems to increase the number of trains the frequency at which they can operate.

Any upgrade or improvement to infrastructure, service levels, staffing levels and/or hours of operation need to be approved and funded by the State.

We can further advise that in addition to projects instigated by the DoI, Connex regularly forwards submissions to the State Government for approval for funding, to upgrade the network’s infrastructure. The State Government assesses these requests based on passenger needs, urgency, congested high patronage areas and allocates in order of priority accordingly.

Full details of the franchise agreements for public transport operators are available on the Department of Infrastructure website, located at

We fully acknowledge the inconvenience experienced as a result of three carriage services operating during peak periods.
Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

Yours sincerely

Luke Morrison
Customer Resolution Co-ordinator

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Let's all move into the inner suburbs and shut down the live music venues

It seems to be a recurring theme in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. And by the inner suburbs, I'm talking about the inner sanctum, those suburbs that circle the city and Albert Park Lake.

People want to move into these suburbs because they're perceived as "cool" and "funky". Nice restaurants. Lovely cafes. The odd trendy bar or three. And live music.

The next thing that happens is that they find themselves next door to a live music venue such as a pub. After realising that yes, live music venues do play music late at night, the aforementioned new inner-suburban resident is immediately on the phone to the local council demanding that the venue either beome a speakeasy, or close down outright.

These people are called "wankers".

Incidentally, anyone who uses the word "funky" indiscriminately is also a wanker. Only the following contexts constitute acceptable usage of the word "funky":

  • When discussing music with an emphasis on "The One", porno basslines and jinkajing guitars. Horns optional but delicious - see James Brown and Funkadelic for more information; and
  • When you need to ask the question of those around you: "What is that funky smell?"

My good buddy DJ Mohair Slim (of the radio show, Blue Juice - 11am to 1pm AEST Sundays, 3PBS) has circulated this complaint, which I have full permission to reproduce:

Dear friends,

If you ever hear that I’ve been arrested for murder, you will already know who the victim is. Some inner-suburban Johnny-come-lately, simpering wowser who complained about music at an inner-city venue.

You know the ones, the ex-Camberwell/Toorak/Brighton monied empty-nester a$$holes and who move into Fitzroy/Collingwood/Northcote/City with the full knowledge that these are busy, noisy, music-filled, social hotspots and then, by gutless letter-writing and telephoning campaigns, seek to quell the dynamism, life and art of these rare joyful places.


Unfortunately, political correctness in the 1990s spawned “a culture of complaint” in this country that has spread like a cancer. “Dobbing” in your neighbour for water use, driving with a mobile phone or loud music gives too many people a sanctimonious hard on. In reaction to this trend, councils and government have established efficient mechanisms for complainers to be heard by “powers that be”. The result is that the voice of the joyless fun-police is the loudest heard and has started to effected policies regarding music venues.

I love music as you know and travel to the USA every year to the most musical places, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans and Memphis. None of these places (except maybe New Orleans in Jazz Fest) compare to Melbourne musically. Have you ever seen the New York City live music guide? We have more gigs every week than they do.

A myriad random factors have combined to create a thriving garden of music art in this town. Like ecology, there is a delicate balance at play here. Why, for instance, with almost identical socio-cultural, institutional and financial background does Sydney have none of this vibrancy? To continue the (admittedly corny) garden metaphor we must tend this garden (going to gigs, starting bands, patronizing independent record stores, supporting independent radio) and deter pests (the inner-city serial noise complainers).

The complainers have already affected or threatened the operation of numerous venues: Empress of India, Rainbow Hotel, Open Studio, Transport and now even the Myer Music Bowl.

We need first occupancy legislation, so authorities dealing with noise complaints have to take into account who was there first. We need purchasers of new apartments to understand that is it their responsibility to ensure that there is adequate sound-proofing.

I have become aware of this new web-based group - I’m not normally a joiner, but I’ve joined this one and offered my services for fundraising and other activities. I don’t know the people behind or what they plan to do, but, fukk, it can’t hurt. It might even stop me pushing some silver-haired harpy off a ten storey building.

Mohair Slim Blue Juice Radio Show
station PBS 106.7


Connex. Again!!!

I thought I would begin and say thankyou Connex for providing an increasingly pathetic train service. Just when I thought it could not get any worse or less value for money you manage to sink yourselves to a new low. It bewilders me how your prices can rise yet your service get worse?
Connex, I am sick to death of being ripped off! How you get away with running your service the way you do is beyond me. Why is it so hard to run this service at an acceptable level? Or are all of you just simply incapable at doing your job?
Not once but twice this week Connex has made me late for work for exactly the same reason and it would seem that no matter how many times this is brought up, you either simply ignore it, make an excuse or just not care about it at all.
To explain my situation, I board or should I say, try to board the 8.21am train at Anstey station on the Upfield line. Twice this week the train has arrived with only three carraiges and bursting at the seams. Now I am no rocket scientist, but it would occur to me that this is not an adequate size train for this time of the morning considering that there are anywhere between 40 - 60 people waiting to board. Not to mention the other stations ahead of us where there are more people trying to get on.
Of course, as you would imagine, it was impossible to board these trains. However, being so close to Sydney Rd, we have the option of trams. Unfortunately, due to Connex being totally inept and causing this situation, everybody who cannot board the train heads straight to the tram trying not to be late for work. If going to work is not bad enough, we cannot board our train as there is no room and if you are lucky to get on a tram, you are squashed in like a sardine and in turn late for work. What a wonderful way to start the day!
Also, providing a train every 20 minutes on such a busy line is grossly inadequate. So my question is this: When oh when, are Connex going to fix this deplorable service? And please do not give me excuses like telling me that you are waiting to purchase more trains. If any one of you had the slightest piece of insight, you would have forseen this problem before it occured and prepared yourselves a lot better but I guess that would be too much to ask as you did not forsee the growth in use of your network over the past couple of years, which you actually stated in the news and papers. Was it too difficult to look at Melbourne's population growth and determine that the current system was going to be unable handle it? Or does your system have to be immensly overburdened for you to take notice and realise something needs to be done? It would seem at this stage, neither.
If you cannot deal with this situation or are simply unprepared to, please hand over or sell the network to someone who can operate it with some sort of competency because it is abundently clear that you unable to provide us at the very least, an average public train service.
Yours frustratingly,
Ross Hughes.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Rebuttal for whinge posted under Red Rooster complaint.

In response to the comment left by “anonymous” on my Red Rooster “epic” complaint, whoever it may be. I guess I should start off by saying thankyou for reading and posting a whinge on our blog, but I won’t. What I will start off by saying is that the one thing that irritates me the most, even more than my harrowing experience at Red Rooster that day, is someone speaking about something they clearly know NOTHING about. But, before I continue, let me be the first to point out that “moswell” is not a word and if you were not aware, the word “their” has a counter part such as “there”, so maybe you might care to take notice of this next time you post a whinge so the rest of us literate people my read it without it being more excruciating than it already is. Structure of sentences and commas might help take some of the edge off as well.

So, may I begin by talking about what you “seem” to think and “believe”. To put it in laymen’s terms, YOU WERE NOT THERE! In case you are having trouble understanding this, it is not going a “little over the top”. The point of the complaint is that it is a “complaint”, not a love letter. The point of the complaint is to make a point and have it recognised, not rap it up in cotton wool and stick a nice little ribbon on top as you would seem to have it. For the record, and your offensive lack of understanding, the events that occurred on the day in question are 100% accurate, not that I need to justify or defend. I will do this simply so you may be able to follow. I hope we have that clear.

To bring the first part of your insignificant whinge apart, your frivolous comments about Simon and what he is capable of investigating or proving were nothing short of ridiculous and obviously lacked general intelligence. If one would employ just a small part of [their] (and as you can see I have used the correct spelling here, for future reference) grey matter, one may quite simply come to the conclusion that if you checked the security tapes on that day from the drive through, one could identify how long each and every car sat at the serving windows. Amazing! Also, as an added bonus, you would not even need to time it yourself as it would most likely have a timer on the screen already! Welcome to the 21st century!

Secondly, I am not a moron. I do realise, that sometimes at a drive-thru the service is speedy and efficient and makes your dining experience that much more of a pleasure. It is disgustingly clear by this comment you have made, that you do not understand this blog and complaints system whatsoever. The complaint, if you could actually comprehend, is about the entire CUSTOMER SERVICE experience. What is even more disturbing is that you ask me, or “tell” me not to blame the cashiers. If one is employed to do a job and they do not do that job, the onus is on them. But just to make it completely translucent for you, the direction of my blame was for the cashier, manager and Red Rooster as a company. There was complete failure from the cashier, (as they are point of sale) they should have at least a basic understanding of customer service, the manager was even worse to the point of being extremely rude, and Red Rooster itself for employing these totally inept people and not training them correctly.

Your next comment refers to the “new and friendly” staff you encountered. If I may pose a question, did it ever occur to you that the reason your encounter with these wonderful new staff was because someone actually alerted the right people and let them know what type of unacceptable service the old staff were delivering? Do you think it is possible that they made some well needed executive decisions and replaced these obviously unqualified and uncaring workers because of the comments that I took time to signify? If you have forgotten, you did actually state this at the end of your comment when realising they did obviously respond with action. This would indicate that my “aggressiveness” as you put it, was needed and justified in my complaint as it did incite action. Unfortunately, what you deem to be aggressive I clearly do not. This would of course depend on your own inadequate perception.

As for the rest of your comments, let me squash the relevance right out of them now and not waste any more time. 1. As for the renovation and Red Rooster’s budget, not once did I refer or complain about this whatsoever. (Please, stop here and re-read the complaint before proceeding if confusion is setting in). 2. Your reference to some employees that actually care about their job. This particular comment made me laugh in bewilderment as the entire complaint was about the people or staff who were physically there. THEY did not care about their work regardless if these other super friendly and caring staff actually exist somewhere else. HENCE THE COMPLAINT! The 3rd comment I wish to make reference to is the one where you feel it necessary to point out how much you enjoy eating there. I have one word for you, IRRELEVANT! As much as you may find this hard to believe, this situation is not about you or your daughter for that matter, which brings me to point number 4. I am sure your daughter is a wonderful young lady, not to mention the most outstanding, customer service orientated staff member Red Rooster has ever had the privilege of having on their books who copped her fair share of difficult customers. However, for the record, once again, the place was not busy as we were the only people there and I do not need to spare a thought for anyone who does not spare a thought for me and who’s choice it is to do that particular line of work, unless of course you feel it fair to put that line of guilt on me for all the difficult or rude customers your precious daughter had to serve.

In future before posting a whinge about certain complaints may I suggest that you take this little experience and use it as learning one. Just so there is no confusion from this point on, this blog was designed for specifically these types of complaints for people such as my partners and myself, to express the feelings of so many disgruntled patrons of many services, who are fed up with what seems to be the dying art of providing decent and acceptable customer service. If you find these types of complaints too abrasive for your tender touch, might I suggest you visit a less confronting blog. Maybe one where you can all pretend to sit around and give each other hugs. If you wish to continue visiting our blog however, if you are not aware, the “whinge” section is to leave a “comment” not a thesis on your irrelevant thoughts and utterly pointless remarks. So if I may suggest, please refrain from this in the future so I do not have to write another one of these letters. The mere fact I have to do this and explain these things to you is draining to say the least.

The Hulk