As the year comes to an end it’s timely to reflect on how you might have been ripped off during 2012 and what can be done about it in 2013. Here are just some of the rip offs so feel free to tell us about others.
First up we have the ongoing petrol rip off. Poor old motorists got ripped off every day of the week as the same petrol was sold by the same petrol retailer at different prices at different locations.
At one location you could pay a higher price than another location. That’s the old geographic price discrimination trick. There’s no rational reason why the same petrol has a higher price in one suburb as opposed to the adjoining suburb or even across the road.
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Have you ever been to Balmain in the inner city of Sydney? Or have you been down a suburban shopping strip in your capital city? If you have you will know that something has changed over the years.
Even when walking down the shopping strip in your local town centre you are bound to have seen some changes. More often than not you will find that places like Balmain or your own local town centre are not as vibrant as they used to be.
There may be more vacant shops or the shops may be looking tired or run down which all makes the shopping strip less appealing. Some town centres may even be attracting gangs of youths or the graffiti artists which may all detract from the shopping strip.
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Did you feel ripped off this holiday season when you parked your car in the city, at a shopping centre or at the airport when picking up or dropping off loved ones?
If paying inflated petrol prices wasn’t enough, motorists are now also being hit with inflated parking rates when they go shopping or to the airport. Then, of course, there are the CBD parking stations that cost an arm and a leg.
It’s these CBD parking stations that consistently cost motorists dearly as the fees at the CBD parking stations start climbing the moment that boom gate rises to let you in.
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A couple of South Australian politicians were featured in the paper this weekend, parking their government cars in very clearly marked disabled parking spaces. The photos were published and, judging by the comments on The Advertiser’s website, people were really, really angry that a pollie would do such a heinous thing.
The MPs were suitably reprimanded by public opinion, and the Dignity for Disability MLC, the Hon Kelly Vincent, who uses a wheelchair herself, demanded that they each cough up the equivalent of the fine to a disability related charity, which they did, heads hanging low. They admitted their shameful and embarrassing “crime” and no doubt, no other MP in South Australia at least, will park in a disabled space without a permit for a very long time. But how can people who truly need those spaces get that message through to the “ablebods”?
I put a call out for a contribution to this column about disabled parking spaces and received stories from Nicola Stratford and Kate Jenian, over the jump, this week’s piece of angry. Their stories are not unusual. They do remind us, however, that stupidity and arrogance are not disabilities which qualify for a disability parking permit.
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