Update: 9:41 p.m. – Appears to have just been resolved.
Apparently DuckDuckGo is down…
Anything I try to search will return the above error. Been like this for at least an hour.
This post is more of a personal point of reference (leading on from an ongoing, personally conducted investigation into a different matter)…
National Roads and Motorists’ Association (“The NRMA”) to me these days are more of a Travel and Tourism company and would say in my own sole opinion they are perhaps now a different organization from what they were originally before demutualization.
They apparently own several Resorts & Holiday Parks, Travelodge Hotels (as a Joint venture with TOGA / TFE Hotels), Manly Fast Ferries, Thrifty Car rental Australia & NZ along with a couple of Tour companies. To confuse matters, they do not actually own NRMA Insurance (which is currently a brand of Insurance Australia Group since 2000) nor do they own NRMA MotorServe (now also a brand of IAG). Even to this day, appears many of their own clients and members are unaware of the distinction between NRMA Insurance and NRMA Motoring and Services.
Some NRMA roadside assistance personnel (while still being provided with a NRMA branded Van and Uniform) are in fact employed through a separate company called Club Assist who NRMA Motoring and Services have contracted out to for the provisioning of battery replacement sales + assistance, and auto-glass replacement to their members. While it looks like NRMA owns 30% of Club Assist, I’m not sure how many of the other Roadside Assistance personnel are still directly employed by or otherwise contracting directly to NRMA Motoring and Services.
Club-Assist are apparently contracted to do quite a bit of the Battery related call out work by other Motoring clubs in Australasia including Automobile Association Batteries here in NZ and supply batteries bearing the branding of the Motoring club they’re working for. That said, anecdotally, some people within my immediate social circles have claimed they did not find them the best value (Club Assist reps are allegedly incentivised to sell new batteries) and I would say it still pays to shop around if you’re in need of a new battery.
Club-Assist have also been deploying the NRMA branded charging stations over New South Wales along with the RACV branded charging stations across Victoria.
Stream of consciousness and other personal thoughts garnered throughout the week and which will be added to as the week rolls on. These thoughts are unrefined, unquantified, unverified, and raw. Any of these may be either be edited, deleted or otherwise spawn out into its own separate post…
- Grant Imahara of Mythbusters has tragically passed away very suddenly. Have to admit, his passing probably hit me a lot more than any other Celebrity.
- Apparently those who were previously infected by CoVid-19 are susceptible to getting it again. I do wonder if we are actually looking at the same Coronavirus or a different strain? Appears the world are having repeated recurrent waves of this thing.
- Quiet weekend away down Waikato way. Visiting various historical sites and doing another walk up the Kauri grove loop track at the northern end of the Hakarimata range.
- Finally got my Raspberry Pi 4 (with 8GB Ram), have set it up as a Desktop PC and it appears to do the job surprisingly well. Seems to choke when I try to run Firefox browser though (hence why it seems they went with Chromium as part of the default install)
- Coming to the conclusion that Branding increasingly in a lot of cases can end up leading to misplaced loyalty on the part of consumers.
Older Stream of Consciousness thoughts can be found here.
Update: 15 July 2020 – Rewritten to correct some of my own views and information.
I concede this is more of an unquantified feeling at this stage and this post will likely be added to or otherwise edited…
While Australia has both Consumer and Retail investor Protection regulatory frameworks in place, the supervision and enforcement of I feel of is rather weak and probably weaker than anyone, even Australians actually realise. This extends to their financial sector as well In terms of retail investments and retail banking. Continue reading “Australian Consumer Protections + Regulatory frameworks”
Update: 31 July 2020 – Have decided to halt pursuing this matter temporarily given the re-escalation of the situation around COVID-19 in Australia. However, I am still not sufficiently satisfied with the explanations given by either party (ProductReview and the company of the listing in question) and fully intend to be following this matter up with the ACCC and NSW Fair Trading after the COVID-19 situation abates.
This blog post originally documented in detail some personal concerns I had regarding the validity of ProductReview.com.au’s claims, in particular it’s claim of “independence” made via their trust centre if they also happen to supply paid services to the businesses being reviewed on their site. The matter originated from coming across what I feel were some fairly sizeable anomalies (that were too large to simply casually ignore) on a listing during what was intended to be a casual visit to the site.
To add… Looks like someone from a corporate IP address belonging to the company of the listing in question has also been seen frequenting this site (according to the certIficate attached to the IP). If they could please kindly respond to my last private message on ProductReview once they see this or via this form here, it would certainly be appreciated. Thanks.
Update: 20 July 2020 – 21:33 NZST Response has now been sighted, Thanks.