There’s suggestions from Nine in Melbourne that David Gyngell is being touted as the new CEO of Fremantlemedia Australia (with Mark and Carl Fennessy due to depart in November to take up their roles running Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine production company in Australia from early 2010.) Fremantlemedia has got a head-hunter looking around for a new chief. Hugh Marks, who has headed up Southern Star is the most obvious tip, but now this odd rumour? Why he would leave Nine when he’s doing a reasonable job?

The Australian‘s mining reporters have been pumping the tyres of Ivanhoe Australia. On the front page of their business section today they have reported that Ivanhoe’s Merlin molybdenum and rhenium deposit is comparable to BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam, one of the biggest deposits of copper gold and uranium anywhere in the world. This is not supported by anyone quoted in the story. It is true that Merlin might be part of deposit type called an iron oxide copper gold system which is the same style as Olympic Dam.

Moreover, even if it is an IOCG system there is no evidence to say it will be anything like the size of Olympic Dam. Ivanhoe shares jumped by more than 30 per cent on the opening today after The Australian‘s report, having already risen 30 per cent the previous day. It has shades of CuDeco when The Australian spruiked a broker’s report (which was never released) which allegedly said the $2 stock is worth $25. The shares rallied to $10 in two and now sit at less than $2.

We just flew home with Tiger Airlines last night from the Gold Coast (Coolangatta). We had booked an extra seat as we have a baby (he is six-months-old). On the website it states if you want a seat for an infant you have to pay for it — so we did as instructed (I was going to be breast feeding and just wanted a little privacy). We were told when arriving to check-in that we had to pay for each of his baby items as he is an adult and has an adult ticket. Whereas Tiger lists on its website:

Infant equipment, including but not limited to prams, buggies, cots and car seats can be carried in the hold of the aircraft. Tiger Airways is prepared to carry such items on a “Limited Release” (i.e. entirely “at your own risk” for damage or delay) basis for free. You may therefore wish to ensure that you have suitable private insurance cover in force for such item.

My son had a normal seat and is now considered an adult. So they do not need to take any items. I was then told at Coolangatta by the manager that it is only one infant item per child. But still then he charged me for each item as there was over 20 kilos as we had a porter cot, a car seat and a pram. They wanted to charge up $15 per kilo. He then decided he would “do us a favour” and log it as sporting items and only charge us $30 per item. By this stage I was furious and upset.

The manager then told us Head Office is in Melbourne and if we wanted to we could take it up with them. When we arrived in Melbourne we went to the main Tiger building and asked a girl where the customer service desk is. We were told they do not have one, but if we would wait around say 10 -20 minutes someone would be able to help us. We were then told at Melbourne airport we shouldn’t have been charged BUT she couldn’t refund us and to contact Tiger.

So this morning I’ve called and was told that Tiger couldn’t help me. I asked where I could speak or see someone face to face and was told there is no one I can talk to here in Australia. I was told a manger from Head Office Singapore will call me that was at 11:36am.

We will never fly with them again.

Optus are introducing paper bill fees as of 1st May for those who don’t elect to receive a bill by email. Trying to register online to change over to online billing results in messages such as “We have been unable to validate the account details you have provided.” Emailing customer service results in receiving standard emails. Nice money spinner for Optus when effectively customers can’t do anything to avoid the fee.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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