From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

The defamation writ against Abbott. Union leader John Setka is pursuing a defamation case against Opposition Leader Tony Abbott after Abbott spoke of the thuggery and intimidating behaviour of union officials that he called “the John Setkos (sic) of this world”. Sky News owner the Australian News Channel is also named as a defendant as it replayed Abbott’s comments. Crikey‘s got the whole writ here for your reading pleasure.

Australia Post’s GST fail. A great email thread sent in by an Australia Post customer who tried to tell the company it wasn’t displaying the GST correctly on invoices:

Customer By Web Form 15/05/2012 08.28 AM
Incorrect GST on vending machine invoice.
I purchased a box of 100 stamps from a vending machine at the 111 Bourke St Melbourne PO yesterday.
The total price was $60, but the GST was shown as $6, not the correct value of $5.45.
I don’t know if this problem is isolated to this one machine, but If it possible that Australia Post has thousands of vending machines issuing incorrect invoices, then I suggest that you need to investigate.

From: Australia Post [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, 16 May 2012 2:35 PM
The $60 cost includes the GST component which is 10% of the total price charged. Therefore 10% of $60 is $6.
Australia Post does not advertise or sell products where GST is not included in the cost.
Kind Regards,
Pamela K | Digital & Contact Centres – eServices | Australia Post
Online Services Consultant
GPO Box 9911 In Your Capital City

Customer By Email 16/05/2012 01.40 PM
Pamela, Thanks for your reply.
I am sorry, but GST of $6 out of a total price including GST of $60 is not correct.
The GST is %10 of the price EXCLUDING GST, or 1/11 of the price INCLUDING GST.
So a box of stamps costing $60 including GST is actually $55.45 + 10% ($5.55) = $60.
Please refer to an accountant or escalate this issue if you need GST explained.
As I initially said, if this error occurs in every AusPost vending machine in Australia then you have a significant problem.

Response Via Email (Pamela K) 16/05/2012 01.17 PM
The amount that has been shown on your receipt is correct as GST is charged at 10%.
Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience this matter has caused you. I hope you have a great day and if you need anything else please don’t hesitate to reply.
Kind Regards,
Pamela K | Digital & Contact Centres – eServices | Australia Post
Online Services Consultant
GPO Box 9911 In Your Capital City

Don’t worry if you can afford it, just steal it. This must have been an awkward brochure for Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher to send out to her constituents less than a year after she was arrested for shoplifting from a supermarket …

Unhappy home owners. Yesterday Crikey reported on a housing developer whose customer was so frustrated by the customer service he was receiving that he threw a meeting room table. Today we can reveal that housing developer was Metricon Homes. Its general manager Peter Langfelder confirmed with Crikey that the event had occurred but says its been dealt with:

“Through the building process sometimes things don’t quite go to plan. We had a customer that wasn’t happy with us. Since then we’ve paid very careful attention to the customer and the customer’s job and believe they are quite happy where they are now.”

What about complaints that customers are not having their calls answered or returned? “Really can’t comment on that,” said Langfelder.

Anyone else got tales about housing developers lacking in customer service? We’re sure there’s lots of you out there …

Still not entirely appy with The Oz. And lo and behold The Australian updated the higher education content on its app. “They didn’t after various emails back and forth — but they did after Crikey ran its piece yesterday,” one university watcher told us.

Although it doesn’t seem to have been updated completely, says our tipster: “There is still eight days worth of content missing — including two editions of the regular Wednesday higher education section.”

Back to Balmain’s AFP watch. We noted yesterday that the Australian Federal Police was still monitoring buildings in Balmain (either the Syrian consulate, the Iranian consulate, the Irish Echo newspaper or the post office, take your pick). But not more red shiny obvious cars, says one Balmain resident: “Well I don’t know where you are getting your information from but the OVERT AFP watch (that recently moved to the vicinity of Balmain Post office) ceased last weekend. No more bright red cars to be seen! Perhaps they have gone COVERT.” Sounds serious!

Here’s that number to get off the Flybuys mailout list. Last Thursday Crikey reported that Coles Flybuys was getting addresses from Australia Post (and the Do Not Call register) to send out new cards for people who had never signed up to the program. Here’s the email Coles send to those who query where their details were found:

“After some investigation I have found out that information was either gathered from Australia Post or a company called called Acxiom. Acxiom compiles information from several sources. If you wish to have your details removed from their databases, or require further information, please call them on 02 9032 3200 .We wanted to send you a personalised flybuys pack to make joining easy for you. We used lists of names and addresses from a couple of specialist companies, including Australia Post. These lists were created solely for the purpose of mailing the pack to you, and have not been retained by Coles or Flybuys. Regards, [employee name removed] Coles Customer Care”.

Three things certain in life: death, taxes and parking fees? And from the 3AW rumour file this morning …

“Stevenson says there’s a transport hub car park in which they found a dead body in a car. Heart attack is suspected. He notes the car park operators are pursuing the family of the deceased for the parking fees.”


*Do you know more? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed-anonymous form.