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Simon Corbell goes in to bat for the miserly

By johnboy - 14 April 2012 32

The ABC reports that Attorney-General Simon Corbell is courting the vote of miserable penny pinchers.

Since time immemorial if one was in receipt of a gift voucher or card it was accepted that in most cases one would have to overspend a couple of bucks to get the full value out of it.

And reasonable people, since time immemorial, have not had a problem with this.

But there’s always one miserable whiner to be had in any crowd and Simon is pandering to them:

Attorney-General Simon Corbell wants to allow consumers to receive up to 10 per cent of a gift card’s value in cash if it is not redeemed.

Simon Corbell says it will help customers with small amounts left on cards.

He says Canberrans spend $24 million a year on gift cards and $7 million goes unused.

“This is a very large amount of money that is given by consumers to retailers in the ACT every year and which currently goes unclaimed,” he said.

“At the moment that unclaimed money just goes straight into the cash register of retailers and they don’t provide any goods in return.

“We believe this issue needs to be addressed and consumers need better protection.”

Simon plans to have this before the Assembly by September; or, in punter’s language, just before the election.

His logic seems to miss out on some of the drivers of gift giving.

What next, legislate that all gifts must be given with a receipt so they can be redeemed and full value extracted?

UPDATE 14/04/12 13:45: Simon has now made a media release available explaining his views at length.

The Government is considering a $5 cash-out option for cards with a face value of $50 or less, or 10% cash-out for cards with a face value of more than $50 to provide a fairer deal to consumers at a low cost to retailers.

“The point of these proposed reforms is to ensure consumers with gift-cards actually enjoy their full value instead of being short changed if there is a small value remaining on the card after a purchase which cannot be recovered or spent,” Mr Corbell said.

“Often small balances after a major purchase are too low to purchase another product, but the company is usually not willing, or obliged to cash out that balance on the card to the gift-card owner.

“This situation generates an unearned windfall for the card issuer and leaves consumers out-of-pocket and this is something that the ACT Labor Government views as unfair, and is seeking to rectify.”

What’s Your opinion?


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32 Responses to
Simon Corbell goes in to bat for the miserly
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justin heywood 11:04 pm 16 Apr 12

Dear Simon,
Firstly let me say how pleased I am that you’ve got things running so smoothly here in the ACT that you can turn your attention to issues that even a Small Claims Court would laugh at.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any gift cards to redeem, although my Aunty Mary is thrilled that she can retrieve that $1.47 balance she has on the Dick Smith gift card I gave her. You’ve certainly got her vote!
The particular injustice I want to tell you about is this: I was part of a busload of Canberrans who travelled to the Whitney Houston concert in 2010. I’ve always loved Whitney – I thought she was just smashing in The Bodyguard. But at this concert she just looked, well, smashed. It was a disaster.
I know that she’s dead and all, but I’m sure if you wrote to her and explained that you are the Attorney General of the ACT she might well see her way clear to refunding our money.
I hope I’m not pushing our new friendship too hard here, but another thing; on the way back from the concert we stopped at the servo in Watson, where I bought a REALLY dodgy Chiko Roll. I can show you the dates and the receipt. I think I may even still have the Chiko Roll if you think that helps my case. Let me know what you think.
Your increasingly close friend,
Justin
PS. I feel that I need to be honest here, I didn’t vote for you in the last election. In fact I’ve always found you, well, I hope irritating is not too strong a word. But I admit that I’m starting to change. Now, when I read of the things you say and do, I can’t help but smile – sometimes even laugh, and surely this is a good thing.

devils_advocate 1:13 pm 16 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

dungfungus said :

Thumper said :

I’d like to get reimbursed my parking ticket for when I don’t stay the whole two hours.

You know it makes sense.

What a perfect example of a counterbalance. Also, what about a rebate for the weeks when I don’t have to put out my garbage bin but still have to pay for the service?
I don’t think Corbell thought this Unicorn out very well, did he?

How about all the years of ACT rates I’ve paid that have been spent employing Simon Corbell, when I have not once ever had any use for him?
Can I have a refund?

I peronally endorse this “can I get a partial refund for stuff I paid for but didn’t recieve at all/in full” and await the forthcoming further contributions from the rest of the RIOTAct, and hope it gets a mully.

And that somehow corbell sees it and realises how dumb this idea is.

HenryBG 11:15 am 16 Apr 12

dungfungus said :

Thumper said :

I’d like to get reimbursed my parking ticket for when I don’t stay the whole two hours.

You know it makes sense.

What a perfect example of a counterbalance. Also, what about a rebate for the weeks when I don’t have to put out my garbage bin but still have to pay for the service?
I don’t think Corbell thought this Unicorn out very well, did he?

How about all the years of ACT rates I’ve paid that have been spent employing Simon Corbell, when I have not once ever had any use for him?
Can I have a refund?

dungfungus 10:20 am 16 Apr 12

Thumper said :

I’d like to get reimbursed my parking ticket for when I don’t stay the whole two hours.

You know it makes sense.

What a perfect example of a counterbalance. Also, what about a rebate for the weeks when I don’t have to put out my garbage bin but still have to pay for the service?
I don’t think Corbell thought this Unicorn out very well, did he?

Thumper 9:12 am 16 Apr 12

I’d like to get reimbursed my parking ticket for when I don’t stay the whole two hours.

You know it makes sense.

Mysteryman 9:10 am 16 Apr 12

ACT Labor – we don’t know how to spend money, but we’ll tell you what you can do with yours!

What an ridiculous and idiotic idea.

Mr Evil said :

“Oi, all you media people, don’t look at all those dodgy ACT Labor timesheets over there; come and look at this very important issue of people losing a few dollars on a gift voucher/card purchases instead…..”

+1.

bloodnut 5:01 am 16 Apr 12

Please start with qantas flexible fares that mean you can’t purchase a credited fare if it is less than the original amount paid…

justin heywood 10:14 pm 15 Apr 12

Thumper said :

Does anyone else think that this is possibly the very worst piece of legislation ever put forward by this bunch of numpties?

Talk about a solution for a non problem.

If the figure is correct, it equates to about $20.00 lost on these cards for every year for every man woman and child in the ACT – and almost 30% of the cards’ value goes unspent.

I call bollocks on the figures, with about the same ammount of evidence that Corbell provides for this plan. Has the ‘Attorney General’ and Police Minister of this little tin-pot kingdom nothing better to do?
Give a little man a little power …

Thumper 7:03 pm 15 Apr 12

Does anyone else think that this is possibly the very worst piece of legislation ever put forward by this bunch of numpties?

Talk about a solution for a non problem.

milkman 7:02 pm 15 Apr 12

We should tax 4WDs back to the bush anyway.

p1 6:04 pm 15 Apr 12

HenryBG said :

Yeah, but there’s nobody on the gate allowing through only the competents.
A 4WD driven by a cretin will do immeasurably more damage than a commodore driven by a cretin, which is why it is cretins driving 4WDs who are the chief reason these roads have to be shut in the wet.

You have to find a balance between using ACT Ratepayers’ money to provide shared resources and infrastructure, and occasionally barring access to that infrastructure to ensure a wider selection of the collective owners of that infrastructure gets to enjoy the use of it.

As I said before, all councils responsible for these sorts of roads do exactly the same thing.
Canberra has a special challenge in that it is home to a far higher number of 4WD-warrior-cretins than most councils ever have to deal with.

And on the balence of all those things, closing the road is probably the right move. ACT Parks and Wildlife certainly prefer it. It helps that the ACT has the advantage of being able to close there roads, happy in the knowledge that the bogan element won’t be too outraged as they oly have to go a couple of kms further to 4WD in NSW.

devils_advocate 5:54 pm 15 Apr 12

I think this policy is fair, especially given the fact that shops are constantly putting guns to people’s heads and forcing them to buy these gift cards, and then deliberately screwing them over.

If only there was some unit of exchange – currency, we could call it – that people could quickly and conveniently access (perhaps from some kind of machine, located around the place?) , and slip into birthday, christmas and wedding cards. Then we would be free from the tyranny of these highly conditional “gift cards”.

But until that happens, and while we have no alternative to bartering or for intertemporal transfers of consumption, we are at the mercy of the stores and the conditions they impose on what is clearly our only unit of exchange.

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