People are up in arms that Australian customs officials have taken it upon themselves to go porn-hunting on travelers’ computers, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. If they find anything, they’ll confiscate the dirty stuff in order to prevent you from exporting it to the untainted island. [More]
The “Pasta Bible” is getting pulped because a recipe for spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto called for “salt and freshly ground black people.” [More]
Days shy of 45 years after he patented the idea of wine in a box, Australian winemaker Thomas Angove has died at the age of 92. [More]
An investment banker apparently forgot or didn’t know his colleague was doing a live interview and was caught looking at nudie pics in the background on live TV. The SFW fun starts at about 1:03. Hey, pushing around money is very stressful, a guy needs some kind of release. Two things make this video even better: 1. The guy keeps checking out pictures as he talks to another coworker and 2. At the very end he turns around and faces the camera, his face showing that he’s just realized that his appreciation for the female form has been caught on camera. [More]
Various people in the country of Australia are upset at Britney Spears for lip syncing — and feel that it is dishonest for the pop star not to disclose that sometimes she’s just mouthing along while she dances.
Mickey D’s down under wants everyone to know that the parody McDonald’s letter making the rounds is indeed prankaliscious. Corporate Communications Manager Bronwyn Stubbs writes:
Note: This memo is a parodic spoof.
Guests Behaving Badly (GBB) is an Australia-only customer blacklist that hotels there can use to weed out potentially bad guests. From their FAQ:
Australian consumers will soon be able to challenge any bank fee that they consider “unreasonable,” thanks to a new law that could save consumers up to $1 billion. Banks that want to keep levying excessive fees for late payments and overdrafts will need to prove that the charges are reasonable by revealing the true processing costs behind the fee.
Frustrated Customer Hacks Into DSL Website, Fixes Own Customer Service Issues, Is Thanked By Company Bigwig
When three months of phone calls and a $44 fee still didn’t result in the name change he’d requested on his DSL account, Aussie techie Douglas decided to hop onto the website’s customer portal and fix it himself using a Firebug plug-in. Since the site was extremely poorly engineered and he is a smartypants, he found it ridiculously easy to achieve. When he proudly posted the story to a programming blog, the DSL company wrote in to congratulate him.
Here’s a 24-page PDF of a powerpoint on ATM skimmers that’s making the rounds in Australia. If you’ve been reading every ATM skimming post, most of this is review, but it contains several more examples of what skimmers can look like and what to watch out for. Though it’s from an Australian bank, most of the information is general enough to apply to any ATM. A handy document to pass around to friends and family to warn them about ATM skimming dangers.
When Fosters-owned Cascade beer (different from regular Fosters in that it tastes decent) switched to 330ml from 375ml while charging the same price, consumers let their discontent be known in a highly visible fashion: they stopped buying it. Fosters reported a 33% drop in sales and some retailers reported up to a 50% drop. In response to the steep drop-off, Fosters is going back to 375ml, the standard size for canned beers in Australia.
If you want to hit Australia like right now,United is having an unadvertised sale with roundtrip tickets for about $1000, no advance purchase required. For instance, JFK is only $973 with taxes. Usually no advance purchase required tickets cost a pretty penny. The deal is good at airports all across the nation. Qantas is price-matching the sale, too.
Great news, kids! Australian researcher Michael McCullough says you should stop using alcoholic mouthwashes like Listerine and Scope because they could give you oral cancer.
Looks like the Grocery Shrink Ray took a working vacation down under this summer. Reader Meg tells us that her redesigned Aussie Sprunch hairspray shriveled from 12 ounces to 10.2 ounces. Gone too is an adorable yellow kangaroo, mercilessly consumed, we presume, by the insatiable Grocery Shrink Ray.
Apparently, the email has caused such an outpouring of similar customer service stories that the restaurant is actually closed.
Like kangaroos? Flights down under may soon cost less thanks to an open skies agreement signed by the U.S. and Australia that will smash apart the duopoly enjoyed by Qantas and United. Richard Branson’s discount Australian airline, Virgin Blue, has already submitted an application to mix things up and drive fares south. [L.A. Times]
Here’s proof that bad customer service, like haggling and buyer’s remorse, is a universal human condition. A woman in Brisbane, Australia saw an ad for 50% off the bill at Casa Flamenco, a local restaurant, so she and some friends went out for dinner. The experience wasn’t good—untrained waiter, mediocre food, small servings, long wait time, and despite the half-off coupon the meal was surprisingly expensive for the value. The woman—a restaurant marketer—wrote a polite email to the restaurant with some professional feedback and suggestions on how to improve service.