Monday, September 24, 2007

National Consumer Agency - a toothless quango

Putting Consumers First - yeah right ! I complained to the NCA about the fact that Tesco couldn't be bothered to display pricing information. They are required to do so by law in a similar fashion to the laws that dictate that we shouldn't speed, steal, not pay our bin charges etc. I received the following long rambling reply which states that they prefer to "work with" the retailers rather than prosecute. At this stage they have been working with Tesco long enough to be an employee but meanwhile the consumer is denied their rights. Mary Harney told us all to shop around but didn't bother following through to allow us to perform comparisons. They must get a lot of complaints because this is a form letter :
Dear Sir/Madam Thank you for contacting the National Consumer Agency (NCA) with your query. According to your email a retail outlet is not displaying prices on certain goods. In general, shops must display the selling price of every item offered for sale. More specifically, the European Communities (Requirements to Indicate Product Prices) Regulations 2002 requires that all products on sale to consumers must show a selling price in euro and a large number of products that are sold by weight or volume must show a unit price by reference to the metric measure. A price indication should be either on the product itself or on the shelf edge label. By law traders are obliged to display the selling price in Euro, and in certain circumstances the unit price (i.e. price per kilogram), for all products offered for sale to consumers. The objective of the legislation is to ensure that consumers have the necessary information to compare prices between different outlets, different product brands in a particular outlet and different sizes of a particular brand of product. The legislation also applies to goods sold by mail order, catalogue based sales, and goods purchased from the Internet in Ireland. The onus is on consumers to shop around for the best value. So long as shops show prices in accordance with the legislation, this should facilitate price comparisons and help consumers to make an informed choice. The Consumer Protection Act 2007 has provided wide-ranging powers to the NCA, to help ensure that businesses comply with the various consumer laws. These measures include the power to issue fixed payment notices (on the spot fines) and name and shame the traders who have not complied with their legal obligations. The Agency’s preferred option would be that retailers voluntarily comply with the price display requirements. In this regard, the NCA will continue to work closely with traders to help ensure that the requirement to display correct price information is given priority throughout the retail sector. If this is not forthcoming, the Agency will not hesitate to use the various enforcement tools at its disposal to help bring about an acceptable price display culture. The Commercial Practices Division (CPD) of the NCA enforces consumer legislation. I have passed the details of your email on to this department for consideration. Yours Sincerely xxxxxxxx National Consumer Agency Local: 1890 432 432 Email: Web:
The National Consumer Agency - Putting Consumers First
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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tesco no pricing as usual

They flout the law with impunity

Politics In Ireland - an updated site.

I don't usually write about politics for various reasons. And I don't read many political sites either (something to do with boiling blood..). What I do like is aggregators - is an obvious favourite as are the various tech ones out there so I was interested to get an email recently from Damien Mulley (he of , Sky Handling saga etc) about his new aggregator site Politics In Ireland . What this site also does is to effectively sort various political utterances and postings by TD or constituency so you can go click on Jimmy Deenihan and read his comings and goings in the political arena. Per Damien the following is also available: "New features are widgets which can be stuck on your blog so you can display the latest politics posts on your own blog: Additionally people can now subscribe by email and get these posts to their email address and so don't need to come back on a daily basis or subcribe using a feed reader. Email sub box is on front page. Lastly there is now a Wordpress plugin that if you install it, will link to the relevant TD page on Politics in Ireland any time you mention a TD in a blog post. Anyone can install this, once they have a
Wordpress blog: So there you have it - now toddle off for a look and make sure to come back.

Friday, September 14, 2007

How to get win friends and influence people - the boreenmanna Road way.

Taken from

08 September 2007

Developer accused of cynicism as Travellers move in
By Eoin English

A DEVELOPMENT company was accused of blatant intimidation last night for
allegedly allowing Travellers move on to a site at the centre of a
bitter planning dispute.

An extended family of Travellers was camped on the grounds of the former
Induchem Limited site on Cork's Boreenmanna Road last night.

Two caravans, a camper van and two English-registered vans parked just
inside the gates of the site. The site is the subject of a contentious
planning application by the Freeland Partnership.

The company applied to Cork City Council last December to demolish the
former Induchem buildings and construct a neighbourhood centre comprised
of a two-storey commercial block of retail and local service units and a
three- storey apartment block.

Residents objected on grounds of scale and density. Following a council
request for further information the project was given the green light
recently with conditions including a reduction in the size of the retail
units and the omission of a betting shop.

However, the council's decision was appealed earlier this week to the
planning appeals board, delaying the project further.

The Travellers moved on to the site on Thursday night and said they have
permission from the developer to be on the site as long as they wish.

They were seen using warehouses last night and it is understood they
have access to running water and toilets.

Gardaí in Blackrock were in contact with the developer, who is
understood to be abroad, and said he has confirmed to them that the
Travellers are on the site with his permission.

Gardaí have no grounds to move the Travellers on.

A spokesman for the Freeland Partnership could not be contacted late
last night.

Green Party Cllr Chris O'Leary said residents are furious and he accused
the company of using the Travelling community to stir up tensions in the

"The members of the Travelling community may have been coaxed into this
situation without knowing the background to it. They are pawns in the
middle of this," he said.

"This is a cynical ploy and blatant intimidation by the development

Planning enforcement officers will be asked to examine the situation on
Monday morning.

Bord Pleanála is due to rule on the planning application in January.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pixmania me ar** - shower of muppets.

Now that I have a nice 3G Nano ( it plays around 5.5 hrs video and 1 hour audio) I decided to get a set of AV cables as it would be an ideal way of transporting videos to playback for the kids on a large screen when travelling. So yesterday I ordered the stuff from Pixmania. I ordered it at 09:50 Irish time and paid for express delivery by UPS (applies to orders placed before 10:00 or 13:00 depending on which shitty page you read). Nowt happened yesterday and today the order suddenly moved to "preparation" which is an uncancellable stage. It's still like this. So the feckers at Pixmania have taken my euro but failed to provide the service. Avoid...avoid..avoid....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ipod Nano 3G

My new iPod Nano 3G arrived this morning (what is it about UPS and their
tracking - after days stuck on "Billing Info Received" it suddenly
popped to Cork - In Transit after 9am ?) and I'm very pleased with it.
It's the Product Red version and the colour is more of a metallic
burgundy than red.

The photos don't really do it justice - you have to feel the slimness to
appreciate it and the screen. Well the screen is sweet - I popped on
"The Wall Live in Berlin" (which was a rip for the Archos and then
converted for the ipod) and the quality is great - extremely clear and
very watchable. It might be worth considering the AV cable as it would
be a compact way of bringing videos on holiday/travel for quick
connection to a TV in a hotel room etc.With 22 hrs for music and 5 for
video the battery life promises to be excellent. It also comes with a
dock insert so it will fit snugly into my JBL OnStage.

Things that don't go so well include Coverflow which sorts by artist
rather than album (sorts by Album on iTunes) which means that it has
broken the Coverflow for compilation albums - this is mentioned a few
times in the Apple discussion forum so I expect that it will be resolved
in due course. Coverflow itself is a nice way of browsing music - I
spent a few hours at the weekend adding album art to my music library.
The back of the unit is polished steel - I think I prefer the all-over
colouring that the previous gen has. Unlike the Shuffle it doesn't have
autofill so seeing as I have more than 8GB of music I'll need to go off
and poke around using Smart Playlists.

Overall opinion ? It's a sweet device. It's easily pocketable and
discreet. It feels sturdy but is also oh-so-light.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Litter - a crying shame.

I'm out at Garryvoe and the playground is covered in litter. Some old and some new. Its a disgrace and its compounded by the fact that the only litter receptacle is the base of a bin.

Is it too hard for folk to manage their rubbish ?

Is it too hard for the Council to supply and empty a bin ?
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