http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.23Change: 0.00
R/$ = 10.57Change: 0.01
Au 1307.04 $/ozChange: -0.31
Pt 1488.50 $/ozChange: 5.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Apr 23, 2010

Crying wolf and 
legalised theft

Back
New Orleans|Ryanair|Ireland|United Kingdom|GBP|Car Dealerships|Car Loans|Family Car|Finance|Insurance Policies|Insurance Premium|Insurance Rip-off|Retail Sector|Tyre Insurance
new-orleans|ryanair|ireland|united-kingdom|gbp|car-dealerships|car-loans|family-car|finance|insurance-policies|insurance-premium|insurance-rip-off|retail-sector|tyre-insurance
© Reuse this



Recently, we bought a new family car. The car is great but the process was surrounded by numerous dodgy ways to part us with our money.

Several car loans, for example, came with hidden fees. 
Car dealers would offer a reduced interest rate to get your business and then, at the time of setting up the finance, inform you there is a set-up and closing cost to the loan. 
Fees in one case were equivalent to 20% of the total amount of interest one would finally pay. In other words, the discount was not real – simply redistributed.

Insurance is seemingly another way to fleece the customer. 
I could not believe the number of insurance policies thrown at us: tyre insurance, gap cover and sickness payment indemnity. 
Of course, insurance is necessary when buying a car, but all the additional products and the relentless attempts to flog them left me queasy. I think someone even tried to sell me insurance to insure my insurance.

But the insurance rip-off extends well beyond car dealerships. The extended warranty is the cream of the con crop in the retail sector, especially in the UK and Ireland. 
Extended warranties promise repair and sometimes replacement cover in the event of an unexpected breakdown of electrical goods after the normal one-year warranty expires. About £900-million worth of extended warranties are sold to consumers in the UK each year, according to Which magazine.

However, Which also concludes, after detailed investigation, that most of these insurances are worthless. It found that, in some cases, the extended warranty premiums cost over 50% of the value of the original products, some of which had a 97% reliability rate. Many of these electrical goods were also dropping in price and, in two to three years, a new product would often cost the same as or less than the insurance premium paid out.

And who can forget cheap airline scams advertising low-priced flights that exclude taxes, costs for paying with a credit card, additional fees if you do not check in online, not to mention charges for bags and seats? 
Ryanair is even considering charging for the use of onboard toilets.

Then, of course, there is the swine flu swindle. Some £11,3-billion was spent on the pandemic worldwide. The UK alone overstocked 30-million doses of the vaccine and spent £150-million. It now emerges countries that spent considerably less have similar infection rates.

Many now claim the pharmaceuticals companies duped the World Health Organisation (WHO) about the extent of the risk in order to make money. The European Council is investigating the matter. The WHO refutes claims that it was influenced and the drugs companies assert they responded effectively to an impending threat.

Two facts, however, are indisputable. Firstly, swine flu made some people very rich, or at least richer. And, secondly, public confidence in professional institutions has been severely undermined.

How can anyone take the scientific profession seriously after it cried wolf in relation to swine flu, bird flu, mad cow disease, holes in the ozone layer and the millennium bug, all of which largely came to zilch? 
How can one trust insurance companies when their profits outstrip payouts so obscenely?

But then again HIV threats turned out to be correct, and climate change scares are already proving accurate. 
If you lived in New Orleans in 2005 and failed to renew your household insurance, you would be blaming yourself, not wealthy insurance companies, right now.

The problem, however, is that making an informed decision about buying insurance or following professional advice is impos-sible when the process is constantly surrounded by a cacophony of truth and lies, good and bad science, informed and self-interest-driven guidance, as well as ruthless businesspeople and a constant barrage of advertisers aggressively selling us what we do not need. 
In this context, the issue is not about crying wolf, but spotting the wolf, in the first place.

 

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Brandon Hamber News
Watching Felix Baumgartner free-fall from space and break the sound barrier was extraordinary. As he climbed out of his little balloon with the curve of the earth below him, I was in awe both at what he had decided to do and the sheer beauty of the earth below.
I am somewhat addicted to Twitter, and marginally hooked on Facebook. I find them useful in following multiple news sources, building a work profile and staying in contact with friends across the globe. That said, I think (and this is what all addicts say,...
I was 17 when I personally first encountered censorship. I produced a school play in the late 1980s which reached the finals of a play festival in Johannesburg.
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Nersa's Thembani Bukula
A standardised tariff for electricity resellers is needed to avoid consumers being overcharged, energy regulator National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) said on Tuesday. "The pressing problem right now is that there is a standardised tariff that they...
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel says government will be prioritising six ‘I’s as part of its “radical economic transformation” agenda for the coming five years. Delivering his Budget Vote in Parliament on Tuesday, Patel said the six components...
Venetia mine
In what could be the single-largest contract awarded to construction major Murray & Roberts (M&R) since the Eskom power build programme, M&R subsidiary M&R Cementation has secured a R2.6-billion contract to develop an underground mine beneath diamond major De...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Local aerospace company Denel Aerostructures (DAe), part of the State-owned Denel Group, has won a fourth contract to manufacture parts for the Airbus A400M military air transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft. The new contract, which was won in an international...
Bob Skinstad
Although CEO Mark McChlery and chief marketing officer Bob Skinstad likened themselves to children in a playground when taking on the task of “reengineering and repositioning” the Seartec brand, the “young, dynamic and enthusiastic guys” were like proud...
An increasing number of buyers, in both the new and used car markets, are opting for finance structures that lower their monthly repayments, says asset financing company WesBank. These include the use of large balloon payments (also known as residuals), as well as...
Tertiary education institutions can use search engine giant Google’s Chromebook to provide secure mobile end-point devices for students on which they can share documents, work collaboratively on documents and access education materials and applications being used...
Local ceiling and partition company Abbeycon has beaten global competition at the Saint-Gobain Gypsum International Trophy competition, which was held last month in Berlin, Germany.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks