Ep 171: United States of Tara, Terrorist Ringtones, Sunday Night

The United States of Tara is a new show from Showtime in the US starring Australia’s Own Toni Collette. We also bring you an I Don’t Buy It about mobile phone clubs and a Ray Watch about Sunday Night.

Listen to the show the rest of the media is all a-buzz about:

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6 Comments

  1. More to the SMS club late night ads, here's a couple of references that go towards showing that they're all scams to rip off anyone who responds.

    The Age's Digital Life section:

    If there ever was a more iniquitous, deceptive industry we've yet to come across it. And if you think we're being harsh, don't just take our word for it – ask the nearly 14,000 customers who last year were so incensed by outrageous mobile bills that they took the matter to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

    Which brings us to John Pulella and his wife, Joanna. Some time in February last year, like so many other people, Joanna subscribed to one of these premium SMS services without being fully aware of the implications and costs.

    “She thought it was pretty harmless,” John said. “She somehow then activated a process where more and more messages came.”

    And of course those messages came at a cost – a hefty cost.

    In fact, she was paying an extra $45 a month for the trivia-type messages she didn't even want.

    and from a story last week on ABC radio's PM programme:

    ASHLEY HALL: They're called mobile phone premium services. You can download them at your leisure, for a price.

    And while they've become incredibly popular, they're also generating a lot of complaints.

    The Telecommunications Ombudsman recorded more than 22,000 such complaints in the last financial year.

    GORDON RENOUF: It's a bit of a running sort of thing, going for three or so years, and we're yet to see any solution.

    ASHLEY HALL: Gordon Renouf is the director of policy and campaigns with the consumer's advocacy group, Choice.

    In a survey of about 450 members, Choice found half of them had received an unsolicited premium message on their mobile phone.

    Two thirds of them were then charged for it, including Rick Guard, a motorbike salesman from the Gold Coast.

    RICK GUARD: The first time I got a text message, and as you do I just read it, and I didn't think anything about it and I got two more of them, and I really didn't think, I thought who would be wasting time with this crap.

    Then I got my phone bill, and there was $20 that was on the phone bill, and I looked it up and it was these same phone numbers.

    ASHLEY HALL: The phone company eventually organised a refund but Rick Guard still feels stung.

    RICK GUARD: Well it's a scam, it's stealing. I couldn't find out who or how I got onto this system, and I thought, there must be thousands or tens of thousands of people that are receiving these and probably don't really look at their phone bills like, probably like I would.

    ASHLEY HALL: The ACCC has warned the phone industry not to engage in practices that frustrate customers.

    Last week, the consumer watchdog launched legal action against two overseas companies promoting phone services in local magazines for failing to properly disclose the true costs of services.

    The ACCC argues the ads might lead people to unwittingly subscribe to a high-cost, ongoing service when they think they are just making a one-off purchase of a ring-tone or a picture.

    Choice's Gordon Renouf says that's a common problem.

  2. ActualChad says:

    SUBMIT!!!!

    heh.

  3. I live in Ballarat and I remember picking up ABC TV on the radio as well. In fact I think that was how I used to record Duckula and other shows onto tape.

    Another oddity in a similar vein from long ago: My grandmother lives across the road from a Lackluster Video store, except many years ago, before that antiseptic US corporate behemoth took over, the store was part of a local chain of video rental outlets, and they would play videos in the store. Not merely looped preview tapes, but whole films, and somehow my grandmother?s TV set was able to pick up the video signal, so I often watched films being played in the video store on her TV. I never found out how that happened. One of those technical mysteries.

  4. Brett, in relation to the Channel 9 news racism, can you please explain what you mean by “different issues that we in Melbourne have to those in Sydney and Brisbane [and] Alice Springs”? As John said, racism is racism, no matter what state you're in…

    Also, PLENTY of women watched Northern Exposure.

    Josh, please don't congratulate Ben Fordham for what he does – he's a dirty, tabloid guttersnipe. As for using CCTV footage for these “investigations”, they would only get access to that if it was in private premises – not public places – and vision without sound proves nothing.

    And do we have to put Jeff Probst on Deathwatch now?? You bastard…

    PS: BRING BACK THE GRAMMAR BATTLES!

  5. I live in Ballarat and I remember picking up ABC TV on the radio as well. In fact I think that was how I used to record Duckula and other shows onto tape.

    Another oddity in a similar vein from long ago: My grandmother lives across the road from a Lackluster Video store, except many years ago, before that antiseptic US corporate behemoth took over, the store was part of a local chain of video rental outlets, and they would play videos in the store. Not merely looped preview tapes, but whole films, and somehow my grandmother?s TV set was able to pick up the video signal, so I often watched films being played in the video store on her TV. I never found out how that happened. One of those technical mysteries.

  6. Facebook User says:

    Brett, in relation to the Channel 9 news racism, can you please explain what you mean by “different issues that we in Melbourne have to those in Sydney and Brisbane [and] Alice Springs”? As John said, racism is racism, no matter what state you're in…

    Also, PLENTY of women watched Northern Exposure.

    Josh, please don't congratulate Ben Fordham for what he does – he's a dirty, tabloid guttersnipe. As for using CCTV footage for these “investigations”, they would only get access to that if it was in private premises – not public places – and vision without sound proves nothing.

    And do we have to put Jeff Probst on Deathwatch now?? You bastard…

    PS: BRING BACK THE GRAMMAR BATTLES!

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