Podcast: EV doc block shock and green backflip

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Elsewhere in this post

It’s another bumper podcast this week with some topics revisited, some from the Forum and others that are fresh out of the Flat Chat hot cross bunfight oven.

First up, we take a deeper dive into the case of the doctor who was denied the opportunity to charge up his electric car from common property power because … good question!

You can read the dubious reasons given for sealing off the car park power socket (because that’s what the committee did) HERE.

You might think he could have made the effort to get his landlord to jump through all the various hoops required to get a by-law passed.

But when you consider that a by-law probably wasn’t needed, and that it was easier to sell the car than do all that, you can sense the frustration rising like the power level on a fast-charge battery.


LISTEN HERE


Also we kick around the news that the state government has done a backflip on its plans to require sustainability measures to be built into new strata blocks, and for them to be kept away from flood and fire-prone areas.

And we look at an Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute which has some praise but quite a lot of criticism about the way various state governments, as well as the Feds, responded to the pandemic in terms of housing.

We pose the question that’s been running hot in the Flat Chat forum about whether a tenant who’s been told she can’t use the car park because the driveway is being resurfaced is entitled to a rent rebate.

We revisit the question about what happens to your ‘pay-as-you-go’ deposit for an off-the-plan apartment if you suddenly can’t make the payments.

And Jimmy talks about how a run-in with a debt collection company made him suspicious of the recently announced push towards digital checks on potential tenants.

If you want to know how a misplaced dot in an email address can get you close to being put on a credit blacklist, this is the podcast for you.

If you enjoyed listening to this podcast (or reading the transcript), please share it with your friends using the social media buttons on this page.

TRANSCRIPT IN FULL

Jimmy  00:00

Another packed agenda today, Sue Williams.

Sue  00:03

Okay, Jimmy Thomson, I’m ready.

Jimmy  00:05

Well, I hope so! We’ve got the doctor who wasn’t allowed to charge the electric car. We’ve got the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute report on the response to the pandemic, as far as housing is concerned. We’ve got something off the forum, about a tenant, who was told that she can’t use the carpark for at least a week, because they’re resurfacing the driveway, and that has sparked a huge debate on the Flat Chat forum. We’ve got a couple of updates about Third-i and their pay-as -you-go deposit scheme and an update on the thing we ran last week about tenant checks, by a company called Equifax. That is a lot!

Sue  00:50

Okay, we better get started then!

Jimmy  00:53

I am Jimmy Thomson, I wrote the Flat Chat column for the Australian Financial Review.

Sue  00:57

And I’m Sue Williams. I write about property for Domain.

Jimmy  01:00

And this is the Flat Chat Wrap.

[MUSIC]

Jimmy

Okay Sue, I think we mentioned this a couple of weeks ago; you ran a story in the Sydney Morning Herald (and online this week), and it got picked up by radio. You have received a lot of correspondence; some a little bit unsavoury, I believe.

Sue  01:36

But others are very supportive and others are very constructive, as well.

Jimmy  01:41

And it’s about a doctor who was not allowed to charge his electric vehicle in his apartment block, for reasons that are beyond him and I have to say, beyond me. So, what’s the story?

Sue  01:56

Right, he’s a tenant in his apartment building. He bought an EV and he was charging it up; there was a power point in the garage, so he was powering it up, on that power point. The owners corporation said no, you’re not allowed to use that power point, because that’s common property. He said well, I’m very happy to pay. It’s going to cost about $10 a week in electricity, to charge my car; I’m very happy to pay you $10 a week, or if you want to instal a metre, you can charge me exactly what I’m using, the amount of electricity. They’ve flatly refused and said no, no, the owner has to take a bylaw to an AGM or an EGM and propose that and propose that he be able to use that common power supply. As a tenant, it’s kind of quite hard, trying to persuade your owner to do something like that. You’re having to go to a lot of expense, time, anxiety… You know, all the kind of administration that’s involved in going to lawyers, getting a draft bylaw drawn up, and then taking it to a meeting and trying to persuade people to vote for it. He ended up saying look, this is kind of a bit tricky. Can I not just pay you and you can have the money in your coffers? They said no, that’s not possible and then they taped up the power point, so he could never use it. This guy’s a doctor, and our healthcare professionals are having a really tough time at the moment. He travels all over Sydney; well, Greater Sydney…He goes quite a long way out to various hospitals, to work there. He said basically, I’m working a 10 hour day and then I drive back again and then I have to drive out again and go to a service station, or find somewhere where I can charge up my car and sit there while it charges for an hour or so, because it’s actually quite an old EV. It’s about three years old, so it takes a bit longer to charge up. He said I just want to be able to park in my car space and be able to charge up overnight. That’s the perfect solution, Jimmy.

Jimmy  04:03

When electricity is cheap. Okay, I’m going to put my strata hat on here and say that his committee is being unnecessarily obstructive. I can understand why they are asking him to get the owner to apply and I can understand why he’s going, this is just too hard. I mean, the owner might not even be in this country, for all we know. But here’s the thing; It says in strata law, that if you want to make a change to common property that is environmentally sustainable, it’s a minor renovation. It does not require a bylaw. So, what could he have done, though? Just applied to the committee and said can I change this? Tenants are allowed to change common property, if they get the permission of the committee.

Sue  04:52

Like instal a meter on the power plug?

Jimmy  04:54

I spoke to the strata manager, and he was pretty uncooperative as well.  Yes; can I put a meter on the power plug? They could go “yes, fine.” It would have been as easy as that. But because you’ve got these… I mean, look, we should be careful about what we’re saying, because we’ve identified the doctor and that means we’ve identified the owners corporation… They really need to have another look at this. Oh yes, I remember; we talked about this the other week, that this guy was basically demanding for you to send your birth certificate and passport or whatever, to prove that you are who you are.  A bit of media training there, wouldn’t go amiss.

Sue  05:30

That’s right.  It is an issue, because this guy has an EV. There’s one other EV in the same building, but the other EV belongs to somebody who has an EV charger at work, so he can drive to work and charge his car up all day, while he’s at work. You kind of think two drivers at the moment… There’s going to be more and more, we’re being encouraged to buy electric cars and people should be really thinking about the future and being proactive about catering for people. It’s ridiculous if people want to be helpful to the environment, that people are being so obstructive about it and this doctor makes a really good point. He said “I often help the victims of climate change. I’m treating lots of patients who’ve been affected by floods, bushfires in the past; all these kinds of terrible events. The pandemic…. And at the same time, I’ve had to give back my electric vehicle and get a regular petrol vehicle and so my emissions are now contributing to climate change.”  People shouldn’t be put in that position. Choosing to be sustainable, shouldn’t come with penalties.

Jimmy  06:44

He needs to go back and tell the committee that first of all, they’re giving out the wrong information… Probably talk to the strata manager, who might not be too receptive, by the sound of things. But, he’s already sold his electric vehicle, so yes, that’s a big win for the climate change deniers. Well done, people; you’ve put another petrol car back on the road. Congratulations!

Sue  07:10

And it’s interesting, because last week was the time that the New South Wales government; Anthony Roberts, the Planning Minister, ditched the new Design and Place Planning proposals, and they were very sustainability-focused. They included things like proposing that new strata buildings have to have some kind of EV charging in their car parks. There were also I think, proposals to kind of regulate the EV charging retrofitting, for older buildings. Now, all that’s been cast aside by Anthony Roberts, because the developers said oh, no, no! It’s going to cost us 30% more to develop houses and apartment buildings, if we have to put in these sustainability changes. It’s kind of ridiculous, because the cost to the community of having unsustainable buildings and ones which aren’t climate change-resilient, and future-proofed, is going to be much more than just 30% tax on developer’s profits.

Jimmy  08:08

And we know that the cost of an apartment, often has very little to do with the cost of building it. The cost of an apartment is based on how much people are prepared to pay for it. Now, that might be a bottom line where the developer is saying I’ve got to charge x amount, to make a bit of profit, but the way the market is at the moment, apartments are being sold for way over their intrinsic value. So this argument, that it’s going to cost us x amount more to put this in; it’s bullshit. It’s cheaper to put it in at the beginning, than it is to put it in afterwards. Okay, people are attracted to the idea of buildings that have got at least the potential for EV charging, so say to them “this will cost you an extra $200 on the cost of your apartment, because we’ve put EV charging in.” People will go “great, that’s fantastic, because that just gets added to my mortgage, and it’s a miniscule amount!” So, it’s about time somebody properly stood up to these developers and their bullshit arguments. I’m really disappointed in Anthony Roberts.

Sue  09:14

I think a lot of people are.

Jimmy  09:15

I thought he was a bit tougher than that. I have great praise for him, for bringing in the changes to the strata laws, but this is just a huge failure. It’s an absolute failure. This is his legacy; this is his real legacy, now, as a minister. When the government changes (as I think it will next year), and they look back…What did you do, when you were minister? Oh, well, I wrecked the whole planning process, that was going to make things sustainable for buildings, because I’m going to leave it to the next generation to deal with all the crap from climate change. We’re going  to have another swing at politicians in a minute.

Sue  09:57

Oh, why not?!

Jimmy  09:59

But I really think that doctor; I think somebody in that building should go back and say to the strata manager and the committee “you are giving the wrong information; this could have gone through as a minor renovation and what you’re doing is holding up valuable improvements for the building and for the environment as a whole, for no good reason.”

Sue  10:20

That lead should come from the owners really, because it’s quite hard for tenants sometimes. Strata committee members won’t even speak to tenants.

Jimmy  10:28

It sounds like you’ve got one of these buildings where the owners don’t take much of an interest and the strata manager has their own point of view, which may not be in line with strata law.

Sue  10:39

That’s right.

Jimmy  10:40

When we come back, we’re going to talk about the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute…Their report on the pandemic response, as it affected housing.

[MUSIC]

Jimmy

A big report came out last week. It was led by the University of South Australia and it was sponsored by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. It was looking at various state and federal government responses to the pandemic, in terms of housing. It’s kind of a mixed message; it’s saying “well done for moving quickly.” But, the changes that were made (the actual actions taken), were a bit random, and unfocused and put the responsibility back on landlords and tenants, to sort themselves out.

Sue  11:34

To sort of negotiate their own.

Jimmy  11:36

Yes, because I know in New South Wales, that a landlord was able to make a rent reduction and then apply for compensation from the government, for the reduced rent. For a lot of landlords, as we’ve just been discussing; they’re not even near their buildings, they don’t even know who’s renting, because it’s all done through agents. Eventually (I think it was in the second wave), they said that the tenants could apply for the rebate on the landlord’s behalf. But, you can see already, the whole thing starts to fall apart. What actually happened was that a lot of landlords were saying look, I’m really sorry you’ve lost your job, but you know, this is my income as well, so you’re going to have to leave now. There was a moratorium on evictions, but all of these things had to go through a process. It was a different process… You’d have somebody saying oh, my mate in Melbourne says this and my mate in Adelaide says that… One of the things in their report was that there should have been (and there should be) a set Federal response for the whole country. Anybody who’s affected by this, in the whole country; there should be structures in place.

Sue  12:49

Absolutely. I mean, it can be really hard negotiating for some people; other people are pretty good at negotiating. For tenants, they had to have another position that they could take. I mean, it was okay maybe, for a tenant to negotiate a rent reduction with the landlord, when they knew if the landlord said no, they could go back to live with their parents, or go into a house share with friends, or something like that. If they didn’t have a backstop, then it’s really hard to negotiate with the landlord, if the landlord is being obstructive.

Jimmy  13:19

It’s not just the landlord being obstructive; it’s the landlord having other priorities. I mean, everybody was dealing with the pandemic at the same time. You know, most (I hate this phrase), mum and dad landlords; they’re not sitting in an office with computer files of all the properties they own. They might only have one or two properties. They might hand it over to an agent. The tenant goes to the agent and says “I want a rent reduction, and the landlord can claim a rebate from the government, to cover the rent reduction.” The agent is going to go “you expect me to do all this for you?”  I can tell you, the landlord’s not interested.

Sue  13:58

And there was also a considerable confusion about some of the rent buys that people had. They were told okay, you don’t have to pay rent for four weeks and then at the end of the four weeks, they were told actually, now you have to pay rent, to make up for the four weeks you’ve had off. You know, they weren’t being let off the rent at all. It was just a kind of pause and they had to make up for it later. There’s a lot of confusion about that.

Jimmy  14:23

That eventually would have been covered by this rebate from the government. I think the report is just too confusing. You know,  it’s a great idea. Obviously, nobody had much time to think it through. But this is where the much-vaunted national cabinet… Somebody should have been saying “let’s put a structure in place and let’s advertise it… Let’s promote it and tell landlords you must reduce the rent, but if you want a rebate, here’s the phone number, here’s the website,” rather than saying “okay guys, if you feel like it, if you’re not too busy doing other things, maybe you could think about reducing the rent?” I mean, that’s pretty much how it came across. So, that’s one part of the AHURI report, the other part is about affordable housing. They’re saying that there was a big push for affordable housing during the pandemic and we commented on a few build-to-rent projects that were pushed through. I don’t know if they were fast tracked, but they were certainly being moved forward. They’re saying, unless there’s a sustained effort to keep these things going, it will all peter out by 2025, three years time.

Sue  15:36

Oh, that’s depressing, isn’t it?

Jimmy  15:38

Rather than building, it’s something that should have momentum. The state governments, to varying degrees and the federal government, have not really got behind this, because so much of their pop economics with the public, is based on negative gearing, and I don’t think build-to-rent gives anybody that.

Sue  16:03

Or affordable housing.

Jimmy  16:04

Well, yes. I mean, build-to-rent isn’t the only form of affordable housing. I mean, I still think that developers should be able to say look, here is a an apartment block that basically meets all the basics standards for building… we know that the basic standards are very low, certainly in terms of noise and things like that within the apartments. But, they can say that this is a very basic apartment. It’s one star, but because it’s basic, it’s going to be cheaper. Then, we can have three star and five star and you would go oh, that’s a three star apartment. I’m expected to pay more, but I will, because I want this better level and somebody should establish what those levels are. If you want to have affordable housing, let people build affordable housing and only market it as affordable housing. Everything’s luxury now… Everything’s ‘top-of-the-line,’ they say in the brochures and you find out what they mean by that, when you move into the apartment. Alright, moving on. When we come back, we’re going to talk about the tenant who was told she couldn’t use the carpark. Does she have an EV? One issue at a time, please Miss Williams!

[MUSIC]

Jimmy

The most interesting part of  this next story, (which came out of the Forum), for me has been the different responses from people, to the question on the Forum. A woman has a tenant in an apartment block, and they’ve said “look, we need to resurface the driveway, so you can’t park your car, or once your car is in for the next week, you can’t get it out again; you’ll need to park on nearby streets.” Her view; first of all she said well, there’s no chance of parking near the building, because street parking is already chock-a-block. Now, this entire apartment block carpark is going to be decanted onto the street.

Sue  18:05

So everyone is going to be competing for places.

Jimmy  18:07

Yes so she says “I’m good driving home from work at night; I’ve got to park three or four streets away and walk home on my own. Should I be getting some sort of compensation from the landlord?” She’s a renter. This is when everything went a bit crazy. People were saying look, we’re all in this together; everybody’s having to do the same thing. Suck it up, princess, is what they’re saying. I threw a stray cat among the pigeons, and said “she’s paying rent for a flat and a carpark and the car parking space has been taken away. She should be able (in fact, she is able), to go and ask for compensation, or at least a rent reduction, for the time that the carpark is not available, which she could put towards renting a car space in another building, or something like that.”

Sue  19:03

Not according to one of my correspondents, who said that she will benefit from reduced wear and tear on her tyres. Because having the car park resurfaced is only going to benefit the owners really, isn’t it? It’s going to add value to their investment? That’s a bit pedantic, isn’t it?

Jimmy  19:23

Absolutely and I said “well, fine, but then, won’t the owners of the apartments in the block benefit even more, because they’ll have much longer use of this?” There was an argument; we’re all in this together and stop whining and just put up with it. That really annoyed me, because my view is we’re not all in this together. The owners are putting up with it, because they’re going to get the benefit of a better surfaced driveway. The tenants; why would they put up with it? They get no benefit. Absolutely zero benefit and their contract for their rental has been reduced. Somebody said “well, she’s just paying the same rent.” I said “no, she’s not. She’s paying the same rent, for a reduced service.” So I’m stirring things a little bit here. But you know, there were people totally polarised.

Sue  20:16

That’s interesting, isn’t it?

Jimmy  20:18

And then this engineer wrote in and said he’d done driveway resurfacing and stuff like that and they went to great pains, to make sure the driveway could still be used. So then you come back with, the committee is at fault here…

Sue  20:35

For not organising it.

Jimmy  20:36

For not organising it better. Getting the work done; part of the driveway, like, one side. Just making an effort, or even (I know this is a bit airy-fairy), organising a shuttle bus to this station at peak hours. A little mini-bus, to take people back and forward.

Sue  20:55

So couldn’t they resurface half the driveway?

Jimmy  20:58

Well, that’s what this engineer was saying. You do a linear split.

Sue  21:03

Yes, absolutely.

Jimmy  21:05

But obviously, it’s typical of (I’m afraid to say), a strata committee. “yeah look, we need to resurface the driveway.” Great; what about the consequences? “Well, we’ll just put it out of action for a week.” And as we know, a building week is actually 21 days, so she’s going to have a problem. Now, the other thing that the committee could have done is contact other buildings nearby and say “do you have any car parking; visitor parking spaces, that we can use for our residents, and we will compensate you in some way and we will be your friends for life?” Things like that. Quite clearly, nobody on her committee has ever sat down and said “what do we do about the residents, including the tenants?” Actually, now that I think about it, if they’d contacted other buildings to borrow parking spaces, they would probably have made it for owners only. But anyway, the debate has been raging on the forum.

Sue  22:03

Are you having another go at babyboomers in this; you know, the retirees who actually don’t need their cars during the week perhaps? They can just keep their cars in their spaces, and they don’t need to go in and out necessarily. They don’t need to go to work.

Jimmy  22:17

I wasn’t, but it sounds like you are!  I think it’s that whole attitude of owner residents and tenants. Tenants are expected to put up with whatever owners are expected to put up with, but the tenants aren’t getting any benefit from that at all, so why would they? She has said (or somebody said), that not only is she entitled to the cost of the carpark component of her rent, but compensation for the additional hassle of maybe feeling that if she has to park a couple of streets away, she might want to jump in a cab to get home, so she’s entitled to some compensation for the hassle factor. Of course, that set off a whole other area. It’s interesting, but I think it does show up that the whole ‘we’re all in this together’ thing, is kind of not real.

Sue  23:12

And you wonder if they have a tenant representative on their strata committee? I’ve always been in favour of that, where you’ve got a lot of tenants and most buildings do. I mean, usually about half the number of residents are tenants. It’s really worthwhile, having a tenant representative on the committee, because they can bring up points that maybe the other owners wouldn’t have considered before.

Jimmy  23:34

But you know, perhaps it’s the chairman (chairperson), who says oh, this is a sensitive issue; can you please leave the room? Okay, finally, when we come back, we’re going to talk about a couple of updates to stories that we ran in recent weeks. The Third.i development, where you can pay a small deposit and pay off the rest of the deposit on the off-the-plan unit while it’s being built. And, we’re going to have another look at the Equifax digital checks on tenants.

[MUSIC]

Sue  24:15

So, we talked about the Third.i scheme in a previous podcast, where you maybe put down say, $5,000.

Jimmy  24:23

$10,000.

Sue  24:23

$10,000 for a deposit, instead of the usual, so you’ve actually secured your new apartment, and then you start paying money immediately to the developer, to make up for the rest of the deposit.

Jimmy  24:38

What’s the median price of an apartment?

Sue  24:42

It’s just a bit less than a million.

Jimmy  24:45

Right, so let’s say up in Newcastle, it’s going to be about $750,000- $800,000 for an apartment…

Sue  24:51

Or sometimes more I think, because they’re actually getting huge.

Jimmy  24:56

Let’s say $750,000. Now, for first time homebuyers, the government has said you only have to put down a 5% deposit, so that is $40,000. Under this scheme, a first time homebuyer could come in, put down a deposit of $10,000 and then pay off the other $30,000, while the buildings being built. Great idea.

Sue  24:57

Yes, because it means that if prices are rising (although prices are softening now), you’ve already got your foothold in the property market and it gives you a real incentive to save, I think, because you realise you’re paying off the deposit immediately, rather than just saving and hoping to put down a deposit on something.

Jimmy  25:39

The last time we mentioned this, was before the government had brought in the 5% thing, which has brought it all (certainly for first time homebuyers), very much within their range. But, we asked the question, what happens if you get halfway through this process, and you can’t finish?

Sue  25:57

The payments? If you lose your job or you have some unexpected expenses, so suddenly, you can’t meet the target deposits? You’ve already put down the minimum, but then suddenly, you just can’t keep up with all the payments. I called their representative and she came back and said oh, you know, we actually hadn’t thought about that before. She had a chat to the developer, and then came back and said well, every case will be done on a case-by-case basis, so if somebody can’t meet the repayments, then they have to contact the developer, and the developer will talk to them about their circumstances and then decide on that basis. So therefore, it sounds like if you can’t keep up your repayment, there’s a possibility you might lose all your money, or there’s a possibility you might get it refunded, but they’re not making a commitment either way.

Jimmy  26:10

Or, you’ve gone for a mortgage and found out that nobody will give you a mortgage, for whatever reason  banks don’t give mortgages. You were going to find out from Third.i ?  And would it be refunded with interest? I don’t like this case-by-case basis. A-case-by-case to me is “oh, look, we can sell this apartment at a higher price than the one you were going to pay for it, so I’m sorry, here’s your money back.”

Sue  27:11

Or, if prices are falling… Oh, okay. This person is paying a higher price than we could get for that apartment. It’s a very cynical view, Jimmy, but I think a case-to-case says to me “we haven’t really thought about that possibility properly, so we’ll have a think about it when it arises.”

Jimmy  27:29

Okay. Hey, Third.i, it just arose. Have a think about it, get back to us, tell us something reassuring and positive, and we will put it on the podcast. Now, the other thing we spoke about last week, was Equifax and their national tenancy database. We raised in the podcast, that they had put in their press release that they’d mentioned the fact that tenants had become much more aware of their rights and much more likely to assert their rights, during the pandemic.

Sue  28:04

That was considered a negative, wasn’t it really?

Jimmy  28:07

Well, that’s what we thought, but I’ve since spoken to the Equifax people (quite a few of them, actually) and they’re saying no, we were just mentioning this in the context of strata tenancy agents, not just strata, but tenancy agents being under a lot more pressure and that’s one of the things that’s put them under pressure. They are wasting too much time, doing personal checks on tenant’s applications and so we were saying well, if they come over to the national tenancy database, they won’t have to do all those checks. They’ll have more time to deal with tenants, who are asserting their rights. That’s what they say, so we have to accept that at face value. However, it just made me think, why am I so exercised about this? Recently, towards the end of last year, and beginning of this year, I kept getting emails from a debt collection company saying  (I don’t know if I can say the name; Jimmy Tran). ‘You owe us all this money for your electricity; please pay it, or we’re going to take action blah, blah, blah.’ At first, I thought it was just an internet scam, because I’m not Jimmy Tran; never have been. I spoke to a friend of ours, who actually works in the credit check and debt collection industry, who said no, don’t just ignore it, because if you ignore it, you will end up on a blacklist. That will affect your ability to get credit and hey, it sounds like your ability to get a tenancy agreement. Going back to the Equifax thing; what they’re effectively building is a whitelist of potential tenancy things. So, all you do is you put your tenancy application in and it has your name and address, proof of identity and then they check all that and they go through their records and they find out if you have you ever been bankrupt. Have you ever had any criminal offences? He said, you could end up on a blacklist and you don’t want that. You need to contact these people and challenge it. I went to them and said “can you stop sending me these emails?” They said, well, we need to check your identity, and asked me for all these details, about my date of birth, and blah, blah, blah. I said “I’m concerned about an internet scam here.” This is not Equifax by the way, just making that clear. “I’m concerned about an internet scam and you’re asking me to give all these details over the phone; why would I do that? That would just be crazy and stupid. I’m not doing it.” And, it sounds even more like an internet scam now, than it did when I first got these emails.  I said “send me the invoice; send me a copy.” They said oh, we can’t do that for privacy reasons. “You’re telling me I owe you this money and I’m saying I don’t owe you the money. Send me the invoice and you’re saying ‘no, we can’t send you the invoice because it’s private.’ But, you’re saying it’s me.” Eventually I said look, I hate doing this, but every so often you say “look, I’m a journalist. Do you really want this to become public?” Suddenly, this invoice appeared. It was an electricity bill, because apparently Energy Australia, or somebody like that, just hands over their bad debts; they sell them to a debt collection company. So this Jimmy T… One of my email addresses is jimmyt@ozemail.com.au. This guy’s email address was jimmy.t@ozemail.com.au

Sue  31:37

They confused the two?

Jimmy  31:41

I’m saying to them “look, this guy, Jimmy Tran, is obviously a person of Vietnamese extraction, judging by that name. If you go on my website and have a look at my picture, you will see that I am not and never have been, Vietnamese. I’ve never lived at that address. I’ve never had an account with that energy company.”  I got an email back saying ‘we have decided to close this case.’ I wrote back and said “how about an apology, for all the hassle that you have caused me.” That is why I was so worked up about the Equifax thing, because I’m sure they’re really good… I mean, they’ve got government contracts and stuff, but the possibility of somebody somewhere, misreading an email address and then suddenly, you find you’re on a blacklist.

Sue  32:30

And it’s really hard to get off of a blacklist, once you’re on.

Jimmy  32:34

So you know, the Equifax people, I spoke to them last week and I brought up the word ‘whitelist.’ They said you’re effectively creating a whitelist of people who will always pass credit checks and the woman I was speaking to, she said when you see that term being used, you know it was you that started it. Alright, we are hugely over time and we haven’t been rambling, much. It’s probably going to be a very long podcast this week, so Sue, we’re exhausted. We need to have a snooze; have a nap, especially with this bloody diet that we’re on. Bye.

[MUSIC]

Jimmy

Thanks for listening to the flatchatwrap podcast. You’ll find links to the stories and other references on our website flatchat.com.au. And if you haven’t already done so, you can subscribe to this podcast completely free on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your favourite podcatcher. Just search for Flat Chat Wrap with a W, click on subscribe and you’ll get this podcast every week without even trying. Thanks again. Talk to you again next week.

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  • #62484
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    It’s another bumper podcast this week with some topics revisited, some from the Forum and others that are fresh out of the Flat Chat hot cross bunfigh
    [See the full post at: Podcast: EV doc block shock and green backflip]

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  • #62680
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster
    Chat-starter

    Comments on the topic of EV charging have been moved from here to this thread.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by .
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