For those in Perth always looking for a better, faster, cheaper way

Friday, April 26, 2013

Looking for a laptop? Lenovo's WEEKENDSALE

If you are thinking of getting a laptop, this deal may interest you. I bought a new laptop last year from Lenovo during their click frenzy last year and like many other people, I was curious to see whether the bargain would hold up one year later. I noticed that this year, the click frenzy price for the X1 Carbon was not as good as last year.

Today, I received an email from Lenovo advertising their weekend sale. You can get up to 40% off just by adding a code when you buy a laptop. Enter WEEKENDSALE in capitals into their coupon section which appears right at the end of the checkout process and see the revised price. On the X1 carbon, it showed a saving of around $1,100.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Milk Prices, Advertising Lies and Avoiding Expensive Water

I've mentioned earlier how useful a recent show is on the ABC. Just to give you some idea what it is about, I've copied their episode guide for last Thursday's episode that you can watch here or below. The Checkout is on the ABC every Thursday.

Supermarket brand milk or not, Craig finds out who’s telling white lies about milk prices, and who’s helping farmers.

Coles has just announced a new front in the milk price war. And they have taken it a step further than Woolworths. Rather than just buying from farmers and using existing processors, Coles will encourage the remaining farmers cooperatives to become processors themselves. 

Coles will sign long-term contracts with the farmers’ collectives Norco and Murray Goulburn for milk. And these collectives will invest in processing facilities. As always, the promise is that farmers will get more money for their milk. As well as getting the certainty of 5 and 10 year contracts. 

Right now, Murray-Goulburn have more influence on farm gate prices than anyone, although only a small proportion of their dairy output is actually fresh milk. This deal changes Murray-Goulburn’s relationship with the wider market. What effect it will have on the farm gate price for other farmers is unclear. Here is theperspective of one farmer who supplies Murray-Goulburn. 

Coles is currently run by a coterie of former Tesco employees so it is perhaps unsurprising that this latest step mimics the approach in the UK. British supermarkets have moved to contract with farmers and cut the margin the processors make. This has led to higher farm gate prices for the farmers contracting with Tesco – but also more expensive requirements for them. Similarly, a lot of additional costs are expected for Australian farmers collectives, with Murray Goulburn spending $120 million on milk processing plants. 

For consumers, this deal may lock in lower milk prices well into the future. Currently a lot of the savings from cheap milk come courtesy of the supermarkets cutting their own profit margins. If they can reduce processors’ margins instead, and share those gains with the farmers’ collectives, then lower milk prices will be more sustainable. This differs from the Woolworths model, which will only provide a premium farmer-made brand. 

But this new deal won’t come into effect for a while yet. And it is too early to know what its consequences will be for consumers and farmers in the long term. What is clear is that it is bad news for the processors. 

Find out What's In Your Milk in a report from CHOICE.

Jules compares the ads we see, to the way products are advertised to retailers … and discovers the slushie with a 980% mark-up! 

The Checkout redesigns the packaging on popular products to show you what’s really in the box. This week Strawberry Indulgence. Mmmm, crushed bettle colouring. 

Want a banana? No problem, that’s part of our Fruit & Veg Platinum package, all yours for just $20 extra, or $40 in 3D.

Jules investigates whether funeral plans are worth dying for. 

For a CHOICE report on funeral insurance go here.

The search for Australia’s most expensive bottled water continues, and the search for Australia’s most expensive web access begins #mostexpensive, post on on our Facebook wall, or email

If you don’t believe us that a 750ml bottle of water at Altitude Restaurant was $15 check out their menu.

Alan Kirkland from CHOICE says you shouldn’t be seduced by credit card reward schemes. 

Kirsten finds out how retailers knew a teenager was pregnant before her parents did, in a story about the way our data is collected and used. 

Click here for a story by CHOICE about supermarket loyalty programs offering very little value but collecting enormous amounts of your personal data. 

Looks great on the outside, but what’s on the inside? This week Bubble O Bill. If you’ve got a good product vs packshot post a photo on our Facebook wall.

So what do you think of The Checkout? Has it helped you in your daily life?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dodgy Data Billing Tricks on Australian Mobile Plans

Here's one of those things that is good to know when looking for a mobile phone plan. With the increasing usage of phones and their internet capabilities, it is important to realise that different companies round up your data usage differently. This can have massive ramifications on your bill and help you understand where all your data allowance went. I would stay away from those that are underlined.

  • Vodafone - Charges in 1 kilobyte increments on all pre-paid plans. Was proposing 1 megabyte increments across all plans before it about-faced.
  • Telstra - Charges in 1 kilobyte increments on most pre-paid plans but does charge in 1 megabyte increments on its "Simplicity" plan.
  • Optus - Charges in 1 kilobyte increments on 1 pre-paid plan and 1 megabyte increments on 2.
  • Virgin Mobile - Charges in 60 kilobyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
  • Red Bull Mobile - Charges in 250 kilobyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
  • Woolworths Mobile - Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
  • Boost - Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
  • Crazy Johns - Charges in 10 kilobyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
  • Amaysim - Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
  • Kogan Mobile - Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
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