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A Current Affair -

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(generated from captions) loan commitment she can't afford. signed up for a $21,000 lured into the credit trap, Tonight, a trusting teenager, and welcome to A Current Affair. Thank you,

for the condition my car is in. Motor Finance Wizard? Does that not say United Financial Services. that's through That sort of finance is not with us, until I came and collected the car. face-to-face with any of them Yeah, I never actually came And this was all done on the phone? sort of thing. approved, you can have a car," and it was a case of, "You've been and ran a credit check And he sort of just took my details to see what it was. so I gave them a ring was at the time and I didn't know what finance It just said Motor Wizard Finance, offering finance to the unemployed. who saw an ad for this car yard mother living on welfare, given she's an 18-year-old single that sort of money is that anyone would lend Sam But what's even more shocking at about $3,000. which our checks show is valued for - a '92 Diahatsu Applause, This is what Sam is paying $21,000 the car's just useless. cracks in the radiator, As you can see, there's heaps of It's not worth it. What do you mean? It's crap money. I paid good money. but these problems you're having... for the car, Oh well, you've paid good money that's costing me over 21 grand. I have a lemon I can't register The issue is is desperate for answers. 18-year-old Samantha Snow Of course you don't. Of course I do. Do you even have a soul? and the way some people do business. about the dangers of easy credit It's a real warning in this extraordinary deal. all have a role and a car dealer A bank, a finance broker that can only ruin her financially? qualify for a loan surviving on welfare, First, how does a teenager, This program is captioned live. but what are you really getting? You pay a premium, but what are y u really getting? And - free-range eggs. Now she finds the lab got it wrong. that this man was not her father. The woman told twice Also tonight - DNA mistakes. you even have a soul? Do

to dig himself out of the hole a bloody big shovel Steve Vizard would need the court of public opinion. but the real penalty will come from on Mr Vizard's shonky share dealings, A judge has now delivered his verdict which brought him undone. But Steve Vizard did have connections at all. the home loan people, no connection has no connection with Wizard, Motor Finance Wizard about one other thing - Let's be clear More on that in the days ahead. by the same company. with complaints about their treatment we've been inundated by car buyers our story overnight, Since we promoted to accommodate that. We're more than happy about our coverage of this story. they intend publishing an open letter Motor Finance Wizard warn us Chris Allen there. Chaotic, just chaotic. the mess you're in? How would you describe back to the car yard. She can't register over 1,00km Now all she has to do is drive a car. to repair the Daihatsu. the car yard has offered since we became involved, The only good news for Sam, that sort of thing. in court, get legal advice, All they've said is it will end up afford this loan? and said you couldn't to the Commonwealth Bank What happened when you went just getting the hell out of there. It was a case of running for it, and fled to North Queensland. stopped paying it back Sam says she panicked, Not being able to afford her loan, in our view. is really quite disgusting can be so outrageously exploited and the fact that consumers vulnerable consumer that just screams mother on a pension The fact that someone is a single can't believe Sam was lent the money. from the Consumer Law Centre Anna Stewart low-income and vulnerable earners. I think they are actually exploiting what they are doing. I don't think that it is right a year, and it's growing every year. We're turning over $30 million Oh, business is fantastic. three years ago. told A Current Affair Rod James, Here's what one of the owners, payday lending practices. criticised for notorious its owners also own a company As for the car yard, from commenting. privacy laws prevented them and United Financial Services said Sam denies ever signing cheques, to United Financial Services. Sam signed cheques made out the day she got the finance The bank also says came via the Internet. Sam's application for finance interview but in a statement said The Commonwealth Bank refused us an she had the capacity to pay it back? her the money if they didn't think Why would the Commonwealth Bank lend finance? telling her she's going to get who doesn't have a job, to a single mother What car dealer would sell a car you don't need it. already has this on it, about it because our copy And they said don't worry What do I write? do you want me to fill it in? and I said why none of it was filled in I did ask Well, no. You weren't suspicious at the time? specify how much the loan was for. and the form she signed didn't even was part of the car yard but Sam says she thought United to secure credit for her, Financial Services authorising finance broker United Sam did sign a form when it was posted in the mail. And the only time I saw this was from the Commonwealth Bank? And did you ever sign any document $10,000 tops, not a cent over. you'd only be borrowing $10,000? And you were told originally basically. that's worth dog's biscuits for a 1992 Daihatsu Applause I'm paying $21,000 would balloon to $21,483. which, with interest, the Commonwealth Bank for $14,000, confirming the loan was with was when this letter arrived a bank was involved but Sam says the first she knew to a f ance broCer or her l an, but John and Sandy reckon he can afford one. Done it to himself, hasn't he, mate? Yeah. How do you reckon he'll go today? Oh, I don't know. I r ckon he'll get off. You reckon he'll get off? Yeah. Why? he's in today, to a finance broker for her loan, Sam was referred Car yard manager Richard Burgess says I cannot register my car. I hold you responsible for the fact

# Please release me let me go... # If he can get away with it. But he didn't, digger. Because he's Steve Vizard. If this is what the boys meant by getting off, then you can bet your Telstra shares Vizard wishes he never got on. That was media scrum that tackled the disgraced former TV star and businessman as he fronted federal court in Melbourne last week charged with three counts of insider trading while a director of Telstra. I want to get Steve Vizard's autograph. You want to get his autograph? Yeah. Why would you want his autograph? Well, because he's famous, you know. He's a TV legend. He's been on television for years. And of course, he still is, but for all the wrong reasons. but fo all t@f wro g r asons. You're early. Yep. Just in case he's early and slips in? He's not gonna slip in, he's just gonna walk in. Today's Vizard verdict and the press pack could smell blood in the water. Personally, it's not the sort of work that I cover or like covering. You don't like it? No. Not many of us do, do we? No, not really, but part of the media game, isn't it? I was just surprised how they all just - vultures. Vultures, yeah. Do you think he's been tried even harder by the media than he has been by the court? I'm not gonna comment on that. You're not? No. Didn't think you would. Thanks. It's got pretty much all we need in terms of a story. You've not only got the business dealings and the fact that he's a born entertainer, but the courts as well. Seasoned campaigner Brett McLeod's covered the case for Nine News and has no problem going for the juggler. No, not in this case. It's one of those stories that supercedes whatever personal feelings you have. Now very early in the proceedings, it was corporate law professor Ian Ramsey who summed up Steve Vizard's dilemma like this. He said the irony is that the real punishment is not being imposed by the court but by the press, and you can see what he means. No, but he'll only get a slap on the wrist anyway and he's got the money, hey. But everybody in the country knows what he's done now. Yeah, I suppose. Everybody points at him. Yeah, that's true. His family's been affected. His kids have been affected. Yeah, even me, I'm his fan. and nvestments Commission had originally sought. h d origin ly sought Do you think justice has been seen to be done here today? Yep, I think so. Some people will think he should have got more but that's a life, isn't it? That's life. No, that was Derryn Hinch, not Steve Vizard. I'm Derryn Hunch, that's life. Chris Hill there in Melbourne with the latest chapter in the Steve Vizard story. We're all told that DNA tests never lie. Maybe not, but mistakes can still be made. One family has gone through hell because a DNA lab got it wrong, not once, but twice. (Song) # I must have been about five or six # Mum's hair was still brown and Dad's was still thick... # I could never find out why I wasn't registered at birth. There was always a mystery about me. Hello, how are you? Since she was a child, Heidi Furster has been asking her father for the truth - the truth about whether she really belonged her family. And whenever I questioned him about my life, he would, sort of, change the subject His number one fan. You were hanging around outside Kylie Minogue's house, too, weren't you? Yeah, I was. Are you some kind of serial television pest, are you? Pretty much, yeah. Wiping the slate clean, mate. Yeah, so to speak. Vizard seriously wishes he could do the same. I suppose he's the consummate professional till the end and certainly has that poise and never b t e or a y h ng l e at in front of some really hard and pointed questions. He's really knackered now though, isn't he? We'll wait and see. Come over here, guys. And we didn't have long to wait. Vizard was fined $130,000 on each count - a total of $390,000 plus costs. Come over here and say a few words. And disqualified as a company director for 10 years. That's twice the length and Investments Commission the Australian Securities

and he wouldn't look at me in the eye. At 62 years of age, having carried this terrible uncertainty her whole life, Heidi decided the only option was to get a DNA test to prove once and for all whether her father was biologically hers. They seemed to have quite a big ad in the Yellow Pages, so I went ahead and I gave them a phone call and asked them what the procedure was. And so they said they would send me a home kit, what I needed to do, and so I took the swabbing and sent it back to them. And within 10 days or so, it come back to say that he wasn't my father. What did you think? I think I must have cried all that day. $1,800 later and another test by DNA Solutions gave the same result - 96-year-old Phillip was not Heidi's father. I was quite shocked. There was no grandad, there was no great-great-grandad for the children. Still in denial, Heidi decided to repeat the DNA test once more, but this time with a government accredited laboratory. So, of course, when that result came back, it said it was positive, that he was my father. I felt very deceived, even with the testing. I thought well, "I'm back to square one." Who am I? How many times do you get it wrong? We have never got it wrong. Ian Smith is from Genetic Technologies, the biggest government-accredited DNA lab in the country. He says there's no doubt Heidi and Phillip are father and daughter. You can be confident that this report is right because we are the accredited laboratory. Melbourne company DNA Solutions says it, too, is accredited by NATA - the National Association of Testing Authorities. Well, that's a blatant lie. In fact, you would be hard pressed to even find their premises. But we managed to track them down. There's no signage, blinds are drawn, doors locked. There's no restrictions in Australia to set up a DNA laboratory. You can be a bus driver and set up a DNA laboratory. Since we began filming this story, Vern Muir, the owner and managing director of DNA Solutions, has gone to ground. He's refused to return any one of our six phone calls to his office, and today he's refusing to let his staff even answer the door. Last week, however, DNA Solutions agreed to refund all of Heidi's money, though Vern Muir refused to apologise for the trauma he had caused her family. So what do you truly believe now - that he is your father or that he isn't? It's very hard for me to answer that. There's no room for errors with DNA testing. People are convicted, people are jailed, people are having to pay maintenance. These tests have dramatic impacts on people's lives, you shouldn't be allowed to do these tests unless you hold the relevant accreditation. (Song) # Help me recall those small memories... Heidi's family has been traumatised by the events of the past six months, but the critical matter here is can we trust DNA technology to deliver the truth about where we come from? How many people are actually having reports done by non-accredited laboratory, can they place any faith in the results they've got, and how many men are walking around Australia after being told they're not the father of the child when, in fact, they are? Ros Thomas reporting from Perth. Coming up - Eggs - the free range rip-off. Why you could be paying too much. Welcome back. It's a barnyard brawl over your breakfast egg. Not whether boiled, poached or scrambled is best, but whether all those people who choose free range eggs ahead of the battery brigade are actually getting what they are shelling out for. really know what they're paying for. He warns that shoppers don't doing that. because they can make more money and label them free range or from barn laid farms into cartons repackage eggs from caged farms We are aware of some farms that of the free-range egg industry. on what he claims in the farce is blowing the whistle Farmer Phil Westwood consumers quite strongly. I believe that they are misleading I buy free range. I pay nearly $6 a week on eggs. Yes, I would, I always do. for free-range eggs? Would you pay a premium

And our advice to consumers is to look for eggs which is on every carton produced by an accredited farm. requirements for freshness. didn't seem to meet the particular and we found that over 50% of them across Australia, from a number of States of eggs bought We looked at the freshness selves for too long. after being kept on the supermarket that some eggs are being sold stale But Claire Hughes also points out the Free Range Farmers' Association you need to look for the logo of but to be really sure, it tastes better when you eat it, Well, I think you will find it is cracked up to be? your free-range egg is everything how can I make sure Now, Phil, come on - and not being confined. running around scratching the ground, eating worms their natural functions - they are allowed to carry out They are not locked up in sheds, in the open, basically. that are allowed to wander around A free-range egg is laid by chooks lay 400 dozen eggs a week. 800 free-range chooks in country Victoria, Down on Phil's farm the Trades Practices Act. because they would be contravening they would do it, I don't understand why in labelling, Certainly when it comes to truth of false labelling in the industry. of the farmer's allegations He insists he is not aware the Australian Egg Corporation. James Calloway is from with the ACCC. that that be brought up a product may be mislabelled, or any evidence to suggest any concern in this regard I'd suggest that if there is one of the endorsement programs. tha have an endorsement logo from when buying eggs off the shelf. must always check the carton She says shoppers the Australian Consumer Association. Claire Hughes is from when it comes to eggs. or the term 'free-range' of the use of the word 'free-range' no mandatory regulation Unfortunately there is where the dollar's concerned. No, nothing would - nothing would would that surprise you? Regular eggs in free range cartons, and basically cheating them. It is duping consumers I'm pretty horrified. and sold for double the price. as free range. being falsely labelled for around $2.50 per dozen, with some regular eggs, which sell

underneath world time but now he's 4 seconds COMMENTATOR: Seven seconds off still at the old ripe age of 25. is a nice feeling, and break that world record personal best time down and prove myself and bring my have a bit of a gap on the field And certainly tonight to be able to standard I produced in these events. and motivated to get up to the improving, still moving forward and certainly they're still came up on me there and moved Obviously my competitors really from such a close race in Athens. to come back, you know, Yeah, I mean it's obviously nice Tonight you blew them away. these swimmers gave you a tough time. In Athens, Congratulations, Grant. the world record! Grant Hackett has broken COMMENTATOR: He has arrived! holder in the 800m freestyle. World champion and world record for all that effort. tonight, another great reward in the pool No one tries harder for Australia Now to Grant Hackett. Elise Mooney with that story. Because it's cheaper. Why do you choose regular? Just regular. or regular eggs? Do you choose free-range I would pay extra for. and they're the ones with Omega 3 and antioxidant eggs a nutritional difference But there is because, nutritionally, It comes down to a moral choice, almost double for free range? Given that, is it worth paying and the free-range eggs. between the barn laid, the caged there is no difference Nutritionally, no, between all these eggs? is there any difference free range - We have caged, barn laid, for shoppers. to examine the different choices to exa ine the different choices Melanie McGrice we asked Melbourne dietician on the shelf, With so many types of egg I e pected them l to be res . I didn't know that was the case. they are not abiding by the code. which, sort of, suggests to you on there as their best-before date actually had five weeks or longer We found that some eggs from the day the eggs were laid. should be five weeks or less the best-before date Corporation's own code of practice, According to the Australian Egg there is no difference. the great Kieran Perkins 1,500,

the art of complaining - how to do it better Still to come, furry slippers on your teeth. But the real word for it is plaque, and that news came straight from the dentist. His advice - switch to Colgate Total. Colgate Total helps protect for 12 hours against a complete range of teeth and gum problems. It's clean. Even right after lunch, the plaque didn't come back. Its 12 hour protective shield reduces plaque by up to 98%. The dentist said the fur factor was gone - just not in those words. Colgate Total. Complete 12 hour protection. every morning here on Channel Nine. World Championship highlights Don't forget, you can see all those Cheers. to everyone back in Australia. Thanks for having me and hello No worries, my pleasure, Ray. Good luck on Sunday. tonight. Mate, you made Australia proud and what I can do. But I'm just focused on myself he produced before. he would get to the sort of standard on that area, and if he focused his energy when he did it and he produced a great 800m swim on the sprint area these days a little bit more Yeah, I mean he's been focusing I think it's too tough. and he said the 800m is yours. we spoke with Thorpie's manager today Grant, if it's any consolation, satisfied with what you achieve. you've just got to be personally but at the end of the day, for me, obviously Kieran and Ian, of the shadow of, you know, I like to think I have stepped out the ghost is always there. holder in the event, I guess when it's the world record you were racing against Thorpie? but did you feel like I know he wasn't there, held by Ian Thorpe in the 800m. It's like having... makes dreams come true. # SONG: # Big red ball that is too cool to miss. as $19 million So get your entries in by July 30, That's right, $19 million! is on a roll! Lotto's $19 million Super Saturday and how to get a result.

you're entitled to expect the problem will be fixed. We all have the right to complain - but the key to getting a result is knowing how and where to pursue your gripe. PHONE: A telephone PIN is P ONE: A t lephone PIN is required. ..reallocated in a regional office in South-East Asia. Please hold. I mean, this is, I think, my third or fourth phone call and I just don't seem to be able to reach him. We examined three cases of consumer distemper. Lori, who fell for a late night infomercial cosmetic deal. Vera, who paid to have a car fixed and it wasn't. And Cheryl - Cheryl has to make phone calls she hates and has a contract with Foxtel she doesn't want, and it's all starting to send her a little potty. This is just not on. That is just not on. Cheryl thought her mum, 87-year-old Ellen, might like to watch her beloved AFL on Foxtel because the viewing times were more convenient. Number one recommended by dentists. VOICEOVER: The deals are on us at our birthday bash. Plus a Sunair column heater twin pack, only $89. When you buy something and it doesn't work or it doesn't live up to what was promised,

Yes, I thought it would be lovely, I could watch more football. VOICEOVER: There's so much more to enjoy on Foxtel Digital, especially right now. I thought it was a 2-month free trial. Cheryl had originally contacted Foxtel by phone. Then a contractor turned up to install the service and gave them this piece of paper to sign. I believe that to be a completion of work order. I did not understand that there was a contract on this form, otherwise I never would never have signed it. Well, it doesn't say contract, it says it's a work order. In fact, the word 'contract' and a term of 24 months appears just once in print so small Sherlock Holmes couldn't find it. Now, two months later, Ellen and Cheryl, who no longer want the service, find they're locked into an expensive 2-year commitment. I was shocked, absolutely shocked. Cheryl swears blind that she didn't tick the 24-month box, and she didn't initial that acceptance, either. It wasn't a contract we signed. That was sneaky. Lori, you have a mail order problem? Yes, I do. You better believe I do. One sleepless night, Lori turned on the telly and was seduced by the idea that for just $49.95, you, too, could look like Cindy Crawford. ..the world's most famous supermodel does for hers to diminish visible signs of aging. Well, I thought it's got a money-back guarantee so I'll have a look at it. The products were full of sulfate chemicals that neither Lori nor her skin like, so she decided to return them, but before she could, another even larger package arrived. Her credit card had now been hit for over $200. Apparently when you order this trial pack, you automatically become a member and then start sending you products on your credit card without asking, without anything. It was missing when you would be driving it. It would be stalling, sort of thing, when you were accelerating, going from gear to gear. Vera took her car to a Midas franchise. They replaced the distributor coil. Is there nothing this Midas team can't do? Unfortunately the replacement was faulty, so they tried again. So problem solved? No, no, we went away again, and within a week the car was doing exact same thing again. More work followed and more money - $600. I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere because my car is still not working properly 100%. Lisa Tate of the Australian Consumers Association. Put everything down in writing, keep receipts, keep records of phone conversations, because the more ammunition that you have, the better off you will be at a small claims tribunal, for example. PHONE: Hello, Cheryl, how are you? My name is Neil. Did you have the Gold Medal or was if called the Try Before you Buy? Well, I thought it was the Trial Before you Buy. No, you are on the Gold Medal deal, which means you're locked on a contract till 2007. In the new world of e-commerce and telemarketing, Cheryl may have entered a contract by just phoning Foxtel. Nicola Howell runs the credit and consumer law department at Griffith University. Cheryl didn't understand that you could sign a contract without signing. It's quite possible to make contracts verbally and that's something that people should be aware of. And Cheryl's attempts to get out of it aren't going well. According to you, this is a 24-month contract. I'm saying I think it looks like a work order, as well. Charlene, what is the call... Charlene? They can't even get the name right! But Foxtel ain't budging. I am not letting anyone out of a cancellation fee. It's like you just saying no and that's the end of it. I mean there's got to be a way to look into this. No. Foxtel insists the offer that Cheryl and Ellen took up was clear and that they sent a letter to them, detailing what their commitment would involve before the equipment was installed, and they've threatened to send in the debt collectors if they don't pay. I can't say that would be up there on my list of good complaint handling. It could be something at the back causing something at the front of the car. That's helpful. Matthew Whatton is the Queensland customer relations manager of Midas. This conversation went on for 42 minutes. But in Vera's terms, it went nowhere. We don't want to fix your car because every time we fix your car, you drive away and come back unhappy. We want to fix your problem. Well, I think that's a case where the consumer should have got a full refund or partial refund. PHONE: Welcome to Guthy Renker Australia. It's about a refund I am trying to get for these products. What I would do in that particular case is firstly contact your credit card company and ask them to reverse the payment. And as frustrating as it may be, persistence and being the squeaky wheel is often the only thing that may pay off. Well, I'm going to fight it till I get my money back. And good news, Loori did get her money back from the cosmetic company, without our intervention. Vera also had a super result - Midas refunded the $600 she spent with them and gave her another $400 for the inconvenience she suffered. But Cheryl is still in dispute with Foxtel. They insist her contract will be enforced. Alright, she's a grandmother the bureaucrats point-blank say does not exist - the victim of a handbag robbery that started off a chain of events wrecking her life. I'm Bernice, I'm 76 years old, and according to the government I don't exist. Why should I have to go to court to prove who I am? That's so unfair, it's ridiculous. I'm not well. So I don't really need this drama at this stage of my life. That exclusive story tomorrow night. See you then. Don't forget 'The Footy Show'. Goodnight.