back to article Cold callers illegally sold Aussie farmers 1,700 years worth of printer ink

A tribunal has found cold calling salespeople to have illegally bullied a farming couple in Australia into purchasing 2,040 printer ink cartridges. The cow-herding couple, Rod and Charmaine Sharp from Melbourne, who have a single home printer according to the Brisbane Times, usually took 10 months to get through a cartridge, …

Anonymous Coward

This just reinforces the stereotype

That all Aussies are dumb as posts. She could have hung up the phone.

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Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

And that comment reinforces the stereotype of Americans and Capitalism in the 21st century.

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Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

@Haefen

Whoa there Mr. Assumption, I highly doubt it was a Merikan that made that comment.... Most Merikans know two things about Australia, Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max and possibly Men at Work and Fosters, but that is probably all and not enough to make a general comment on the intelligence of Australians.

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Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

Most Merikans know two things about Australia, Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max and possibly Men at Work and Fosters, That's four. Five would be Steve Irwin. Six would be kangaroos and the assorted other lethal wildlife all hungering for human blood which infest the place.

Not hanging up on sales calls doesn't show that Aussies are dumb as posts. Sharing space with drop bears shows that Aussies are dumb as posts.

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Sharing space with drop bears

And finally, just before I head off home, the weekly mention of "drop bear"

My thanks sir!!

Now I can rest easily this weekend safe in the knowledge that all is right in the world

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Happy

Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

No mention of hoop snakes?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

No, be fair. Lots of Americans also know that Australia is near Germany.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

So it's America's fault that Australians are stupid? It wasn't the best and brightest of the gene pool that got transported, you know.

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Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

> Fosters

Yeah sorry about that.

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Hung up the phone?

No. It means the good lady was polite and friendly enough not to slam the phone down until the last "Thank you. Goodbye". THAT is stereotypical Aussie (in my experience) and whilst this is not completely apparent from the article is expected and predictable when the nearest neighbour might be 3 miles away in an area the size of Blighty with a few thousand people.

And a worse sin than being dumb is being ignorant.

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Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

I think SWMBO has had the same company try it on her. She said no thank you and hung up. Within 30 seconds another call from them, she hung up and for the next hour every few minutes would get another call.

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Coat

Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

Most Merikans know two things about Australia, Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max

.. Men at Work, three, the three things Merikans know about Australia are Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max, Men at Work, and maybe Foster's. The four things ... Amongst the things Merikans know about Australia are such things as Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max, .. I'll come in again.

That purple robe, yes.

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Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

@stoneshop: Almost want to create another account here so I can upvote you twice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

We also enjoy the work of Midnight Oil, Loved Steve Irwin. But never understood the fascination with ute's. And Australian Supercars beats the tar out of Nascar.

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Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

"Sharing space with drop bears shows that Aussies are dumb as posts."

Aussies don't worry about drop bears. Wear a WW1 German Army helmet and you'll be fine.

Mind you, there wasn't a drop bear problem until we hunted their only predator to extinction. (The unicorn)

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Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

@chivo243 But they are Merikans. A lot of them make decisions and comments without enough information, the last presidential elections are the proof for that...

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Re: This just reinforces the stereotype

Don`t forget Skippy!

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No fines? No prison?

Get caught breaking in, steal some beer and a TV and go to jail.

Get caught stealing tens of thousands of dollars, return some of the money, get a "buy" recommendation from an investment company.

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Re: No fines? No prison?

I would much rather suggest they get a recommendation to hang off that Sidney Harbor Bridge...

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They couldn't have been HP cartridges then, not enough zeros on the price paid.

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HP cartridges

I wondered about that too. If they are looking into helping out people with aggressively stupid quantities and pricing, they'd be helping out a lot more people by going after the OEMs who sell the ink for $2300 a gallon.

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Re: HP cartridges

Last time I buy any $2300/gal ink - if you dont use it for a week its dried up and probably wrecked your printer.

Laser ftw!

In fact im wondering how Mrs sharp manages to make one cartridge operable for over a year in the heat and dust of the aussie desert

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Thumb Up

Laser!

Too Right!

I bought my HL-1250 around the turn of the millennia, and since I'm a light user, it is still on its first toner cartridge. Around 330UKP at the time, but that was before subsidies were invented. I bought another toner cartridge at the time, hope it will still be usable if I ever need it. It's only 15+ years old..

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Wouldn't the main reason

it wasn't HP be that the courier wouldn't have a vehicle big enough to handle the package.

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Re: Wouldn't the main reason

Francis Boyle: ==> the courier wouldn't have a vehicle big enough to handle the package

I'm thinking the dodgy sales folk may have gone whole hog and shipped each ink cartridge individually. With shipping and handling for each. Also known as adding insult to injury.

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Re: HP cartridges

> how Mrs sharp manages to make one cartridge operable for over a year in the heat and dust of the aussie desert

Yeah, The Great Melbourne Desert is up there on my bucket list.

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Mushroom

Re: HP cartridges

article said Melbourne farmer,

now, Melbourne, apart from being one of the contenders as our largest urban / cultural centers, and thus more suited to art shows than free range dairy production or whatever, is also famous as having the most miserable climate in mainland Australia.

So claims of "heat and dust" around Melbourne - or most of the state of Victoria except the bit right up the back near South Australia - will be greeted with derision by 'real' Australians (the ones who dont live in Vic)

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Re: Wouldn't the main reason

If their past methods of shipping small items is any hint:

http://gizmodo.com/5343411/hp-ships-power-cord-in-giant-box-with-attached-pallet

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Hmm

While I'd personally hang up on these crooks, they obviously know if they call enough people they'll find somebody who they can bully, scare, con, or otherwise pressure into buying their crap.

Same principles apply if we're talking Nigerian princes, MLMs, Kirby vacuum cleaner salesmen, pump and dump stocks, Microsoft "technical support" ringing about a virus they detected, timeshare, or some other questionable business proposition. They'll work knowing that even if only a tiny % of people respond to their activity it is still profitable. Even worse, once the scammers have found a mark they'll hit them again and again, or even trade their marks to other scammers.

So it's good to see the law give them a clobbering in return.

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Devil

Re: Hmm

Reminds me of Lisa Morrow from Good Omens, by Sir Terry.

Where is Hastur when you need him?

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Pirate

Re: Hmm

While I'd personally hang up on these crooks

s/up on//

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Who paid the fine ?

Should have been paid by the cold calling individuals - not the company. Penalise the individuals and they might change their behaviour. Penalise the company and they will see it as just another business cost - this time they got caught, plenty of other ones they did not.

This is what is needed in the banking system - but will not happen, politicians get too many lucrative consultancies once they have left office.

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Re: Who paid the fine ?

Except these kinds of things are usually automated. Some system systematically calls one number after another, and if they get to a living breathing person, then a salesdroid get pulled in to do their pitch.

And then it's the company who decides what the droids should say, and in what way. I did telemarketing once out of desperation. I lasted exactly 3 hours before I decided that I was better off being unemployed.

No, there is no question that the company should get hit with the fine. Fining the salesdroid would just be a bonus cause of the whole "I was just following orders" bit.

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pxd
Coat

Sharp by name . . .

I'll get my coat!

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$44 a cartridge?

My last printer lasted 12 years and didn't use $44 of toner or other parts in all that time. And it had a replacement drum and roller for that cost too.

Damn, I miss that Samsung laser printer, but there's only so long you can keep an Intel NetPort Express (with its 386SL chip inside) running to convert the Centronics port on the printer to be a network-addressable printer.

It's replacement, which is a mono wifi laser with NFC, smartapps and all sorts, cost less than $100 in equivalent money too.

They could have bought several hundreds of modern printers for the cost of that ink.

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USB->Centronics

USB to Centronics adaptors are available; CUPS on a RaspberryPi should be able to print to it.

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Re: USB->Centronics

And Ethernet -> Centroics, too.

D-Link DP-301P still available, and others make them

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Why they didn't just hang up.

Sometimes you just don't, even if you think you should.

I remember once in the 1990s getting a cold call from a crafty sales person offering replacement windows (the glass kind, not the Microsoft kind.) As I was just 15 at the time I really had no interest in double-hung tilt-clean glazed whatevers but the guy on the phone kept talking and moving the conversation forward and next thing I know I'm giving him directions to my house so he can come over to inspect our current windows and give an estimate to replace them.

It all got sorted when my mother found out but to this day I can't explain why I didn't just hang up on the guy. It's as close to being hypnotized as I've ever been.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why they didn't just hang up.

> just 15 at the time I really had no interest in double-hung tilt-clean

Anyone else read that as "double hung tit clean"?

No? Just me? Oh.

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Anonymous Coward

I've never herd of such terrible behaviour, trying to milk them for their money like that, it show udder contempt.

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I call bull!

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Coat

Indeed! They put her on the horns of a dilemma: to choose between kine-ness and being stampeded into an raw(hide) deal, or to be bull-headed and hoof it out of the conversation.

I'm glad that the company was ordered to pay out more than they made, but I would be tempted to choose a better sentence.

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Surely...

... this calls for a booting; it's a bootable offence!

Good for the Aussie authorities for bashing these parasitic drongos, instead of the usual caveat emptor rubbish!

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Anonymous Coward

It's not a new scam

It's no different from the great carbon paper scams of the 1960's. I suppose you are all too young to remember carbon paper.

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Re: It's not a new scam

Carbon paper? Remember it well. As matter of fact I still have a little of it. Would you like some? I don't use it much these days so I can easily spare a bit. My brother drives a truck. If you slipped him a slab I reckon he'd deliver it for you.

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Happy

Re: It's not a new scam

I suppose you are all too young to remember carbon paper.

I remember it OK, but I find it doesn't work very well in an ink jet printer.

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Re: It's not a new scam

"I remember it OK, but I find it doesn't work very well in an ink jet printer."

Yeah, these modern ones are crap. They don't squirt hard enough like the old ones did when I were a lad.

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Re: It's not a new scam

Any excuse to link Dilbert

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Facepalm

Too polite

If the photo is of an actual involved individual, it seems likely that they suffer from a problem that afflicts the same generation in the UK - they are far too polite! The only response to a cold call, for anything, is to hang up immediately.

Don't say "No thanks". Don't respond in any way. Just put the phone down immediately. They have techniques for trying to hook you in given the very slightest of openings.

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