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Why Australia will never become a first world country

Why Australia will never become a first world country

Old Jan 29th 2012, 11:16 pm
  #1  
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Default Why Australia will never become a first world country

OK - this is a rant on one subject. But it could apply to so many other things that happen on a daily basis.

Two large eucalypts in the garden: council approval to remove them obtained.

Last August I contacted three tree people who advertise in the local papers for quotes. Two replied and arranged to view. One turned up. After several calls I managed to get the other to come as well a few weeks later.

One quoted on the spot but it was full of ifs and buts. I hadn't heard from the other after a week so called him - he said he had sent it off, but it turned out he'd sent it to the wrong address.

Quotes around the $5000 mark, so not an insignificant sum.

Never heard from the third so contacted another - the most expensive (reputedly) in the area. He came around, took photos, made measurements and - since I told him I had been waiting to make a decision for a month or more - he promised to email his quote the next day. Never heard from him again.

In November I settled on one firm and phoned the other to say I had rejected his quote. All set.

Arranged the day to start: no-one turned up. His mobile was uncontactable. after several weeks I did manage to get him to phone me back: the "weather had been bad and he was behind". (Fair enough - but weeks of uncontactability and no calls wouldn't be acceptable anywhere else but here.)

And so, since November it has gone on. A FIRM appointment to start on Jan 19th came and went without any contact: his mobile went unanswered and requests to call me were ignored.

Managed today to contact his firm: he "has been helping someone to move to Bellingen so was busy".

The only advice I could get from his firm was they would text him but if he didn't contact me "I would probably be better off getting someone else to do the job."

So - nearly six months on and no nearer a result.

Unfortunately, this is the norm for so many things here: it is probably better in the cities (although just the same frustrations when we were dealing with city firms building our house.)

A relative who came here as a student twenty years ago told me that the only things that worked in Australia were those run by expats. He now has a company with branches in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, employs hundreds of staff and is rolling in it despite, as he says, "Australia".

The lesson is that if you do a halfway acceptable job in Australia you will kill the competition - providing of course you are allowed to.

Rant over.
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Old Jan 29th 2012, 11:37 pm
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

Originally Posted by Wol View Post
The lesson is that if you do a halfway acceptable job in Australia you will kill the competition - providing of course you are allowed to.
And that's the key bit - opportunity.

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 12:17 am
  #3  
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

Originally Posted by Wol View Post
OK - this is a rant on one subject. But it could apply to so many other things that happen on a daily basis.

Two large eucalypts in the garden: council approval to remove them obtained.

Last August I contacted three tree people who advertise in the local papers for quotes. Two replied and arranged to view. One turned up. After several calls I managed to get the other to come as well a few weeks later.

One quoted on the spot but it was full of ifs and buts. I hadn't heard from the other after a week so called him - he said he had sent it off, but it turned out he'd sent it to the wrong address.

Quotes around the $5000 mark, so not an insignificant sum.

Never heard from the third so contacted another - the most expensive (reputedly) in the area. He came around, took photos, made measurements and - since I told him I had been waiting to make a decision for a month or more - he promised to email his quote the next day. Never heard from him again.

In November I settled on one firm and phoned the other to say I had rejected his quote. All set.

Arranged the day to start: no-one turned up. His mobile was uncontactable. after several weeks I did manage to get him to phone me back: the "weather had been bad and he was behind". (Fair enough - but weeks of uncontactability and no calls wouldn't be acceptable anywhere else but here.)

And so, since November it has gone on. A FIRM appointment to start on Jan 19th came and went without any contact: his mobile went unanswered and requests to call me were ignored.

Managed today to contact his firm: he "has been helping someone to move to Bellingen so was busy".

The only advice I could get from his firm was they would text him but if he didn't contact me "I would probably be better off getting someone else to do the job."

So - nearly six months on and no nearer a result.

Unfortunately, this is the norm for so many things here: it is probably better in the cities (although just the same frustrations when we were dealing with city firms building our house.)

A relative who came here as a student twenty years ago told me that the only things that worked in Australia were those run by expats. He now has a company with branches in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, employs hundreds of staff and is rolling in it despite, as he says, "Australia".

The lesson is that if you do a halfway acceptable job in Australia you will kill the competition - providing of course you are allowed to.

Rant over.

It isn't any better in the cities. The number of rendering contractors that declined to even come and look at my job because 'it was too small' was huge.

I ended up getting a mate to do it. An Ex-pat mate.


S
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 12:38 am
  #4  
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

i think this is the "she'll be right" apathetic attitude shining through
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 12:42 am
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

I have lost count of how many people that have just totally failed to return calls and had to be chased up by me. They are the people allegedly providing a service to me the customer and as times are tough they should be pleased to have the work.
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 1:05 am
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

It's certainly no better in this city - Sydney. I've been struggling to get jobs done for about nine months now. I'm still waiting for a quote from a guy that came out to measure up for blinds in November, and he is missing out on sales of around $20k (3 balconies, I know one of the external blind costs $5k, and we are looking for internal plantation shutters too).

Another gripe of mine is online enquiry forms - don't have them on your ****ing website if you're never going to act on them.

(No idea what it's like in UK, been gone too long for online forms to be the norm.)
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 1:10 am
  #7  
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Smile Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

Hi wol mate as you know I built my own house so am well aware of trades never turning up, or quoting and then disappearing for ever.

I now lecture on owner building and I always say in order to get 3 quotes you need to ask 10 tradies to quote!

However I remember this being exactly the same when I lived in London, tradies never turning up, never returning calls, never coming back.

I think it's a global problem.

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Old Jan 30th 2012, 1:13 am
  #8  
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee View Post
Hi wol mate as you know I built my own house so am well aware of trades never turning up, or quoting and then disappearing for ever.

I now lecture on owner building and I always say in order to get 3 quotes you need to ask 10 tradies to quote!

However I remember this being exactly the same when I lived in London, tradies never turning up, never returning calls, never coming back.

I think it's a global problem.

BB
At last some sense. It is a problem here but also is in the UK.

Last edited by Amazulu; Jan 30th 2012 at 2:01 am.
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 1:41 am
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

Agree completely. The regulation stifles common sense and free competition meaning every service you attempt to engage is shoddy, staff unreliable with erratic pricing.

We received a new volvo penta engine as there was a recall on the type in our yacht and were instructed to contact the local agent in Cairns to bring one and fit it. This clown failed to answer his phone or return a call for 3 months, we couldn't track him down at his office, obviously no email or website. We ended up working with head office to force him to deliver and fit our engine. Even this he did with bad grace and tried to get away with a bodge. We took pictures of his work and sent them to head office and I believe he ended up losing the contract. Why is it so hard to get a 'professional'??? It's almost as though doing something well is 'unaustralian'.


Before it descends into a 'UK' v 'Oz' bun fight - as will be inevitable I imagine I will say that yes - categorically - there are rip off shoddy operators in the UK - but in Oz doing the absolute minimum permeates every level of service to the point that its a cultural thing.
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 1:59 am
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

Originally Posted by Amazulu View Post
At last some sense. It is a problem here bit also is in the UK.
A lot of the UK problem with 'tradies' got dealt with when the Poles came in. The shock to the system of people who were competent, wanted to work, and were affordable meant that the UK tradies had an attitude adjustment...
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 2:01 am
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

Is this what makes a first world country then? If so there are no first world countries anywhere in the world.
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 2:02 am
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

Originally Posted by GarryP View Post
A lot of the UK problem with 'tradies' got dealt with when the Poles came in. The shock to the system of people who were competent, wanted to work, and were affordable meant that the UK tradies had an attitude adjustment...
Fair enough. We had some do some work for us in '04 and they were very good and hard working.
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 2:41 am
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

I'm having a problem with a company at the moment. I want my alfresco cat netted so they can go outside. Rang a major company who sent a man round, got measured up and quoted - fine. Couldn't do it immediately as we had some other jobs to do first but called the guy and asked for a modification he said will email you over the weekend, never heard. We then rang and texted this guy, nothing. Called head office over 2 weeks ago and they said they would call him and get him to call me - nothing! I'm now looking around at other companies.

I also contacted a company via their online enquiry form for something else, nothing back.

I'm amazed anything ever gets done around here. We always respond to enquiries asap but then what gets me is that some of the people can't even be bothered to hit the reply button and just say thanks or even no thanks, manners, manners - where are they? How hard is it?

At least in Spain it may be mañana which as my friends says could be tomorrow or next week but at least eventually they turn up or contact you! Maybe there is just a black hole in the middle of Oz with all these enquiries in it?
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 4:01 am
  #14  
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

Believe me I wasn't trying to start another UK v Oz shouting match, as the OP .

Had I experienced the same rudeness, inefficiencies and irresponsibilities in the UK or the US - or Nigeria, for that matter - I would have gone online in a local forum just the same.

But I didn't. Yes, we did have the odd engineer in the UK or the States turning up late, but nothing remotely as bad as here: as someone above said, it's as if it's unAustralian to act responsibly and professionally.

Who was the poster who was always complaining that nothing ever worked well - he had alpacas - and returned to the UK? I used to think he was exaggerating, but after eight years I can see he was the soul of reticence.
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Old Jan 30th 2012, 4:09 am
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Default Re: Why Australia will never become a first world country

Originally Posted by Wol View Post
Who was the poster who was always complaining that nothing ever worked well - he had alpacas - and returned to the UK? I used to think he was exaggerating, but after eight years I can see he was the soul of reticence.
maybe it was because he had a load of alpacas and they are a bit more specialist that sheep or cows, and its harder to get the help.

NB I am assuming that his reason to leave was directly influenced by the treatment of his alpacas here!

animal racism annecdote: in the hunter valley there is a vineyard, i cant remember whihc, that has loads of alpacas.
They have been segregated into a black pen and a white pen. The white pen was enormous with about three water troughs, and the black pen was really small with only 1 trough!

There were equal amounts of animals in each.

we were drunk and tried to create a portmanteau from the words alpaca and apartheid, but couldnt come up with a decent enough one.

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