I wasn’t actually planning on writing anything about the new series of Buyer Beware with Philip Boucher Hayes that started on Wednesday night on RTE 1.
However, in the past 36 hours there’s been a large amount of traffic arriving here where people have been searching for “buyer beware” so I thought I’d at least provide an update.
However, reading over my comments on the previous series, I could just as easily lazily repost those old comments rather than come up with anything new or original.
As it happens, that’s exactly what Mr. Boucher Hayes did with one of the features in the first episode of the new series – went back over old ground with the “pay for advertising in a calendar wall planner” story.
Apart from a lack of imagination in covering the same story again, I don’t see how a company selling advertising space for calendars to other businesses is in any way “consumer related”. This “business to business” or b2b con doesn’t impact on consumers at all.
As for the alleged con artist getting people to invest in his “sports investment” investment scheme that supposedly wasn’t a gambling scheme, it never fails to amaze me why people will go on TV to show how stupid they can be.
But that’s an aside.
The point here is the relevance to consumers at large in Ireland – the viewers of this show. There are much bigger financial wrongdoings and scams and cons going on across the country at the moment, yet they’re not being tackled by Mr. Boucher Hayes and his producers.
How about insurance companies telling people that they need to increase the value of their home values for insurance purposes so they can cream extra profits by increasing premiums? I’ve covered this issue many times.
How about banks are with increasing frequency double dipping into customers accounts for Laser charges, or how credit card companies are pestering their customers or how mobile phone companies abuse their customers?
But wait! Hang on.
An alleged conman in Sligo doesn’t pay substantial sums of money in advertising fees to RTE, so we’re unlikely ever to see Buyer Beware highlight the consumer problems caused by the big banks, insurance companies, mobile companies and others that actually do affect significant numbers of Irish consumers.
Opportunity missed – wasted really. Remember, it’s the biggest companies in Ireland that are responsible for ripping off nearly 2m Irish consumers by over €600m in the last 5 years. But we’re never going to see that on RTE.
Oh to have a true consumer Watchdog programme in this country!