Match and beat

In Experiences, General, Italian by John8 Comments

This evening I changed the Word Press theme I’m using from a magazine style layout to a classic blog style where each blog is seen in full on the blog home page and follow one another in chronological order. As always, you can search for something in the Search feature in the navigation bar at the top of every page, or click on Categories or the tag cloud in the sidebar. To make a comment on any post, click on the title of the post (it changes colour to indicate a link) and you will go to the post’s own page where there is a comment section at the bottom which allows you to make comments and shows other comments made – and you can reply to those comments as well as my post.

Last Monday I went to Borders at Chadstone shopping centre to see what English-Italian learning books they had in stock. They had three copies of the Concise Oxford Paravia Italian Dictionary – but all had different covers and different prices. One had a cover saying it was Second Edition and it had a red sticker stating it was NEW and had colour. It was $93.50. One had no edition information, and the price was $92.95. Another stated it was Third Edition and was $71.95. I might have the prices mixed on the last two books. The Third Edition had less words (175,000) than the Second Edition marked as NEW (180,000 words). All in all I was confused, and I didn’t expect the staff at Borders could explain the difference between the editions, even if I could find any staff.

So in the next two days I did some research on the Internet and even sent an email to Oxford University Press in South Melbourne. It turned out that the Third Edition was a 2003 edition of the dictionary with a CD that used the 3rd edition of Symbian S60 to power the CD-ROM (I suspect), and the Second Edition marked NEW was released only two months ago.

I also discovered that Borders advertised the new Second Edition on their website at $71.95 (not $93.50 as marked on the book at Chadstone). So I printed out the web page and took it to Borders on Wednesday, got the book and took it to a sales counter where I showed the price on the book and the price on their website. I couldn’t believe the response I got.

“We don’t price match.”

“I’m not asking you to price match. It’s the price on your own website.”

“We don’t price match. Not even with our own website.”

Today my faith in human nature was restored when a very pleasant young man knocked on my front door, identified himself, and began explaining the savings advantages of changing from AGL – the default electricity and gas retailer for my area – to Australian Power & Gas. Karlo was soon joined by George (his boss) and Josh (a trainee), and George over for a while to further explain the savings. He also stated that it was a 3-year contract to sign up with Australian Power & Gas, but if during that period another party made a lower priced offer, they would “match and beat” it.

I’ve made a previous post about serendipity, and the two stories above seemed to point to me appreciating an offer today for a contract that would price match (and beat) any other offer during the course of the contract.

I’ve got a cooling off period of 10 days from next Monday to check it all out, including the advice (from Judge Judy, I think) that “If it seems too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true.”

I’d appreciate any comments or thoughts or experiences.

So what does the picture at the head of this post have to do with the content of the post? Absolutely nothing. But it’s from an era that I remember fondly, when I used to ride my bike into town every Saturday morning to visit the Mount Gambier Institute Library and browse the wonderful overseas magazines on the reading tables. It was post war, and in Mount Gambier we didn’t see any of these amazing goods advertised in the Saturday Evening Post, LIFE, National Geographic and  Popular Mechanics from the USA; and The Illustrated London News and Country Life from the UK.  I have great feelings of nostalgia for those days, and seeing the adverts again that I used to drool over arouses those old feelings again.


  1. Once upon a time Borders here in the UK was my favourite bookstore, but the honeymoon period didn’t last long! “Our” Borders chain was originally owned by the US Borders Group but was sold a couple of years ago to a private equity firm. Things went rapidly downhill, and I too endured similar dismal encounters. Just before Christmas, Borders over here was put into administration.

    Methinks “your” Borders may not be long for this world!

    I’d love to share my experiences of Australian Power & Gas but, alas, under the circumstances … not possible! (But I hope they treat you well.)

    1. Author

      HI Gillian, it’s great that you are still looking at my website and have now written some comments about my latest post.

      Your comments about Borders in the UK interested me so I did a Google search (in Chrome, of course, Colin) on who owns them in Australia, and I found the Wikipedia article about Borders Group. The article stated:

      The Australian, New Zealand, and Singaporean stores were sold in June 2008 to A&R Whitcoulls (who also own local competitor Angus & Robertson) to pay off debt.

      I gather from the Wikipedia article, if I understand it correctly, that Border Group owns the website where one can buy books online. If that’s the case, it explains why the Borders store at Chadstone would not price match with the Borders website – and especially not with a company that from what I read, is not doing well. Even the CEO of Borders Group resigned a few weeks ago.

  2. When I movedto my new abode recently I found a website that compared the different suppliers. Checkout the Choice magazine website first.

    1. Author

      Thanks for the tip, Colin. I’ve had a look at Choice online and it led me to a Victorian Government website that explains the situation in Victoria since since 2003 and has a table setting out the prices charged by retailers in my postcode area. I’ll check this out further when get out the exact details of what type of metering I’m on and what my usage is (things can get technical!), but at first look, Australian Power & Gas is my cheapest option and will save about $400 a year. The dearest option would cost me $600 more a year than my current $2,400 + a year (approx ballpark costs if I’m an average user.

        1. Author

          Thanks very much for that link Colin. It has saved me hours of fruitless searching and frustration trying to find that page. You see I found that page fairly quickly after I followed up the Choice tip in your previous comment, but I only did the comparison check with guesses of my actual situation. I planned to go back later with exact details from last electricity and gas bills.

          However, after that I did a lot more browsing, and much of it on the Vic Govt website. When I wrote my reply to your comment, I thought the comparison page was on a Vic Govt web page. So thank goodness for the direct link in your second comment. That’s the page I would be looking for to enter exact details of my situation re power supply. I would never have found it in the Vic Govt pages.
          has a table setting out the prices charged by retailers in my postcode area. I’ll check this out further when get out the exact details of what type of metering I’m on and what my usage is (things can get technical!), but at first look, Australian Power & Gas is my cheapest option and will save about $400 a year.

  3. That’s a fantastic advert. I guess it was drawn by a woman as it’s so incredibly feminine. The font. Even the violinist looks like a girl.

    1. Author

      I’m glad you liked the old advert. I was hoping someone would.

      You might be interested in the new page on my website which has another two old adverts. One is for the 1948 Ford which my father had on order. He’d had a Ford on order for several years after the War, but shortages meant years of waiting. In the end he bought a 1948 Rover because he could buy it off the showroom floor in Mt Gambier. Much, much better than a Ford. I learned to drive in the Rover.

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