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#OTD 1886 First Bottle of Coca-Cola Was Sold by a Pharmacist & Inventor of Medicines

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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ May.08, 2022 @acehistorynews

Ace News Room Cutting Floor 08/05/2022

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#AceHistoryDesk – Today in History – Dr. John S. Pemberton, a pharmacist and inventor of patent medicines, sold the first Coca-Cola on May 8, 1886, at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia.

Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, coined the name and it is his handwriting we recognize as the Coca-Cola trademark. Originally marketed as a tonic, the drink contained extracts of coca leaf, which includes cocaine, as well as the caffeine-rich kola nut.

We Ought To Serve A Little Something.
Any Coca-Cola ‘Round Here?

“A Happy Family.” Rev. T.A. Snyder, interviewee; Mattie Jones, interviewer; West Columbia, SC, 1939. American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1940.Manuscript Divisionnone

Drink Coca-Cola 5 cents. [189-]. Popular Graphic Arts. Prints & Photographs Division

By the late 1890s, Coca-Cola was one of America’s most popular fountain drinks. With another Atlanta pharmacist, Asa Griggs Candler, at the helm, The Coca-Cola Company’s servings of the beverage increased from one million to one hundred million between 1890 and 1900. Advertising was an important factor in Pemberton and Candler’s success, and by the turn of the century, the drink was sold across the United States and Canada. Around the same time, the company began selling syrup to independent bottling companies licensed to sell the drink. Even today, the U.S. soft-drink industry is organized on this principle.

Until the 1960s, both small town and big city dwellers enjoyed carbonated beverages at the local soda fountain or ice cream parlor. Often housed in the drug store, the soda fountain counter served as a meeting place for people of all ages. Often combined with lunch counters, the soda fountain declined in popularity as commercial ice cream, bottled soft drinks, and fast food restaurants came to the fore.

Soda Fountain. ca. 1900. Runyon (Robert) Photograph Collection. Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas/Austin
Natchez Miss.. Marion Post Wolcott, photographer, August 1940. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs. Prints & Photographs Division.

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#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: May.08: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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AUSTRALIA: ACCC: New Digital Platform Rules Next Step in Consumer Reform ™

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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Mar.15, 2022 @acenewsservices

Ace News Room Cutting Floor 15/03/2022

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#AceNewsDesk – Development of new upfront rules that force dominant digital platforms to treat their users fairly is the important next step in reforming Australia’s consumer protection laws, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said today: The full speech is available at: Continuing the ACL journey

Delivering the 2022 Ruby Hutchison Memorial Lecture, Mr Sims applauded the progress on stronger consumer laws in Australia, starting with the introduction of the Australian Consumer Law in 2011, which included penalties for breaches, and then a significant hike in penalties in 2018.

“When I arrived at the ACCC in 2011 a $1 million penalty against a large company was celebrated,” Mr Sims said.

“I remember the positive reaction to Optus having to pay a penalty of $3.6 million for a breach of the ACL in 2013. Then in 2018, it seemed a milestone that Ford, Apple and Telstra faced penalties in the $9 million to $10 million range. In 2021 we saw Telstra pay a $50 million penalty, Volkswagen pay $125 million and AIPE, a vocational training company, hit with a $153 million penalty.”

“High penalties are essential for effective deterrence.  The ACCC does not have the resources to tackle most consumer law breaches, so our approach is to take specific cases, and allow high penalties to send a message to all other companies,” Mr Sims said.

Mr Sims said his proudest achievement was the alignment of consumer and competition law penalties in 2018. But glaring deficiencies in consumer laws remained, including the lack of a law against unfair practices and the lack of a general safety provision.

“Can you imagine a situation where someone was caught stealing and the result of the police inquiries was that they simply had to give the money back?  No penalty for the actual stealing to deter others. But we have this in our product safety laws,” Mr Sims said.

“There is no law against selling unsafe good; you are not breaching any act by doing so.  You simply have to recall the goods when they are seen to be unsafe.”

The next phase of consumer law reforms to be debated should relate to digital platforms with market power, Mr Sims said.

“Digital platforms have business models that seek to exploit all the data they have on you.  We need laws to prevent the misuse of this data, either by preventing so called ‘dark patterns’ that get you to act against your best interests, or requiring steps to prevent scams, or allowing appropriate dispute resolution,” Mr Sims said.

Today’s 2022 Ruby Hutchinson Memorial Lecture was Mr Sims’ final speech as ACCC Chair.

Mr Sims said it remained important for regulators to be vocal advocates for the rights of consumers and to identify opportunities for law reforms when needed.

“There are some who believe that regulators should only enforce the law as it is and not suggest publicly and need for law change.  What a loss to the public debate this suggests,” Mr Sims said.

The Ruby Hutchison Memorial Lecture is an annual speech in honour of the founder of the Australian Consumers Association, now known as CHOICE. The lecture is jointly hosted by CHOICE and the ACCC on World Consumer Day.

ACCC Infocentre: Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Mar.15: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: Investigation continuing to receive a high number of consumer reports about pricing and selling practices relating to rapid antigen tests and is investigating several potential Consumer Law breaches #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Feb.03: The ACCC is continuing to receive a high number of consumer reports about pricing and selling practices relating to rapid antigen tests in Australia and is investigating several potential Australian Consumer Law breaches.

#AceDailyNews ACCC Consumer Law Update Report: On action being taken on rapid antigen test pricing they have received almost 3,900 reports from consumers about rapid antigen tests between 25 December 2021 and 26 January 2022, averaging about 121 reports per day. Pharmacies have been the most-complained about sector, attracting 1,309 complaints, or almost 34 per cent of reports, outstripping petrol stations (781 complaints, 20 per cent of reports) and convenience stores, tobacconists and supermarkets (764 complaints, almost 20 per cent).

Since mid-January, however, pharmacy complaints were less than 25 per cent of total reports, as many more complaints were received from smaller stores which would not usually sell such items.

More than 50 test suppliers, major retailers and pharmacy chains have now been asked by the ACCC to explain their costs, current pricing, and stock availability, and warned that they must be able to substantiate any claims made to consumers about the reasons for higher prices.

Importantly, the ACCC has also made further referrals to both the Australian Federal Police and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) following tip-offs by consumers about alleged illegal re-selling of rapid antigen tests and alleged package splitting and sale of tests not approved for home use in Australia.

In addition, an investigation has commenced into claims by some suppliers that government entities may have diverted or sought priority supply of rapid antigen tests.

“Community concerns about sales practices for rapid antigen tests remain very high, for good reason. We thank the consumers who have taken the time to pass on to us crucial information about what is happening in this market. These reports, and the public scrutiny, are helping to keep prices at lower levels than otherwise,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“Businesses now know we will be in touch very quickly if they choose to impose unjustifiably high mark-ups on rapid antigen tests, or make misleading statements to consumers. In view of the public interest in this issue, we will continue to name business chains whose stores are reported to have engaged in this conduct, and are working very closely with our fellow law enforcement agencies in this area, particularly in relation to individual stores.”

ACCC Pricing Analysis:

Almost 95 per cent of consumer reports received by the ACCC since 25 December 2021 were about the price of rapid antigen tests. Many of these reports also raised other concerns about the sale of the tests, including package splitting, which is illegal and where the TGA has jurisdiction.

Analysis of reports to the ACCC indicates many consumers are still paying between $20-30 per test (though it’s worth noting that consumers are unlikely to report more reasonable prices to the ACCC). Based on these reports to the ACCC the average price of a test appears to have remained broadly steady since 12 January at about $24.

Updated information from intermediate suppliers, manufacturers and importers indicates that wholesale prices remain between $3.82 and $11.42 per test, depending on the type of test. The ACCC’s data on wholesale prices is based on information requests issued by the ACCC covering the period between 29 December 2021 and 14 January 2022. There have been some recent reports of higher wholesale prices which we are seeking to verify.

“While $20 retail prices remain lower than the more extreme reports received by the ACCC, this is still an unusually high mark-up that in our view is very difficult to justify,” Mr Sims said.

The average price of tests in pharmacies based on consumer tip-offs has recently been closer to $21. Most pharmacies appear to be charging between $15 and $25, however there are outliers with much higher prices.

“We are looking at reports of single tests being sold for $30 or more from certain stores. For example, we have received many reports of high prices at a number of individual IGA Supermarkets and BP-branded petrol stations (133 and 72 complaints respectively, to 26 January 2022). However, I want to emphasise these complaints are limited to a small number of individual stores in these chains and that the majority of stores in those chains have not been the subject of complaints to us. We have contacted those chains, and will be engaging with the stores named in complaints to ask them to explain their prices so we can work out what’s going on,” Mr Sims said.

Importantly, the ACCC has received significantly fewer complaints about excessive pricing involving certain businesses after previously raising concerns, including individual retailers operating under the King of the Pack and Metro Petroleum brands.

Investigation into alleged diversion of supplies by government bodies

The ACCC is investigating representations by a number of suppliers that government entities may have diverted or sought priority supply of rapid antigen tests from suppliers who had existing contracts in place. 

Some suppliers have made these claims in emails or on their websites. The Federal Government has given clear and repeated advice that it has not commandeered or asked for priority supply.

“ACCC investigators are speaking with the suppliers involved and will look to address any misrepresentations identified,” Mr Sims said.

“The ACCC takes this opportunity to remind suppliers about the importance of honouring any contractual arrangements for supply, and of being honest about the reason why rapid antigen tests may currently be unavailable. Suppliers must be able to substantiate any claims they make about test availability, and we are asking them to do so.”

Information provided to the ACCC suggests that, following strong demand for these products, suppliers at various levels in the distribution chain are making decisions about which customers to supply. While significant volumes of orders have been placed, supply chain issues mean that many orders are still yet to be delivered to retailers.

While the ACCC is at the initial stages of its inquiries, one claim has since been publicly retracted by the supplier that initially made that representation.

Most consumer complaints are from NSW

Over two-thirds of consumer reports to the ACCC about rapid antigen test pricing were about traders in NSW. While this is a significantly higher proportion of complaints than may be expected from its population, it may also reflect that the Omicron ‘wave’ was initially concentrated in NSW more than other states, particularly in late December 2021 and early January 2022.

Almost 85 per cent of reports to the ACCC were about traders located in major Australian cities, with over 10 per cent of complaints being about traders in regional or remote Australia. The lower reporting pattern may reflect supply levels in those locations.

Emerging trends in consumer reports

Recent consumer reports to the ACCC have revealed a number of emerging issues of concern.

  • Pricing: The ACCC understands that some retailers may be under the impression that they are “allowed” to sell tests at a high price if they were purchased from a wholesaler. This is incorrect. Charging excessive prices for rapid antigen tests, whether they were initially supplied by a wholesale or another retailer, may be considered to be unconscionable conduct in certain circumstances – particularly given we are in the middle of a pandemic. Unconscionable conduct is prohibited by the ACL and can result in very large penalties being imposed by the Court. Retailers should be aware that they risk breaching the ACL if they charge exorbitant or excessive prices for rapid antigen tests.
  • False and misleading claims: The ACCC continues to receive reports of consumers being given misleading information about the reason for supply challenges. Reports of potential scams and online stores wrongly accepting payment also continue, when the online businesses stores knew, or should have known, that they would not be able to supply the tests in a timely manner.
  • Refusal to provide receipts: The ACCC continues to receive reports of businesses failing to provide receipts or providing incorrect receipts. Refusal to provide receipts when requested or for total purchases of $75 or more (excluding GST) is a breach of the ACL, and penalties may be imposed by the Court. The ACCC is contacting these businesses about these concerns.
  • Package splitting: Reports to the ACCC continue to indicate the widespread practice of packs being split and sold in individual lots, sometimes without instructions for their use. We are also aware of reports of tests approved for clinical or professional use being sold directly to consumers. These reports will continue being referred to the TGA as required.

ACCC is working with other regulators

The ACCC is continuing to work closely with other regulators to address public concerns about rapid antigen tests, and has recently referred a number of matters to the following agencies for consideration and potential investigation:

  • Australian Federal Police (AFP) – regarding matters that may be a breach of the Government’s 8 January 2022 determination under the Biosecurity Act, which will remain in place until 17 February 2022. The determination prohibits a person from reselling, or offering to resell, rapid antigen tests bought at retail level for mark-ups above 20 per cent. More information about the AFP’s response to rapid antigen test pricing can be found in the AFP’s media release dated 21 January 2022.
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) – regarding alleged package splitting and sale of tests not approved for home use. Consumers can report such concerns directly to the TGA via ECT@health.gov.au.

Background

On 4 January 2022, the ACCC issued a media statement about the pricing of rapid antigen tests. The ACCC issued a further media statement on 17 January 2022.

The ACCC has established a dedicated team to investigate alleged breaches of the ACL. As further information is received and analysed, the ACCC will continue to expedite investigative steps.

While suppliers are generally able to set their own prices, businesses must not make false or misleading statements about the reason for high prices.

In certain circumstances, excessive pricing of essential goods or services may also be unconscionable.

Businesses must also set their prices independently of their competitors and not collude about pricing.

Consumers can contact the ACCC to report concerning conduct.

ACCC Infocentre: Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Feb.03: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Federal Court Report: Orders $153 million in penalties against Australian Institute of Professional Education Pty Ltd (in liquidation) (AIPE) #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.05: The Court had previously declared that AIPE had engaged in a system of unconscionable conduct, as well misleading or deceptive conduct, when enrolling consumers into online diploma courses between May 2013 and December 2015

#AceDailyNews Court Report: Record $153 million in penalties ordered against training college AIPE: The penalties imposed by the Court comprise $150 million for AIPE’s systemic unconscionable conduct, and $3 million for contraventions involving 12 individual consumers under the former VET FEE-HELP loan program.

The ACCC and the Australian Government Department of Education and Training commenced proceedings against AIPE in March 2016 following a joint ACCC and NSW Fair Trading investigation.

In imposing these penalties, Justice Bromwich said: “Substantial penalties are called for when a commercial enterprise systematically predates on both a government education support scheme designed to help disadvantaged members of the Australian community, and consequently, upon those consumers.”

“This is the highest total penalty amount ever imposed under the Australian Consumer Law, which reflects the appalling conduct engaged in by AIPE and the substantial benefit it gained as a result of the conduct,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“The magnitude of these penalties should serve as a significant warning to all Australian businesses that there can be very serious consequences for those who choose to engage in misleading and unconscionable conduct.”

AIPE misled vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers, telling them their courses were free, even though they would each incur a VET FEE‑HELP debt of up to around $20,000. It also enticed potential students by offering ‘free’ laptops as inducements to enrol.

“AIPE enrolled consumers, many of whom had limited reading and writing skills or could not use a computer, into online courses they were unlikely to ever be able to complete, but which left them with large lifetime debts,” Mr Sims said.

AIPE received over $210 million from the Commonwealth for approximately 16,000 enrolments during the relevant period under the VET FEE-HELP scheme.

The Court found that at least 70 per cent of AIPE’s enrolments during the relevant period were affected by the conduct. AIPE has previously been ordered to repay approximately $142 million to the Commonwealth in compensation for funding it should not have received.

Using the VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures, the Commonwealth has already cancelled most of the debts of eligible consumers enrolled by AIPE, and is progressively cancelling the remaining debts of those eligible.

“We support the Commonwealth’s continued work in cancelling these students’ debts,” Mr Sims said.

“Because AIPE is in liquidation, the penalty will not be paid, but the penalties imposed nevertheless set an important benchmark for future cases and will serve to deter similar behaviour by others.”

The orders for compensation to the Commonwealth, and legal costs orders, will be provable debts in AIPE’s liquidation.

Additional Notes:

The VET HEE-HELP Student Redress Measures came into effect on 1 January 2019. The measures provide a remedy for eligible students who, due to the inappropriate conduct of their VET provider, incurred debts under the VET FEE-HELP loan scheme.

If you were affected, contact the VET Student Loans Ombudsman (part of the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman) who will assess and investigate your complaint.

If it is confirmed you incurred your debt because of inappropriate behaviour by your provider, the Ombudsman may make recommendations to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to cancel your VET FEE-HELP debt.

More than $2.8 billion in VET FEE-HELP debt has been re-credited to over 152,800 students since 2016, the majority through the VET FEE-HELP Student Redress Measures.

Background

In November 2019, the Federal Court handed down judgment which found that AIPE engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and implemented a system of unconscionable conduct.

AIPE was placed into liquidation after the ACCC commenced proceedings.

The ACCC has previously taken against Acquire Learning and, together with the Commonwealth, has successfully brought proceedings against Unique International CollegeCornerstone Investment Aust Pty Ltd (trading as Empower Institute), and Phoenix Institute of Australia in respect of conduct involving the VET FEE-HELP scheme.

The ACCC also brought proceedings against Productivity Partners Pty Ltd trading as Captain Cook College in which the Federal Court recently held that Captain Cook College had made false or misleading representations and engaged in a system of unconscionable conduct. That decision is currently under appeal.

Previously, the largest penalty under the ACL was the $125 million penalty ordered against Volkswagen. The High Court recently refused special leave to appeal that decision.

CCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Federal Court Report: Imposes a penalty of $1 million on workplace relations advisor Employsure Pty Ltd for breaching the Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations in its Google Ads, in proceedings brought by the ACCC #AceNewsDesk report

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(AUSTRALIA) JUST IN: AEMC REPORT: Households can expect to pay around $77 less (or 6%) for electricity in 2024 than they do today, as cheaper renewable energy flows to consumers, reducing prices to their lowest levels since 2017 #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.25: Australian Energy Market Commission’s Residential electricity price trends report 2021: AEMC Chair Anna Collyer said the report shows that, based on current trends, prices per kilowatt hour are likely to be under 26c p/kWh by June 2024, the first time since 2016/17……

#AceDailyNews reports on the AEMC’s 2021 annual residential electricity price trends report examines the direction household electricity prices will take over the next three years. It finds that lower wholesale costs, and reduced environmental costs in most regions, are continuing to drive overall prices down…

To access a media release and infographic for your jurisdiction:

ABC NEWS REPORT: National energy market report details expected power bill price drops across Australia with Queensland leading the way in price drops

25 November 2021:

“This illustrates how integrating renewables in a smart way makes it possible to have both lower emissions and lower costs for consumers,” Ms Collyer said.    

“We can now see far enough into the future to be confident that power prices paid by consumers will continue to trend downwards over the next three years, despite the staged exit of Liddell power station in 2022 and 2023, one of the biggest coal-fired generators in the national electricity market. 

“But while wholesale costs and environmental costs are trending lower, we are starting to see increases in the cost of network investments, and this is likely to accelerate over the next decade as more network investment is required to connect dispersed new generation to the grid. 

“There are also regional differences across states and territories in the national electricity market that will affect price outcomes. And what energy offer you have, how much you use and whether you also have solar or gas will also affect your bill.” 

Overall:

  • Wholesale costs are expected to fall by about $92 between FY20/21 and FY23/24, building on falls during FY20/21. Wholesale costs represent about 35% of the representative customer’s bill across the national energy market. 
  • Network costs are expected to increase by about $31 out to FY23/24, equally spread across transmission and distribution networks. 
  • Environmental costs are expected to drop by $16 out to FY23/24 due to a decrease in large-scale renewable energy costs as more renewable generation comes online. After seeing these costs mostly increase over the past decade, they are projected to drop in FY22/23 and FY23/24.1 

Across the national electricity market jurisdictions from FY20/21 to FY23/24:

  • South East Queensland electricity prices are estimated to fall by 10% or $126 (an annual average drop of -3.6%) 
  • South Australian electricity prices are estimated to fall by 2% or just over $35 (an annual average drop of -0.7%) 
  • Victorian electricity prices are estimated to fall by 8% or about $99 (an annual average drop of -2.6%) 
  • NSW electricity prices are estimated to fall by 4% or about $50 (an annual average drop of -1.3%) 
  • ACT electricity prices are estimated to rise by 4% or $77 (an annual average increase of 1.3%) 
  • Tasmanian electricity prices are estimated to fall by 6% or $125 (an annual average drop of -2.1%). 
High voltage powerlines outside Melbourne
Power prices are expected to drop over the next three years.(ABC News: Michael Barnett)

Ms Collyer said the report shows that prices are expected to fall slightly in FY21/22, increase by around $20 a year in FY22/23 as Liddell exits the system, and then fall again as lost capacity is replaced by a combination of solar, wind, gas and batteries. 

“While we have just under 2,500MW of generation expected to exit the grid over the next three years, there are almost 5,500MW of committed new large-scale generation and storage projects coming online over the same time period,” Ms Collyer said.   

“This is in addition to 4,130 MW of new rooftop solar PV capacity, which will also influence prices by lowering demand and through exports.”    

“This diversity of generation and storage puts us in a strong position to manage the forecast retirement of Liddell in NSW and the closure of gas fired generators in SA and Qld. Understanding what’s driving prices highlights the importance of being smart in how we connect resources to the grid and ensure the back-up needed for a secure supply, so the benefits of low cost and low emission generation aren’t eroded,” she said. 

“Everything we’re doing at the AEMC and ESB is about making the most of renewables. That means maximising the benefits through reforms to distributed energy resources such as solar, minimising the emerging costs of planned network investments to connect renewables to consumers, while ensuring we have electricity when and where we need it to keep the lights on.”    

Media: media@aemc.gov.au or 0409 514 643

Visit the project page for more information and contact details.

Household power bills are predicted to continue falling in the coming years, despite the closure of major power stations including Liddell power station in New South Wales.

It forecasts an average national drop in annual bills of $77 by 2024.

AEMC chair Anna Collyer said power bills were expected to rise slightly, by about $20 in 2022/23, as Liddell closed down.

“Prices are expected to … fall again as lost capacity is replaced by a combination of solar, wind, gas and batteries,” Ms Collyer said.

“While we have just under 2,500 megawatts (MW) of generation expected to exit the grid over the next three years, there are almost 5,500MW of committed new large-scale generation and storage projects coming online over the same time period.

“This is in addition to 4,130MW of new rooftop solar PV [photovoltaic] capacity, which will also influence prices by lowering demand and through exports.”

Queensland leading the nation

South-east Queensland is predicted to see the biggest price drop, with annual bills falling by 10 per cent ($126) by 2024, to reach their lowest level in more than a decade.

A headshot of a woman with short brown hair, wearing a black suit, smiling at the camera
“Integrating renewables in a smart way makes it possible to have both lower emissions and lower costs,” Anna Collyer says.(Supplied: AEMC)

The report predicts the price falls will be driven by new solar and wind farms and new battery storage coming online in the state.

“Significant new generation has been committed in south-east Queensland,” Ms Collyer said.

“Wind farm projects at Kennedy Energy Park and Kaban, nine solar projects … and the Wandoan battery.”

A price drop of $50 by 2024 is forecast for New South Wales, $99 in Victoria, $125 in Tasmania and $35 in South Australia.

Prices rise in the ACT

The ACT is the only jurisdiction where power bills are predicted to rise.What I learnt from switching electricity retailers I sifted through 30 power retailers’ offers to save on my home bills.

Then I checked – and discovered I’d been switched to a more expensive plan. Read more

A net increase of 4 per cent, or $77, is forecast by 2024.

Ms Collyer said the modelling showed prices in the ACT increasing by $99 this financial year, and by $123 the following, before falling by $145 in 2023/24.

“A comparatively large number of ACT consumers, 28.7 per cent, are still on standing offers rather than cheaper market offers so there are savings available to households if they shop around for a better deal,” she said.

The report said the price rise would be driven by rising wholesale and network costs.

It said environmental costs in the ACT would also increase due to the costs of large scale Feed-in Tariff Schemes.

Closures in South Australia

A modest drop of $35 in South Australia is predicted despite the closure of the Torrens Island and Osbourne units over the next few years.

“This illustrates how integrating renewables in a smart way makes it possible to have both lower emissions and lower costs for consumers,” Ms Collyer said.

South Australia is set to be hit by higher network investment costs, which are predicted to accelerate over the next decade to cope with the steep rise in power being returned to the grid from households.

The state recently set a world record by generating more electricity from solar than it consumed for periods of time on five different days.

The report does not include the Northern Territory or Western Australia.

“They’re not part of the national electricity market, they both have quite different markets, and in each case, the government asked us to not pursue the price trends in those regions because it wasn’t as meaningful for their customers,” Ms Collyer said.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Nov.25: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) SCAM WATCH REPORT: Citizens have already lost about $12.9 million to online shopping including classifieds scams so far this year, and the ACCC is urging consumers to watch out for dodgy deals as pre-holiday sales approach #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.23: ” People are often searching for the best deals online, especially in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, so it’s easy to be caught off guard and fall for a scam.”

#AceDailyNews ACCC Report: Scamwatch has received over 26,000 reports of online shopping scams, more than the total reported through all of 2020. This is consistent with global trends from 2020 as more people shop online during the pandemic.

Kindness & Love❤️ says friends, followers and readers be safe this time of the year ….

This is a very busy time of year, and scammers often try to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers rushing to organise gifts,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

In an online shopping scam, scammers create realistic looking fake online stores selling items at heavily discounted prices, however the items are fake, or never delivered to buyers.

Scammers have also created fake stores on social media platforms or post fake ads on legitimate classifieds websites. They may request payment or offer discounts for payments made through direct bank transfers or cryptocurrency. 

“Before you buy, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of scams. While some scammers try to make online stores look legitimate by requesting payment via PayPal or credit card, always double check that the real PayPal platform is being used. Be suspicious of too good to be true offers and any sellers that ask you to pay by bank transfer, gift cards or cryptocurrency,” Ms Rickard said.

“Research the seller and make sure you know who you are buying from. Search online for the product or company name, plus “complaint” or “scam” to see what other people are saying. If you are buying from a social networking site, check the seller’s history and read reviews from other people who have dealt with them.”

“When you’re paying, avoid arrangements that ask for up-front payment via bank transfer, or payment through digital currency, like Bitcoin. Always try to use a secure payment service such as PayPal or credit card transaction,” Ms Rickard said.

If you’re waiting for your parcel, remember that scammers also take advantage of people expecting deliveries.

“Australia Post and other parcel delivery companies will never email, call or text you asking for personal or financial information or a payment. Many delivery companies have apps where you can track your parcels rather than clicking on links in messages or emails,” Ms Rickard said.

Losses to online shopping scams are spread across most age groups, but people aged 25-34 lost the most money, at $2.4 million.

The number of reports involving a financial loss has decreased this year, indicating that more people are able to recognise and avoid online shopping scams, however those that are losing money are losing more, with an average loss of more than $1,450, compared to $1,190 last year.

Some of the more significant losses reported to Scamwatch during the year relate to high value purchases:

  • Pet scams were the most reported when it came to online shopping scams and were also the most financially damaging. Scamwatch received over 2,800 reports and almost $3.5 million in losses so far, a 78 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
  • Vehicle sale scams resulted in big losses at more than $1.9 million, while other common products included caravans, shipping containers and electronics such as laptops, phones, and gaming consoles.
  • Shipping container scams were a new trend this year, fleecing consumers of over $676,000. They were popular on marketplaces and classified sites, but scammers also created fake websites and pretended to have real ABNs. Scamwatch has taken action to get some fake websites removed.

People who think they have been scammed should contact their bank or financial institution immediately. If the scam occurred on a social media platform, contact the platform and inform them of the circumstances surrounding the scam. 

They can also make a report to Scamwatch and find more information on where to get help on our website.

Know your consumer rights:

The ACCC is also urging people to be aware of their consumer rights if something goes wrong, even if the item was purchased during the sales season.

“Remember that you are entitled to consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law, so if you’ve received a gift or purchased something in the sales and the product stops working or isn’t as it was described, you are entitled to a remedy depending on the nature of the problem,” Ms Rickard said.

“If you’re having an issue with your product, you should first contact the retailer. They cannot refuse to help by sending you to the manufacturer. Your local state and territory consumer protection agency can provide more information about your rights, and may also be able to help negotiate resolutions between you and the seller.”

Additional Notes: More information about consumer guarantees is available on the ACCC’s website.

Figure 1: Age of people reporting online shopping scams (and classified) by reports and losses (1 Jan – 31 Oct 2021 compared with all of 2020)

Table 1: Top 10 products reported in online shopping scams in 2021 (until 31 Oct), by highest losses

ACCC Infocentre: Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Nov.23: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Federal Court Report: Decathlon Pty Ltd to pay penalties of $1.5 million for selling sports and recreation goods that did not comply with applicable mandatory safety standards, in breach of the (ACL) #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.20: The Federal Court has ordered Decathlon (Australia) Pty Ltd (Decathlon) to pay penalties of $1.5 million for selling sports and recreation goods that did not comply with applicable mandatory safety standards, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

#AceDailyNews reports that Decathlon Pty Ltd (Australia) pays $1.5 million for selling sporting goods that did not comply with safety standards under Australian Consumer Law (ACL) following investigation by ACCC ….

Decathlon admitted that, between January 2016 and December 2019, it supplied 432 basketball rings and backboards and 307 portable swimming pools which did not comply with the relevant Australian mandatory safety standards.

Fourteen models of Decathlon basketball rings and backboards and five models of portable swimming pool products did not include the safety labelling, consumer warnings or installation and use instructions required by the safety standards.  

“Mandatory safety standards exist to reduce the risk of death and serious injury to consumers, especially children, when using these types of products,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“By not including these important warnings, Decathlon put consumers at risk of serious harm when they were using the Decathlon swimming pools, basketball rings and backboards.”

Decathlon admitted it supplied 66 portable pools which were over 30 centimetres deep without the required warnings such as “children have drowned in portable swimming pools”, “ensure active adult supervision at all times” and “pool fencing laws apply to this pool”.

Decathlon also admitted it supplied 341 basketball rings and backboards with user manuals that contained misleading representations that they were safe to attach to brickwork, when that was not the case.

“When the basketball rings and backboards are attached to a brick wall, the wall cannot cope with the stresses placed on them when people perform slam dunks, which could lead to serious or fatal injuries if the wall collapses,” Ms Rickard said.  

“It is illegal to sell products in Australia that do not comply with mandatory safety standards, and consumers have a right to expect that products they purchase will not endanger their safety, or the safety of their family and others.”

The Court found that Decathlon sold the products that did not comply with the relevant standards as a result of a general lack of attention to its legal responsibilities coupled with a failure to take effective and timely action in response to correspondence received from the ACCC that drew attention to compliance problems in relation to a range of products.

The Court ordered Decathlon to publish a corrective notice on its website and to implement an ACL compliance program. Decathlon was also ordered to pay the ACCC’s costs.

Decathlon admitted that it had contravened the ACL, and consented to declarations, and orders for the implementation of a compliance program order and publication of a corrective notice. 

Background

Decathlon is an online store which also operates five stores in Melbourne and Sydney. It is fully owned by its ultimate holding entity, Decathlon S.A. in France which has more than 1,500 stores across more than 55 countries.

In December 2019, Decathlon recalled 51 different products, including all Decathlon basketball rings and backboardsbasketball systems, and theportable swimming pools products which are the subject of these proceedings.

In July 2020, the ACCC instituted these proceedings against Decathlon.

Addtional Notes:

Portable swimming pools pose a drowning hazard to children and must comply with the Consumer Goods (Portable Swimming Pools) Safety Standard.

In 2018/19, 19 children aged 0-4 years drowned in Australia, nearly two thirds of them in swimming pools. Many more children are hospitalised each year after a drowning incident in a portable swimming pool.

Basketball rings and backboards must comply with the Consumer Goods (Basketball Rings and Backboards) Safety Standard. This standard is designed to reduce the risk of death and serious injury resulting from the improper installation and use.

Since 2012, one person died due to improper installation of a basketball ring and backboard on a garage which similarly collapsed when the user performed a ‘slam dunk’.

As the national product safety regulator for consumer products, the ACCC identifies, prioritises and manages product safety risks across many thousands of different product types to help keep Australians safe.

The ACCC works closely with its state and territory counterparts who regulate product safety across the country. 

Examples of products affected below:

Nabaiji brand, inflatable circular pool 152 37cm, orange

Nabaiji brand, inflatable circular pool 152/37cm, orange

Tarmak brand, B200 New Easy Space Blue, children’s basketball ring and backboard

Tarmak brand, B200 New Easy Space Blue, children’s basketball ring and backboard

Example of warning required for some basketball rings and backboards below:

Example of warning required for some basketball rings and backboards

ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.20: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Federal Court Report: ACCC Institutes proceedings against each of (Telstra), (Optus), and TPG for making alleged false or misleading representations in their promotions of some 50Mbps and 100Mbps NBN plans, in breach of Consumer Law #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.10: The ACCC has instituted separate proceedings in the Federal Court against each of Telstra Corporation Ltd (Telstra), Optus Internet Pty Limited (Optus), and TPG Internet Pty Ltd (TPG) for making alleged false or misleading representations in their promotions of some 50Mbps and 100Mbps NBN plans, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

#AceDailyNews reports the the ACCC institutes federal court proceedings against Telstra, Optus & TPG who allegedly misled consumers over NBN maximum speeds…..

ACCC REPORT:

The ACCC alleges that the companies made representations to some consumers on Fibre to the Node (FTTN) connections that they would test the maximum speed of their connections, notify the impacted consumer of their maximum speed if their line was underperforming, and offer them remedies if the maximum speed was below their plan’s stated speed, but failed to do so for many customers.

It is also alleged Telstra, Optus and TPG wrongly accepted payments from certain customers for NBN plans when they were not provided with the promised speeds.

“Telstra, Optus and TPG each promised to tell consumers within a specific or reasonable timeframe if the speed they were paying for could not be reached on their connection. They also promised to offer them a cheaper plan with a refund if that was the case. Instead, we allege, they failed to do these things, and as a result many consumers paid more for their NBN plans than they needed to,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“Collectively, hundreds of thousands of consumers were allegedly misled by these three big internet providers, Telstra, Optus and TPG, which accepted payments for NBN speeds they could not provide.”

“What makes this behaviour even more concerning is that Telstra, Optus and TPG were well aware of these issues and had earlier given undertakings to the ACCC to provide remedies to consumers who purchased NBN plans with speeds that couldn’t be delivered,” Mr Sims said.

“We are very disappointed that these companies do not seem to have taken seriously the undertakings they gave to the ACCC.”

The allegedly false and misleading statements were made on the companies’ websites and in emails to consumers from at least 1 April 2019 to 30 April 2020 by Telstra and TPG, and at least 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019 by Optus.

Telstra stated it would test the line speed 21 days after connection and promised consumers “If your nbn connection doesn’t allow you to properly benefit from the speed tier you’re on, we’ll provide you with a maximum line speed, once it’s available, along with alternative options”.

Optus also told consumers it would check the speeds and that “options will be provided if the actual speed you achieve is lower than what’s included in your plan or speed pack”, while TPG said it would email consumers their line speeds “around three weeks after activation” and that consumers would “have the option to move to a lower speed plan (if available) or to change providers without contract break fees”.

The ACCC alleges that Telstra, Optus and TPG didn’t have adequate systems in place to implement the speed checks, notifications and remedies they said they would carry out.

This investigation was prompted both by Telstra self-reporting elements of this conduct to the ACCC and by information in the ACCC’s Measuring Broadband Australia Reports indicating consumers were not receiving the speeds they were paying for.

“Internet speed is one of the main features consumers look for when choosing their NBN plan, but it can be complex, confusing and time-consuming for them to understand the features of advertised NBN services and they cannot check their maximum speed themselves,” Mr Sims said.

“It is important that internet providers like Telstra, Optus and TPG give their customers accurate information so they can make an informed choice about the service that best suits their needs and budget.”

“We are pleased that Telstra, Optus and TPG have promised to compensate consumers even before the court case is finalised,” Mr Sims said.

Telstra, Optus or TPG are contacting current and former customers who are affected to advise them if they are eligible for a refund, and offer alterative plans, or an opportunity to leave their contract without penalty, if appropriate. Consumers may also contact their provider directly for further information.

The ACCC is seeking a range of orders, including declarations, injunctions, pecuniary penalties, publication orders and the implementation of compliance programs.

Background

In August 2017, the ACCC published guidance for retailers about how to advertise NBN broadband services and the applicable speeds.

In late 2017, TelstraOptus and TPG provided court-enforceable undertakings to the ACCC to provide remedies to consumers after they had promoted NBN plans with specific maximum speeds which could not be obtained. The undertakings also required them to check the maximum speeds and inform consumers if this did not meet the speed in their plan.

Between 2018 and 2020, the ACCC’s Measuring Broadband Australia Reports indicated some consumers were continuing to pay for internet plans with higher speeds than they were receiving.

The ACCC has previously taken legal action against Telstra, and Optus (in 2018early 2019, and late 2019) in relation to other false and misleading statements.

Telstra, TPG Telecom Ltd (TPG’s parent company) and SingTel Optus (Optus’ parent company) are the three largest internet service providers in Australia.  

Examples:

Telstra website (red box inserted for emphasis)

Telstra website (red box inserted for emphasis)

Optus terms and conditions on its website (red box inserted for emphasis)

Optus terms and conditions on its website (red box inserted for emphasis)

TPG website (red box inserted for emphasis)

TPG website (red box inserted for emphasis)

ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.09: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: Institutes Federal Court proceedings against Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd (Mercedes-Benz) for allegedly failing to comply with their obligations under a compulsory recall of defective, and potentially deadly, Takata airbags #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.05: The recall notice required suppliers to communicate with consumers in a way that emphasised the danger of the Takata airbags, particularly the risk of serious injury or death from misdeployment of the airbag inflator. It also required suppliers to draw attention to the urgency of having airbags replaced.

#AceDailyNews reports that they ACCC alleges Mercedes-Benz minimised risk of defective during #TAKATA AIRBAGS COMPULSORY RECALL

ACCC REPORT:

Ace News Services reported on a number of occasions in regard to these airbags with a number of specific posts highlighting the dangers of their use and various incidents of injury to other persons please take a look on the link above …

The ACCC alleges that, between July 2018 and March 2020, in communications with consumers, Mercedes-Benz contravened the Takata compulsory recall notice by minimising the risks associated with defective Takata airbags and failing to use attention-capturing, high-impact language to avoid consumers ignoring recall notices.

It is alleged that on at least 73 occasions, Mercedes-Benz call centre staff made representations to consumers by phone or email to the effect that they were undertaking the recall as a precaution; that it was still okay (or safe) to drive vehicles that were over six years old; or there had been no incidents, accidents, injuries or deaths caused by Beta airbags, either in Mercedes-Benz vehicles, or at all.

These alleged representations used language which was inconsistent with the requirements of the compulsory recall notice. Further, it is not correct that there have been no incidents. In fact, there have been incidents in Australia and overseas involving Beta airbags including, in Australia, one incident resulting in a fatality and another resulting in very serious injuries to the driver. The ACCC is also aware of reported misdeployments overseas of Takata airbags fitted in Mercedes vehicles.

“The Takata airbag compulsory recall was commenced in Australia because of the risk of misdeployment of defective Takata airbags in millions of vehicles, which could result in serious injury or death to drivers and passengers, even in relatively minor accidents,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said. 

“The Takata recall was the first motor vehicle compulsory recall required in Australia under the Australian Consumer Law, and was the biggest vehicle recall in Australian history, affecting over 4 million Takata airbags in around 3 million vehicles.”

“It was a very important part of the compulsory recall that consumers were made aware in all communications from vehicle manufacturers of the risks of serious injury or death from defective Takata airbags, and the importance of having these airbags replaced as soon as possible,” Ms Rickard said.

“We allege that Mercedes-Benz exposed consumers to the risks of serious injury or death because it used language which minimised these risks, and gave the impression that the recall was precautionary and that there was no urgency in having the airbags replaced.”

For example, consumers were told by Mercedes-Benz staff, “The reason we’re in this recall is more of a precautionary measure and an ease of mind for our customers.” or “You are still okay to drive your vehicle up until the point of completion of this recall, and that’s due to the fact that the Beta hasn’t shown any faults.” or “We’ve not actually had any problems with our airbags but we are recalling them for customer peace of mind anyway.”

The ACCC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, an order requiring a product recall compliance program, and costs.

Background:

Mercedes-Benz is an importer and wholesaler of passenger cars for the Australia/Pacific region and is owned by parent company Daimler AG, a multinational automotive company. 

The ACCC is aware of reports of overseas misdeployments of Takata airbags in Mercedes vehicles.

The Consumer Goods (Motor Vehicles with Affected Takata Airbag Inflators and Specified Spare Parts) Recall Notice 2018 came into effect on 1 March 2018

Under the Takata airbag recall, suppliers were required to recall and replace defective Takata airbags by 31 December 2020 and develop and implement a plan to communicate with consumers to maximise replacement of these airbags.  As of July 2021, car manufacturers have successfully recalled 99.9 per cent of vehicles affected by these airbags.

Expert advice provided to the ACCC, which formed the basis for the compulsory recall, indicates that the risk of a defective Takata airbag rupturing may arise between 6 and 25 years after it is installed in a vehicle. In areas of high heat and humidity, the risk of rupture may arise between 6 and 9 years.

The Recall Notice applies to Affected Takata Airbag Inflators, commonly known as Alpha or Beta (also known as non-Alpha) airbags. Globally, ruptures of defective Takata airbags have been associated with approximately 33 deaths and over 350 injuries. In Australia there has been one death and one serious injury attributed to the misdeployment of airbags subject to the compulsory recall. Both of these incidents involved Beta airbags.

Consumers can visit Product Safety Australia or contact their manufacturer to check if their vehicle is affected by the compulsory recall.

The attached document below contains the ACCC’s initiating court document in relation to this matter. We will not be uploading further documents in the event this initial document is subsequently amended.

Concise statement 

ACCC v Mercedes-Benz_Concise Statement ( PDF 463.18 KB )

ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Aug.05: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com