Wednesday, May 22, 2013


It seems that banks and commercial leasing agents and business brokers and probably anyone with a pen and disregard for the law include in their many and various contracts, terms and conditions which are clearly in breach of various acts.  

When pressed on the phone they quote these conditions endlessly espousing that they are ‘published’; presumably with the thought that mere publishing gives them credence.  They obviously ignore their illegal nature.  This would seem to be gross misrepresentation with the employee and the company being joint and severally responsible.

When it comes to the crunch these illegal conditions will be read down and be as if they were not in the contract but the question remains. “Why are companies including terms and conditions in their contracts they know are illegal and quoting them over the phone as binding?”  There can be only one reason and that is to confuse the customer through a misrepresentation of the facts.

The customer loses money and time forcing companies forcing them to comply with the law.

It seems that the regulatory bodies like ACCC, ACIC and ACMA ignore this practice so to protect myself I now publish my own terms and conditions which Banks, Estate agents and Business brokers Etal [BEBE] must comply just because I have published!  Just 6 of the 7,312 as an example …

  1. All BEBE’s must immediately answer my phone calls with a real person with no menus to navigate;
Fine .. 100 Penalty units
  1. All BEBE’s must instigate training for all employees to make them realise that we are the customer and that they are not doing us a favour;
Fine .. 100 Penalty units
  1. All BEBE’s will accept anything I request, do and say as law and will action any requests forthwith;
Fine .. 200 Penalty units
  1. All BEBE’s will immediately remove any confusing, illegal and misrepresentative term or condition and immediately subjugate themselves to my 7,312 published [elsewhere] Terms and Conditions remembering that they must be legal because I have published them. [Keep in mind that even though ‘elsewhere’ is somewhat obtuse and confusing does not mean you can ignore them]
Fine … 300 penalty units
  1. All BEBE’s agree that we may change any or all terms and conditions at any time without your consent or knowledge or acquiescence and they still must comply without reservation:
 Fine … 400 Penalty units
  1. All BEBE’s agree that any phone communication may be recorded by us for litigation purposes and that may not do the same; 
Fine … 400 Penalty units

Penalty unit = $195 to be paid into my personal ‘collections’ account [the collections department is specifically enabled to collect fines from BEBE’s]

Jon Langevad

Friday, May 10, 2013


We all from time to time focus on minutia rather than the big picture because it’s easy and allows our addled brains a respite against life’s major challenges.  Golf is the perfect ‘escape’ as it requires absolute concentration on hitting a very small white ball and blocks out all other issues affecting our lives.  The golf driving range is positively therapeutic.
This is a necessity for us mere mortals but I question as to whether or not it is appropriate for our Government to continually focus on relatively small issues rather than platform our country into a strategic future as a world player.
Our leaders should be galvanising our country towards a common ‘world’ future yet what we see is continual bickering over minutia through somewhat cringe-worthy  behaviour as demonstrated every day in Parliament and picked up by the media in sound and video ‘bites’.
There is no doubt that the current Federal Government has lost people’s confidence through a litany of economic, financial and human mistakes.  Mistakes which should not have happened at this level with so many smart people ready, willing and able to analyse, plan and action an almost mistake proof Government.
Our country will engender a change in Government in September because we have lost faith; and for good reason.
But, to what?
Where are the people we can rally behind to drive our country.  People such as Hawke or Fraser who were/are statesman and did indeed represent  Australia with charisma and leadership.  Orators of some skill able to garner opinion and turn it into something positive.  The skill-sets of Obama, Thatcher, Clinton and Blair are awe inspiring and as world leaders are able to create change by unifying their nations.
No one in their right mind would agree with everything they did but there is no doubt they delivered for their respective countries.  Hawke, when we won The America’s cup was fantastic, because he almost single handed expressed what we were all feeling – a slightly larrikin pride in our country as Australians.  He had the ability to galvanise all political persuasions on the big issues, such as whipping those pesky Americans, and he did it with grace and humour.  Read some of Menzie's speeches to see similar statesman humour and listen to the power of Obama when he speaks.
We will elect a new lot in September and we will expect better Government yet I wonder whether or not we will get the leadership our country really needs.
The bickering minutia set is on all sides of politics with everyone playing the media game of the 5 second destructive sound bite.  The Prime Minister with her misogynist attacks was perfect for a 5 second destruction as was Abbot’s Julia the liar campaign.  Unfortunately both were rubbish and did and have tarnished both ‘leaders’ with a 10 year old bully mentality of low intellect.
Politicians try to excuse this behaviour by saying that parliament debate is vigorous .  Vigorous is hitting a white ball, debate is supposed to be intelligent, intellectual and demanding of logic and clear thinking.  Now think of question time.
We are better than this.
Mr Abbot will be our next prime Minister leading our country into a strategic future.
The question is, ‘Can he remove himself from the minutia set and rise above dysfunctional behaviours and become the leader and statesman we all want and need’?
At the risk of trivialising this issue watch Rowan Atkinson move from bumbling idiot to ‘becoming’ Johnny English the secret agent in seconds.  A transformation with obvious links to Mr Abbot.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Goodwill in life and business

One of the most misunderstood concepts in business concerns our perceptions of ‘Goodwill’.
Perhaps good will means that one thinks good things about someone else and we ‘will’ our positive thoughts and actions so that others get warm and fuzzy - just from our mere brain waves.  Nice!
On the other hand, perhaps it’s how we view ourselves through someone else’s eyes?  Perhaps we have spent years being nice to someone so that they in turn think good things about us?  In this case we have spent time and effort doing whatever it takes to make others think nice things of us.  Good!
For example, families and friends take real work to remain family and friends and dare I say the development of mutual goodwill is a key ingredient.  The bonus is when all of a sudden those obviously recalcitrant family dropkicks respond with equally magnanimous gestures, we have indeed developed goodwill and the world is a joy and we bathe in those esoteric warm and fuzzy self gratifications.
This is also the case in business.
We spend time and effort and money convincing others that they should spend their discretionary dollar with us and not that horrible bloke down the street.  In effect, we are developing goodwill.
In rather blunt terms - in business and in life goodwill can be defined as that ….

“Intangible benefit of reputation relative to that benefit being of value to another party.”

When this applies to a business the ‘goodwill’ component is the value of the reputation of the business.  This may result in increased revenue and may even result in long term benefit.  We hope!!
On the contrary, an empty premise has no goodwill from clients but may have a measure of ‘value’ based on its location, neighbours, etc.  However, a premise in distress has negative goodwill because its reputation has been sullied.  Logical, really.
When selling a business, goodwill is not an accounting sum associated with excess earnings.  Whilst accountants will want to put a quantifiable figure on goodwill, there is far more involved.
For a business sale, there can never be guarantees of future income streams because there are a myriad of factors outside of the control of the seller to even be able to logically or legally guarantee. Therefore, excess earnings as a determinant of business value is a nonsense.  It is merely one factor of many.
When buying a business, of far greater value is the way in which customers view their relationship towards the premise, its reputation and indeed their willingness to continue that relationship without having to rebuild a reputation from scratch or far worse, from a negative.  Bloggers as real and vitriolic customers have changed the face of goodwill in business – for the better!!
In essence, goodwill boils down to the willingness of people to continue a relationship with the new owner.  The business may have great excess earnings but has just blotted its copybook by poisoning the neighbours.  On paper it’s worth dollars but in reality worth squat because of the salmonella cookies.
When buying a business the only consideration is, ‘can I be successful ‘.  To do that the value of committed clients is crucial and has a dollar value.  That value cannot be logically calculated albeit bloggers have made that much easier by their transparent and public opinions.
But then, every blogger may love a certain business but it still doesn’t work for whatever reason.  May I say that the value of the goodwill is still strong and doesn’t change but the overall business value is mitigated by a straight revenue valuation.
So, goodwill is esoteric, unknowable and incalculable yet it has value because it means customers will come and try the new person in the new business.  A head start on bankruptcy.