Are government programs bargains?

  • The M5 cashback program was posted last night. It was voted to the frontpage however many reported and mentioned in the comments that this should be in the forum.
  • Another user thought that if the M5 post is a deal, then Dad and Partner Pay should also be a deal. The majority of users don't think this is a deal.

If we look at posts on the nsw.gov.au domain, we see:

So are government programs deals or should they be in the forums? Seems the community is mixed on opinion but we need to be consistent. Let's hear your thoughts so we can come up with workable guidelines.

If you vote other, please explain what that means in the comments.

Poll Options expired

  • 26
    Post as a deal
  • 55
    Post in the forum
  • 9
    Other

Comments

  • +2

    Thanks Neil, that might help to clear things up a bit

  • Seems to me a new category is needed.

    Edit: Ok, these are long lasting "deals" unlike commercial deals which usually have a fixed expiry. So they ought to be captured in a less ephemeral form. But I also understand that people might want these to appear on the front page so that people see it, which a wiki page might not.

    Another example might be those birthday deals. For people who don't know, it's a "deal". For those who do, it's noise.

  • +4

    Uh yeah, so if you vote other, you might want to explain…

  • Might something be like Wiki as these are useful informations and might not expire for years.
    But should be easy enough to search.

  • +1

    Government services, rebates and allowances should be forum posts. Otherwise what separates these posts from social security payments and tax deductions more generally. (ie: "Youth Allowance, FREE MONEY to eligible people @ Centrelink"). Maybe a separate forum if informing people of their entitlements is the goal.

  • +2

    I actually think these posts are useful, a lot of stuff people just don't know about and could probably net them or save them considerably more than most of the bargains here. Maybe a sub forum? Not posts though.

  • +6

    If enough people think the deal counts as a bargain, and vote for it, why not?

    We're here to get value, no split hairs about what should technically constitute a bargain and what shouldn't.

    Some of you act like allowing this bargain will start us down a slippery slope into OzBargain becoming OzTodayILearnedAboutTheDole. I think if someone posts a deal about some govt cashback that's actually well known or too niche, making the deal useless, people won't upvote it. Simple as that.

  • +10

    If it's a new thing: post as a deal
    If it's been around for ages (like the M5 cashback): post in the forums (or wiki)

    • Ok so a bit like the freeware rule we have - if it's always free, post in forums.

    • I agree with you Yarkin

    • +1

      That's a good suggestion.

      How about these "deals" go into the Wiki and if it's the first appearance a deal post linking to it is allowed. Thereafter further posts, if the poster has not checked the wiki, are regarded as dups.

      • Alternatively, for the same effect, allow them in the Deals section, but a mod can turn on a flag which will automatically refile the post in the Wiki section after a certain period. I realise this probably means more work for moocher…

  • +5

    My thoughts: a 'deal' is a cost saving measure. It is not income producing.

    Therefore the M5 cashback is arguably a deal because it helped some unaware OzBargainers reduce their tolling costs. Welfare handouts are not a cost saving measure and therefore should not be posted as a deal - should be in the forums/wiki.

  • +2

    Where are all Victoria's deals?

    • +2

      Yeah, I would LOVE my Citilink tolls back thanks.

  • The forums or wiki seem like a better place for these types of deals that are fixed. If there is a change / temporary reduction / new deal (i.e. free travel over new years eve on public transport) then that should be posted as a deal. Once it is established it should remain in the forum.

    i.e. https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/74340 was posted as it was a change to the cost of licensing in NSW, but it shouldn't now be reposted every 6 months.

    Edit: this is for government discounts. Social services i.e. centrelink, should not be posted in the deals at all, otherwise any change to these (newstart etc) would be posted.

  • I don't have a problem with this being treated as a "deal/offer".

    Many people aren't aware of the benefits they could or SHOULD be getting. This is something that is already budgeted for.

    In essense, they'll miss out on what they should be receiving.

  • Personally I think they're OK to be posted as deals (to highlight them) but then be moved to forums. Provided that's not loading the mods with excessive tasks (which I don't think it is).

    For the un-imaginitive, the Dad and Partner pay isn't a bargain.. however, you can "dodge" the system so that you don't lose out financially (and win in terms of not burning up as many Annual Leave Days) as per my post in that thread.

  • well
    it really depends on the definition of a deal
    is those schemes or cash back of public services consider a deal?
    hard call really

  • Combination of yarkin and anat's comments:

    If it's a new thing OR there's been a material change, post as a deal.
    Otherwise post in the forums/wiki (or maybe don't post at all??)

  • arguements for:
    There is a genuine requirement from many to be aware of awesome "programs".

    arguements against:
    If they are "bargains", where does it end? every govt program can be listed here, thereby reducing this website to a govt social service website.

    My thoughts are, if a program is temporary, with a limited time frame, subject to change, that a reasonable person may not be aware (we are all aware that the govt has a dole program) or if brand spanking new (new MYEFO announcement for example), then there is a genuine need to announce to the community of the social benefit.

  • I think posting them as deals gets more attention than forum posts so it should be allowed to be posted as deals. If the 'deal' creates a greater awareness by reaching out to a large number of people, it will still be beneficial to the minority who were not aware of this.

    As for the others (majority) who are aware of such deals, they can simply ignore it. Just a gentle reminder to the ozbargain community that it is not mandatory to post comments or downvote deals if you know they have been there since a longer time. There is a more effective option - move on to the next deal!

  • Maybe considering that we're all here for BARGAINS (in general), if there is some positive net commercial benefit to the person (either monetary or goods), then it's a post.

    The main criticism about the dad and partner pay one was that you had to forego your regular income to get it, which unless you're being paid the minimum wage, would be a net loss overall. (You can't claim it if you're unemployed or being paid cash-in-hand, so there's no point discussing people being paid below the minimum wage).

  • I think there should be a rebate/cashback/money-saving related schemes on the wiki, for the ongoing ones, and perhaps some explanation for each of them since a lot of the schemes can be confusing from official documentation.

  • +1

    I prefer them as deals. If it's in the forums I (and most others) would not see them.

  • +2

    I'm going to be a pain and suggest both. A deal for the initial exposure and into the wiki/forums for future reference.
    If we limit this site to just RRP price reductions then people could be missing out on thousands, literally.

  • +2

    Post these in the forums, we have so many deals being posted these just dilute the deals that are posted, and in many cases these appeal to a very limited group of people - eg FTB.

    We have forums, they were designed for these type of information pieces, while not everyone reads the forums, do we change the site to allow for those who cant be bothered looking further into the site?

    Maybe if they did they might just participate more.

    The old adage, if it doesnt add it dilutes is just making it harder to use this site.

    Sure one can filter out deals, but how do you define this filter?
    You can limit deals to a certain number of votes, but not all deals that you might like reach those votes or may expire through high demand before they get the votes.

    Likewsise true bargain hunters see a deal then say, wow that's a deal.

    And then where do you draw a line on some of these

    Now we see a library book amnesty as being a BARGAIN….

    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/127505

    Sure Brisbane City Council is a large library, but what about other library's also having an Amnesty

    Some recent examples
    http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/news/50522/food-fines-ends-sunday-...
    http://www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/2013/mr20131105...
    http://www.inverelltimes.com.au/story/1977367/food-for-fines...
    http://www.greatlakes.nsw.gov.au/library/library_news_direct...

    Lets list all those as bargains.

  • Good feedback. I'll just see if I can expand your suggestions with some further questions.

    74 votes cast

    • 27% of voters believe these should be posted as deals
    • 61% of voters believe these should be posted in the forums
    • 12% of picked other.

    Looks like the simple answer is the forums despite people consistently voting up government deals.

    Feedback:

    Seems to me a new category is needed.

    As in a deal category? That's probably the easiest solution, then people can simply block "government" deals. However, since there aren't that many, it might not be appropriate as a category.

    Might something be like Wiki as these are useful informations and might not expire for years.
    and
    Ok, these are long lasting "deals" unlike commercial deals which usually have a fixed expiry.

    There are a large number of deals posted that do not have a fixed expiry. There are also government programs that do have a fixed period. So not really a good metric to go by.

    Maybe a separate forum
    and
    Maybe a sub forum?

    I think that's the same thinking as a deal category. You don't want an empty forum, probably best to keep in general discussion until the topics dominate that forum. This is how the group buy forum was created.

    If enough people think the deal counts as a bargain, and vote for it, why not?

    Good point.

    If it's a new thing: post as a deal
    If it's been around for ages (like the M5 cashback): post in the forums (or wiki)

    That's not how the site works currently. Just because you have heard of a deal and someone else hasn't doesn't mean it shouldn't be posted.

    For example, look at these samples from Dermalex. Same offer but one was posted in 2011 and the other in 2013. Same old offer but it was reposted.

    Ok so a bit like the freeware rule we have - if it's always free, post in forums.

    Just a point of clarification that is talking about free software. Free physical items or perhaps services should be posted as a freebie.

    How about these "deals" go into the Wiki and if it's the first appearance a deal post linking to it is allowed. Thereafter further posts, if the poster has not checked the wiki, are regarded as dups.

    and

    Alternatively, for the same effect, allow them in the Deals section, but a mod can turn on a flag which will automatically refile the post in the Wiki section after a certain period.

    Interesting suggestion. I'd probably go for a flag to mark them as a government deal same as we do with NSFW deal or rep for simplicity.

    It would be good to get some of the long term deals in the wiki.

    My thoughts: a 'deal' is a cost saving measure. It is not income producing.

    Therefore the M5 cashback is arguably a deal because it helped some unaware OzBargainers reduce their tolling costs. Welfare handouts are not a cost saving measure and therefore should not be posted as a deal - should be in the forums/wiki.

    Makes sense. I think we can work a guideline from that.

    The forums or wiki seem like a better place for these types of deals that are fixed. If there is a change / temporary reduction / new deal (i.e. free travel over new years eve on public transport) then that should be posted as a deal.

    OK, so if we define new as a a recent program (say within a couple of months).

    Personally I think they're OK to be posted as deals (to highlight them) but then be moved to forums.

    Why not keep them as deals? Seems to me that the feedback really is that people aren't as aware of new forums posts as they are deals?

    Post these in the forums, we have so many deals being posted these just dilute the deals that are posted, and in many cases these appeal to a very limited group of people

    Couldn't you make the same argument for a deal that is only applicable to a certain geographic area. For example, free burrito days at Guzman y Gomez occurs at different locations around Australia. These deals would probably have even more limited scope then something that applies to FTB.

    We have forums, they were designed for these type of information pieces, while not everyone reads the forums, do we change the site to allow for those who cant be bothered looking further into the site?

    Good point. I think I'm seeing the consensus is we need get more people aware and using the forums.

    • Just a point about "government" tagged deals so people can screen them out.

      the example you used

      https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/95481

      Was a saving for buyers, not a handout by a government agency. Ie you had to buy something to get the deal instead of getting a benefit, if you get my drift.

      So there is a danger in blocking deals based on this tag.

      As for

      Couldn't you make the same argument for a deal that is only applicable to a certain geographic area. For example, free burrito days at Guzman y Gomez occurs at different locations around Australia. These deals would probably have even more limited scope then something that applies to FTB.

      Of course and yes there are always grey areas but you could argue that those on the FTB cant buy this benefit and there is in essence nothing to be purchased. And its been there for months, but I will accept that this is line ball and I decided not to "complain" about that anyway.

      My issue was with the fee amnesty which now means hundreds of posts from each library in each state, every month that an amnesty program is active. The examples I gave where just those relatively current and from page 1 of Google….

      And yes you are right about the free burrito days… of for that matter 40c Coke cans at Coles/Woolies every second week, that the game players soak up… Those at least can be filtered out fairly easily, but Boggabri council etc isnt easy to anticipate.

      Guess that's why you are a mod and I'm not ;)