CHOICE membership

Industry and lobbyist euphemisms, deflections and clichés - what's the best/worst?


“community consultations” - more than once working in consumer advocacy I or colleagues have been invited to a 30 minute meeting, and then find out that’s been called “community consultation” :roll_eyes:


“Client could afford it (the loan)” - regardless of the deceptive behaviour, the numbers show the customer has the funds to afford the dodgy loan, therefore the deceptive behaviour will be completely ignored and is completely justified.

Kind regards The New AFCA
(because we are different to CIO and FOS it says so on the letterhead and website; even though the exact same staff and culture remains)


“reactive maintenance” = we do something when you complain/it’s not working

I first heard this from Yarra Valley Water when I complained I couldn’t see the bottom of the bath when I poured it, and hadn’t yet stepped in. They’d stopped regularly flushing the street pipe out which ended nearby, leading to a build up of silt.

This seems to be an increasingly common practice, Thanks Telstra!


Jonathan, IAP2’s Public Participation Spectrum is a really useful A4 pdf available at
giving a description of engagement including: Inform, Consult, Involve, Collaborate, Empower. This is becoming an international standard. It provides a shared reference that can help call out consultation that is not, and provide language to request what is needed. A lot of public engagement doesn’t even get on the spectrum, failing to Inform - “To provide the public with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problem, alternatives, opportunities and/or solutions.” (see link above).


One such consultation I’ll never forget was reported during an interview on TV in the 1970’s. The interviewee was head of the Australia-Rhodesia friendship society (or some such name). He denied anything amiss and stated that he had consulted with tribal chiefs and they were happy with things as they were. After some questioning it was revealed his ‘consultation’ was a low level airplane flight over the tribal territory.


There seems to be a transposition in the final promise to the public, it usually reads
“We will decide what you implement”.