Michael Alexandrou and partner Jacqui, are Yarra Valley Gas, Vic. They have been my friends since I was first contacted by Michael in October 2016.
He reached out to me because he had read of my frightening experience. You see, I had just received a terrifying solicitor’s letter threatening me with a fine of up to $14,000. Why? Because, on this website when barely months old, I had innocently used a tradename owned by a huge International gas producer.
At age 79 I had known for years that ignorance of a law is no defense. So yes, through ignorance, I was guilty. But was heavy-handed legal bullying really necessary? A simple phone call would have seen me scurrying apologetically to correct my error.
In a personal message on Facebook, Michael wrote. “I am an independent gas supplier. If it’s any consolation, I’ve also had a few legal letters from them. My only advice is – stick to it – the power of social media and people-power is amazing.”
And Michael was right. I changed fifteen hundred mentions of this trade name to “swap”, resolving not to give one word of free publicity to this company ever. Before COVID-19, there were months when this website has recorded 100,00 page views. Guess who is the biggest loser!