Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year from Tuscany

We are relaxing. We are eating great food. We have seen all of Aquas family. I am using an Italian keyboard today so I cant punctuate as I should. The food is fantastic. Tickets have been bought to go up the Leaning Tower tomorrow at 2pm. My son was really disappointed there was a 3 hour waiting time today. It was cute to watch him so excited. We have bought some baby fireworks and will go across the river to let them off around midnight. We have already had a big siesta in preparation.
Thank you to all who have come by and read something. May 2008 be the year your dreams come true.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How not to rent a car in Ireland (part 1)

I know I know I should be wishing anyone who reads a happy Christmas and wonderful new year. In the meantime this is a letter I wrote to a rent a car company in Ireland. You might think I am off the mark or you might agree with my sentiments, but I am sure you will figure out what happened from the following. Let me know what you think.

I am writing to you in regard to the email you sent my partner " Aqua " dated Dec 18 2007, 3:38.
I would like to voice my astonishment at the quote Budget Ireland have furnished us and my incredulity that it comes in neatly at €1.08 under the Excess liability of €900.00
I would also like to inform you it is not at all to our satisfaction.
The email in fact gives rise to a number of questions here that need to be answered.

Firstly how is it possible that a mechanic can quote Budget Ireland practically the sum of Excess liability you have taken from us, unless he was informed before hand that this was the figure he had to play around with it. I find it astonishing you would think us naive as to believe that this quote is purely coincidence. At present I am putting it down to careless on behalf of Budget Ireland and it's employees.

Having lived abroad for 4 years, and while living in Ireland, I have been involved in the tourist trade, I am very aware of what rented cars look like normally and the condition they are received by clients of car rental companies.
The car in question when it was rented by us, had dents and rust on both front doors and various marks around the front and rear of the car. Of course it is none of my business whatsoever, about what procedure was followed with other renters of the car, but it seems quite clear if you look at your paperwork that it's not the first time this car has been damaged in rental.
It would appear therefore that your company do not at any time bother to repair the body work of their cars, or certainly of this one. Therefore this €900 approx quote is just that. We are being charged a sum of money for work that will never take place. I sincerely hope this is not the case.

I would therefore request that under the Freedom of Information Act 1997 you forward me the list of people and contact details who have rented this car before us.

I would like to inform you I have rung the garage in question that provided Budget Ireland with this outrageous quote, and without knowing what specific car I was talking about , nor the extent of the damage, the man I spoke to told me it would cost over €800 to replace the rear bumper. I was astonished again at his apparent clairvoyance having not seen the damage how could he know the bumper needed to be replace. It would seem perhaps that Budget Ireland didn't actually bring the car to be seen by the mechanic but just asked how much it would be to replace a rear bumper, could you confirm this for me please when you have a moment?
I have been around mechanics all my life and I can guarantee it doesn't take 6 hours work for a skilled technician to replace this single piece on a car.

I have checked out the price for the part on the Internet and it is as follows $42.41 dollars. The most expensive one I found was $ 52 Your mechanic is charging you apparently €192 which is roughly about 8 times the price given the dollar difference.
You also seem to have no problem with €160 euros for paint. May I ask what is he painting? the bumper will be order from Toyota to the same specification as the car in other words it means the paint matches. So what exactly has to be painted ? Either the bumper is being replaced or repaired, but surely the new one doesn't need to be painted.
You don't take issue with the fact he is charging you for bumper clips, how may I ask is the bumper on the car at present? Why do the clips need to be replaced. ?
You also have no issue with the fact that he proposes to charge you for polishing a car that hasn't seen polish in 2 years.

I will be forwarding the photographs of the damage to my own mechanic in Dublin and will be asking a friend in the legal system to have look at our file to see how we might progress.

Now onto other issues,

When we returned to check in with the car in Dublin Airport we were informed by you employee that we would have a response in 2 to 3 weeks. It has taken 5 -6 weeks to have response from you, plus numerous phone calls where I left my number and I was told that you would be contacting me. I am still waiting for that contact.

At the same time as we were filling out the legal forms, my 7 year old had to listen to a tirade of swearing from you desk manager, who under other circumstances I may have taken aside and explained some notions of customer service, and good manners. However it was the end of a long trip, we were already upset about the car, and his tirade was just another thing that we as paying clients had to put with. I noted how he seemed to charge his staff with work without doing anything himself except chatting up a woman from another company. His staff don't seem to like him much and frankly I don't think many of the clients in the queue were too impressed with his grasp of bad language.

So I am sure you can clearly see why I feel so aggrieved.

You see I am not someone who believes in 'good enough' or 'it will do'. I have tried to give your company the benefit of the doubt at each step. Neither will I take any shoddy or lazy treatment from any company, and if your company is not being disingenuous with us, it is at the very least not taking care of it's clients. I am someone who believes in respect honesty and seeking out the best for customers that will come back again. Already you have missed out on us renting a car with you twice a year for the next 10 years which I believe in comparison to the few hundred euros Budget Ireland may have gained with this transaction, will substitute a greater loss in the long term. Given that we reside in an international community many of whom long to visit Ireland and explore, we will be actively advising people to rent with another car company and I would guess the losses to Budget in this case would be in the thousands of euros due to shoddy treatment of clients .

As is my want again I give you personally the benefit of the doubt. I am not accusing you personally of anything, I couldn't even If I wanted to. The only contact I have had with you is to see your polite email sent to my partner, but I am sure you don't really believe that this could be to our satisfaction and that you are just doing your job.

I wish you all the best for the new year and look forward to receiving the list I have asked for above.

So dear reader, as I am sure there is only one reader, sorry for the long winded post but, well look else where for a car :-) . Happy new year.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Time I don't have

I should be writing, I should be reading my favourite blogs. Some of them have been banned in work. Work is hectic I don't have the time to surf. Actually that's how work should be. Home is hectic, getting ready for Christmas. My loved ones are ill and not in good form. Of course I go completely loopy because they don't tell me how bad they are feeling and I think I have been zapped to another planet where I am the only one who understands anything. Life lesson, if you think you are the only one who...anything.. well then you are 99% certainly wrong. Obviously that excludes the 1% of you that are reading this that are always right. Given I don't have a huge number of readers that probably applies to someones elbow being right all the time, or something.
Okay I am digressing and blathering. I don't have time to write. So in the off chance it stays that way till next year, Check out Gillette the excourtesan in transition, and Anne's writings, ooh and Pamm. Anne and Pamm are in the side bar somewhere and Gillette you can just google her.
Happy Christmas and a brilliant New Year to everyone who has bothered to read, stopped in for a moment, had a discussion, followed, encouraged, argued or even noticed.
I will put in the hyper links later but for the moment Time I don't have.
Love you all.
Warrior. ............IT's not my real name, no one calls me that, I have had a transition since I took it....anyway I don't have time to change it.
Love and hugs to you all.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


It's December. I will see my son for about 6 days between now and then. His mother refuses to answer if he can come to a company organised celebration next Saturday. There is a present waiting for him.
The tree has been bought and decorated. He had fun. He was strangely distant on Monday morning, not wanting to give me a hug and kiss in front of his friends. Already, at 7 he is changing.
He made a song at the weekend in french. It was basically 'Beside my little good man was my little good man' which he sang about 15 times and finished with comic timing perfection to 'beside my little good man was nobody'.
He wants a bike so he can go cycling with us. I want to get it for him. But I am too nervous to go out on my own bike on the roads around us....logic says the bike must wait.
He wants a not one of those 150 euro black and white things that have computerised behaviour patterns..a real robot with lazers and blazing eyes...
He wants Mega Bloks.
What to get for my partner and my friend coming over from Ireland I haven't a clue. Women can be difficult to buy for. Sometimes they appreciate the most simple things far more than any man ever would. But who wants to buy simple at Christmas.

I try to keep it limited on spending and stress. Its not easy. I fully expect my son's mother to change plans again at the last minute. He is supposed to Celebrate Christmas with us on the Weekend before hand and then on the Monday Christmas eve go back to his Mam. I know she is going to screw that up. She did last year.

But this is Christmas. The time of year when my nerves are on edge as to the welfare of my son and I try not to let him see me stress. I want him to know how much he is loved even if he isn't with me all the time. I have no hate for his mother, just dissappointment. I dont see the point in waisting my energy hating.
It's Christmas.

So it's really only early december but for us it's six days to Christmas and then a few days after there is another Christmas but my boy isn't there so I don't feel too much like celebrating that one.
This is Christmas make of it what you will but for crying out loud enjoy it.

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