In years past, I was known by some of my family and friends as the aggrieved consumer, since I was not averse to letting companies that failed to live up to my expectations of them know about it, and more often than not I wound up getting some sort of satisfactory outcome. While living in China this aspect of my personality was in remission, since not very many Chinese companies seemed to give a damn if they failed to satisfy their customers. In NZ it really wasn’t necessary either, at first, since things have largely been pretty good. But today, that old black magic came back into play, and I’m happy to say it had a happy ending.
So here’s the story: we recently decided that it might be time to replace our old TV, which we had bought in China for our old apartment. There was nothing really bad about the TV, but when we have house sitters stay here it’s always a bit of a challenge to explain to them how to use it, since the remote and physical controls were all in Chinese and a surprising number of people in Oamaru cannot read them. So I happened to be in the local branch of Smiths City last weekend when they were having their one-day sale, under which a 39″ Panasonic full-HD television was just $599. That seemed a good deal, so I bought it and set it up. Then on Wednesday I saw in the local newspaper that Smiths City was having a three-day sale, and that same television was now just $579. So I went in and asked why it was that the new price was lower than the “one-day-only, cannot-be-beat” price that they had just four days earlier. They apologised and gave me the $20 back. Then today, in the weekender edition of the local paper, another appliance store in town had an ad for a five-day sale that had that same TV for just $499! So I phoned Smiths City and pointed it out to them and asked if they’d match the price. The answer that came back was a resounding “no”, so I asked what their return policy was. Sure enough, I could return the TV to them for a full refund, so that’s what I decided to do, stopping to buy the new TV first, just to make sure that it was actually available, was the same set, and that there were no ‘hitches’. Sure enough the other store (Noel Leeming) had the set and while they went to get it I poked around the shop and found a few other things that I thought I could use, and bought J2 a Bluetooth adaptor so that he can listen to music from his new (non-Apple) cellphone in the laundry room. Then I went back to the Smiths City, returned the TV and decided that would be the last time I buy anything from them.
So that was that, and now I can try to catch you up on other matters of interest. It’s been ages since I wrote here, since this has easily been the busiest season we’ve had so far and there has been no time to do much of anything other than look after guests. The guests this year have been absolutely fantastic (so far…) and we even had our first guest cry at saying goodbye to us. We have hired a new chef to work with me in the kitchen, which has been a tremendous help, both because of the work she takes away from me, but also because she has a real eye for plating and a talent for using the produce that J2 grows in the garden.
We have also had just about the worst summer weather-wise that we have had so far, with nary a day with temperatures above 25, and a lot of rain. And today, officially the last day of summer, is rainy, gray and cold, making me a bit happier that we have planned to miss two months of winter this year while we galavant around the northern hemisphere marketing the lodge and taking a bit of time off for some R&R. More on that later!
The #gigatownoamaru campaign continues, but we are jumping the gun and signing up for UFB now, rather than waiting for Oamaru to win it through the competition. We tried to get it through our existing ISP, but they crapped out on us, so we are switching to another one (with a better reputation) so we’ll see how that comes along. Perhaps the aggrieved consumer will make another appearance before long!