Thursday, June 11, 2009

Consumers' power? Dsl connection and vegetable oil.

During the last weeks my dsl connection has been working very badly: it usually disconnects (or works only for a few moments and then disconnects again) from 11 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. Apparently there's nothing wrong on my line... but it keeps disconnecting.

After working on it for days, the answer by my telephone company has been: downgrade your contract from 2 Mb to 800 Kb and everything will work again! ...strange answer isn't it? After asking a lot and listening to the workers that came here I now think that I have the answer: the wires that get here are old and there's a long distance from the box to the Locanda, so the conditions are not good. Moreover the company keeps signing contracts with new users (including dsl connections) without upgrading the system or changing the wires... so my dsl is being "stolen" the possibility of working normally.

The only answer they have is "downgrade your service" and I feel that, even if the people working on it have been very helpful and apparently they tried all they could, I will be obliged to do so.

I feel very frustrated, as a consumer I feel that my rights have not been respected or that, simply, I have no rights at all...
Of course, as I suppose in every other country, you're no longer allowed to talk to someone at the company who knows about your problem and maybe is willing to solve it, but you keep talking to some poor soul who has to fill in a stupid form asking quesions like: is your router plugged in? Did you check that your wire is working?
I just plainly hate it!

At midday, feeling angry and frustrated because of this (luckily I like working at night, otherwise I'd have serious problems with my bookings and marketing), I decided to make myself a prosciutto cotto, lattuce and mayo sandwich.... (summer comfort food) and, having no time to make my own mayo, I opened a jar of a famous brand here in Italy (yes, even us, organic farmers, cooks and innkeepers sometimes do things like this! :) ).

... Suddently I felt better... not much because of the comfort coming from the sandwich, but because I was tasting one of the few consumers' victories I know of during the last years...

This famous brand changed the mayo recipe months ago.. they started using not-better-specified "vegetable oil" in their recipe and the product changed completely: I mean, jarred mayo is not the best nor healthyest product in the world, but I promise that it was just bad.
I stopped buying the product and promised myself that I would write them.
A few months ago I started seeing ads of this brand advertising that the "traditional taste" was back!!!! I do not know if there were complaints or if just a drop in sales, but I feel that they would not have gone back if not pushed by consumers somehow.

It's so good to know that we, consumers, have some power over the producers!
And it's so sad to think that apparently we only make use of it when someone spoils our mayo...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hertz Green Collection

Some time ago I posted about Green options to reach the Locanda. Today I read on Traveling the Green Way that Hertz has launched its Green Collection in Europe to meet increasing customer demand for eco-car rentals. A range of fuel-efficient cars across 70 major airport and downtown locations in Europe are now available.

The Green Collection offers eco-friendly models selected according to the company’s enhanced CO2 emissions policy. All cars from the Hertz Green Collection offer a CO2 output level of less than 140g/km, making more environmentally friendly than most other cars. Hertz Green Collection cars also have guaranteed make and model reservations, so you know the car you book is the one you'll be driving away in.

In Italy Hertz has introduced the Fiat Punto Natural Gas power model into its Green Collection. Gas is widely available in Italy and this is certainly the "greenest" rental you can be offered at the moment in Italy.

As for today the Green Collection is only available at Roma and Milan airports but I hope that the demand grows so that other locations can be added!

Lower your environmental impact when visiting Locanda della Valle Nuova by renting a green car!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bread, roses, honeysuckle (and rain)

The season started. When you arrive at the Locanda everything smells like roses and honeysuckle (I LOVE honeysuckle!).
Once you're inside hot bread smell fills the air, I'm sorry the internet do not allow me to post smells.. but at least I can post this pic of the Locanda with all the roses in bloom (of course it was taken just before it started raining cats and dogs! :) ).

BTW, the rain stopped, the sun shines and everything is greener than ever!