Saturday, November 1

Tante Belle Cose - October

The best news ever to come my way is that the Fabulous Federconsumatori managed to win a hefty penalty levied against Italy's Trenitalia for shady business practices. Anyone who has ever tried to book a ticket online (I've never succeeded but, hey...) knows what goes on there: promotions that disappear upon purchase, discounts that don't exist, out of frustration you're forced to dial their (pay) telephone number. No, they would never think to offer a toll free one.

Because of the fangs of consumer associations like Federconsumatori, I just know that I'll live to see the day when the monopolies stop treating you like a mere prey to be shaken down, and will start trying to earn your business. After all, it happened with Telecom Italia (well, they still prey on their customers, but many of us ran off to Vodafone, to get away from them) and it's happening now with the energy companies. Who knows? Maybe even Alitalia will have a reawakening...

As of November 1st, bars which have adhered to the Fipe-Confcommercio accord will block price rises for your morning cappuccino.

This is terrific news since prices now rival Starbucks, the greatest scam in the universe. Only problem is, in October breakfast prices clocked a 15% increment. In Italy, there is no free breakfast.

After the success of turnstiles introduced in government offices, it seems the government now wants to introduce them pretty much everywhere else. They now expect to make abut 350 more employees sing for their supper and start stamping their ins and outs of office. Not only that, Renato Brunetta's office announced he wants government offices to go completely email - inbox.

Seeing that the internet came around some time in 1989, it's about time. But, that's not to say you will ever get a response...I have yet to send in a COMMENT form and receive a reply in return...even when asking for business from companies...But, I'll keep my fingers crossed.

After all, hope is the last to die.


Anonymous said...

It's nice to read about what life in Italy is really like. The blog I normally read, while mentioning the difficulties, is usually filled with stories about how charming and wonderful it is with a few jabs taken at the USA. Which is a little disturbing since that's where they're from. I found your comments about Momma and Papa taking care of the adult children rather interesting and a bit disturbing.

Thanks again for a non-rose colored look at life in Italy.

Dave514 said...

Re: Guy Fawkes
The reason for this celebration is the fact that Henry VIII nationalized the monasteries back when and by law the Church of England was established (and by law will be dis-established). It's the stupid English way of perpetuating anti-Catholicism.


Anonymous said...

Email?? I'm still hoping the bank/post office will get filing cabinets to properly file all the customer paperwork, instead of stacking everything on tables. Case in point: post office in Santa Maria Degli Angeli! At least, that is the way it was 5 years ago, and I highly doubt it has been painful enough for them to change.

Irreverent Italy said...

They can't file that paperwork! It is being sent by container loads to a lonely monastery where monks pore over the 5 copies of your raccomandata registered letter and match each signature of pickup to the package.
Those whose signatures don't add up probably risk having all their mail perloined for the rest of the receiver's life. That's why things simply never arrive.
But who could tell? Most signatures are a simple straight line anyway...