At last the country is waking up to the fact that we are being screwed by the prices and services provided by many garages, restaurants, pubs, banks and government departments.
Unlike the Spanish for instance, most of us wouldn’t dream of telling a restaurant manager to his or her face that the meat was too tough or that the wine tasted like vineger. We are a nation that likes to complain ‘after the event’ or just to a group of close friends over a few pints.
But one man has destroyed that national servile demeanour almost overnight. The new television phonemena that is Eddie Hobbs has exposed the chancers and carpetbaggers that are ‘Rip Off Ireland’ Inc.
Fair play Eddie!
What really gets me upset is the long list of consultants that receive massive sums of monies from the government and state agencies for their consultancy work on road and other large scale infrastructural projects. These expensive developments constantly go 'over budget'. Yet the consultants still get the same percentage cut on the new larger price. So rather than be fined for allowing this increase to occur, they are rewarded and the ordinary tax-payer has to cough up. No minister, civil servant or consultant loses their job when things go so wrong. Crazy & Stupid!!
But the rip-off mentality is endemic right down to the smallest supplier.
So prompted by my friend Ina, starting right here I intend to implement the ‘Hobbs’ philsophy and ‘Name and Shame!” A bit of public exposure and financial levies is all these rip-off merchants understand.
Recently a letter appeared in the Galwy Advertiser regarding Race Week price increases by an Oranmore restaurant.
I was amused that in the following week’s edition, there was a note from the editior stating that the ‘Pi’ restaurant wished it to be known that they were not the guilty party.
This really irked me as I was treated abysmally the previous Race Week by this same establishment. So I instantly sat down and wrote a letter myself to the Advertiser on my personal experience in the Pi premises (but without mentioning its name). I am glad to say that it was published ‘in toto’.
But now I have decidcd to publish it with the Pi name inserted!
“Last year I brought my family to Oranmore after enjoying a wonderful day at Sunday’s Race event. We entered the ‘Pi’ restaurant at approximately 7.10pm. My wife, my two sons and myself comprised our group. As we sat down at a vacant table a waitress came over to us and told us that we couldn’t be served as the premises didn’t serve children after 7pm. Puzzled, I asked to speak to the manager. When he arrived, I pointed out to him that there were no laws governing children in premises until 9pm and that this legislation related to licensed premises. He pointed out that he was upholding the law of the land and that, by not serving children after 7pm, it meant that he could then ensure that there were no under-age people on the premises when 9pm arrived!
We had no choice but to humiliating walk out of the building. Still we had a fine meal supported by a friendly service in another hostelry nearby. I also telephoned two other local eating establishments and was informed by both that they welcomed children of every age to come and eat.
It is obvious that this anti-child establishment only wanted customers that could be charged full adult price.
As the manager of a local holiday homes complex and a former member of the Galway City and County Tourism group, I am aware of the hard work being done to promote the region as a quality friendly holiday destination for families.
The selfish attitude of this restaurant manager is undermining the excellent work of those innovative people that have invested heavily in providing excellent family facilities such as the Dartfield Horse Museum, Atlantaquaria, the Turoe Pet Farm, ‘Busy Bees’, City Limits etc.
Subsequently, I have ensured that my Information Pack to my own guests excludes any recommendation to this particular venue. “