EUROPEAN CONSUMER DAY 15th March 2008
I found some interesting links for consumers that are worth looking when you have some time:
CONSUMER POLICY INSTITUTIONS IN BELGIUM
DOLCETA , on line consumer education tools.
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Honestly, what do you see when you look at the picture below???
You probably see a bunch of dumbs! and that is definitely the first thing I saw when I looked at the picture for the first time. But, what you probably don't know that these people are actually the board of MICROSOFT CORPORATION in 1978.
What I am trying to demonstrate here is that, no matter how you look like, you are not a dumb!!! Although in Belgium, I certainly have been treated many many times like a dumb by people that only see what they want to see. You must stand up and complain in this situations, SPEAK UP!!!!!
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
I want to list the "topics" I want to address in this blog during the following months. It won't necessarily follow this order, but this way, you can have an idea of what I am going to talk about, and of course, your contributions are welcome as usual.
-BANKING service (ING, FORTIS, etc)
-ENERGY SUPPLIERS (ELECTRABEL, LAMPIRIRS, etc)
-LAPEYRE (basically furniture and accessories for bathrooms and kitchens)
-BRICO (all kind of tools and materials for works at home and in your garden)
-QUADRUS, DALDECOR, INTERCARRO, ETC. (distributors of tiles and stones)
-CODITEL (I think they offer telecommunication services, or at least they try to)
-…and many more.
PASSAGE FITNESS BUSINESS CLUB in Brussels Av. des Arts
You probably know this gym, ever heard of it, or most likely you walked around it. If you come inside, a nice lady/gentleman will welcome you with a smile; she/he will show you he gym and invite you to sign a contract with special conditions that only apply if you sign right now. Excellent marketing. The gym itself is not too bad: good location, many machines and other clear advantages.
But that’s all folks. After you have signed a contract, you (the CUSTOMER) will no longer exist for Passage Fitness, unless you don’t pay your next month.
Sometimes I wish I had a T-SHIRT with “I HATE THIS GYM” written on my chest. The thing is that for me the location is very important, close to work, metro and home, and there are not many gyms in Brussels you can choose.
What follows, is only a small symbolic sample of the reasons why I HATE PASSAGE FITNESS CLUB IN BRUSSELS:
o BUSINESS CLUB: I am member of the so called “business” club. You probably wonder why it is called like that? Well, to be completely honest, so do I. Because you will pay more than any other passage in Brussels, and you will get the same, or even less. Here a few examples: The coffee is not for free (other passage fitness offer it for free), the maintenance of the equipment is very weak….Anyway, I guess they sell off the fact that the name is BUSINESS, but I assure you will get the same or less for MORE MONEY.
o ACCUEIL: The average intellectual coefficient of the employees is….far less than the average. That means that they don’t know how to react in face of a problem, they don’t understand that you are paying their salary, they don’t care about anything, they provoke queues at the entrance because they are on the phone, or because they are slow.
o CHANGING ROOMS: I know that the woman’s lockers are always full….Some times you have to wait a few minutes in the showers, or you cannot seat to change clothes.
o VIDEO-CLUB INTERNET ACCESS FOR FREE: I think it has been more than a year that the internet access for CUSTOMERS doesn’t work, and they last movie they have bought, …I can’t even remember. DO not let them to sell you these services, because they do not exist.
o MANAGEMENT-BILLS: If there is a delay paying your bill, you will receive automatically (next day) a letter from the gym threatening you. I actually think that this is the only real task the managers do, besides of sitting together and talking to each other. Wouldn’t it be easier first give a call to the CUSTOMER and try to solve the situation like persons???
o MANAGER: they will listen to you if you scream, or write a letters. You will even get a response. But you will never see the actions!!! I have been complaining for the same problems over and over, over a year, and I am still suffering for this lack of management.
o WEBSITE: They have one centralized website for all the clubs, where you can find information about courses etc. The problem is that they update this information once a year or less, and whenever there is a change on the schedule of courses, you will never know, unless you call the gym by phone. That is why they have a website, for you to call them to ask.
o CUSTOMER CARE: There is none. You will instead receive a bunch of spam, and post with promotions and stupid things to engage more friends in the gym. I have been a CUSTOMER for more than two years, and this is they only stuff I receive from them, besides of the rise on the monthly fee. Oh! I almost forgot, the first day you start in the gym, a “professional” trainer (his name was Sebastian in my case) will explain you how the machines work, and give you some indications on the exercises you should do, that is really nice, but after this 30 min session, forget about it. I have seen these trainers walking around the gym without doing anything, not even saying hello, not even giving you some advice, not even watching out for the CUSTOMERS (the ones who pay) to use the machines correctly and do not harm themselves, not even signalling problems with the machines, not even putting order in the chaos of weights (try to find two 8 Kg),…I could continue. If you want to talk to these professionals, you have to pay an extra 60 eur/hour. PUTAIN!!!!
You get all this, an much more for more than 70 EUR a month!!!. I wish I could do something to change it. I have tried, I have talked to the managers, to the people on the reception, but everything is exactly the same in this gym, they only care when you are about getting new CUSTOMER, and they do not care about the real CUSTOMERS . I am sure you have more to say about this wonderful gym in Brussels. So please go ahead with your comments or send them to me. Who knows, they might even read it.
Friday, 7 March 2008
I will start with the results of a poll made by the website www.xpats.com in February.
No comment. I think is better that you have a look at the comments of people directly.
Unfortunately I did not have the chance to participate.
I have two questions to all of you:
-IS THE FEELING ONLY AMONG EXPATS???
-WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO ABOUT IT????
Feel free to contribute and send me your experiences.