Saturday, October 13, 2012

Columbus in Onehuga has changed hands---is it as good?

I think that you can say that with the Columbus franchise you can guarantee that that you will get a good value meal or snack. The Columbus café in Onehunga always was good, with a hardworking and friendly staff. I noticed a few weeks ago that the personal were different. I don’t know when the ownership changed; it could have happened ages ago for all I know.
Today, it was a bit windy and cold, so we decided to have a brunch at a cafe that has a nice sheltered décor, in other words inside. That meant of course I couldn’t take Perdy---she’s fine in the outside back part at Columbus on a nice day.
Now, to the main point---is Columbus in Onehunga as good as it was. In short, yes, it is. The choice of food is always good at all Columbus establishments, so I guess there is a fairly standard menu. It did feel like there were a few additions, and if they were unique, then good on them. We both enjoyed our food although there was a slight muck-up, possibly through our lack of being clear about the gluten free toast (I got it and didn’t notice, while my companion missed out). What stood out was the length the staff went to fix the problem. They brought some gluten free toast and didn’t charge the extra they could have.
Onehunga is a fabulous place to search out a café for the weekend breakfast as there is so much choice. There are maybe ten to choose from and its growing. Columbus is a choice that you should never regret. Well done!

You get what you pay for---generally.

I am sure many of us have been ‘guilty’ of grabbing a bargain when we can. There are lots of them out there and the big retail chains are very good at sucking us into their shops. You have all seen the signs---“50%-70% off.” Off we go with our credit cards warming in our wallets. We have forgotten the warnings from the various watchdogs (e.g. Consumer magazine) who tell us that some of these claims are spurious to say the least. What’s that you say? Give us an example.
OK, off I go to a nearby well-known house ware and goodies store. It has been in the news quite a bit for misleading advertising. I won’t name it in case they come and chase me. I was looking for a decent umbrella or shade device to protect me from the hot sun, especially in the summer.
The store was busy and as usual it was quite difficult to find anyone who could help with ‘expert’ advice. Perhaps the reason for the much reduced prices is that the store makes savings by having very few staff. Add on the fact that most of their merchandise is made in China and the mark-ups are actually huge, so there is a great deal of leeway when it comes to pricing.
There were a few umbrellas but what caught my eye was a one where it swung out and made for easy arrangement of deck furniture. Can’t you feel a Titanic statement coming on here? The price! Wow! --- $79 down from nearly $400. I just had to have it. I paid for delivery and shot off home. As it turned out a few days later it had still not arrived. They had stuffed up the order. Don’t go thinking that just because you have paid for it and you have seen them write down the facts as needed, that you will have a seamless business deal. Eventually it arrived.
I so wish that I had kept the receipt. As I often do, I lose it---- yip that’s my fault. It could have given me the facility to get a refund or a new umbrella. In barley a week it had come away from the top, meaning that it was more difficult to run out and I had to work my own little miracle just to make it sort of work.
Now looking back, I wish even more that I had done what I should have---taken the bloody thing back and throwing it on the floor in a fit of rage. Some ion my family could have manage that, albeit it in a ‘polite’ fashion. Looking back I have to say that this umbrella was the biggest piece of shite I have ever seen. If the wind was more than a gentle Zephyr, I had to quickly take kit down, because I could tell that it would disintegrate and [possibly end up in the next suburb. The said device now has pride of place, ripped and broken to shreds, on top of my shed, awaiting the next Council collection.
The moral of my little ditty---‘You usually do get what you pay for.’ I shall go out and seek a quality product and know that it will last more than a portion of one season. Any suggestions?