Sadness. Deep, dark, depressive sadness. I live a life of sacrifice, frugality, and chastity. Really all that is left to me is television and maybe ice cream. Do these people not understand that they are toying with my emotions by screwing up my television??
Prior to this morning, I owned a perfectly serviceable, if somewhat old, television. Recently the sound on this unit had started to go kind of wonky (yes, that’s the technical term). You’d be sitting there, watching TV, not a care in the world, and then you’d hear the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher coming through the speaker. Your chosen program would still be on, but the audio track would switch to “Wah wah wah wah wah? Wah wah wah! Wah wah wah.” It was disturbing, to say the least.
I handled this turn of events as I handle all matters involving potential expenditures. I declared that we were in need of a new television. I declared that I would, in fact, be buying a new television very soon. And then for months I kept an eye on the ad circulars and tried to convince myself that “wah wah wah” didn’t sound all that bad with most of the stuff I watch, anyway. I was waiting, you see, for the Perfect Television.
The Perfect Television had a few requirements. First, I have a smallish entertainment center which will accommodate–in theory–a unit up to 27″. But as most new TVs are now sporting side speakers which greatly increase the overall size, I was looking at either finding the elusive 27″ set without side speakers or sacrificing screen size to get the thing into its assigned position. Next, I figured that if I was springing for a new TV, I should probably move up a notch on the technology ladder and get one with a flat-tube display. No point in buying new old technology, right? But that poses the problem of the last consideration, which is that I do not like to spend large sums of money.
So we’ve been putting up with “wah wah wah” for quite a while.
While my parents were here, there was many a Television Debate in which I insisted that yes, I was going to purchase one very soon, I was still deciding, but really, almost there. And then the 4th of July circulars came, and lo and behold, there it was: a 27″ flat-screen television without side speakers. For $250. And free delivery.
Far be it from me to malign one of the corporate electronics giants. I will refer to the store in question as Excellent Purchase, and I’m sure their anonymity will be protected.
I ordered. I scheduled my delivery. They arrived precisely on time this morning, and I batted my eyelashes and said I’d just had abdominal surgery and am prohibited from heavy lifting, would they be kind enough to bring it in for me? And remove the other television? The delivery guys were very nice. The new unit fit into the entertainment center as if it had been built specifically for it. They turned it on.
And then all three of us adults said, “Oh. Look at that line down the left side.” (Simultaneously, the two underage ones chorused, “I wanna watch this!”) Yes, a fuzzy line down the left-hand side of the picture. On my brand. new. television.
They had already removed the “wah wah wah” TV to their truck. They suggested I keep this one “for now,” and have them swap it for another unit, which I could arrange through my local Excellent Purchase store. The defect was noted on the paperwork. I tipped the delivery guys (it wasn’t their fault), and they left.
Then the fun began. I called my “local” (still a toll call for me, by the way) Excellent Purchase. Where after three attempts I had spent a total of 24 minutes on hold and never spoke to a human. Strike one. I called the website’s 888 number, where I was connected to a rep who told me she would transfer me to service. I emphatically stated that I was not in need of service, I was in need of replacement. Oh yes, she said, I know. But Service may know some trick for you to try. Ummmm… okay. Service? Wanted to know why the hell I was calling them about a television I’d owned for 30 minutes. They told me to call Daewoo. (I told you it was a cheap television. Shut up.) I called Daewoo technical support, and they told me (surprise!) that the store should give me a replacement. Strike two. Back to the Excellent Purchase 888 line, where I spoke to a woman who was either very drunk or possibly a succubus. Well, she supposed they could replace it, but I really shouldn’t have accepted delivery in the first place, and she can’t schedule it for me because the only way to handle this is to schedule a return and then place a reorder, which can’t be done for at least 24 hours because… ummm… it may have had to do with the alignment of the planets, I don’t know, or maybe she was just pissed off that I interrupted her while she was busy feasting on someone’s spleen. And when I made it clear that I don’t think “free delivery” should mean “stay home three entire days while we attempt to correct our mistakes while making no apologies” I was met with… silence. Strike three!
I may get my replacement; I have to call again tomorrow (I think I’ll have a vicodin, first). But you can bet your fanny I won’t be shopping at Excellent Purchase ever again. Pbbbbllllt.
I am going to need extra ice cream tonight during “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?” I tell you.