The good and the bad

Except let’s do them in reverse order. As you know, Dear Reader, AO and I are redoing our previously unused finished basement. Well, it was used, but sparingly and mostly just for AO’s morning primping. In remaking the space, we decided we wanted a — gasp — bigger tv. So, last weekend we found ourselves at Costco scoping out the televisions. Because we didn’t really know what we were looking for, and didn’t find anyone offering to help us out, we concluded our trip there sans tv, but with a plan to head to American. Off we went! At American, we were, of course, immediately approached with (an attempt at) charm. We told the young fellow, Max, that we were just looking, but that we would find him when we had questions. After looking around a bit, we asked Max for help. We told him we were looking for something between 40 and 46 inches and that was about all we knew. We didn’t know whether we wanted LED, LCD or Plasma. We were pretty sure we didn’t want 3D, but we didn’t understand why all of the tvs were purporting to be ‘smart’ and whether that was something we wanted. Eventually, after Max filled us in on all the bells and whistles, and instructed us we’d be best off with an LED television, we narrowed down our search to a couple of Samsung models. In asking Max about the difference between a few of the tvs we were focused in on, we learned — or, rather, we were told — that a particular tv had a Flickr app(lication) from which we could stream our pictures. Well, as you know Dear Reader, I heart Flickr and I just about swooned when I heard this. The television was quite a bit more than we wanted to spend (quite a bit more), but because of its size (46″), its amazing picture quality, the Flickr app, and Max’s voice breaking when he realized the television cost even less than it had earlier in the week, we were sold. Off we went with more tv than we needed and more tv than we could afford. But it had Flickr! Or so we were told.

Fast forward a week later. I realize there is no Flickr app. Or at least no application that I can find. I call American. I tell the man who answers my concern. He passes me on to Max who starts the conversation with, “Who is this?” I speak to Max. And now is where I start to get angry. Max tells me multiple stories. In one, he tells me, well, the tv has Photobucket. In another, he says Sony has Flickr. Helpful. In yet another, he says the tv may have Flickr, but not Flickr Pro (I told him we had a Pro account). When I tell him they’re the same thing, really, he says, “Oh, well, I didn’t know.” He leaves to go check the tv for himself, which of course shows he has no idea if the tv has the app or not. He returns to the phone and tells me if he had known it was important to me, he would have checked on it before I purchased the tv. I stifle the urge to tell him if I’d know he was in the habit of making things up, I would have asked for another salesman. I say, “Look, you said there were hundreds of apps, and specifically a Flickr app.” He says, “There are hundreds of apps.” I say, “That’s fine, but there is no Flickr app.” He says, “I went through all of the apps with you.” I again stop myself from what I really want to say, which is, “(a) You told us there was a Flickr app and this is why we are on the phone right now! and (b) You just said there are hundreds of apps so there is no way you went through every single one of them with us when we spent no more than 15 minutes with you.” Argh. I am getting frustrated as I am clearly not dealing with someone honest or interested in righting the situation. I tell him I am not satisfied. I tell him I feel duped. He says, “In no way, shape or form did I ‘duped’ you.” I’m upset. He asks me what would help the situation. I tell him I need him to stop telling people there is a Flickr application on the television when there isn’t and ask him to call ‘his’ Samsung representative to find out if, and when, a Flickr application will be available for the tv (something he offered to do about five minutes earlier in the call). Fine. We end the conversation. At this point, though, I am livid. I am upset with how he treated me and, more significantly, I am upset that he lied. Whether he knew he was lying or not, I don’t know. But there is no Flickr app on the $$$$ television we bought. I tell AO, who is clearly not on board with my plan, that I need to return the tv. We spent too much money to be treated this way and I’m not going to let them get away with it. To me, this is now a moral issue. To Aaron, it’s a headache and a possible embarrassment. We pack up the tv and head off to American. We walk in, take the enormous tv to customer service and return it. The customer service woman calls for Max to come over to deal with the situation, but he declines, citing another customer’s needs. I’m relieved. Money back on our card (I hope) and we are done with the place.

Off to Costco. We find a Phillips tv with the same picture quality and motion sensor stuff (in numbers anyway) as the Samsung. It’s also the same size. It also brags of being ‘smart,’ but appears more humble about it. It’s also the display model so it’s marked down quite a bit. It’s less than half of the cost of the American debacle. Sold! A nice man named Arthur helps us with the purchase. Arthur, the check-out woman and Toussaint, the man checking our receipt, all comment on what a great deal we made. I agree.

On another positive note, and one that just sparkles with great customer service, I have to give a shout out to Continental. In February, I booked a ticket to see Sarayu in LA in April. Well, wouldn’t you know, the GAOOG just had to dart off to Albuquerque that same weekend to film In Plain Sight. Drat. So, the ticket was canceled and I was told I had a year (from February) to rebook the ticket, which would mean paying a fee of some sort ($150, I think) and any difference in price in the future ticket. Well, while it’s only July, I started getting nervous that I might not be able to use the ticket in time. And I just started getting more and more annoyed about the additional $150 fee. So, I decided to go out on a limb and email Continental and ask for a refund to my card. I realize it wasn’t exactly a dangerous limb I had headed out on, but I thought it a long-shot. Lo and behold, about a week after I sent my email, I received a response stating that my full ticket price would be refunded to my credit card. About a day after I received the email, I received the credit on my credit card statement! Hallelujah! I am so pleased with Continental for making the process simple, painless and right. Thanks, Continental!

UPDATE: The $$$$ from the debacle is indeed back on our credit card and I can breathe a little easier. I have no explanation for how we thought it was at all reasonable for us to spend that much on a television in the first place. I blame myself: I got a little overwhelmed by too much information (or, as it were, not enough), wanting to get it over with and the allure of a giant slideshow. I am so relieved that chapter is now closed.


6 Responses to “The good and the bad”

  1. 1 whazzmaster July 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Please friends, allow me to advise on technological purchases! I am helpful!

  2. 2 Jane Roe July 26, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Very impressed with how you handled American and Continental, but I am glad that PI is coming soon. After all the stress, you deserve a little decompressing. Can’t wait to see you.

  3. 3 kateandgracie July 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Whazzmaster, you raise a good point. We should have consulted. Sometimes we (meaning I) get a little impulsive. Please say good things, like Toussaint did, about our Costco off-the-rack purchase.

    And Jane, for the last few days, all Aaron can say is, “I can’t wait to get to PI; I can’t wait to get to PI.” I echo him. I can’t wait for cool breezes, sunshine, screened porches, great family, afternoon naps and the lake. Ah. Four more days.

  4. 4 kateandgracie July 27, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I feel like I didn’t tell the American story very well. Not that it’s a very interesting one, but I think I should have taken some time before I wrote it. For example, I left out all the stuff about Max trying to distract me with talk about finding Flickr on the web browser (part of any ‘smart’ tv, I think). When I told him, well, that’s too slow, he started in on questioning my hook-up (wi-fi or hardwired?), my service provider, what kind of service I got…After agreeing to answer too many of these questions, I finally said, “It doesn’t matter. We weren’t supposed to have to use the web browser for Flickr because you said there was an app!” Argh.

    And the thing is, I don’t even know how much we would have used the Flickr app. It just bugged me so much that he said it was there, knew it made us happy and then tried to cover his tracks when we discovered it didn’t exist.

  5. 5 Mary Lloyd July 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    bravo. I am a impulsive buyer so you come by it honestly. But I am much better now at returning things. Looks like you learned that a lot earlier in life than I did. Presque Isle we are coming tomorrow!

  6. 6 gwendolyngarden August 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Thank goodness you were able to return it! Bravo to new TV. Can’t wait to see it.

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July 2011

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