Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday the 13th, Black Cats, Bait and Switch and Murphy's Law

It all started on Friday the 13th.


I ordered a new winter coat for Collin, an early Christmas gift, via Amazon. I now call him Black Cat because the coat, made by the Caterpillar company, is black and has the word "CAT" printed on the front (see photo). He ordered a big screen TV for me. The worse my eyesight gets, the bigger the screen I need, even in our small living room (also see photo).

The coat arrived late but in perfect condition. Fortunately, it came before the temperatures really dropped. The TV arrived late on Friday--with a cracked screen. (Where are those crying emojis when I need them?) Collin contacted Amazon. They immediately shipped a replacement, which was scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday, and instructed Collin to print the return shipping label they provided so they would be charged for it when UPS picked it up.


But it didn't end there.

Since the new TV was due to be delivered on Tuesday, and Collin was off work Monday and Tuesday, we decided to go get my new glasses on Monday--even though it rained (a downpour) all day. A new optical store had recently opened nearby. They advertised an eye exam and two pairs of glasses for $69.95. Good deal, huh? I thought so. I'd gotten my current glasses from another of their shops and was very happy with them. I got the exam, chose my frames, and the glasses were ready in an hour...for the advertised price.

Not this time.

I chose the frames while waiting for the eye exam. The exam went well, though the optometrist told me the best she could give me vision-wise would be 20/35 because I have cataracts. I could live with that. I've gotten used to blurry vision. I do all of my reading on my Kindles (I have three, plus two other tablets) because they'll read to me. I'm home 90% of the time, since I'm not supposed to go out alone. How much trouble can I get into, parked on the couch in front of my big-screen TV?
   
The woman who completed the order for my glasses was quite pleasant. Her sister wants to be a writer. I recommended my publisher. She explained each of the add-ons, which she said would be included in the price. This surprised me, because my current glasses are as bare-bones as it gets. Finally, she finished and said, "Give me a minute to get your total."

Total? Uh-oh. Red flag. Danger, Will Robinson!

She was back in minutes. The total, she said, was over $200.00--I don't remember the exact amount. I think I was having a minor stroke and blacked out for a minute. I explained that I had requested the $69.95 special. She tried to explain why I needed the add-ons while I mentally tried to figure out how this could be when she'd said they were included in the package price.

She removed one add-on, which brought down the price a little. "No," I said quietly, not raising my voice.

Reluctantly, she removed another. Still not $69.95. "No," I said again.

More add-ons were removed, but the price was still not the price that was advertised. "No."

She explained she'd have to talk to the optometrist before she could remove anything more. I told her the doctor would have to approve it, because I was only paying $69.95. She went off to talk to the doctor.

When she returned, she said one item had to remain because it was required by law. Really? How could they advertise glasses for $69.95 if this extra was required by law? I made it clear that I would only pay $69.95. She talked to her supervisor, who said she would discount the extra $45, bringing the price to--you guessed it--$69.95.

By this time, it was almost 1:00 and Collin and I were so hungry, I was on the verge of Hulking out. (I'm pretty unpleasant to be around when my blood sugar drops.) We stopped at Penn Station for lunch and headed home without stopping to pick up Collin's paycheck, what had been part of the plan for the day.

   
We got home to find a notice on our door. FedEx had tried to deliver the replacement TV. Great. What else was going to go wrong? Amazon doesn't require signatures for delivery of packages, so I decided it was best that he hadn't left it, especially in the heavy rain. I'd already made it clear to Amazon that I was not buying gifts for my neighbors, so if anything came up missing, we would expect a replacement or a full refund.

Collin read the notice carefully and discovered the driver had left the TV at the leasing office. He took our little hand truck and went off to get it. In no time, he had it unpacked, the stand attached, and ready to be turned on.

That was when we realized we didn't have a table big enough to accommodate it--well, except for our dining room table which would not only look pretty silly in our living room, but would have prevented us from opening the front door....




26 comments:

  1. I see the minions in your picture--perhaps they are behind all this trouble?

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  2. Headache after headache!

    You'll need a new table for the new television.

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    1. Right now, we have our two glass-topped tables pushed together.

      Oddly, it doesn't look as big as it actually is (40") in the photo....

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  3. I see minions too !
    Did you hear some giggling when all this was happening ?
    I despise what happened to you at the eye place. If that is the price that is the price.
    Love the new TV,,,, Happy Christmas !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I told Collin I probably got flipped off when we left!

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    1. Shelly, that's the polite version of what I've been saying!

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  5. Just as frustrating as my days. Hugs, Norma. You need one. By the way, best thing I did a few years ago was have the cataract operations. Think about it.

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    1. Mari--my concern is that I'm already blind in the left eye--I was born that way. One slip-up with the right, and I'm screwed.

      And then there's the matter of how I'll get around for the few days I'd have to have a bandage over the eye. Collin can barely get his regular days off, let alone any more.

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  6. What a day! Congratulations merely for having survived.

    Could you mount the TV on the wall - ours is so mounted, and you can even pull it out from the wall and rotate for best viewing.

    I like that you remained firm about the glasses price - I can't believe what they put you through.

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    1. We've survived worse, unfortunately--but that prepared us to deal with a lot of things.

      I've always hated pushy sales tactics--I don't really appreciate the more subtle ones, either. Another useful survival skill--being able to spot a con.

      We can't mount the TV on the wall because we live in an apartment. No holes in the walls.

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  7. I went to same place for my glasses, Norma. But I need progressive lenses and on my sunglasses I needed the reading lenses at the bottom. So, I was stuck paying more, but not as much as I had @ Walmart, the last time for only one pair of glasses.
    Hope you enjoy the TV. Looks great for viewing.

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    1. I can see the added price for that, but in my case, it would have been a waste of money. The doctor told me she couldn't give me better than 20/35 vision because of the cataracts, and since I'm home 90% of the time, a lot of stuff would have been unnecessary. I have prescription sunglasses I wear when I go out. They're really large, covering about half of my face, because I have to protect my one good eye.

      Loving the TV!

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  8. Dang. What an irritating series of ordeals! I'm still scratching my head about the law requiring add ons to a sale price. Good for you for holding firm.

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    1. I was very happy with the glasses I got from them previously, and there had been no attempt to add anything then, so this was unexpected.

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  9. O my goodness when things go wrong they really go wrong! I absolutely know what you mean about the glasses thing. They NEVER end up the advertised price because of add-ons, well done you for sticking to your guns Norma :) Is it not possible for you to have the cataracts removed, it's the BEST thing ever. I developed them very early and had them removed, they put a lens in your eye at the same time that corrects the vision problem, brilliant.

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    1. My ophthalmologist says I'm not ready for the surgery yet, so it's still a possibility. I just hate being incapacitated for the recovery period.

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    2. Honestly Norma the recovery period is almost nil. Seriously I'm talking a day or so.

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    3. I'll probably do it. My doctor says I have another year or two before it's necessary.

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    4. It's just like having your sight back. My sister has just had hers done and she was almost blind in one eye.. now she doesn't have to wear glasses. So don't be afraid when the time comes Norma.

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    5. You've talked me into it, Grace. (I've worn glasses since I was ten.)

      I have a real aversion to doctors and hospitals. My doctor thought my blood pressure was out of control because it was high every time she saw me, even though I'm taking medication for it. Until we found out it's not high when I'm not around doctors, dentists, etc.

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  10. This sounds like my kind of day!

    I'm glad you held out for the advertised price. I think you should report them for false advertising!

    And I'm glad the TV got there, even if you do have to get a new table for it!

    So tell yourself what I always tell myself: Things are bound to get better!

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    1. Yeah--I just read your blog post!

      I used to say things had to get better because they couldn't possibly get worse...until I found out they actually could get worse!

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