Friday, March 13, 2009

Pepperoni, mushrooms and extra contempt

When our plasma TV crapped out about a month ago, I knew it would be a seemingly endless battle with the warranty company and an even bigger battle keeping Jerry's ears from spewing smoke.

The fact that we purchased it at the now bankrupt and defunct Circuit City only complicated matters. A few people tried to prepare us for what they saw as an inevitable corporate runaround, but I knew we were covered by the extended plan we had purchased, so I refused to give up without a fight.

I encountered numerous 800 numbers that only went to an automated answering service telling me to fax a short description of my problem with a copy of my receipt. So I typed up a succinct letter and sent it to no avail. So I faxed again. And again. And again. Every day.

Then this miraculous thing happened. A local electronics store owner called requesting a little more information before he would schedule an appointment to come out and fix our TV. After an annoying relay of voicemail messages, we finally got to speak and he said he would be in our neighborhood making repairs by the end of the week.

I happily relayed the message to Jerry and we celebrated. Prematurely.

The end of the week came and went. And so did the next, but not from Jerry's lack of trying. After days of leaving messages, the owner finally got back to him and they scheduled a somewhat definitive appointment -- Thursday between 6 and 10 p.m.

Jerry didn't even care that he had to get up at 3 the next morning. He vowed to stay up the entire time if that's what it took to get our TV fixed. He singlehandedly carried it downstairs from the spot we had relegated it to in our bedroom once it ceased working. He cleared a path so it would be a quick swap of cables to reconnect it. And although I had to leave for work, I knew he would keep his hand on his phone and his eyes on the street the entire time.

But once Allison was in bed, his limited patience started to unravel.

While we were on the phone, I envisioned him pacing the living room. Then, in the middle of his profanity-laced diatribe about how he hates being jerked around, he got a beep.

"It's an unknown number ... I GOTTA GO."

I placed the handset back in the receiver at my desk hoping that it would be good news. A minute later, it rang again.


How dare they call and inquire about their customer service. Wasn't it clear to everyone in the solar system that he was waiting on our TV technician? To restore his beloved box to its original glory? So he could watch college basketball playoffs the way they were intended? On a screen the size of our living room wall?

"Jer, I'm sure he just got tied up at another house. It's not as if it's an exact science. He has no idea what he's up against at each place. Besides, he's our only source to fix it and --"

"I gotta go ... someone just pulled in!"

I hung up the phone once more and wished with my entire being that the guy carried a magic wand in his toolbox. Or pixie dust. Or an entire pixie to shake her ass over the TV or fart on it or whatever it is that pixies do.

Then my phone rang again.


Then the sound of a whistle broke my laughter. I wasn't there to witness it, but I'm convinced it was Jerry's head releasing pressure like a tea kettle.


Chelsea said...

Hahaha...oh I know that feeling too well. Happened to me when we switched from Comcast to Verizon and lost our internet connection.

I hope your TV is fixed by now!

Ray said...

Hahaha, I loved this part, "Or an entire pixie to shake her ass over the TV or fart on it or whatever it is that pixies do." =D

SO...was Jerry's beloved plasma fixed?!!

Anonymous said...

Next time buy at Costco...if you have oe on the East Coast. They have the best return policy ever.

the_plainsman said...

Ha! I can just see the morph of that cartoon tea kettle into Jerry's head as it pops! Sorry, Jerry, but it IS a funny scene.

Those extended warranties are merely insurance policies that the retailer sells on commission, like an insurance agent, so whether the store is belly-up now makes little difference after the initial return policy is up. Your contract is with the insurer.

Consumer Reports, I understand, generally recommends extended warranties only on a few items, big TV's included, so you did the smart thing.

Just keep following up until they fix it, and to your satisfaction, as you paid for the service policy.

Anonymous said...

hey kel, my ma said look into calling the attorney generals office. she said she heard people around rochester doing that.
loffe me
call me if you have questions

Melissa said...

You totally left us hangin'!! Did he fix it??

novelle360 said...

No! That was the point. He never came.