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Monday, October 4, 2010

Clueless George Buys A Plasma TV Part 3

A Serial Saga Of the Horrifying Complexity of Purchasing A Plasma TV
As I leaned back intending to savor one more glass of fine wine, George called the Video and Audio Center to cancel and they were very obliging. They told him they would contact Manna to see if they could get an explanation. They called back and said that they didn’t get a convincing explanation from Manna and had planned to ship George one from California using another shipper but they were out of stock on the LG. They offered to refund the shipping costs if George wanted to cancel but if he agreed to take the TV that was lost somewhere in NJ they would credit his Visa a substantial refund. (He did not divulge that amount no matter how much Cabernet I poured him.) He said the substantial amount made him feel better and he agreed to accept the TV lost in NJ. I immediately smashed the Cabernet box on the table and tried to beat him with the broken box to no avail. (At least I thought about doing that. )

Friday rolled around and the delivery window was waning. We had already started on the vino when George called Manna to find out where the delivery guy was. Manna said they would call back and when they did, they admitted they had no idea where the TV was. I thought George was going to cardiac on the spot. Keep in mind, this was a large box. A box too big to fit into his Camry, a box so big he had planned on renting a van to pick up a local box.

George called the Video and Audio Center and they actually seemed as dismayed as George was. They told him they would call back after their manager called Manna. They called back and said they found an LG and they were shipping it overnight via UPS for Saturday delivery at their expense. George was skeptical but we put up a toast for luck and I staggered, uh, walked home. George called me later that night to say the tracking number indicated the TV was in transit.

Saturday morning I got a call and George said the UPS guy had helped him carry the TV in. It was there and could I come over. We did get the TV set up and it works. (Thank goodness! His words and mine.)

The Video and Audio Center expended a great deal of energy and money to see George got his TV. I’m guessing that their relationship with Manna may be under evaluation. Manna never did explain what part of NJ the TV may have fallen off the truck. The people from Manna were all very personable and polite, they just were unable to find the TV and deliver it.

Even though this eventually had a happy ending, my take on all this is that it would be worth whatever a local guy charged to have the TV delivered and pay the sales tax too. A week of aggravation, a strain on a friendship and a box of Cabernet seems much more expensive than saving a hundred bucks on a TV.

This story is reasonably true, some names are changed to protect the embarrassed. Keep in mind I owned a local computer business for 25 years and have a tendency to be a bit reactionary regarding purchasing local. Otherwise the basic players and situation occurred as noted.

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