The Ordeal – Part One
The microwave made a noise. Then a smell.
“I’m not touching it,” said my daughter. Her partially popped bag of popcorn sat deflated in the defunct appliance.
“Me neither, wait for Dad.”
After complaints of her now having nothing for a snack and later me trying to remember how to make rice on the stovetop (the microwaveable pouches rock) my husband came home.
“Oh, come on.” He replied when we told him we were afraid to touch the microwave.
He removed the stale popcorn bag and ran the fan feature.
“See, it’s fine.” He said.
“Try actually heating something,” I suggested.
He grabbed a dish containing a lone broccoli spear (I steamed those) left over from the middle kid’s dinner and placed it on the rotating glass plate. He hit the 30 second button and gave me a smug look.
The control panel went dark.
“It’s dead,” I declared.
“No, I can fix it.” Famous last words.
After an hour or so of searching on-line, my husband pronounced it unfixable.
“Dead.” I said.
“Yes, go buy a new one. Remember to measure before you go to the store.”
Happy my husband agreed that our family of five could not do without a microwave, I shopped on-line that night. I found the model to replace our over-the-range eight year old family friend and set out the next morning.
“You’re in luck, we have this in stock and you have ton of reward points. You’re a preferred member so we’ll ship it to you and haul away the old one for free. Unfortunately, installation costs $120.00.”
“Ouch, for a $250.00 microwave? Is it something my husband can do?”
“Afraid not, gotta connect the vent, blah blah…”
I called my husband, and he agreed – just schedule the installation.
I left with a delivery date of Monday October 12th and installation date of Thursday the 15th. I assured them I could be home on the 15th after 12 noon, all day.
I was happy.
The kids couldn’t understand how to heat anything. “It’s like we’re Amish!” whined the youngest. Her pancakes were heating in the toaster oven, making them too crispy and her apple cider was cold, not hot as she preferred.
“Amish don’t watch Spongebob before school, they churn butter,” the middle kid told her. She likes cold cereal in the morning, she was unaffected.
“Relax, it’s just a few days away”
Monday the 12th arrived. The kids had the day off and so did the husband. He had work to do from home though and opened his laptop.
“Uh oh, you’re not going to like this,” he said. He read from his screen. “We’re sorry to inform you that order number xxxx has been delayed. Your estimated delivery date is November 3rd.”
“November 3rd!” The kids and I yelled.
“BS, they said they had it in stock. I’ll just cancel this order and we’ll go today and just come home with another one so they can install it Thursday. Maybe we’ll even get a Columbus Day deal today.
Although heading back to the store was not part of my plan I couldn’t think of another way to deal with the situation.
“Wow, that’s crazy. We’re sorry for the inconvenience,” said the women at the customer service desk. “Let’s just cancel this and get you a new one.”
A big box was wheeled our way.
“It’s not letting me cancel the order. It’s ‘in transit’ so it’s been assigned out to UPS, we can’t touch it now.”
“How can it be in transit if we’re not receiving it for 3 more weeks?”
“Good question. Let’s see, it’s coming from Ohio.”
“Are they walking it here?” My husband asked. We live in Chicago.
“I don’t understand it either, let me make some calls.”
They were very nice, she and the other guy who became involved. The other end of their phone call obviously held not-so-understanding people. In the end (of this part) they said the only thing we could do was purchase this new one, still sitting on a dolly next to us for the past hour, and return the one that arrives November 3rd.
“I won’t be home November 3rd,” I said.
“Oh, that’s tough, they won’t just leave it on your doorstep. You have to sign for it.”
I rolled my eyes. “Of course. I agreed to the 12th because I knew we’d be home, otherwise I’d have taken it home.”
“Well, you’ll have to have it redelivered.”
“No we won’t,” said my husband. “We’ll not accept it and you’ll be able to cancel it on your end.”
“We can do that.”
“I want that in writing and all your contact info, please.”
They obliged and we purchased the microwave at our feet, assured we would get reimbursed and not lose our reward points.
A big burly guy carried it above his head to or car.
Driving away my husband said, “I have zero faith this is going to go smoothly.”
I nodded. We’d double checked we were still scheduled for installation on the 15th, after noon. Still I was doubtful.
Halfway home, my cell phone rang through the Bluetooth in my car. My husband answered hands free. We could see the call was coming from our house. We’d been gone for 2 hours at a store 5 minutes away, I was sure the kids were looking for us.
“Hey,” our oldest daughter said. “Did you guy just go buy a microwave?”
“Yeah,” I said shocked she paid attention to what we said as were leaving.
“Well, there’s a big box on our front step from Samsung.”
My husband laughed, I swore.
“Ok, take a photo and text it to me from the step.”
My husband pulled a u-turn.
“We’re back,” we said to the store greeter. He spoke into his collar microphone. I imagined he was warning the customer service desk.
“Guess what was waiting for us on our front step?”
I held my phone to show her the photo. Her jaw dropped.
“It’s a Columbus Day Miracle!” I exclaimed. They were not amused.
Paperwork, refunds, apologies and promises were exchanged. Burly guy came back out to our car to retrieve the now unnecessary purchase.
“Oh well, they better come on Thursday,” I said when we got home.
I gave my cell number so I could get the call about the installation time window. By 2pm no call had arrived and my oldest was home early from the PSAT exam. I told her the store might call the home phone and to please make sure they are coming after 12 the next day. I returned at 6 from a basketball and volleyball game. No call had come. Uh-oh I thought, but got busy with dinner.
At 7pm I got the robo –call indicating the installers would arrive on Thursday between 9 and 1.
I called. They couldn’t change it. Installation is done by a third party. I asked to speak to someone else and insisted she bring up my account.
“Oh, I see you’ve been through a lot.”
“Do you also see my request for after noon?”
I understand and will email a request to the installer now and request a time change, he’ll call on his way over.”
“I won’t be home until noon. I can’t answer my home phone.”
“I have your cell as the contact number.”
No call came before I left the house at 9 to take middle daughter to get her braces on. At 11 am, fully wired up I got her a drive-thru smoothie and dropped her back at school. She tried to get me to let her skip and go shopping.
“Can’t, microwave getting installed.”
She understood and said she’d walk home so I could be home for the guy.
Still no call on my cell.
11:20 I arrived home. There was a message on my home phone.
“Hi, this is Bob, I’m on my way over to install your microwave.”
Then I checked the time stamp. 9:15 am.
I got the same woman, thankfully.
“Oh dear. Ok, we’re going to wave the fee.”
I thanked her.
“When do you want to reschedule?”
“Uh, later today. I said I’d be home now.”
“Yeah, he’s overbooked.”
“Me too. How about tomorrow, my husband can work from home.” I lied. I could get out of some stuff.
“No, how about next Wednesday the 21st?”
And now I wait…
To be continued.