Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Consumer reviews

You may remember my satellite dilemma. Well, we did switch, and we are very happy with the reception (you mean channels are supposed to be this clear?...bad cable) and with the DVR. How did we survive life before DVR? Having multiple episodes of Handy Manny at your disposal in the afternoon when the weather is miserably hot and the child is restless = TV bliss.

And do not yell at me for letting my kid watch TV. Life with a toddler is occasionally about survival, and to survive I occasionally need something to distract her for a few minutes. I know you do it too!

Anyway, when we first called about the service, I called a number off of a promotional flier (my first mistake). It ended up being a retailer, who was wanting to charge me a "one-time service fee" at the time of installation. I let them schedule a tentative installation appointment for two weeks later with the understanding that I could cancel this appointment if we changed our minds and "nothing would be charged." Second mistake.

After some research online, we discovered that this particular satellite company offers free installation and charges no such service fee if we schedule our service directly with the company. So I canceled my previously-scheduled retailer appointment and rescheduled directly with the company.

Two weeks later, the "one-time service fee" shows up as a charge on my bank account. I called the retailer back and tried to calmly explain my situation. When he insisted that the company (for whom they are an authorized retailer) "stole" the sale from them and that I was still responsible for the fee...well, I got a little, um, insistent. I didn't yell, but I came close. I think he could tell that I was the kind of person who would immediately report them to BBB, so he managed to get the fee removed. This was last Friday.

The fee reappeared today.

I called back, got the same guy (I had asked for his direct extension in case of such a problem), and he put me on hold to check it out. He came back on the line and apologized for the "system error" and said that the charge would be credited back to my account by tomorrow.

System error. HA! Moral of the your research. Be wary of retailer fliers that look like they come directly from the service they are trying to sell. Find the company online and research fees before agreeing to anything. And watch your account balance like a hawk.


In the area of babyproofing...Olivia has been able to open the fridge for awhile now, and it's annoying. We explain to her every time that she needs to ask for help, but she has her own ideas about that. So I thought I'd install one of those fridge lock thingies that snap together.

Complete waste of $2.00.

The thing doesn't work at all. If you can pull hard enough to open the fridge, then you can pull this thing open. In fact, I pulled it open several times without realizing that the fridge lock was latched. And after two days, Olivia pulled the lock, adhesive and all, right off the fridge.

So, save your money or find me a fridge lock that actually works.


Jen said...

DVRs are one of the greatest inventions of all time. I don't think I've watched anything live in ages. I don't even know when my TV shows are on.

Lizzie said...

It's amazing what cable companies can try to bleed you for. Good thing you caught it - twice!

Stephanie said...

I don't know how people function with young children without SOME television. How does anyone ever cook dinner?

maggie said...

Television is God's greatest invention. Forever and Ever Amen.

Also, that is why I got married: so there'd be someone to make the assertive phone calls. I felt sick just reading your story!