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More tales of Chutzpah

After yesterday’s tale of Chutzpah I figured I’d show that I can show just as much temerity if I am pushed.

Over Christmas a few years ago we purchased a new washer and dryer (a purchase we had been putting off but decided it needed to be done, as our washer treats our clothing the same as if you beat the clothes on a rock by the river). We saw that Home Depot was having a “Boxing Day” sale, and we actually walked down to Home Depot to purchase a washer and dryer. My wife had done her normal extensive investigation of the topic, so she knew what she wanted, so I let her have at it with the sales lady.

I wandered off and found that Home Depot did sell “liners” for my new green bin, and I looked at various other building supplies. I returned to find that my wife had settled on a model and price, which seemed reasonable and we then needed to decide when to have the new washer and dryer delivered.

Our previous configuration had a Natural Gas based clothes dryer, so to remove it and replace it with an electric dryer would mean a gas fitter would need to come and “cap” the supply line, so we pushed the delivery into mid-January which we were told was not a problem. We also “qualified” for the “don’t pay until next year (and then we gouge you with ASTRONOMICAL interest rates)” payment plan, so we signed up for all of this and left the store treading carefully (Ottawa had an Ice Storm on Boxing Day).

Fast forward to 3 days before the new washer/dryer was due to be delivered. By this time Home Depot had already put the purchase on my credit card (interesting, I never like paying for something I haven’t received yet), and the gas fitter had just come and capped our Natural gas line, leaving us with no clothes dryer, but for only 3 days (or so we thought).

That very afternoon my wife got a phone call from the manufacturer of the Washer/Dryer (LG) that our delivery was going to be delayed by over a month because there were no more Washer/Dryer models in North America of the type we purchased. Now that in itself is a type of chutzpah but at least they called, leaving my wife at a level of aggravation which if it was on a scale of 1 to 10 would be around HOLY CRAP! level.

I got on the phone to the manager of Home Depot to voice our displeasure about the fact that:

  • We no longer had any ability to dry our clothes for more than a month (at least).
  • When we “purchased” the washer/dryer it was not actually purchased, it was in fact simply us saying we’d like them and if they were in stock, we might get one when we wanted. No one went into the “warehouse” and marked a set “Property of Mr. & Mrs. C8j, deliver in January”, we simply put in an order which might be filled.
  • The purchase had appeared on my credit card yet I was not going to have it for more than 2 months after I allegedly “purchased” the product.
  • The manufacturer was the one who told us about this, and not Home Depot
  • He had upset my wife and I got to enjoy her wrath, when in fact she was mad at him and his store

After assurances that the situation would be remedied, the Manager never called me back, but did call Mrs. C8j and offered her a “loaner” clothes dryer until our actual washer/dryer pair arrived, for free, so that we could continue to have clean clothes and such. Mrs. C8j was happier with that solution (although still secretly seething with hatred for Home Depot) and we now have this dryer in place and we are able to have clean clothes until our new washer and dryer appears.

Was this Chutzpah on my part to get a loaner dryer? Not really, but I do think it is truly chutzpah on the stores part not to ensure that they had stock enough to make their deliveries for the next month.

My guess would be someone looked in the inventory for the warehouse, saw there was a set left and sold them before they could be delivered to us, so someone else got a “great deal” and “fantastic service”, while I ended up with a loaner dryer and a wife with the disposition of a Wet Wolverine.

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Fight For Your $10 A Case Study

Amazing the amount of work I have done to get $10. Back in 2009, I fought with Costco to get it. Funny, Costco has never been an issue in this area for me. I had a chair that fell apart 2 years after I bought it, and they gave me a FULL refund. There were no questions simply a refund to my account. I had the amount paid, and an approximate date, and that was enough.

Costco Coughs up $10

About 2 weeks ago my wife and I joined Costco as an experiment on whether we’d get the benefits claimed from a years subscription. So far things are ok, we have not gone out and bought 16 gross of toilet paper so we have kept our purchases to specific things that we know are much cheaper at Costco (or on sale).

Wednesday last week I received an invitation from Costco to join and to inspire me they said they’d give me a $10 cash card when I joined (I assume they got my name from a list of previous subscribers). This perturbed me since I had only just joined and now I wasn’t going to get $10, which I felt was due me. I decided to go to the courtesy desk at Costco and demand my money, since I had only just joined. To my surprise the answer was, “Yes sure that sounds like a good idea“, and the young lady handed me over the cash card with little or no fuss. I felt a little sheepish that I was worried I might not get any money.

Just goes to show, if you don’t ask, you will never know if you will ever get!

We spent the $10 on a good deal on Apple Juice, if you are curious about our wind fall profit.

The Voice of A Generation Silenced

Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite

I was saddened on the weekend to hear of the passing of  Walter Cronkite. I grew up watching the CBS evening news with “Uncle Walter” every night, to me he was the face of News (even though I am a Canadian). In these days of 24 hour news and Blogs reporting all sorts of news (yes me included), I was saddened to hear of the silencing of a voice of integrity. I guess that’s no longer, “… the way it is…”.

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Earth Day: Another Idea

Written many years ago. I no longer compost, I use the Green Bin program from my city. I still tune my small engines, but now during the Pandemic cloth bags are now a big no-no. Happy Belated Earth Day.

Compost

My wife and I have started composting again. We also use the compost in our garden so it is a money saving thing as well (don’t need as many expensive fertilizers or have to buy top soil). Sometimes we forget about our kitchen bucket, but eventually either the smell or the fruit flies will remind us the bucket needs to be emptied.

We always end our composting year by throwing our Jack-O-Lanterns in there for the winter (the bins we use are at the bottom of the back yard and are not accessible in the winter time).

Tune Your Small Engines

I had Hunter Power Equipmentcome over to do an end of season tune up for my 10 year old snow blower. They did service on it about 5 years ago, and after that it ran better than when I first bought it, and now it is ready to keep blowing snow for many years more (and do it in a much less toxic fashion). A tuned engine especially on a snowblower or a lawn mower is a very good thing (the amount of pollutants from small engines are a major contributor to the Smog issues of the world).

I also am not buying a new snowblower, which is a frugal thing in my mind too!

Cloth Grocery Bags

This is starting to annoy me, since I keep forgetting to bring the darn bags to the store and either end up buying another cloth bag, or have to purchase the plastic bags.

A good friend brought up an excellent point that most real shoppers have already thought about which is what to do about the meat that you purchase. If you buy meat, normally you put it in an extra plastic bag to keep it from leaking, but now with cloth bags, meat blood or fluids will now leak onto your cloth bag. This means the shopper in the know will either:

  1. Wash their cloth grocery bags often
  2. Designate one or two cloth bags as the “meat” bags and wash them very often
  3. Use the plastic bags in the vegetable department to wrap the meat up in.

Anybody care to comment on this one?

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The Eaton’s Catalog and The Sweater

For those of you who have not read “The Sweater” by Roch Carrier (or the original version “Le Chandail de Hockey”) it is a staple for Quebecois and Quebecers, and even my kids love the story as well.

Become a Tangerine client today

What does this have to do with Personal Finance? See how the Mother in the story orders clothing in urban Quebec at the time, the Eaton’s Catalog, of course! When I grew up we waited for the catalog to come (especially the Christmas catalog), and now that kind of shopping has returned, except now we use the Internet (and it shows up in 2 days not 2 months).

The other truth was that when I was a kid, in Montreal, if you wore a Leafs sweater, you didn’t go outside much! The Sweater sums that up quite nicely.

The Sweater, Sheldon Cohen, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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St. Valentine’s Random Financial Thoughts

Given tomorrow is “Love Day”, I mean St. Valentine’s day, let’s have a run around the world of financial blogs and see what has been on bloggers’ minds this week.

Valentine’s Thoughts

Enjoy the love this weekend, but for St. Valentine’s sake, Don’t Go Bankrupt!

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