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In One Ear(phone) And Out The Other

, , , , , | Working | December 3, 2022

I was recently shopping at one of the big box office supply store branches in town. One of the items I was looking for was a small headset with a microphone for use with my tablet or phone for calls, etc.

I found a suitable one on sale for $30, so I took it to the checkout with my other purchase.

Cashier: “Hi, how are you today? Find everything you need?”

Me: “Yes, fine, thank you.”

Cashier: *Picking up the headphones* “I have to inform you that these headphones are non-returnable once the package is open.”

Me: “Ooookay… I guess that makes sense if people have already worn them and decide to return them. But they are returnable if they are defective, correct?”

Cashier: “No, unless you purchase a protection plan for $7.95.”

Me: “What?”

Cashier: “They are non-returnable — period — unless you purchase the plan. Then you can return them for exchange or refund if there is a problem.”

Me: “So, if I open the box and they are defective, the store won’t do anything unless I buy the plan which is almost a third of the cost of the item to begin with?”

Cashier: “Correct. It’s policy, and we’ve been instructed to clearly inform every purchaser to avoid confusion.”

Me: “Look, I understand having a policy that bars people from returning used headphones simply because they change their minds, but a defective product is returnable, and the only way to tell is to open the box!”

Cashier: “No, sorry.”

I slid the headphones back to the cashier.

Me: “Then I’m not purchasing these here. If you are collecting feedback, then please inform management that this retailer needs to change policy.”

I paid for and took my other purchase. The receipt clearly stated, “Any opened headphones, earphones, and earbuds cannot be returned at any time.” I understand the rationale of the policy, but unless you have an exception for defective merchandise, forget it.

The kicker to the story? My other purchase was a new budget-priced unlocked phone to replace my wife’s seven-year-old one. It had a return policy of thirty days unopened or fourteen days open box as long as all original contents are in the box. The sales guy assured me we could set the phone up completely and try it out, and if my wife didn’t like it, we could return it for a full refund within the fourteen-day window. And the phone cost six times the price of the headset I wanted.

So… That’s How Many Hours Of Notice?

, , , , , , | Working | December 2, 2022

My husband is supposed to go to a conference in a big American city. However, a hurricane has just come through our home province in Canada. We have no power, and there’s some damage to our property. I’d have trouble dealing with all of this alone, especially as we have small kids, so my husband decides to cancel his travel plans. He calls the hotel.

Husband: “Hi, I’m supposed to arrive tomorrow, but I need to cancel my reservation because we’ve just had a hurricane come through here.”

Hotel Staff: “Sir, we require seventy-two hours of notice to cancel, or you will have to pay a reservation fee.”

Husband: “I understand. But I didn’t know in advance that I wouldn’t be able to travel.”

Hotel Staff: “But we will have to charge you a cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Okay. It is what it is, I guess.”

Hotel Staff: “If you cancel with less than seventy-two hours of notice, you have to pay the cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Yes. I understand.”

Hotel Staff: “Please hold. I have to get my manager.”

He’s put on hold for several minutes before the manager comes on. 

Manager: “Sir, if you cancel your reservation with less than seventy-two hours of notice, you will have to pay a cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Yes, I got that.”

Manager: “If you give us seventy-two hours of notice, we can waive the fee.”

Husband: “Okay. I’ll keep that in mind next hurricane, I guess.”

A Sad Reflection On Common Intelligence

, , , | Right | November 30, 2022

I am working in my boyfriend’s store. He’s a freelance photographer and sells camera equipment and prints. He also takes photos for visas and IDs.

This morning, a nice gentleman in his forties walks in.

Customer: “Can you take an ID photo?”

I lead him into the studio where there’s a chair for him in the centre, with a background and lights all around. There’s a bit of a wait, so I tell him he can use the mirror first (some customers want to check themselves out before the photo) and then take a seat.

He goes over to the mirror by the customer bathroom (no lights, no background, no chair) and stands there looking into it, focusing. I shrug and leave him to it. Maybe he’s doing some sort of meditation?

I go back to the office and fetch my boyfriend, and we wait another five minutes for this man staring deeply into the mirror.

Finally, I ask if he’s ready and he looks at me, confused.

Customer: “There wasn’t a flash or a beep… How do you know I’m done?”

He thought the mirror was a camera.

They Can’t Fix It, Even If You Have The Coin

, , , | Right | November 30, 2022

A lady comes in with her pre-teen son.

Customer: “I bought my PC about a year ago, and my son plays games on it. Recently, it has been starting to smell like a burning metal. It’s gotten significantly heavier since we purchased it. Can you look at it?”

Me: “Absolutely. Come back in at about three or so.”

I open up the PC. As soon as I open it up, quarters and loonies (dollar coins) fall out of the computer. About a hundred coins fall out of the computer.

Also, the computer warranty is now voided because they did some… “shell modifications”, but we’ll get back to that in a second.

The customer comes back.

Customer: “Is it ready?”

I explain the situation. I also explain that the shell modifications (some holes have been cut into the shell) void their warranty.

Customer: “My son plays some free games all the time on our computer. It says to insert coins for extended play, so we did. After about a week, we got the same message, so we figured the coins weren’t getting to the game people.”

I’m guessing they tried a free trial of a game and the trial ended.

Customer: “So, my husband cut out the slots at the top of the computer so that they can be transferred.”

At this point, I want to facepalm so badly.

Me: “Ma’am, these ‘coins’ are virtual. You can’t insert real coins into the computer; that can damage the system.”

I told her she needed to purchase a new GPU/CPU/board because the coins jammed the fans and caused everything to melt. It sounded like an engine revving when you turned it on.

Two Can Play The Time Wasting Game

, , , , , , , | Working | November 25, 2022

I leased a new car from a dealership. When closing the deal, the salesman told me that I had three free months of a radio subscription service. I never activated the subscription or listened to the service. I am one of those (according to friends and family, odd) people who like to drive in silence.

Three months after leasing the car, I began receiving calls on my business phone from a number I did not recognize two or three times a day. No messages were left. The area code was unusual, so I Googled the number. I learned that the number was from [Company], which “encouraged” people to subscribe to [Radio Service]. Adding insult to injury, the number was not toll-free; if I called the number to ask why I was receiving these calls, I would pay a fee.

So, without my consent, [Dealership] sold my information to [Radio Service], who then, also without my consent, sold it to [Company]. And [Company] was calling me multiple times a day.

I gave myself a Friday afternoon off. I first called the salesman at [Dealership] and blasted him for not telling me that my information had been sold to [Radio Service].

I then called [Radio Service]. When the receptionist answered, I gave her my name and phone number, and I told her that every time I received a call from [Company], I would randomly call someone listed in the [Radio Service] company directory and waste as much of their time as possible before stating the real reason for my call: to cost them time and money.

I then called [Company] and got an automated receptionist. I listened to the directory and chose a name at random. When he picked up, I told him what I told the receptionist at [Radio Service]: I would randomly waste the time of [Company] employees every time I got a call from [Company].

Come Monday, the calls had stopped. I was never called again.