caveat emptor

A couple of weekends ago I went to a number of different retail outlets. Let me share my retail experience – in the capital city, not in some hick town.

At the first the ’sales’ dude was chatting to his girl/boyfriend and couldn’t be disturbed. I wanted to buy two new office chairs. I expect to pay in the region of $1,000 each. Rather than disturb the social intercourse of the young man I left.

At the next I bought a mushroom and chicken vol-au-vont. It was delicious. It would’ve been better if the pastry had been tender. Stringy pastry is not a gourmet delight. At least it diverted me from thinking about how this item has sat at room temperature all day, and now had been microwaved just long enough to be lukewarm in the centre. I could’ve asked for it have been re-nuked, but I’d waited so long, and I’d eaten the botulism part already. At least the latte was lukewarm so that made it balanced.

At the next place I bought a couple of lights. Fortunately my wife checked in the boxes and found that, yes, one didn’t have the bulb, as promised. Spared us a trip back. The shop woman wasn’t in the least bit apologetic. She processed my credit card and asked if there was a pin on it. Yes, there is. So she hands me the slip of paper with a pen and asks me to sign the transaction.

The final place saw us buying a multi-outlet power box with a surge protector. At the checkout the device fell out of the packaging and we noticed the cable had been taped to the box with yellowing clear tape. Rather than pick up an item at full retail we’d have to clean when we got home, I went and got another. On checking it I found it had a set of child-proof plugs – missing from my original set, despite the claims on the packaging.

The moral of the story? Nothing new – the oldest one in the book.


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