Coffee heat rising

AMEX to the Rescue!

By Golly! American Express’s white charger just lurched into battle! All it took to apply the spurs was a couple of phone calls. 

The refrigerator mess has gotten worse and worse. The damn thing that I spent $1440 on is a piece of junk: verifiable, genu-wine junk. The retailer, B&B Appliances, refuses to take it back, telling me effectively “Tough nougies, and screw you very much.”

Guess I haven’t gone into detail about that fine fiasco.

My old fridge being on its last legs, I bought a new GE refrigerator to replace my old side-by-side compartment fridge  and freezer. The new one is an old-fashioned model with one refrigerator compartment and one top freezer compartment. This, because sometimes the side-by-side sections in the previous (otherwise perfectly fine…) fridge weren’t wide enough to accommodate some item I wanted to put in there.

I bought this at the venerable B&B Appliances, primarily by way of “buying local.” At the same time I also purchased a new microwave, because the old one would barely reheat a cup of coffee when set on “high.” I figure when Satan & Proserpine, the house’s previous owners, did their gigantic house remodeling job, they must have bought those appliances at the same time. So, of course…they’re crapping out at the same time!

Big mistake, this purchase:

  • The refrigerator compartment is too small to hold more than a day or two worth of food.
  • The freezer has no ice-maker.
  • The thing makes a weird, loud noise when it kicks on, a kind of uproarious BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ….
  • Turns out you can’t buy ice trays for love nor money. NO ONE SELLS THEM! Well…except Amazon. And they’re all those plastic things, the ones you have to twist and wrestle with to get the ice cubes out. And good luck with that.
  • This means to have ice, I’ll have to buy bags of Crystal ice…no longer easy to find, because…well, everyone has fridges with ice-makers.

So…here I yam, figuring I’m going to have to donate this piece of junk to charity (won’t THEY be pleased!) and pony up another $1500 for a decent fridge. I trudge around Best Buy, eyeballing the merchandise. This morning — well, yesterday morning, because it’s 3 a.m. the next day as we scribble — I’m cruising home from Best Buy and AJ’s, and as I turn into the ’Hood, I spot Marge out in front of her house. Marge is the Late, Great Wade’s wife — he died in surgery for recurrent brain tumors. She has relatives in the Midwest and also a house up north in the mountains, so she’s not home a lot.

I stop and say hello. She asks how I’m doing, and I relate a Reader’s Digest Condensed Version of my sad story.

Says she, barely taking a breath, “Have you disputed the charge with American Express?

Uhmmm….  “N-n-n-o-o…hadn’t thought of that.”

“Well, do it. That’s why you have an American Express card.”

Holy Mackerel! Not to say “duuuuhhhhhh…..”

Back in the house…grab the AMEX card…grab the phone…dial the number on the back of the card. Describe the whole sad/outrageous story to the CSR. She takes my phone number. She says they’ll get on it…

Shortly, the phone rings: AMEX dispute/fraud department. I recite the tale to that guy. He transcribes the story in minute detail. And he seems to take this shenanigan quite seriously. He says they’ll have a chat with B&B.

Frankly, I’ll be VERY surprised if they get far. But on the other hand it was pretty clear that B&B — like everybody else and his little brother — figures they can take advantage of an Old Bat and get away with it. They may not feel the same way when confronted with the corporate might of American Express. 😀

In that case, presumably they’ll come and get their ludicrous excuse for a refrigerator. If not, I’m donating it to the Salvation Army, which at least will allow me to deduct some or all of the cost from my income taxes. Tomorrow morning I’ll buy or (preferably) borrow a Coleman cooler, which will hold food for a couple of days, until I can get Best Buy over here with a real refrigerator. Fortunately, I have a chest freezer, which can hold the currently small inventory of frozen stuff and maybe some ice.

Tomorrow (uhmm…make that “today”) Best Buy is sending a crew over to install the Ring camera and lights I bought. They’re going on the east side under the eaves (I hope), where they will capture a clear view of the shenanigans at Tony the Romanian Landlord’s co-ed reform school.

He had the darlin’s out of there for a week or 10 days — apparently after the cops ambushed him, he had to make some serious renovations to the inside of that house. But this afternoon he caravaned them all back in several cars. If these devices aren’t too hard to use, I may install another one over the front door, so I can see who’s outside before opening to the next pounding on the screen.

The little sweeties were throwing rocks at the side of the house again last night. And…heh! The front door to that house apparently sticks when you try to close it. So every time they go in or out, they SLAM!!!! the door so hard you can hear the thud! all the way on the far end of my house, where the concussion vibrates the walls and windows. Tony must figure that’s a real funny way to inflict a little extra revenge on the neighbors; otherwise he would have told the workmen he’s had over there to fix the goddamn door.

I imagine when they see that camera, they’ll throw rocks at that, too, until they break it.

Desert landscaping — most of the houses here have xeric landscaping — is often decorated with fake “streams”of river rock, fist-sized pieces of granite and whatnot eroded into smooth ovals, just about perfect for throwing around. I’ve got a fair amount of it in my front yard, and the house directly next door to the Romanian reform school also has a “river”of rock, giving the kiddies a gold mine of projectiles to throw around.

Buying the damn camera and installing it will set me back another $400, on top of the $1500 for the microwave and the junk fridge. Fortunately, there’s plenty in the checking account for the nonce. But it means that I’ll have to make another drawdown from savings to cover the bills.

Not the end of the world…unless we have another recession, another stock market crash. Which, the way life has been going of late, you can be sure will inevitably happen about the time all these fine “improvements” are installed.

9 thoughts on “AMEX to the Rescue!”

  1. I don’t have an AMEX card so don’t know much about them, but I sure hope they can get your money back. What is wrong with these businesses that treat customers like shigetty, anyway? Don’t they want repeat customers? Once you get your money back, post on YELP about your experience, maybe you can warn someone away from the business. BTW, I hope the microwave is working properly!
    So Tony is housing teens instead of the elderly? Are these kids not under some kind of supervision? Can you complain to the state agency in charge of such businesses?
    I’m glad you got the Ring cameras installed. You definitely need some kind of security system.

    • LOL! I think the micro works, but just now I can’t find the instructions (hope I didn’t throw them out by accident!). Cooked this morning’s bacon just fine, though.

      Yes. Tony has gone into the social-service halfway house bidness. This is apparently another Romanian Thing. I do not know wehther any adult is in there supervising the brats. If so, they’re not paying enough attention to notice when the little dears throw rocks at my house.

      He has both girls and boys over there. A-n-n-d…as it develops, you’re not supposed to house both sexes under the same roof. I learned this from my friend Judith, who has spent her adult life working as a psychiatric social worker. I do not know whether the cop was aware of this. But he may have been, If so, that may have led to Tony’s present disruption: he took everybody out of the house, had a bunch of renovation-y work done on it, and now has brought the li’l dears back.

      Best Buy is supposed to come this afternoon and install the cameras. It’ll be interesting to see what they record…if anything.

    • Hot diggety, I’ll tellya: if you have only one credit card, the one you want is AMEX. Their customer service can NOT be beat. If they’re not on your side, they at least do a convincing job of making you feel like they are. And about 8 or 9 times out of 10, they succeed in shaking things out to your satisfaction.

      I reckon the Real Problem here is that I failed to do my homework. Sentimentally enough, I just wanted to support a locally owned business. This one, in particular, has been around long enough that you could think of it as Old Phoenix. But…welllll….”been around” does not seem to mean honest, ethical, and high in quality. Ohhhh well… Next time: Best Buy!

      Yes, this seems to be a new aspect of the good Tony’s enterprises. You have to hand it to him: he’s ambitious, he works hard, and he’s smart. It’s unclear to me how much “supervision” is involved. Bear in mind, Maricopa County is huge. That means a a commensurately HUGE number of kids. And if even a small proportion of those kids are trouble-makers, we end up with a huge number of troublesome brats.

      Yes, I think the Ring lights/camera/[let’s hope not much] action will be useful. Even in the absence of whatEVER our honored Tony is up to (which may in fact be relatively benign), this place is overrun with burglars, petty thieves, rapists, and drug addicts. So yes…it’s very possible that more than just lights are needed.

  2. I’m confused. Did the company deliver the refrigerator model you ordered or did they deliver a different model while claiming it is the one you ordered?

    • It’s the same model, I believe. I just didn’t realize a) that it sounds like a 747 when it’s running; b) that the freezer-on-top arrangement means, strangely, a LOT less space in the downstairs refrigerator section; and c) because most people now have freezers with ice-makers, it’s very difficult to find ice-cube trays. That means you pretty much HAVE to buy bags of ice cubes, unless you can find trays at a Goodwill somewhere.

      However… it occurs to me that you can get little under-the-desk fridges for office use. If I could find a little freezer that would hold enough stuff to make room in the kitchen fridge, I could just put a bag of ice in the kitchen unit’s freezer compartment.

      Lookit these little critters, for example:

      One of those, parked around the corner in the front bedroom, would serve nicely to hold frozen veggies and meats. Then the kitchen freezer could hold a bag of Crystal ice, larger packages of frozen stuff, and things you think you want to use in the very near future.

      😀 It’s hard not to suspect that my problem is I’ve become sot in my ways!

  3. I thought I bought my ice cube tray at Walmart. I suppose it could have been Target. It is the kind you twist to get the cubes out. But I haven’t had a problem with it even with arthritis in my hands.
    I have a large freezer on-the-top Kenmore because I like plenty of freezer space. But there are several other things I don’t like about it.
    However, I got it when my prior refrigerator died. And I didn’t take the time to check it out thoroughly.

    • I’ll bet they’re the same or similar models. The freezer compartment is pretty generous in size…but it doesn’t come with any shelves! So that makes it hard to organize a lot of frozen packages. Fortunately I have a big chest freezer, which does have baskets and shelves where you can put things.

      At any rate, it’s probably easier to just buy bags of ice. Tap water here doesn’t taste very good. Where I am, it’s not vile (in the far West Valley, you wouldn’t want to drink the stuff), but it’s still hard enough that ice is not great.

      Anyway, I’m waiting till the dust settles. Then figure I may buy a sanely designed fridge at Best Buy and donate this thing to Goodwill. Or sell it on Facebook…??

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