Goldilocks and the three microwave ovens

28 March 2012

This morning, on getting up, I was greeted by the sweet noise and flashing lights of the refuse lorry. How marvellous! Some dustmen may still be on strike, but by now most of them have gone back to work and those hills of rubbish that were all over town are slowly but surely vanishing. Mind you, some of those remaining hills are quite impressive. Today, on my morning run, I passed an assortment of  rubbish that had spread over the whole width of the pavement on 7 metre stretch of length, so I had to run on the road. Luckily this kind of sight is now the exception rather than the rule.

But let me talk about Goldilocks (that’ll be me…) and her microwave ovens. We currently have a microwave oven that is playing up. The wretched thing produces microwaves as soon as you close its door, it doesn’t matter whether it is programmed to heat something up or not. The thing has been unpopular with us since I bought it on a whim (bad, bad idea) a couple of years ago: Right from the start it would just decide to die for up to 10 minutes if it had been running for more than 3 or 4 minutes. Now it seems the thing can’t stop running. Anyway, we’ve finally lost patience and decided to buy a new one.

The microwave oven we want has to be simple: We want something that just produces microwaves, has no grill, no additional baking function, does not show you the time, or reminds you of your great-aunt’s birthday, and certainly has no touchscreen or wireless connection with your fridge to check which groceries need stocking up. Lo and behold, these very simple microwave ovens are still around. I bought one on Amazon in the middle of last week and come Saturday, the delivery man came with the big box. The excitement! I ripped open the box, marvelled at the appliance’s clean lines and stainless steel exterior and was ready to put it into action when we noticed that the back of the oven was badly damaged. 😦 . Blast. How annoying! I had been so looking forward to putting the old microwave thing into a retirement home for confused kitchen appliances. So we put the oven back into the box and got the return paperwork ready.

Wanting a microwave oven REALLY BADLY, I ordered one with another company, that promised to deliver within 24 to 48 hours. Yippeeh! Come Monday, I was excitedly cycling home from work, half expecting to run into the postman trying to deliver my shiny new microwave, only to find an email in my inbox telling me that the delivery would be delayed by 30 days. I was offered to cancel my order in exchange for a voucher with the company, that I could redeem at any time for any other product. Monday was one my very uncool days, so I got in a huff straight away. I did not want a voucher, I wanted my money and back or a microwave delivered asap.

Luckily, the company the company have a lunch hour for their customer service line, which saved them and myself from an unpleasant exchange including an ear-bashing. I hate to do that to people in call centres, but do it anyway on a bad day. I guess, that’s what these poor people get paid for. Anyway,  I had time to ring the bank to see if you can stop a credit card payment that hadn’t cleared (impossible in France, but I was advised to report my card as stolen, that way I could stop the payment 🙂 ).

Then I had a therapeutic conversation with my man and as a result I was able to write a cool and calm and assertive email requesting cancellation of  the order, declining the  voucher, and demanding my money back. To my utter surprise, this worked! (You have to bear in mind that I was dealing with a French company and they can be very difficult…) A couple of hours later I had the confirmation that I would get my reimbursement and the order had been canceled. No ears had been bashed either. Thank goodness.

I ordered the third microwave oven on Monday afternoon. I am now in waiting. Will I be third time lucky?  Will I receive a shiny new and fully functional microwave oven by the end of this week? To pass the time, I keep brushing my golden locks and wait patiently for the five days that the delivery should take  to pass. And again realize how pathetically hung up one get about little things in life like replacing a microwave oven. I promise myself and the world that this won’t happen again. Goldilocks has learned her lesson :).

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