Know what really burns my biscuits? Capitalism bs. Big businesses that try to take over everything in the markets—and screw over the consumer as much as possible.
Point in case. The battery of my Verizon wireless box died last fall. The warranty had expired—of course—so I didn’t bother replacing the battery until recently because I’ve been without reliable transportation, so there was no need to spend the money for a new battery when I was home 98% of the time and could just plug the box in to an outlet.
Well, now that my Blazer is fixed and I have a new iPad, I wanted a new battery for the wireless so I could use my iPad when I’m out. I stopped at a Verizon kiosk in the mall and asked how much a replacement battery would be.
“Between $30 and $50, depending on the type of battery,” said the clerk.
I blinked. Surely I hadn’t heard correctly. She gave me an odd look like I was going to sprout tentacles.
“For a tiny, flat battery?” I asked, shocked.
“Yes, Verizon makes them expensive so customers will go ahead an upgrade to the latest box.”
Well, at least she was being honest, but when she quoted $150 for the new 4G box, my knees nearly gave out. I’m frugal. Hell, call me Scrooge if you want to because I’ve had to raise kids on a shoe string since…uh…wait, did I have a life before kids? Anyway, I know a lot of people whip out their credit cards and buy whatever, but I’m not like that. I worry about the electric bill. I worry about paying for my kid to go on her Washington D.C. trip, will there be enough groceries between paydays since royalties aren’t due yet, and I stress over whether or not my hubby will be able to go to the dentist since his insurance doesn’t have dental…
So I called said hubby, who told me to go ahead and buy the wireless. “Take it out of your business account, honey. It’ll come off our taxes next year.”
“I know, but $150 for a li’l box? Seriously, it’s just a piece of plastic!”
“You have to have it for your work, babe.”
Grrr. He had me there.
So, I stomped back to the Verizon store.
“Oh, so you decided to get the new 4G box, huh?” the clerk said upon recognizing me. “4G is lightning fast. You’ll love it.”
“Yes.” I sighed. “But it’s under protest.”
She laughed, but I was serious.
The clerk rang up everything. I paid my bill, signed my new contract—and then she drops the bomb on me.
“Btw, 4G won’t be available in our area until the end of the year, and if you decide you don’t want this wireless box, it’s a $75 re-stock fee.”
Now she tells me this??? AFTER I pay for the box and sign the contract??? And $75 is half the cost of the infernal box!
Steam rolled off of me as I walked away with my itty bitty plastic bag.
“What’s wrong, Mommy?” asked my seven year old.
“I hate liars and manipulators,” I answered.
“How did that lady lie to you?”
“She didn’t tell me the truth about what I was buying until after I paid for it.”
“That wasn’t nice of her.”
“Tell me about it.”
I’m sure these clerks and reps are told to do business like this but it’s wrong, wrong, wrong! What happened to a gentleman’s handshake? What happened to the solid foundation of a promise? What the heck happened to quality over quantity?
Don’t mind me. PMS and plastic that’s extraordinarily expensive tends to send me over the edge.