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A fridge too far

1/10/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Craig Marks

On the Mark — By Craig Marks

Nov. 30: Our 13-month-old refrigerator is making barely audible whooping noises. Also, and this is slightly more important, its insides are downright balmy. We call the Large Department Store Chain (LDSC) where we purchased it and set up a repair appointment.

Hey, stuff happens. You gotta take a Zen approach to these things and, besides, we purchased the extended warranty. It’ll be fixed in no time.

Dec. 5: Repairman arrives and pronounces our compressor dead. He can’t fix it today, but he orders the necessary parts to be delivered to our house and sets up an appointment for Dec. 14.

Definitely not the end of the world (which, according to the Mayans, was about two weeks away). We handle this minor inconvenience with calm and grace.

Dec. 13: My wife, Ellen, calls to confirm the Dec. 14 appointment. Customer Service has no record of that appointment but says we’re set up for Dec. 15. OK, fine. When Ellen mentions we haven’t received the parts yet, LDSC checks its database and discovers that one of the parts is on backorder. All three parts will be shipped to our home on Dec. 18, and the appointment is moved to Dec. 24.

Remember to keep things in perspective. When life hands you lemons, you store the lemons in the old refrigerator in the garage, which is on its last legs but still more dependable than this colossal piece of …

Later that evening we go on LDSC’s parts website, which says the supposedly unobtainable part is in stock and can be overnighted to us. When Ellen calls LDSC the next day to inform them of this great news, she’s told that LDSC has two inventory systems — one for online and one for technicians — and never the twain shall meet.

What a novel system! Still, our blood is not boiling. Simmering, perhaps, but not boiling.

Dec. 18: Ellen calls LDSC to make sure the parts have been shipped. Um, no. The part will not be shipped until Jan. 13.

Feeling less Zen-like and more Tasmanian Devil-like.

Extended time on the phone produces a breakthrough. LDSC finds the part. It arrives at our door Dec. 20.

Dec. 24: A Christmas Eve miracle. The parts are here, as is our new old friend, the repairman. He opens the box and …

“I can’t put this in,” he says. “It’s leaking oil.”

Apparently, the compressor was a repackaged one, and from the look of it, had been used as a practice stone by the Canadian National Curling Team. The repairman calls HQ to have another one shipped to us, which will arrive in time for the next scheduled appointment, Dec. 28.

Good-bye, sanity. We draw a large rectangle on the kitchen wall and attempt to shove food in it

Dec. 27: Ellen calls to confirm the Dec. 28 appointment. LDSC has nothing in its system for Dec. 28, but they’ll set one up for Dec. 31.

That evening we receive a call from LDSC, asking if we’d be interested in extending our warranty. I won’t say what our exact response was, but if only our fridge could have been as chilly.

Dec. 28: Just as Ellen is about to leave the house to run some errands, the LDSC repair truck pulls up in our driveway, unannounced. Less than three hours later, the repairman leaves, his work completed. And from the kitchen, but not from the refrigerator, you can hear a very audible whooping sound.

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