Wednesday, February 17, 2010
In January 2009 I bought a new vacuum cleaner. I knew someone who had the same model, and she raved about it. The reviews (at that time) were pretty good.
But it was a problem from Day 1 - or rather, Day 2. The first time I used it, it worked fine. The second time I went to use it, it wouldn't power on.
Fine: It was under warranty. (I'd even bought the extended warranty.) I took it back - and found out it took six weeks to process a repair.
OK: I borrowed a neighbor's vacuum cleaner until mine got fixed.
I picked it up, brought it home, went to vacuum - and it wouldn't power on. And yes, the outlet was working just fine.
By this time, I was disgusted. I shoved the vacuum cleaner in the closet to deal with later.
But I never did. The thing to do would have been to take it back, right then, and ask for a refund. But for whatever reason, I didn't.
Fast forward to February 2010. I've since bought another vacuum cleaner that works fine, and has that well-made feel that the first vacuum cleaner never had. But that darn non-functioning one was still sitting in my closet. I saw it every day. It brought me down. So I decided it was time - OK, way past time - to deal with the silly thing.
I posted it on my local Freecycle, explaining it was non-functional but could be repaired under warranty, and many people were interested. But when I wrote on Twitter that I planned to just give it away on Freecycle to get it out of my life, someone wrote back and convinced me to try returning it.
I wrote to all the Freecycle people who had expressed an interest, and told them of my new plans. They were all very uderstanding, and cheered me on.
So today I took the vacuum cleaner back to the store. But customer service at the store was close to non-existent; it was hard to even find a sales clerk in the vacuum cleaner section, much less a manager. The only person who might have been able to make an exception to the normal return policy was not in the store today. If I wanted to pursue the return, I'd need to come back another time.
But I noticed another issue, more significant than the extra time I'd need to spend for a doubtful result: I didn't like who I became when I started dealing with the vacuum cleaner. Somehow it brought out the worst in me.
So I came home and gave the vacuum cleaner away on Freecycle, after all. A very nice person came and took it away, within hours of me writing to him.
And I feel wonderful.