Friday, July 17, 2009



Local electrical store currently has a special on rangehood/hotplates/oven job lot. Look at the Westinghouse package, nice!

My oven is very old, 16 years. It's never worked properly (fan forced bit never worked, faulty fan design meant the fan hit the sides when the oven got hot, husband fiddled but then when it went bung again it was out of warranty). It's dated. It's stained from heat leaks around the door. The rangehood is discoloured - the white plastic vent on the top has turned yellow with age, and I can't get the goop out of the inside of it.

I have two weeks to decide, the special finishes at the end of the month.

Getting Old & "diminished reach".

Chatting with my friend the other night I said that we'd have to go to the shops again soon so we could have nice coffee at Gloria Jeans and I could exchange the socks I purchased (she rubbished me about them, a pack of seven pairs, each pair a different colour, with the days of the week on them... you can imagine... "So you need your sox to tell you the day of the week?") I told her that I'd managed to grab the wrong size, I'm an 8, I grabbed a pack (two packs of different types of sox) of size 9-11, which would be way too big for me.

The lament between us was why, when selecting soup, socks or sauce, we'd manage to get some strays in the shopping trolley which weren't at all what we'd selected. For example. Baby apple puree is great for one person when you have pork, not too much waste. One day they had an offer 10 tins of baby apple for $9. Good buy! I found the baby food and scooped up ten. When I arrived home and unpacked the groceries there were three tins of pureed PEARS. What?

Cuppa soup makes a reasonable occasional snack. I have my favourite flavours. Usually mushroom, chicken, chicken and corn, leek and potato, and a few others. I have never liked pea and ham, it's a texture thing (hate the peas, hate the texture of beans, too, eg: refried beans and baked beans... yuck!). Imagine my dismay when I get home and unpack and notice that there are packs of pea and ham, and beef (yuck), cuppa soups. How did THEY get there?

MDFD and I blame night/dawn packers. You just can't get good help any more!

Or is it the infirmity known as "diminished reach"?

Credit Card Crunch

Financial institutions are there to drive us insane.

Just before my whitegoods decided to all pack it in at once, I'd decided to buy myself a new television. The old CRT tv was as heavy as a night safe and about the same size. The colour had been deteriorating for a couple of years and, aside from the violet patches which were appearing on the screen in places, it was starting to suddenly take on a red hue all over, then flash back to normal colour. I thought my eyes were going funny. I had already saved up some money to buy a new fridge, which I'd ordered in October 2008, and a comedy of errors saw that fridge not arrive at my home until about March 7 2009. When they took away the first fridge and delivered the second fridge. Second time was the charm. And the price was excellent.

Anyhoo... I worked out that I could pay off the TV and a couple of other toys I bought in X time and so decided to go ahead. I have one of those credit cards which you can use on special offers to buy interest free for a certain period and I decided to use that feature. I went to the shop after some research and said "Show me." After being shown the goods I said "I'll take this, and that, and that. Can you give me a better deal?" Salesman said "No, not with the interest free period." Okay. Let's phone this extortionate card company and organise this job. (I had already phoned the company as I'd lost the card and hadn't used it for about 3 years or more. The person on the end of the phone said it would all be fine, I could take an old account with me and that would be ID and I could buy the goods without the card. I told them how much I wanted to spend, and the clerk said that should be fine.)

Salesman tallied it all up, phoned the card company and then the rep wanted to speak with me. She told me that my credit was X and it couldn't be raised to cover the extra for my purchases unless I had been making regular payments on the card for the last six months. Not helpful at all. I told her about my call to the company and that I was told it was all fine and she told me that was a mistake. I left the shop and came home after arranging to purchase at least the TV but I had to sort out the card company first.

From home I phoned the card company and the rep was most unhelpful. I think he was in Bombay. Not helpful at all. The credit limit could not be raised. He blamed the current GFC. Idiot. His suggested solution was that I apply for a new card with a higher credit limit. My credit rating is excellent, and this was the only card I would have. A new card was still on its way to me to replace the lost one, but I was so cranky that I thought "What can I do?" The only way to apply for a new card is to front at a shop and purchase something. UPDATE: While the store I wanted to purchase my goods from will accept the card from this provider, they no longer use them as their finance company for customers.

As a member of a credit union for many years, in fact I joined when I purchased my first car in 1984 to borrow the money to purchase that car, I thought it might be expedient to go through the credit union. The credit union used to get their cards from the National Bank. Not any more. They use another mob.... call centre based in BOMBAY! However, I was first put through to someone who took my details. They assured me that I would have the card within seven to ten days. I'm a patient person. I waited.

On day nine I phoned the credit card mob accessed thru the credit union and asked when the card would arrive.

Clerk #1: Everything is fine, card is approved for X amount and it is all on its way. I asked when I'd be getting the card? Put thru to

Clerk #2: Everything is fine, card is approved for X amount and it is all on its way. I asked when I'd be getting the card? Put thru to

Clerk #3: Everything is fine, card is approved for X amount and it is all on its way. I asked when I'd be getting the card? Put thru to

Clerk #3: Everything is fine, card is approved for X amount and it is all on its way. I asked when I'd be getting the card? Put thru to

Clerk #4:
I said: What's going on? Why can't someone tell me when the card will be/whether the card has been despatched? It's day number nine and I need the card to make the purchases as the discount offers close in two days.

Clerk #4: Assured me that all was well... I asked about the record they were looking at... oh. The date is from years ago.

I asked to speak with a supervisor.

Clerk #5, a Supervisor: Oh. Terribly sorry. I can't find your record. How did you apply for your card?

ARRGH! They'd been looking at my application from about seven years ago when I got a card and consolidated some debts on an interest free card forever - paid off two years after the application was made.

Supervisor/Clerk #5 suggested that I was mistaken about my application. It was about this time that I hit the roof. Hard.

After telling me that I would have to reapply and then it would take another 7 to 10 days to get the card I told him I wasn't going to reapply. Once was enough and I had already wasted one hour and thirty minutes on the phone that day trying to sort this mess out. And I added that judging from their level of incompetence I should, perhaps, take my business elsewhere.

He asked for my driver's license as that was one of the forms of ID used to create the card application. Hallelulja! He found me. An additional vowel had somehow found its way into my surname. No wonder they couldn't find me. He said that it had been processed and that he would personally see to it that the name on the application would be corrected and it would proceed through the system. I asked how long it would take before I received my card. He said "We received your application yesterday so it will take seven to ten days from yesterday."

Another dent in my roof.

I got off the phone at that stage before I exploded completely.

What to do next?

I have business with a bank. I'll try them.

Explained the farce which had preceeded my application request. Applied over the phone, took about 30 minutes. It was a Tuesday. I was told that the card would be made the next day and possibly be at the branch I wanted to pick it up at on perhaps Friday. Monday at the latest.

I had the Friday off, and the card was there for me to pick up on Monday. (I picked it up on Tuesday as I miscalculated when the bank closed I arrived at 4:05pm. The bank closed at 4pm.)

I have had one occasion where I've had trouble with my card, phoned the number (on a Sunday) and received help immediately. It was a problem with the merchant's equipment, which was confirmed by the bank rep I spoke with. Another happy customer.

Now, how the hell do I get rid of these other two cards I have which arrived a week or so later, which I haven't activated, when I have to ring Bombay and tell them to cancel the whole thing?

I purchased the goods with a really good discount because I used my own credit card, not the interest free offer, and the interest is 10% lower than the special offer card... but it's still extortionate!


RebeccaH said...

About the shopping thing: It's happened to me more than once. I believe the problem is shelf stockers who don't watch what they're doing, and/or shoppers who take things off the shelf and then put it back in the wrong place. Unless you carefully inspect everything you pick up, you're liable to end up with stuff you didn't want.

Anonymous said...

so, when are expecting delivery of your new cooker then?


kae said...

RebeccaH, it's so annoying!

Hi Orion
I think I might have to let the thing go. On top of the purchase price there is installation - I could probably get it installed for very cheap money wise, but there's stuff going on with that and I don't want to go there. Also, the cooktop installed at the moment has a separate control panel which means a hole in the benchtop which will have to be filled/prettied up.

I might concentrate on shovelling money into the credit card.
I was bad today. I took the sox back and swapped them for some not as pretty sox. I found some more work shoes for $25/pair on spesh, and found two pairs of comfy work shoes. (The shoes I've been wearing to work for the past eight winters and some summers were purchased for about $35/pair in about 1999 or so. Oops, I lie, one pair were chucked out last winter, they wore down and the sole parted company with the rest of he shoe. They were sooooo comfy, and all leather upper. (Purchased at Rima shoes at Roselands!) So if it seems like I'm mad about shoes... well, I used to be, but now I'm afraid I have to be a bit more sensible about them.

kae said...

I have to say, we had coffee at Gloria Jeans. And I discovered their cinnamon scrolls.

Yum! The best cinnamon scrolls I ever tasted... a bit like the ones mum used to buy frozen in a roll, it was green foil covered cardboard roll and you popped off the ends and ripped the cardboard off and sliced it and put it onto a scone tray and.... delish! Came with their own icing, too.

In fact, I brought one home and I will have it with a nice cuppa soon.

Carpe Jugulum said...


you really do have a sh@t amount of luck when it comes to whitegoods, not sure of the solution, although an update every
8 to 10 years is useful, (built in obselescence permitting).

Now Gloria Jeans i put in the same league as Coffee Club (i'm usually in Qld every 6 weeks so i know) that is ghastly coffee and pastries that are even worse. There are a couple of nice places at eagle farm and queen st.

kae said...

Hi Carpe
I like coffee not gritty, not bitter. Usually I have no sugar, but I do like syrups (coconut, vanilla or whatever, but half strength), at GJs I have mocha macca latte (it sounds wanky, but I like it). And truly, the cinnamon scroll was really nice, fluffy and cinnamony.
There's a local caffe which has nice coffee, they use Merlot and it's strong but not bitter. In fact on my first day back at work Monday I offered to pick up coffee for the admin staff, they've all said yes!