Anson’s and Abenson’s fail: appliances nightmare

Who would have thought that acquiring appliances, whether free or paid, can end up being a total headache. And our unfortunate experiences were not even limited to a single appliance store. Following an email sent to us by the organizers, Mon and I went with a couple of officemates to Abenson’s Avant to claim our prizes. We took our dinner break as the perfect time to claim them, as we thought that it won’t take that long just to retrieve already-reserved items. We were absolutely mistaken.

I was itching to call the customer service at 09209328523 - Abenson's Avant in Greenbelt

We got there just fine, but we were made to wait for almost two hours. My rice cooker was nowhere in sight, as well as Mon’s oven toaster. The staff who attended us gave Mon his digital camera. It was not the exact model indicated by the organizers, and the lady took the liberty of choosing a supposedly better than the intended model, with the same price. (We just found out when we got back in the office that she gave a lower model and it was actually cheaper as well. Tsk tsk.) There were also missing sandwich makers and blenders. LOL We knew that we did not even pay for them, but it was just unimaginable that an appliance store located in one of the prime locations in Metro Manila, would be so lacking in quality service. Those of us who got their prizes on the spot, still had to wait for thirty minutes, and had to sign receipts after another (e.g. Jenny signed five receipts, even if she were only claiming two items). For the unfortunate ones, we were promised that they will deliver our items in the office, just to compensate with the bad service.

It did not stop there, though. When Mama visited us last Tuesday in Makati, she went with us to Anson’s – Makati (the one across from Landmark) to buy our personal refrigerator. We just needed a small one because of our limited space, and we had our eyes on a Sanyo model because I have measured its designated space, and it would fit inside, with only about an inch on both sides.

Our new but problematic refrigerator

We did not test the refrigerator in the store, but we immediately did so once we got back in the apartment. We followed the directions in the manual for the first usage instructions and it worked properly, with the freezer having a thin layer of frost within the twenty minutes. But as we had to go home in our respective houses the same night after work, there was no use keeping the refrigerator on as it does not have anything inside.

Fast forward to going home after Wednesday’s shift, I was excited to plug the refrigerator again, hoping to drink a cold glass of water for a change, because we have been drinking not-so-cold ones for a couple of days already. I even put water in the ice cube maker, hoping to try its freezing power. So imagine my shock when Mon woke me up the following morning and informed me that the freezer did not freeze at all. In fact, there was not even the slightest trace of coldness inside. I still haven’t taken my first cup of coffee but the alarming news was a jolt better than that.

I left the manual in the office, so I just called Anson’s customer service from what I searched online. Nothing happened with that call, so I just went back to their store and personally complain about a defective unit. What puzzled me was that I was informed that their procedure for cases like this would be to wait for their home service team to personally inspect and ‘repair’ the item in our apartment, and after looking at it, replace it with a new unit. I did not bother contesting this development, but I was not too happy with the schedule being on Monday as I will be starting my new job that day.

I got in the office, talked to Faye and she gave sense in me that Anson’s reason was, well, irrational. Had I bought a microwave oven and found out two days after that it was a defective unit, I can carry the unit back to the store and ask for an outright replacement. Why can’t the same thing be true for a refrigerator? Sure it was bulkier than a microwave, but our defective unit clearly deserved an outright replacement as well. So after placing a call back to the store, I was informed that I can actually bring the unit back and they will replace it. Why haven’t they told me of the same thing when I was physically there two hours ago. >_<

So after all that happened, the refrigerator got replaced and the freezer was already frosting in the first three minutes. I am admittedly not too happy with these unfortunate experiences with both Anson’s and Abenson’s, and I am not looking forward to buying anything from them in the near future. If only there was a Western store in the area, I could have bought our refrigerator from them, especially they are known to give out freebies. LOL

Not to be dissuaded by a problematic buyer

One of the first things I have brought inside the apartment was a full-length mirror — something I did not have in our house in Marikina. As we still do not have a closet, all of our clothes are still to be taken out of  our luggages and bags. We also do not have a flat iron, so we just resorted to the old ‘pagpag-and-hagod’ method to sort out wrinkles.

Our nice mirror - PLAY by Comme des Garçons shirt,  brick pants, Red Wing 2913 boots and green Prada tessuto robot tote

Last Friday, I was shocked to see that an item sent via Registered Mail, which I thought to have been lost in transit to a buyer in Netherlands, suddenly showed up as “Item Delivered” in PhilPost’s online tracking. It has been almost a month since I sent the item and as the online tracking was under maintenance for weeks already, I was left with no choice but to refund the buyer. My mistake because I was too quick to refund her without waiting for Ebay to do so. Maybe I just wanted the whole thing to be over, and I was counting on the buyer’s honesty that she would return my funds back to my PayPal account once she gets the bag. Of course, I was wrong and naïve.

PhilPost tracking showing delivery to NetherlandsMy initial reaction was to dispute the case, but as it was already past the 45-day period to open an appeal, I was left with no other choice but to contact the buyer directly. In my email, I have informed her about the online tracking showing delivery, and if it was okay, she could send my money back OR return my item because I cannot NOT have both the funds and the bag. I gave her 24 hours to reply because we live in different time zones, and maybe she was busy with something. Then when I received her reply, she mentioned that she was preoccupied (for three weeks, huh?), that was why she was unable to give a feedback about the bag. The catch was, she did not like the bag because it was too small, has several scratches and the leather was stiff. Hmmm… I have disclosed all information in the auction description so I did not get why she was just telling me that when I already contacted her. As a buyer myself, my initial reaction would be to immediately contact the seller and inform her my dissatisfaction. So why wait for 20 days to react? I guess somebody wanted a free bag.

The worst thing about her reply was she was short of asking money from me so that she can send my item back. The auction description clearly mentioned that in cases of return, the buyer has to pay for return shipping. It was fair enough, considering that as Ebay and PayPal have a 21-day hold on my received funds, I have taken the shipping fee to Netherlands out of my own pocket. Therefor, it was unjust tht I shell out money just to get my bag back.

She did not bother replying until I gave her an implied warning about her school hearing from me, and discussing in full details about her fraudulent online activities. I managed to contact another seller from Slovenia, who received a negative feedback from her on May 5, 2013. I found it too hard to believe that she was busy to inform me of her dissatisfaction, yet she managed to give that poor seller a negative feedback three days after receiving my bag. I think her school administrator would not be too pleased to hear that they are employing a teacher with questionable morals in their school.

I think she got scared after that stern warning, as I flat out told her that all that hassle was not worth it — all of that for a bag. So in the end, she ended up shouldering the return shipping and eventually sent the item back to me. However, she did not mark the item as a “Returned Merchandise” and I have a feeling I will end up paying custom fees for a returned item. In my return policy, I have specified to send the item with the original packaging, but apparently, this seller was intent in keeping a bag and thought she got away after not hearing from me since May 2. What a devious buyer.

A 500g parcel to be sent to US via Philpost's IEMSMoral of the story? Do not use Registered Mail because it takes forever. I am now using International Express Mail Service (IEMS) from PhilPost, and even if it was slightly more expensive, the 3-5 working days delivery time would surely be more favorable against impatient overseas buyer. For instance, a 500g parcel sent to US via Registered Mail cost Php 885 (and Php 1,770 once it passes the 500g mark), while a similar weight via IEMS cost me Php 1,409 (and Php 1,853 if more than 500g). PhilPost’s website is also updated with the fee, and they have the rates printed and inside a clear book so they are definitely accurate. (See link: http://philpost.gov.ph/web/international-mail-rates/) Well, the new batch of items I have sent via IEMS should be received by early next week, but my first experience of IEMS years ago was pleasant. I do hope that my funds get released earlier than the expected 21-day holding period because shipping via IEMS was no dime a dozen!

P.S.

Mama, Kuya and Ate Ja visited our apartment today, and I was so happy they thought our unit was fair enough! ^_^

Tuesday ordeal: apartment hunting

When I reported a lost ATM card two weeks ago, I was given an option to forward the replacement to the branch in Ayala Avenue, instead of claiming it from the branch where I opened the account (i.e. Ortigas). I declined because I also needed to claim statements (for lack of better word, because I honestly do not know what they are called) of cleared checks I have issued and even if this is my third year paying for the mortgage, I had no idea right from the start that such statements should be personally claimed and are not mailed by UCPB. They only keep six months-worth of letters, and the rest would be shredded. =/

Oh, hello OrtigasFirst of all, two weeks —it took a total of two complete weeks for UCPB to issue a replacement card. When I requested for one in April 23, the staff in Ayala branch informed me that the new card can be claimed in about a week. Good thing I was in no rush to use the new one, but surely the circumstances would be different if it were for my payroll account.

I could not remember when was the last time I’ve been in the Ortigas area. I was also about to visit the developer, whose office was located near the UCPB – Ortigas branch but decided against it at the last minute. It took me about ten minutes to do all of my business in the bank, and when I was about to leave their building, I almost hailed a cab en route to Makati. I was able to stop myself. In the following weeks, I will be surely having a lot of things to buy and pay for. I am in the process of moving out of our house and moving in to an apartment in the Makati-Pasay area. All unnecessary expenses should be kept at a minimum, and as it was only about noon , I could surely walk until EDSA and just take a bus. LOL I was extremely proud of myself. =D

I had to be in Makati early as well, because Mon and I would be searching for prospective apartments to rent. It was no easy task and we found ourselves bickering during the entire time about various concerns regarding cost, location and accessibility. I was not really happy with all of the places that we have visited because it was either the monthly rent was not commensurate with the floor area, or the justifiably-priced was located in an unaccessible location. And then around dinner time, I thought of calling the apartment I have inquired from last week (who had mentioned that somebody had already gotten an available unit ahead of us), and tried my luck if the unit was still available. To my surprise, I was informed that they still have an available one and as we barely finished our dinner, we headed straight away to the apartment.

The studio-type apartment that we found

When we met the landlady in the corner of the street, she gave a caveat that the place was not that big. I braced myself to see the same floor area of the one we have visited earlier (i.e. the price that is non-commensurate with the floor area), just to lower my expectations. But when we finally opened the door of the apartment, it wasn’t that bad and I was happy to see that it was not a bare and square area, similar to the one located in the Palanan area. And unlike that apartment located on the third floor, this one was on the ground floor, so it won’t be such a pain to go back if ever we left something . The landlady was a kind middle-aged woman, who informed me that the one who looked and supposedly got the unit would not be able to reserve it until he gets his salary on the 15th. I did not hesitate to give the downpayment because clearly there was no way I was letting go of the unit.

So now, Mon and I have about three weeks to prepare the place for habitation. I am not a fan of the yellow walls and I am thinking of having it repainted at least an off-white color, similar to our walls at home. This will be our home away from home, so I want the walls to look as remotely identical to my present room. =)

Unscrew you, Technomarine!

Almost six months ago, I got a free Technomarine watch from the company I’ve been working for as a token of appreciation for the five-year service. Since getting it, I have never bothered changing the date and day because I had no clue how to work that dial to the right. As long as the time is right, then I’m fine with that. Fast forward yesterday (or today as it is already early Monday morning), I had a problem with the watch. I was on my way to UP and was chasing the time before 5:00 PM in order to get the official photos of my graduation last Saturday. I was in no rush because I thought I still had about 45 minutes to reach the UP Film Center, so I was really lax with my movement. However, I’ve noticed that the time in my watch was 30 minutes late from the time on my cellphone — my watch has stopped working.

I initially had no luck in adjusting the time, it was really difficult to unscrew this watch - Technomarine watch

We were in Trinoma to watch Iron Man 3 and I was already in the brink of visiting Technomarine’s shop on the 3rd floor because the watch is still under warranty for eighteen more months. But what would I say? Sure they will ask about what happened, and I honestly did not know whether I have mishandled the watch prior to leaving the house. I did not want to lie point blank and look foolish. Also, I did not have the warranty card with me as it was stashed in the box at home, so I subsequently decided to just visit another shop in the Makati area on Monday . So the moment I reached my room, I immediately looked for the box and check if all the accessories were still in: all clear. Being the curious, mend-it-on-your-own person that I am, I took out the little screw driver provided and tinkered with that dial. Nothing happened. I was also gullible and desperate enough to use cylindrical cap of the screw driver because I thought it was intended to turn the dial. LOL No chance. I had a feeling that I just needed to move that dial and/or unstuck something inside and then it would work again.

I understand both of the languages, but still the manual was of no help - Technomarine watch

I looked at the manual (or more of a leaflet, because it was so miniscule), and maybe I would have more luck since the first and last time I’ve looked at it when I got the watch. I might have been missing something because I was still not able to make the 1-2-3 nor A-B work. It says ‘unscrew’ the dial but  my right fingers were already sore from the repeated attempts to at least see a development. I got so frustrated that I had a momentary fit and threw the watch haphazardly to the box. Then something magical happened: it started ticking again!

Using a face towel and a microfiber cloth to unscrew the watch - Technomarine watchHowever, there was clearly a disparity with the time displayed on the watch and the actual time, and the problem of unscrewing that dial still persisted. I was worried to use a pair of tweezers, or pliers or other tools because it might put noticeable dents and it was a sure way to void the warranty. So I tried my luck with a face towel and a microfiber cloth (I usually use to clean optics) because I needed a good grip. And then for the first time in months, I finally managed to unscrew the dial. LOL I heard the “Hallelujah Chorus” being played by an invisible orchestra.

For the first time ever, the watch reflects the correct day and date - Technomarine watch

I was very pleased because I no longer have to wake up early and make a beeline for the mall to have the watch checked and be subjected, or worse, be forced to lie. I also then promise to take more care of the watch as I know I’m not too inclined to buy this kind of watch for myself. Lesson learned: be extra careful!

P.S.

Happy 4Y8M Mon! =)