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

Makati, oh Makati!

It was my favorite Aunt’s birthday and they were here since last weekend because their van still neded some repair, after an unfortunate accident in the express way last month. As they’ve got nothing to do, they asked me if I wanted to go strolling. I took that opportunity to ask my uncle if he can drive for me as I buy a sofa bed for our new apartment, because we needed one before we eventually move in over the weekend. A deal was done and we found our way driving to Makati to buy  what I needed to buy.

Only in Makati - this traffic enforcer insisted that we had defied a traffic rule --- and he looks uncanningly familiar as well, no? LOLFast forward an hour later, as we were to turn left to Paseo de Roxas from Buendia Avenue, an officer was signaling us to halt and pull over the sidewalk. What just happened? I remember telling Tito that we can still turn left since the left arrow was still on green, meaning it was a legitimate turn. Then this man in yellow approached us and started droning about traffic rules, that the left arrow was no longer lit when we crossed the road. That was… weird. What can we possibly do if he were correct. Are we supposed to stop in the middle of the road? It was a clear case of damn if you do, damn if you don’t. I tried protesting the supposed violation, but he just gave a smug “Dun kayo mag-contest sa station” to us.

Well, we can’t let that event spoil our day, so we just headed straight to Glorietta. After a quick snack in McDonald’s (my nephew JB was with us, so go figure), we went straight to SM to buy a can of brown paint, and see if the sofa bed that Mon and I saw a week ago was still available. All along, I was under the impression that if we were to pay cash, we’d still get about 10% discount from SM. But alas, the listed price was the final price, so I went a little over the budget. I was about to let it go and check the other sofa bed in Landmark, when I convinced myself that it was already a good deal. And just in time, when I already informed the man attending the bed/sofa bed area, about two more groups were looking at the piece, taking pictures and asking if they accept credit card as form of payment. I think JB pretty made it clear that we are getting the bed, as it was the only one left, because he was already lying down on it. LOL We finally have a bed.

I ended up buying the mirror to the right

I think I want potted flowers in our room - SM Makati

We also needed a mirror, so I went back to the area where we had seen these two mirrors (one in black and white, while the other in brown), and chose the latter because I thought brown would look better next to shades of green. And speaking of greens, I also contemplated buying some potted flowers but I am not too sure if we needed some as we were still in the process of fixing our things in the apartment. That will come soon.

We now have a sofa bed!We had a hard time transporting the sofa bed, though, because we were not too sure if it would fit inside the Revo. In the end, we were able to squeeze ourselves in (there were five of us, Tito’s brother Kuya Raymond was in the area, and agreed to help us), with JB just beneath the bed, while I contorted myself beside it. Indeed, if there’s a will, there’s a way. I was also delighted to see the paint settle in nicely since painting them over the weekend. The built-in cabinets looked as if they could take another coating of darker green, so there was no need for me to use the paint I had just bought. After bidding them goodbye because I was just on halfday leave, I arrived in the office hungry and waited for Mon’s training to finish before eating dinner.

On a side note, I was informed that there were few people I know who had the same experience as ours with traffic enforcers. One had the same encounter and was given the same ticket for turning left as the left arrow was allegedly no longer lit. Who knows how many times they do that every time the traffic light changes color? It now makes me wish I can just stay in that area for an hour, and observe and take photos/videos of these abusive enforcers. Also, my sister also gave an anecdote wherein an abusive enforcer was extorting motorists with the same tactic. The last thing they heard about that guy, he was shot by a trigger-happy driver. What goes around comes around. Tito eventually had to claim his license from the police station. He paid Php 500 but the damn (or should I say dumb) officers did not bother giving him a receipt. Well, it was almost dinner time so one can only surmise where that money would be going. Again, what goes around comes around and I am quite hopeful. Ganyan kami sa Makati!

From yellow to mint green

I scrapped the plan of painting our studio apartment from yellow to off-white, rather opting for a lighter shade of green. Mon and I were to meet at 10 AM in SM Makati but I was late because I had to walk from about a block near Ali Mall until MRT. Traffic enforcers were re-routing the vehicles but as I saw that the way ahead had a serious traffic jam, I just decided to walk. However, I was not prepared to see this disaster, and it caused me to arrive around 11 AM to my destination.

Car accident in P. Tuazon near Ali MallWe first had an early lunch because we would be having a long day ahead of us, and besides, it would have been too cumbersome to carry all of the materials we bought to the foodcourt. I have never been inside this ACE Hardware and I had a great time looking at things I wished I could all buy. But we had limited funds and space, that was just wishful thinking. Aside from buying painting materials, we also bought cleaning materials to finally rid the apartment of the thick dust that has enveloped it during those few months of being uninhabited.

We have already agreed on a lighter shade of green, i.e. mint green and the aisle dedicated to paints had a lot of greens to choose from, but honestly, the really pale ones looked just white to me. LOL We picked this bucket of Davies’ paint called ‘Merry Mint‘ and I was hoping that it was enough because we had no time to go back to ACE Hardware again to buy more.

ACE Hardware in SM Makati

On the baggage counter: expect China to have their own version of IKEAWe almost started painting as soon as we arrived, but we forgot to buy an important equipment: an electric fan. We will be painting a room with limited ventilation, and as we did not want to suffocate from the fumes, I had to rush to the nearest PureGold just to buy one. Well, what was supposedly a momentary trip became an hour because the staff who assisted me took forever to find the box in the storage room. In the end, the electric fan was stuffed inside a big box of Piattos, and the guard took a long time inspecting it before letting me exit. All of that for a fan.

I got back to the apartment and Mon had already finished putting on masking tape on the corners of walls and fixtures to prevent them from being accidentally painted over. I was just in time to help painting and I was first not sure with how the paint was clinging onto the yellow walls. After finally putting on the first coat over every yellow surface, I could still see a slight yellow tinge beneath the new paint.

Davies' Merry Mint paintBut we began putting on the second coat over the biggest wall, I was very pleased to see that the mint green has indeed taken over and it looked beautiful. There was one drawback, though. I don’t know what to exactly call that color in the bottom-most part of the wall, where it meets the floor, but the paint was ‘mixing’ with the already existing brown that the resulting surface looked messy. We have also bought a smaller can of paint, in a darker shade of green to paint over that brown part. However, we had to wait until Friday before attempting to paint it again, hoping that there will be no reaction and the darker green will sit well on top of it.

Almost finished - from yellow to mint greenAfter almost five hours of painting, there were almost no yellow surfaces (except for tiny yellow patches where the wall meets the ceiling) and we were both delighted to see the end result. Granted that we had to repaint the built-in cabinets because dark green gave a horrendous outcome, and we also had to deal with that ‘skirting’ on the wall, I got more excited moving in because of the no-longer-yellow walls. We had originally asked the landlady to repaint the apartmetn and we’d just pay for the labor, but good thing it was still not carried out because we actually did not mind painting it on our own.

Measuring up!

Black is beautiful, but too much black is charcoal” — that was the tongue-in-cheek saying I immediately thought of upon receiving the Porter by Yoshida Company bag on the mail yesterday. I already have eight black bags but it did not prevent me from getting this briefcase/messenger bag. I was really happy because the bag was lightweight and both the straps and rolled handles are comfortable on my shoulders. The coated canvas gives off a leathery finish on pictures, but I guess it will hold up really well under the heavy rains.

Porter by Yoshida Company briefcase messenger bag

Porter by Yoshida Company briefcase messenger bag and Red Wing 8875 boots

Anyway, on my way to work today, I dropped by the Handyman store in Farmers Plaza to buy locks and bolts for the apartment we will be renting starting in June. I found the aisle dedicated to these items and I had a great time choosing what should be used to secure our apartment. At first, I was just looking for a traditional door knob but I remember Mon describing an alternative. He was not able to give its exact name but when I saw the ‘deadbolt lock’, I immediately sent him a photo to ask if it was what he had described.  I subsequently bought approximately Php 900-worth of items, which we would be giving to the landlady so that they will be installed during the repainting of the unit.

Locks and bolts from the Handyman storeSpeaking of repainting, I wanted to have the unit’s paint changed from yellow to at least off-white, just like what I’ve mentioned in my previous post. The unit is due to be repaired/renovated for occupation this weekend, so I also asked the landlady if she could have it repainted and I will just pay for the extra cost. I wanted off-white because that is the color of our walls in our house, so the color scheme is a piece of home away from home. Our extremely yellow roomSo during dinner break, Faye accompanied Mon and me to the apartment . We needed to give out the locks to the landlady, and I also had to measure the floor area so we can proceed in deciding what pieces of furniture to purchase/bring. I know that I should have brought a retractable measuring tape, instead of the one made for human/fabric measurements because my hands were a bit dirty as the place was still quite dusty. It was an oddly-shaped studio apartment (well, at least the area excluding the bathroom), so I have drawn a rough sketch on paper of the floor area to facilitate measurement.

Floor plan of the studio apartmentWhen I got there, my immediate decision was to use inches instead of centimeter. I normally use inch-foot when measuring bags and clothing, but I usually resort to centimeter-meter when measuring space or floor area. SO I had no idea why I immediately jumped the gun on inches, when centimeters could have given me a more accurate measurement, especially I needed every single space I could measure. Well, no good crying over spilled milk so I would just have to live with the measurement I have made.

From the sketch, I have generated this floor plan of the unit with approximate measurements of every single side of the polygon. The total floor area is 115.50 ft²! It was not much but I see it as a challenge.  I’m not big in interior decoration as I never had the chance to foray into tinkering whatever it is that we have in our house. But honestly, I see the limited as an opportunity and I was greatly inspired by this “IKEA Small Spaces – Small ideas” video.

I love the idea of maximizing every bit of space available, and having items with multiple functions. What worries me the most is the amount of clothing, shoes and bag I have. I’ve been doing a mental inventory and selection of what items I will be bringing with me; and as much as I have pared down that list, I still could not think of how I will manage to properly fit them in the unit. We will be going to the Makati malls on weekend, and I look forward to seeing possible options for the bed and closet (if we will be getting one). I think our work would be easier because we have the floor plan with us. I just  hope we’ll find a decently-price sofa bed because that is the whole point of moving from Marikina to Makati —to have a decent sleep!