Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Bargainator

I pride myself on getting the most for every dollar. I rarely pay full price for anything and it's only if it's something we're in desperate need of or just one of those finds that you know you can't possibly live without.

But when it comes to driving a hard bargain, I'm afraid the mother is the reigning queen. She went to great lengths to prove it once again last night.

As I rounded the corner at home, I saw a delivery truck in front of This D*mn House. Two guys were unloading boxes. As I pulled into the driveway, one guy was making another trip. They smiled and waved and promptly disappeared as I parked the car. My online purchases from just the other night appeared to have arrived!

The mother opened the door as I stepped on the porch and we dragged it all inside. She was like a kid on Christmas. She had a lamp box open before I could even get the door closed up. Immediately, though, the mood grew somber. "Um, this is not right." I glanced over and the shade she was holding looked like the one I'd ordered. She was holding a harp with the finial attached. It appeared to be resin with a brass finish. "This is supposed to be crystal," she said, shaking the finial in her hand.

Crystal? I didn't remember seeing anything about crystal. True, the floor lamp has a crystal accent, but I didn't recall anything about crystal where the table lamps were concerned. I glanced at the photo in the catalog. The finial in the picture didn't look crystal, at least not to me. Then the mother's index finger smacked down on the description beneath the lamps. The very first words? Crystal finial. This doesn't look like crystal, does it? Nope.

In the second box, the finial is not only crystal, it doesn't even have a brass finish. It has a bronze one!

So the mother got one the phone and rang up customer service. They started to protest. Then she directed them to the catalog page and the description on it. "Yes, but nothing came up online to point out this was an error. No one called to say there was an error. All I know is what I'm reading in the catalog," argued the mother.

Then, the arguing ceased. She got put on hold and a few minutes later, after a string of uh-huhs, I hear her say: "Yes, that would be good" and she shoots me a thumbs up.

A few minutes later she turns to me and says: "They're crediting $42 to your account." I stood there, mouth open, jaw hanging, in complete awe of my mother, The Bargainator.

Since they weren't going back, I went ahead and assembled one of the lamps, giving it a trial run in its new spot. Yep. Looks like it belongs there already. Still have to completely unpack the other two lamps and the mystery box.

More on that later...