This topic was a tough one (“The time I got Snookered” [or otherwise got the short end of the retail stick] ). I had planned to write this last night and have it set to go this morning but I could not think of anything. I did not want to write nothing. So I thought and thought.

Years ago when I was living with my sister after my divorce I ordered the kids’ gifts for Christmas from one of her catalogs. I liked that I could make payments on the items and not have to have it all up front. They would ship it once it was done (sort of like a layaway plan) and the prices were cheap! Most everything was great but then on Christmas morning when my son opened his “projector” (a viewmaster storybook but it projected the images on the wall) he was so excited. I put the batteries in, turned out the lights and flipped it on. He was only five (13 now) and so his favorite part of books was to look at the pictures. About 30 minutes into enjoying his toy I had to take it away from him because it started to smell like something was burning and the smell was coming from the battery compartment. Something in the battery compartment had not been put together properly. I was out that money and my son was out that gift because it would have cost more than what I had paid for it to ship it back to them. I ended up taking him out to the store and letting him pick out something else. He ended up with a regular viewmaster.

There have been times when I have purchased items online that did not turn out to be what I expected. Like the tea kettle that can NOT be used on an electric stove without this little metal thing to go under it. The website had not said anything about that in the product description.

This past year I ordered a pair of pajamas for my oldest son (he is 13 and wears a 12/14) but when they arrived I could tell there was no way they would fit him. I ended up giving them to my nephew (who is 6 and wears a size 8) and it fit him perfectly. With that I was not out the money since that was one less thing I did not have to buy my nephew for Christmas.


I can not remember a time when I was bamboozled though. I know there are people who say that women tend to get shafted when it comes to cars. I never had that problem. When I was 19 and was out on my own. My car ran into some problems. My guy friends went in search of the part I needed telling me they would fix it for me. The group of them (4 guys) all came back and reported the price to me which I thought was outlandish. They had gone to a junkyard in their town and even checked on in the Cities. I had them drive me back to Muscatine where I went to Sell’s. I left my friends in the car and went in. I ended up with the part for half the price they could have gotten it for. Of course that was all thanks to the fact that The Sells had been my neighbors growing up, their kids and I had played together and my parents used to spend time with them. I never worried about getting bamboozled when it came to car repairs.


So it seems my biggest issue has been with ordering things from catalogs. Have you ever received something that had not been put together properly? Did you send it back or were you out the money?


About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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2 Responses to Shorted.

  1. jeff7salter says:

    yeah, catalogs are often bad. But once you find a company that stands behind its products, it can be a good experience. Sportsman’s Guide is a GREAT company. In the few times something has not been as advertised, they’ve usually taken it back, or given me a partial credit, or otherwise satisfied me.
    Products from TV are possibly the worst — generally — since they have so many visual distractions to keep you from focusing on the product itself… and its shoddy construction.


  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I try to avoid ordering from catalogs unless I’m familiar with the name brand or with the company. And it always helps to know people in the car parts business!


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