When The Hound admitted that he had been ‘taken’ and asked on Facebook if there was ever a time others had gotten ‘snookered’, I thought that would be a great topic for us here at 4Foxes, 1Hound. However, now that it is here, I realize that I had not really thought it out.
Maybe I have a discerning eye, or maybe I am distrusting, but I haven’t been taken in many times. Of course, it could be that I have not always had a lot of funds to fool with and so haven’t given many the opportunity to cheat me.
I’ve been pretty good at stopping others from being cheated, though. My sister and I had a friend of hers with us many years ago when we were looking at a house for rent. When we left, I listed many things that I saw that were wrong, most of which my sister had not. The friend said to my sister, “I want her to go with me whenever I go to buy a house!”
I stopped others from making bad choices, often on cars and furniture, as well as appliances. My husband tries to be discerning, but he has fallen for the, “I have one of those myself”, or “I got one for my wife” lines from salesmen. When VCRs first were big and more common, we saw one on sale at a local store for an incredibly low price for back then, (now, almost 30 years later, they are not only far less expensive, even DVRs are cheaper). My husband went and came back with one, but it was a BETAMAX. Although many considered them to be superior in picture and sound, I foresaw that they would be dying out rapidly. We got into the car and went back to the store. The salesman tried to argue with me about their vitality, but I said, “You have a no-question return policy. Never mind why; I want to return it” And I was right. BETA movies were soon hard to find and within a few years, they were no longer making them at all, and the video shops had sold off all their copies at a great loss.
I was with him through the purchase of our first P.C. and it still works fine, for what it is; a 64-RAM IBM. Unfortunately, I was not in on the purchase of our second computer, a lemon of a DELL. We found that the model he was talked into had major flaws. They gave us another that was a different refurbished one, which I dubbed “The Dell From Hell”, and I suffered with it for years. You can bet I was in on the purchase of the new one, a Hewlett –Packard All-In-One, with which I am thrilled and use all day, every day.
There is, however, one big time when I was snookered. Some years ago the son of a lovely woman with whom I have been quite friendly moved into town. I had met the son a few times in the past but didn’t know him. He opened a vacuum cleaner shop and when my rug cleaner broke, I took it to him. He told me that it was a poor machine and not worth fixing; indeed, he showed me many that he had in the shop that belonged to others and were no longer running. He sold a new one to me and it worked beautifully, and still does a good job even with people borrowing it . I have had this one repaired after some years, but it is a nice machine. At the time, though, he also tried to talk me into an expensive, imported vacuum cleaner.
He gave me a leaflet on the vacuums and told me that they were the best in the world, in fact, he had talked his mother into getting two for her large house. The machines were very high-end, beyond my reach, but after a series of bad, cheaper vacuum cleaners, I went to him. He tried to sell me other pricey ones, but he had worked his magic and said, “I know you want the [imported ones]. Here’s one I bought from a shop that was closing down that I can let you have at a reasonable price.” It was still a lot for me, and I was worried about replacing the expensive filters ,(“Oh, only once every six months or more”), and high-priced bags, (“Look at how much they hold!”), but I went for it; he gave me the standard, seven-year warranty that came on all models of that brand.
Almost immediately the hose broke and I had to get a new one. “(Gee, that doesn’t happen with these”.) It was exorbitantly high, since it had many features built into it, and I had not been informed that it was only the motor that had the fantastic warranty. I began to believe that the vacuum was actually a used one, because another part of it broke right away.
Within two years the price of the filters, (which needed replacing sooner than I was led to believe), and the already premium bags, (which got filled rather quickly since I had cats and a big dog), rose in price three times. And I found out from the man’s mother that actually, she had bought her own machines many years before and when her son moved to town, she and her husband decided to set him up in business…and suggested that he carry the expensive vacuums. (Hers were top-of-the-line, high-end, probably better made…and new.)
Well, the man expanded to another shop out of town and then sold the place here to a nice employee of his. I got to know her well by buying the danged filters and bags from her until other parts on the stupid machine started breaking. I simply handed it to her, along with my unused bags. I was not unhappy to hear that the fellow sold his second shop as well, before he could cheat many other people.
I learned one lesson: Never to buy a vacuum cleaner that I had not truly researched and never to buy one that was not in a factory-sealed box, no matter how found I am of the person whose son might be selling them.
Has something similar ever happened to you?