"The Speed of Electronics"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, June 8, 2012

It happened again – I spent a whole day reaping the benefits of the lightening speed of electronics!
I had a short list of three items I wished to have repaired or replaced and I chose to look on the net. My first item, a Philips-Norelco razor, led me to a number of companies listed under Norelco Razor but I could not find a repair facility.

I did locate the manufacturer’s phone number and after the required button pushing was completed; I reached a young woman who apparently did not like to talk to anyone. I wasn’t even using my sexy voice yet her first question was, “What is your phone number?” She then needed my email and location addresses.

I interrupted her monolog of questions and asked; “Do you have another of the razor I presently own and am very happy with, (I provided the model number) or can I have it repaired?” She responded she was unsure but if I took my razor to a repair shop they might fix it.

At this point, I told the person I thought that was a good idea and asked if I could have the location of a shop near where I lived. I was told, “Look in your yellow pages.” When I said I lived in a very small town and my yellow book totaled only 25 pages and 13 of them advertised my local phone company, she expressed disbelief. So I took a new approach by asking if there was an authorized repair service I could contact. I was told in an irritated voice, “Philips Norelco no longer has an authorized repair station for razors” and then she hung up.

The cost of the model razor I own was over $100 several years ago. I can only guess what it may be priced at now (I could not ask the manufacturers rep due to being hung up on). I am convinced after the conversation however it is time to try a different brand of razor so I chucked the old one I loved in the garbage and now have another item to add to my list – find a new razor I like as well.

The first item on my list only took half a day so I moved on to the second. I needed a common, replaceable part for my Frigidaire window air conditioner. When I once again (with lightening speed) canvassed through the choices on the Internet I found 10 pages of parts sales outlets. They all offered quick response. I tried a company which advertised discounts thinking I would get a deal. Back to pushing buttons on the phone and after eight or 10, I found a person. I was asked for the model number of my unit and I gave it happy to know I was going to locate the part I needed. Unfortunately it was not to be, I was told there was no such model number.

OK, so I actually doubted myself and checked the model number I had provided again on both of my identical units and learned it was correct. Now back to the astounding, speedy Internet to find yet another choice of whom to talk to. I located a factory service (they still had them, unlike Norelco) and began the push button ordeal on the phone. I guess we can assume no one answers a phone; they all have the leisure of letting us punch our way into them. Finally, a person answered and verified my model number, took my order for the part I requested then announced it was “out-of-stock.” Of course, isn’t it always? She did provide the part number, which led me back to a list of parts dealers who numbered nine.

At no time did I get through the nine calls without trying to wear out the buttons on my phone by having to punch them repeatedly. I was told; the part was not available, there was no after market replacement, there was no such part number, etc., etc. Exhausted, I gave up for the day.

The next day, I called the factory number back and asked to place my order on back order if needed. Lucky me, they had just received a shipment and would send it in seven to 10 days, hope it doesn’t get too hot before then.

My third item was a remote doorbell. I learned that most of them have a short life expectancy (that’s why I had to get a new one). After consulting my lightening-speed Internet, I learned there was an extremely great model that will work with numerous push buttons for various doors. Back to the speedy phone and after sorting through several choices and pounding and punching the buttons, I found a company that could sell me the doorbell. Lo and behold even though they said on their confirming email (yes this time I had to provide it) it would ship the day of order, they ran out and it went on back order.

I have received a “maybe” ship day each time I inquire, with the assurance my credit card will not be charged until the item ships.

To conclude, after days spent with the time-saving Internet, I have two of my three items ordered (none actually in my hand) and still need to look for a razor. I’ll purchase it locally because I’m too weary to start the search routine and be disappointed and frustrated — again.

As I see it, perhaps all the search engines have ganged up and turned against me — or maybe everyone?




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