• Annie Dear: Going to battle with 1-800-buy-junk-on-TV

  • My husband, my darling Sir, has a bit of a technical problem, and one that I am naturally willing to share with my loyal readers.

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  • My husband, my darling Sir, has a bit of a technical problem, and one that I am naturally willing to share with my loyal readers.
    He couldn’t wrap anything in plastic wrap if his life depended on it. “Stand and deliver,” the highwayman would say, urging Sir to wrap his life savings in Glad Wrap. Sir would very happily do so, not being one to choose earthbound valuables against his own life, but with his inability to face the challenges of wrapping anything, other than his own personal laughing gear around a hamburger, he would be doomed.
    I still remember him and my Canberra-living brother-in-law having a tussle or two in the kitchen back in Sydney as they both tried to overcome the omniscient power of the plastic wrap there, both failing miserably and admitting defeat.
    So I fell to the advertising charms of the “as seen on TV” commercials for a product called Wraptastic – a device which supposedly will restore his faith in all things wrapping, and I just couldn’t help myself.
    I made the dastardly mistake of calling the 1-800 number. Now it’s been some time since I’ve succumbed to this particular Siren of Advertising, so I was absolutely taken aback by the fact that now my entire dealing had to be done with a computerized phone system.
    No “press 1 for English,” no “your call is important to us” (yeah, right, if it was so important – have a human talk to me) – none of that. It was unashamedly a robot.
    So to order this piece of machinery, which will prove once and for all if my husband is indeed an idiot or not, it was a 25-minute ordeal of saying things, and pressing buttons, and spelling, ad infinitum my name, address and phone number.
    Now you may scoff at this, but let me tell you, if you have even the vaguest of accents, the robot immediately goes into “Danger, Will Robinson” mode, and hangs up.
    So trying my best to sound like – oh, I don’t know – John Wayne, I finally managed to place the order.
    And wouldn’t you know it – my dear friend in Sydney – Kezza – has developed a condition where she cannot sit in a hard chair for more than four minutes, and so I recalled another “as seen on TV” product, which I knew she would really appreciate.
    So I called that toll-free number, and got – you guessed it – the entire robot thing again. I got, I would say 95 percent through the process, but instead of hitting the # sign, I accidentally disconnected the call. Well shiver me timbers, blow me down, and all that. Had I placed the order? Was it dangling somewhere in space?
    So I called customer service the next day – getting that number in and of itself was a chore – and placed the order with a living person.
    Page 2 of 2 - Now I have a new dilemma – I received the confirmation email today, to discover my last name has been unmercifully butchered, so again, I have no idea if the order will go through, as it doesn’t come within a bull’s roar of the name on my credit card.
    I will now have a stiff gin, and will try again.
    Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc @hotmail.com.

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