Published On: Fri, Apr 11th, 2014

A scam by any other name is still a scam

Dear Editor:

Recently the o.p. published a list of scams that had been compiled by the Attorney General that were especially aimed at senior citizens in West Virginia. So while I sit by my telephone and wait for a call from a Nigerian Prince who needs some help, for which I will be richly rewarded, in shipping a large amount of gold into the U.S. Or the fact that my wife and I had no children, to receive an urgent call from a grandchild who is in desperate need for bail money or hospital expenses as a result of an accident, I shall have to consider some recent events were just a warm up for what lies ahead.

First on the list would be the delay in receiving my wife’s ashes from a local respected (until now) funeral home until the bill was presented some month and one-half after her cremation. Their explanation was they were still waiting for some charges to come in, although I was to learn they had the charges, in hand, a month prior to preparing the bill.

Next, the new mattress, purchased from a long time local store, now doing business at their main showroom out of town, that began to make spring noises and when a service call was requested, was informed that as at the time of purchase, we had not paid for the add-on priority service available at additional to the retail cost, service would require preparing a service request form, five pages that included a demand for photographs of the mattress, box springs and supporting slats and then sit back and wait.

Skipping a couple more until the crown jewel of all, the moment you discover the wash in the dryer is as wet as it was when you put it in over one hour ago. You begin to realize that in 20 years, you have to expect something to need service and by the way, the washer water supply hoses are certainly due for replacement, which could be done at the same time. How much could be involved?

A call to my friends at Whirlpool promises quick service on the washer and dryer from their closest repair service that happens to be in Princeton, WV (just next door) and I can expect to be contacted by them to schedule a service call. It isn’t long until the Whirlpool people in Princeton call to tell me that the dryer service call is $100 plus parts and labor and the service call on the washer (at the same time) is at a special reduced rate of $80 plus parts and labor. Doing the math, that’s $180 just to get here, but then it is a long drive. “I’ll call you back.”

On to Sears All Brands Repair. Yes, they do washing machine hose replacement, as I recall from my daze, it was something like $100 for the service call, plus parts and labor. Understand my daze as I was told that they did not do dryers, but gave me the phone number of a Sears department that did. It turns out the department that does it is their carpet cleaning unit, that also with their heavy duty vacuum cleans out the exhaust tubing from outside. Now that is important unless you ask the question – do they clean out the inside of the dryer of the collected lint? – because they don’t. They do not come inside – only working from the outside. It is suggested that you get someone else to do that job.

Thinking back, if I had received that phone call telling me that I had won that multi-million dollar lottery and all I had to do was send them a couple of hundred for expenses, a little earlier, I could have purchased all new appliances in the first place and avoided all of that stuff about service calls. Sometimes you are lucky and sometimes you are not.

Excuse me, there goes the doorbell, it could be the messenger with the check.

Jack D. Ballard