Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The $600 refrigerator costs $912.65

Well, we had this little trip just before New Year's, and I went to the club New Year's Eve party after that, but except for that it hasn't been that great around here. For one thing we had this fight. The fight didn't last long. Not cause we decided to kiss and make up, but just because I don't care enough to keep fighting. There's no point in fighting, because he just doesn't get it. It's not the kind of fight where anything gets resolved. Nobody wins the fight. Nothing get accomplished. I tell him that there's a problem and how I feel and what needs to be done about it. And he tells me that there's nothing to be done. This is like two minutes after I've just got through telling him what can be done. And then he tells me that everything is going to be okay, cause he hasn't heard a word that I've said.

Whatever.

While that sort of thing goes on, the rest of life still happens. After coming home from the New Year's Eve party, I put some things away, and I put some stuff from the party into the refrigerator. And I was dimly aware that the refrigerator light wasn't on. Well, once in a while you have to put a new bulb in the refrigerator. But it doesn't have to be done in the middle of the night, and I'm sure that there's no place to get a replacement bulb at that time anyway, so I went to bed.

The next day it occurred to me that it wasn't just the light-bulb that had gone out. The refrigerator was silent. A good working frig doesn't make a lot of noise, but it does sort of make a slight humming sound. There was no humming sound. This is a bad sign.

After doing a little bit of math I figured out that we've probably had the frig for more than fifteen years, and we should have known that it soon would be time to get a new one anyway. But somehow, it was a surprise.

Luckily, New Year's Day is just another day for most stores, so we were off to the mall.

I don't really want an ice maker and all of that stuff. Besides, the person who lived here before us didn't have all that stuff, so the kitchen isn't set up for that. And we don't want to pay anyone to do fix that now. So we were just shopping for a plain ordinary frig with no ice maker and no water dispenser on the door or anything like that. I had an idea that it would cost somewhere around five or six hundred dollars, though it's been a while since I've paid attention to such things, so I wasn't sure.

So we go to Sears, and there's a black one for about five hundred fifty. And I suddenly think it would be cool to have a black refrigerator, though the idea had never seriously occurred to me before. So I try not to look much at that particular frig, cause I'm afraid that I'll pick that one just because it's black.

Well, it turns out that a lot of them have the option of black. Black costs like an extra twenty dollars, which is not too bad. Some of them also have the option of stainless steel, which my husband liked, but stainless steel is an extra hundred or even two hundred. So we decided not to get anything stainless steel.

So we're looking at the refrigerators, and mostly, they all just look like refrigerators. We stand there and try to figure out why two refrigerators that look almost the same have different prices. At first we thought that some of the price difference was because of the stainless steel or the different colors, but then you read the labels and find out that the price on the refrigerator is just for a white refrigerator, even if the particular frig you are looking at is another color or stainless steel. Getting a different color or stainless steel is almost always an extra charge. And usually the ice maker is also an extra charge, so that isn't it either.

We finally start to figure it all out. Two refrigerators that are the same size and look almost identical from the outside look slightly different on the inside. There may be a price difference of fifty dollars or a hundred dollars or perhaps even two hundred dollars because one has more lights or more adjustable shelves or both.

Okay, now that we've figured that out, I'm mostly looking at four of them that are priced between $450 and $600. And I don't even have to have those. There's one that seems a bit smaller for $429, and there are much smaller ones for even less that I would take if my husband says we really can't afford the ones that I'm looking at. But mainly, he's looking at the one on sale for $600. It's just over 20 cubic feet, and it's just like the one next to it for $500, except that most of the shelves are adjustable, and it has a light in the freezer part.

Are more adjustable shelves worth an extra hundred dollars?

Probably.

Could we pay the extra twenty dollars and get it in black?

Sure, why not? If we're going to spend $600 anyway we might as well spend $620 if you really like it that much better.

Okay.

Now I've noticed some little prices inside of the refrigerators, and I'm not sure, but I think they're the prices of the service contracts. So I think that we should decide whether or not we want a service contract before we talk to a salesperson. Probably, we should have discussed this before we ever went to the mall. If you don't firmly decide you do not want to purchase a service contract before the salesperson mentions it, then you usually end up buying one.

But right then a salesperson appears, and my husband asks if they have this model available in black. So the salesperson goes off to see if they have any in the store that we could have tomorrow, or if not there's probably one in the warehouse that we can have the day after tomorrow.

So we don't really discuss the service contract before the salesperson comes back, and we end up paying another $150 for a three year contract. And then there is sales tax and delivery fees and another ten dollars to take away the old frig. So the refrigerator that was on sale for $600 dollars ends up costing just over nine hundred, with twenty dollars of that being because I suddenly got the silly idea that I wanted a black refrigerator. Still, that is just twenty dollars of it. I guess we would have spent almost nine hundred anyway if we'd just got the white one.

It was a great relief to get that part of it over with. We walked around the mall for a bit and then went home.

The next day I figured out that I would have to move a piece of furniture that was right next to the door. If the door is open all the way and actually touching the wall, the door opening is about 31 inches wide. I'm guessing that is a standard door size. While this piece of furniture is next to the door and prevents the door from being opened like that, the door itself makes the usable width of the doorway opening somewhat smaller by about an inch and a half. The refrigerators mostly seem to come in sizes that are either 31 inches wide or 31 inches deep and only barely squeeze through the doorway if the doorway is completely open and clear of any obstructions, including that bit of the door itself that is normally in the doorway when the door is open to its normal ninety degree angle to the wall.

Just before all of this had happened, I'd decided that it was a good time to clean out the kitchen cabinets, and had removed everything from about half of the cabinets and put the items on the floor. I hadn't finished with that project yet, so I left the items on the floor.

We got a call to confirm that we were expecting a delivery and given a two hour window during which one of us had to be there to accept delivery of the refrigerator. It then occurred to me that while I'd just assume that most of the stuff in the old frig be thrown away, I should probably do that myself in the morning just before the delivery. The old frig would be too heavy to move if I left the spoiled fruit and a bunch of half empty bottles inside.

So I threw away a bunch of stuff, and I put a bunch more stuff like bottles of mustard and such on the floor. Does mustard spoil? I don't know. I thought maybe if I got some of the stuff into the new frig soon that maybe it would be okay. But I didn't clean the frig itself like I usually would if I were throwing out stuff like that. I don't think that I need to clean something that's about to be hauled away.

The delivery came at the late end of the two hour window. And then there was a lot of drama trying to get the old frig out and the new one in. I'd gotten the main door to open all the way and touch the wall, but I'd forgotten that I couldn't do the same with the storm door on the outside because of the little thing that forms the flower bed. So that was annoying.

The whole thing with moving refrigerators is always annoying. But most of us don't have to deal with it very often. If it isn't your job to move refrigerators, you probably only have to deal with it about once every ten years. In the last ten years we've had to now deal with it four times, because in addition to buying this new frig we've moved three times.

Anyway, life would be much easier if they'd make refrigerators just and inch or two smaller. So why are most of the full-size ones 31 inches?

So much for my reasoning that I should not have to clean a refrigerator that is just going to be hauled away. The delivery guy won't take it until I've cleaned it. So it was just left sitting in the driveway. If I'd known that I was expected to clean it I would have done so when I first learned I'd be buying a new one. I'd have cleaned it while it was still indoors. It's not that cold outside, but it is quite uncomfortable to be out with your hands in soapy water. So I do maybe five minutes and then come back in. This takes a long time.

The people that were supposed to come back and get the old frig cannot come for a few more days. So the frig is just sitting in the driveway waiting for an accident to happen.


The old frig was finally hauled away Sunday morning.

The floor of the kitchen is completely covered with either stuff that I took out of the cabinets, or stuff that came out of the old frig. I have decided that mustard and such probably does spoil, and I don't like much of that stuff enough to risk my health. I'd put a few things in an ice chest that is probably okay, but the rest of the food is just being thrown away. I figure that I'll empty a bunch of these bottles and wash them and keep them for craft projects and such, but I only do a few at a time. Soon I'll probably give up on the idea and just throw the rest away. Then I'll be able to walk through the kitchen and deal with the rest of the stuff that goes in the cabinets.

I do like the new frig, but now I'm not sure what made me suddenly want a black one. The washing machine and stove are both white. Even the microwave is white. So it doesn't match the other appliances. And those were all bought in the last few years and are not going to be replaced anytime soon. I have this idea that I'm either going to cover the frig with my husband's black and white photos or maybe put a bunch of chili pepper magnets on it. But that's all a bit silly isn't it? And it's hardly worth the effort seeing how rarely I find time to actually do anything in the kitchen. I should worry more about putting food in the frig rather than waste time thinking how the outside of the frig looks.




5 comments:

dmarks said...

Maybe I should blog about bad freezer experiences at Sears. I know I started that post months ago, and never finished it.

As for cleaning the fridge, I recall the last house we lived in, and moving out of it. The house was a rental, and appliances stayed in the house. Almost everything was out, and we realized at the last minute "Oops. amost forgot. better clean the fridge". However, there was almost nothing in the house.

We found an old blanket to wipe the fridge out with, but it was covered with cat hair. I wonder if we should have not bothered to clean it, as there ended up being a lot of cat hair in that fridge after the "cleaning".

And by the way, the stove in that house was hot pink.

wutthi said...

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laughingattheslut said...

I don't think that Wickes Furniture sells refrigerators.

I'm clearing a path between the sink and the stove and the frig. Might actually want to cook something next week.

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laughingattheslut said...

Welcome, New Reader.

You can read more if you like. It is quiet around here at the moment. I'm afraid that after I enter this YouTube contest, it will go back to boring stuff like how I never find time to clean the living room. There are only three or four regular readers at the moment. Not much interest in whether or not I clean the living room.