A Bar to Remember

Not that sort. Sorry, folks. This kind:

refrigerator door bar

refrigerator door bar

It’s a bar that goes on the inside of a refrigerator door. It sits in front of a built-in narrow shelf to restrain items like condiments, small bottles or containers.

When I moved in, that bar was already misshapen by stress. Bulging in the middle from restraining items too big for its capacity. So it was only a matter of time until it … yes … snapped! Who among us couldn’t say the same for ourselves?! 😉 It broke smack in the middle.

So, to repair, I rejoined the broken ends with strapping tape. It worked.

A conundrum arose when I was learned I must move. The bar. And not the fun type with whiskey and beers, laughter and tears!

In short — eight words to be exact: My property management company’s not to be trusted.

Its reputation for fining tenants for even the slightest repair, like a nail hole, and withholding deposits by the chunks if not entirety precedes them. I’d tell you its name so you can read one bad Yelp review after another after another but I wanna take no chances! Especially since I’m very soon to move and NEED that deposit!

Soooooo, I removed the strapping tape and tried to repair it. First with epoxy. Didn’t hold. Tried Superglue. Ditto.

That left one option. Buy a new bar.

Not as simple as it sounds. Fortunately the label on the fridge back is intact, enabling me to get the model number. With that, I was then able to identify the part number from a schematics map — thank you Internet! Schmematics with so many parts listed and labeled that it looked to be for a rocketship instead of a refrigerator!

After calling around locally for a used part and getting zilch, I succumbed to the only remaining option: Buy the replacement part: new. Not as easy as it sounds!

Evidently this part is no longer widely available. The only place that had it for a “decent” price was ApplianceZone.com.

So it appeared.

After ordering and waiting and waiting for a part that never arrived, I contacted them. Via a live chat. They don’t have a telephone option. Everything’s email or chat. That shoulda been my first clue.

When I asked when I’d be receiving the order, ApplianceZone.com couldn’t answer. Save with: “It’s on back order.”

“What?! I wasn’t told that when I ordered.” Sidenote: I need that bar. Because I’m moving.

Her response in short: “You didn’t ask.”

“WHATT?!? It’s up to the CUSTOMER to ask about whether a product is backordered?!?”

“Yes. To check whether we have it in stock.”

Were that I could reach my hand through the computer screen and bop her head on her desk hard a dozen times!

And I’m being civil!

“The manufacturer gives an estimated delivery date of July 27.” Or some such. Estimated. Translation: no idea when it’ll arrive.

After not one but two glorious {cough cough} live chats with two different ApplianceZone.com women, I decided: This is ridiculous! Enough! Immediately cancelled my order. Requested a refund. Washed my hands of ApplianceZone for infinity and pledged to spread the word by blog or by mouth!

So after all the less-than-impressive-something-smells-shoddy dealings with ApplianceZone, how’d I come to get a bar?

Sears. Good ol’ Sears.

They carry the Magic Chef fridge. And parts. The same part through Sears is about double the price at ApplianceZone. OUCH!

BUUUT! They could get the part. Ship it at no cost, as a courtesy said the very nice and helpful Sears lady. ON THE PHONE! No live chat!

And deliver the part within a week. So she said.

And so it is. The bar arrived this morning. Well-protected in its big box and the right size.

The punchline? The price. The bar’s about 19 inches wide, 2 inches wide and made of cheap clear plastic (no doubt made in China). Whaddya think this cost?

Magic Chef fridge door bar

Magic Chef fridge door bar

{pause}

Answer: About $40. Or 53 Canadian dollars. Yessirree, Bob!

But! Though it cost a small fortune for what it actually is — a slice of easy-to-break cheap plastic — I consider it a steal. My landlord would’ve charged two or three times that to replace the taped-up broken bar! Assuming, that is, that they would’ve.

Many things, you just can’t attach a price tag. This fridge bar’s one. What I lost — my patience with and regard for ApplianceZone.com for starters … also pushing forward through the aggravations and major hassle of simply identifying and locating the part! … I gained in peace of mind, thanks to strength of foresight. My landlord can’t screw me over on this one!

And THAT deserves a toast. At a real bar!

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