This happened in Dublin back in the day of VCRs. I thought I'd get th'auld dear a decent VCR and saw one in Dixons which had a rewind time of a minute for a 2 hour tape, so I got it. All went well until a few days later I unplugged it from the wall socket and I heard something inside 'click' loudly, and that was that. Back to Dixons.
It was plain to see the glassy-eyed assistant manager was reading from a company-prepared script designed to minimise the possibility of a refund at any cost, and so I allowed myself be browbeaten into accepting a repair. So a few days later I got it back. To be on the safe side I made a major effort not to unplug it at all just in case, but one day I did and 'click' it went, and it was kaput again. Back to Dixons.
Ths time, as I stood at the counter waiting for service, another guy with the same model VCR joined me, and it turned out he was bringing it in because he had exactly the same problem. Then another guy arrives at the counter with the same model in his hands, intending to buy it. You can imagine the advice we gave him as to the wisdom of such a purchase!
This time I was determined not to accept another repair, but there didn't seem to be a manager available to sort the VCR problem out, however as luck would have it, I happened to spot the same technician the assistant manager had given the VCR to the first time, coming out of a side door, and so I button-holed him and explained the situation, including the bit about having met another guy with exactly the same model and fault. This guy obviously hadn't been brainwashed to follow the company line, in fact my impression was that he seemed embarrassed by his superior's decision to 'fix' what was obviously a generic and irreparable fault, and so he agreed to a full refund on the spot -and quickly- before the manager'd return and screw things up.
It seemed obvious from my experience that there was a generic fault in this model VCR, and that the company was going to make it as difficult as possible for the customer to assert his rights, as if they're in competition with their customers, the people who provide them with employment. This inability to 'know who the enemy is' so-to-speak, is a classic sign of corporate sociopathy.
Anyway this weekend I'm off to Berlin to buy about 3gs worth of digital camera gear. I'd have bought the lot in Dixons duty-free shop at Stanstead airport except I remembered that incident with the VCR, and frankly wouldn't trust their after-sales service an inch. Pity really.
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