By Bill Cleary
GLOUCESTER CITY NJ-I’ll be the first to admit that as I have grown older I have become quite cynical of our world. An ‘old goat’ so to speak. I believe most senior citizens will say the same. The reason is simple. You end up looking back at how things use to be so simple and end up comparing those memories to what is happening around you today.
Here is a case in point.
In May I took a rifle that I wasn’t using for hunting anymore to a gun shop in nearby Glassboro. The store owner took it on consignment and told me to call him every so often to see if it had been sold. I called him last week and his employee said it was still hanging in the gun rack. I told him I will be there the following day to pick it up. When I arrive I show the man a photo ID, my May receipt, and my firearms ID card. At which time he tells me I must pass a back ground check before he will give me my rifle back. The cost? $16 and change.
The man explained that technically speaking I didn’t own the rifle any longer since I gave it to his gun shop to sell. He said the state/federal government wants to know whether I committed any crimes between May 2012 and December 2012. Thus the reason for the background check he said.
Gun control started out innocently enough but today it has become a monster. So much paper work involved it is ludicrous. A criminal can buy a handgun, rifle, shotgun illegally in any major city if they know the right place to look. The fact that a law abiding citizen with all the proper paperwork has to be subjected to a background check to get his own gun back is just wrong. Has gun control helped stem the number of people being killed in robberies and drive- by shootings? No! In Philadelphia records show that over 300 people have been killed so far this year by crimes involving guns. In nearby Camden City the number is above 60.
Here is another reason for my sometime cynical feelings.
The other day we bought a new mattress and box spring at a nearby mattress store. We saw one of their advertisements announcing a 60 percent off sale.
I was not looking forward to this task.
When we entered the store there were no signs mentioning the sale. I expected to see some balloons hanging over those 60 percent off mattresses but there was nothing alluding to that sale. We worked our way around the store and I kept trying different mattresses out. Sitting then laying on each. With so many choices it is very hard to decide which one is best. After 15 minutes we eventually found one.
As the salesman approaches us I keep hearing this little voice in my head saying Danger! Danger! Abort! The man’s shirt is opened wide at the neck showing off the several layers of gold chains that hang down on his hairy chest. He also has gold wrist bracelets and large gold rings on his hands. Picture an old Mr. T without the mohawk.
We tell “Mr. Bling” that we made our choice and ask him for the price. The first number he gives doesn’t include the tax, the delivery charge, the removal of the old mattress. As he goes through the list the dollar signs keep getting higher. We need a new mattress so we agree to the final price. As we are going over the paperwork for it I asked “Bling” where are the mattresses that are selling for 60 percent off?
“They are back in the warehouse. Do you think I wouldn’t show you one of those mattresses if they were better priced than this one?”, he said.
I wanted to say YES but instead I didn’t say a word. I just wanted to get out of the store.
The mattress and box spring arrives four days later. One problem the box spring is 6 inches higher than the old one. Because of the additional height my wife needs a ladder to climb in and out of the bed.
We call the store and ask for “Bling”. After telling him the problem he says.
“Look you needed to tell us that you wanted a custom box spring. We can replace the one you have for an additional $100 and deliver it this afternoon.”
(Question. Would any of you know to ask for the custom mattress(box spring)?)
My response, “No way am I going to pay an extra $100.”
I am still mad at myself for not asking to see one of the 60% off mattresses that were being stored in the back room warehouse. I’m not giving up on this situation so easily.
I ask to speak with someone in charge. “Call this 1-800 number and ask for customer service,” he says.
I call the number and get placed in the dreaded push this number to speak with so and so cycle. After 20 minutes a little voice comes on the phone and says, “This is Linda, can I help you.”
I explain my problem and Linda says, “On no Mr. Cleary you misunderstood that person. There is no charge for you to have a custom box spring.”
“Great!”, I say. “When can I have delivery?”
“In 10 days.”
I avoided being charged an extra $100 but I wonder how many other people have had a similar experience? Send out the wrong box spring and add $100 charge the next day to get the right one for the mattress you bought.
On the brighter side this mattress comes with a 15 year warranty. Which is great news. At our age this will no doubt be the last mattress we have to buy in our lifetime.
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