A New iPod...For My Bro
A couple of years ago, my brother convinced his wife to buy him an iPod for his birthday. He of course took me with to buy it, because he didn't want to get ripped off. I think we ran everywhere in town that day, looking for a place that had them in stock (this was way before Omaha had an Apple Store).
We went to one Best Buy, but all they had in stock were the full-sized iPod, and he just wanted a Nano. So we went across town to another Best Buy, and they were completely sold out. Then we traversed across the river to Council Bluffs, and the Best Buy there only had pink Nanos in stock. He briefly contemplated getting a pink one just to end the shopping excursion -- this trip was nearing 90 minutes, which is completely unacceptable for the Univers brothers.
But clearer heads prevailed, and the thought of owning a pink iPod gave us the strength to continue on.
The first Super Target we hit had five pink Nano's, and nothing else. The next one had nothing. Then we went to Wal-Mart, and the guy working in electronics tried to tell us there weren't any in stock even though we could clearly see there were in the case. After arguing in three languages, we left.
For the record, those languages were English, Pissed Off, and Really Pissed Off. Stop jumping to conclusions all the time, its unbecoming.
Finally, we ended up at the Store Of Last Resort: the Nebraska Furniture Mart. I appreciate patronizing local establishments. But that place is just so damn busy, especially on weekends, that its almost not worth going. You might wait 20 minutes to check out. Not to mention the condescending salespeople who try to sell you anything BUT an Apple product in the computer department.
Of course, they had a blue Nano. We bought it. Of course, nothing is stocked in the Mart, so you have to take your receipt to a warehouse, where you pull up, read off the order number, and wait for a guy to bring out your purchase. Good times.
Anyway, to get to the point of my story, my brother got conned into buying the "3-year protection plan" from the Mart. This is always a complete and utter rip-off. When you balance the odds of encountering a problem VS the potential costs of repairs, its not even a calculated gamble: its just a waste of money.
Well, the display on his Nano stopped working about six months ago, well within the 3-year window. He took it to the Mart, and they told him they couldn't do anything for him: he would need to send it in to Apple. So he went to the Apple Store, and they told him he would need to take it to the Mart. So even in the rare case where you need to use the protection plan, its impossible to use. Like I said, a waste of money.
I felt bad for him. I felt like the guardian angel in those Capital One ads, letting all kinds of awful things happen to the guy he's supposed to watch, but thankfully, he does remember to stop him from using a higher-rate credit card on a purchase. So he has broken bones, two near-death experiences, and a dead wife but at least he didn't charge his purchase to a high-rate card!
So I bought him a new iPod Nano -- the sweet razor-thin color screen model, in black -- for Christmas. When you're not spending cash on a girlfriend or a wife for the holidays, these are the things you do.
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