The Pits: The motherboard for our downstairs heater went out. The guy came out and looked at it, but didn’t have the part on hand so he couldn’t replace it. Bad timing with the freezing temps forecast for this weekend.
The Peaks: Years ago, my parents declined to tell us what they wanted for Christmas. So, we gave them a jumbo sized universal remote control to help consolidate the numerous remotes that littered their living room. I thought it was a considerate gift, but my family thought otherwise. They dubbed it the “bigass remote.” This bigass remote sat, unopened, on their mantle as a reminder to all of what gift you might receive if you don’t provide a wishlist.
This past Christmas, my family sent an email asking for wishlists and they warned that anyone who didn’t provide one would be receiving a bigass remote. I didn’t really have much that I needed, so, as a joke, I added the Logitech Harmony 650 to my wishlist. I’ve never really needed or wanted one, but I figured if they were going to follow through with the joke and get me a bigass remote, it might as well be a nice one.
Fortunately, everyone in my family avoided my request.
Everyone, except my wife.
You see, Traci and I had decided to just do stocking stuffers for each other this year. We’d spent a good chunk of change on the screened porch and didn’t really need anything else, so we decided to keep Christmas small. She sent a modest list of things that she wanted, and I got them all.
One thing she didn’t ask for was a coffee maker for her office. She’d mentioned this a few times in the past, so I found a reasonably priced one that was small enough to fit in the small kitchen in her office. It wouldn’t fit inside her stocking, so I wrapped it and stuck it behind the Christmas tree thinking she wouldn’t see it until Christmas Day.
This would’ve worked if it hadn’t been for the stinkin’ kids. They saw her name on the gift and ran to tell her that I’d bought her something really big. She shot me a mean txt message, then braved the holiday shopping crowds at Best Buy to purchase the only remaining item on my wishlist; a bigass remote.
When I opened it on Christmas morning, I was confused. She told me the story of why she’d purchased it, then mentioned that she probably paid way too much for it, but wanted to make sure I had something nice to open.
After Christmas morning settled down, I checked the price for the remote on Best Buy’s website. The price listed was $79.99, which I thought was too damn high for a universal remote. Traci had included the gift receipt in case she’d gotten the wrong one, so I resolved to take the bigass remote back to get a refund.
A few days later, the boys and I took a trip to Best Buy and stood in line at the Returns desk. The boys were rowdy and frustrated at having to wait in a boring line. When I finally got to the cashier, I presented the bigass remote and the gift receipt. The cashier told me that she couldn’t give me a refund with just the gift receipt, so I’d have to get store credit. I rarely shop at Best Buy and didn’t want the store credit, so I asked if she could just put the money back on the credit card it was purchased on. She said yes.
She spent a few minutes gathering some information from me, then had to call a manager over when she wasn’t able to locate Traci’s credit card in the system. Meanwhile, the kids were getting more frustrated with having to wait. They’d found a wad of paper on the sales counter and were throwing it at each other. The manager determined that the bigass remote had been purchased with a gift card, so the only way I was going to get a refund was via store credit. I thought it was odd that Traci had a Best Buy gift card, but I finally agreed with the terms before I strangled my kids. The cashier handed me a gift card with a receipt saying that the card had $43.83 on it.
That price seemed too low. I pulled the kids aside and called Traci. She verified that she had bought a $40 gift card from Kroger because she got more fuel points doing it that way. She also told me that the bigass remote only cost her $39.99.
I hung up the phone and then admitted to myself that $39.99 was not a bad price for that particular bigass remote. I saw an endcap with the remotes setup and the price was back up to $79.99. Ugh! I considered getting back in line and asking if I could have the remote back at the $39.99 price, but the line had grown longer and the kids were trying to choke each other with stanchion belts, so I walked out of Best Buy frustrated that I’d lost a good deal on a nice bigass remote.
As luck would have it, a few days later I saw a deal for the Harmony 700, the next model up from the 650 that I’d returned. The cost was $39.99 at Best Buy, so I quickly whipped out my gift card and bought that bigass remote.
I finally had a chance to get it setup today, and it’s lovely. I can highly recommend this bigass remote to anyone.
Now guess what my entire family will be getting for Christmas this year?