At the most opportune times, my father would say, “I may be ignorant, but I’m ain’t stupid.”

Ignorant, as defined on my Dictionary.com iPhone application, means “lacking in knowledge.”  Stupid implies “lacking in ordinary quickness.”

Here is a case in point.

Last April, we purchased a Samsung flat-screen LED.  The friendly folks from BrandsMart USA installed it, attaching cables as they saw fit.  We converted to AT&T U-verse and the friendly folks from AT&T installed, attaching cables as they saw fit.

Then I bought a Samsung Sound Bar speaker system.  Being sensitive to the previous cabling issues, I took pictures of the back of the television.  With operating manual in hand, I went off to Best Buy where the friendly salesman pointed out the connection for a digital optical audio cable.  “From here to there,” he said, smiling and pointing from operating manual to the appropriate port on the floor sample.

Digital optical audio cable?  Who knew?  Ignorant but not stupid.  I draw your attention to my diligent preparation for the purchase.

On Christmas morning, we reviewed the directions and attempted to plug the fancy new cable into the aforementioned port.  The conversation went something like this.  “It doesn’t fit.”  “It has to fit.”  “Let me try.”

While pulling on the tiny, clear bulb, which we thought was part of the cable, someone said, “It’s a cap.”  Then, after poking again at the port, “It’s loose.  I don’t know if it will work.”

The friendly serviceman from BrandsMart USA said it was product damage.  That translates to the customer broke the unit.  I didn’t think so at the time.  He refused the service, saying we needed an authorization from Samsung.  “There is a certain way it needs to be plugged in.”

Who knew?  Again ignorant., not stupid.  We read the directions, which said, basically, to plug part A into hole B.  Seemed simple enough.

The customer service representative at Samsung blew me off and claimed a supervisor would call.

I called BrandsMart USA and left a message for the manager.  My point by this time was that if we did break it, which certainly we did, it was because of the lack of certain way directions.

The port is . . . make that was . . . covered by a tiny trap door that obscured the even smaller port within.  When we attempted to attach the cable with the clear blob cover still attached, it stuck and destroyed the cover and the port.  I later found the broken off trap door.

Ignorant, but still not stupid.  We had checked the directions.  Nothing in any written material with the television, sound bar, or pricey cable explained the particulars of attachment.

I wrote an impassioned letter—business format, stamps and all—to the president of BrandsMart USA, copying in the US based CEO of Samsung and the store manager–who never returned my call.

A week later, a woman from Samsung called.  I think she was won over by my honesty, and she checked for certain way directions.  She authorized service under the product warranty.

A scheduler from BrandsMart USA called a week later, saying they needed to come out and get the part number.  Not necessary.  No one from BrandsMart USA has bothered to call to discuss the issue.  That speaks for itself.

The Samsung Authorized Serviceman said we needed to take the unit off its stand.  I wanted to say, but didn’t, “So you want the idiots who caused the damage with a cable to pull out all the cables and move the unit?”  I doubt the wisdom of that policy.

However, the competent authorized serviceman helped with the cables and the removal of the TV from its stand.  He fixed the unit–had the right part with him!  He said Samsung is the only manufacturer who would repair the unit under warranty for product damage.

As it turns out, I may have been ignorant, but I’m certainly not stupid.

GEB

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