Home life

The $74.85 sock

Service call part 1

On Tuesday afternoon I took my sister and her husband to go look at a car in West Footscray Kingsville. Consider it Used-Karma — my sister gave me lifts when years ago I was car-shopping.

We got there, and then I locked my keys in my car. Oops.

I tried to remember the number for the RACV. I coulda sworn it used to be in my mobile phone’s memory, but it wasn’t. I peered from various angles through the window at the key tag, hanging from the ignition, inside the locked car. Rang them up, and after too long on hold, got my request in to get some roadside assistance.

“It’ll be sometime in the next hour,” said the woman on the phone from her comfortable, air-conditioned call centre.

So I waited, while the prospective purchasers looked at the car (which turned out to be a dud — we knew it was so when we could see the huge dent in the back door as we approached driving down the street). They finished looking, and we sat on the kerb, chatting, hoping the forboding rain clouds wouldn’t let loose.

At 55 minutes since the call, my sister suggested ringing back, and playing the “Heavily pregnant woman waiting by the side of the road” card. Just as she finished her sentence, the welcome sight of the yellow van came around the corner.

The guy got the requisite wedge-shaped bit of plastic and glorified coat-hanger from his magic bag of tricks, and bingo, door unlocked. Easy.

Service call part 2

On Friday morning I finally got around to ringing up the washing machine repair people, about the pump problem. I expected they’d tell me they could come and visit in the next week or two, but the lady put me on hold for a minute, then asked “Are you at home right now?” I was. “He’s just around the corner” and told me the costs involved.

Sure enough the bloke turned up shortly afterwards, and he got a sock, a piece of wire and two coins out of the pump. Problem solved. According to the receipt, the work took two minutes. And cost $75. Since the coins added up to 15 cents, and the piece of wire was probably worthless, I guess the sock cost $74.85.

And it had to be thrown out. Ouch.

But at least the washing machine works properly now.

This is not the first time socks have been caught in there. So, on reflection, a late additional new-year’s resolution: all socks and smaller items now go in laundry bags.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

6 replies on “The $74.85 sock”

Andrew, it was Electrolux Home Service (ph 13 13 49) who I found searching by postcode from the Hoover web site. $75 for the first 15 minutes, and I think they charge something like $15/15 mins after that.

This time, I peered over his shoulder and if it happens again, I’ll try to do it myself. Seems to be as simple as taking the back off the washing machine and rummaging around in the pump thingy.

I locked my keys in my car many many times. I locked my home keys inside my home and I could not open the door when I was outside. I waited for the specialist 7 hours. It’s normal in Poland :/ I was so angry with him and myself. I hope You will never do this again. Greetings from Poland. And I’ve never been in Australia but I want to go there someday. I know people from Au are very nice friendly and handsome. Greetings once again :)

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