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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Snippets about my life in Pedasi, Panama: Pacific Rock Oysters and Returning things!

Snippets about my life in Pedasi, Panama: Pacific Rock Oysters and Returning things!: Returning items   We all know that returning things to a store in North America is a piece of cake. You keep the receipt, ret...

Pacific Rock Oysters and Returning things!



 
 
 


Returning items

 

We all know that returning things to a store in North America is a piece of cake.

You keep the receipt, return the item for an exchange or get your money back. Right?

Well it's a bit different here. This is my story regarding taking things back to a store in Panama :)

 

We bought these two lounging chairs  below in a store in Chitre which is an hour (one way)  from Pedasi where we live.


Notice the one on the right with the buttons that they put to hide the stitching. Sadie also there making sure things are just fine!! She loves the lounge chair too.  
 
 
We saw these beauties and just had to have them. Lying in them in the warm summer breeze looking out at the Pacific Ocean with a cocktail in hand! Who wouldn't?

We paid $500.00 (cash) for them and yes that is expensive for a couple of lounge chairs but I am Soooooo worth it and they are so beautiful. They are also aluminum so they won't rust. You have to be really careful buying things here because everything with metal in rusts. That is another blog!

So we bring them home and left them in their plastic for five days as we were having work done on the patio and really couldn't use them right away.

On the sixth day we unwrapped them and one was fine, but the other one had a huge black mark on it and the place where there should have been a 'button' like the other one, there was a huge hole where the stitching was and it looked like a hernia operation gone bad.

So off we go to Chitre to take the one back!
Simple one would think as we did have the bill and they were only six days old.
We lug this chair into the store and of course they don't speak much English (I really need to learn Spanish), but we managed to get a hold of a 'manager' to tell him our story and to show him the marks and stitching on the cushion.
He looks at it for about 15 minutes and then tells us that we can't order another as this is the last one anywhere.

Ok, we really want this less than beautiful lounger now, but we don't want it in the shape it's in as we paid a lot of money for it. One instead of two would be ok. Don doesn't need one :), and we paid cash so won't be a problem getting our money back, one would think.

Thankfully there was a woman there who spoke English (no, she didn't wear stiletto's. In fact I think she had construction boots on),  so she conveyed our concerns to the Manager and told him that we would just have our money back and we'd be gone.
After about a half an hour and after this Manager speaking to a few other Manager's he said that he could fix the hole and get the stain out and it would look as good as new and it would be back in a week. 
Ok, this sounded reasonable, so we agreed and left the store.

A week later we went back after filling the gas tank again to get this unsightly chair that has now become a huge thorn in our sides . Remember this store is an hour from us, ONE WAY!
Well, it's not ready yet! They said the person who was fixing it had a baby or some broken extremity or some other stupid excuse and it would be another week before it was fixed.
God!
Off home again!   it's Panama, It's Panama, It's Panama we kept repeating to each other.

Ok, so off we go again to Chitre a week later (with still ANOTHER TANK OF GAS) which now brings it to a total of five hours driving for this ugly, morbid lounger.
Well after going up and down every stinking aisle in the store, trying to find a Manager or some semblance to one, we finally do.
It was about 11:30, so have to hurry as everyone takes an hour off from 12 to 1 pm for whatever they do!
Certainly wasn't fixing a lounge chair that needed fixing!

They bring this now hideous chair, or whatever you want to call it out to us and it was WORSE THAN BEFORE.
They had put some kind of cleaner on the spot and now it was twice the size it was and now had a huge 'blot' mark all around it.
The stitching had something done to it, but we really couldn't figure out what. It looked awful and even a bigger hole than before.

Enough already!

We told the Manager, or whoever he was, that this was not acceptable to us as we paid a lot of money for these 'ugly, poor excuse for loungers' and we would be wanting our money back.

So about six of them behind the counter went somewhere for a discussion I guess as they were gone for at least twenty minutes.
By this time I could have done inventory on the whole store and still had time for lunch.
Anyway they came back and said, 'Sorry, we can't give you back your money as it's been over three weeks'.
What the?????

They had our chair in the store for the past two weeks and we hadn't even used it at home for one day with my drink and my puppie :)
So again after much frustration, thank goodness for the lady who speaks English, they finally agreed to give us our money back. It was very difficult to do as they didn't understand that just because they had them in the store, it was still over three weeks and this was their policy.
Ok, just please give us our $250 cash back. 
No can do as they can't give cash back even though this is how we paid.
They have to write you a cheque. Store policy! Again, what the heck?
And of course they can't do it today. The person who writes them isn't there, so we have to come BACK AGAIN tomorrow.
I have never ever seen such an ugly, revolting lounger in my life. It grew more unsightly by the minute.

Don and I barely spoke the whole way home. It was his fault we had to buy these grotesque things in the first place. Why would anyone want to relax on these chairs with a drink in hand anyway? I would rather stand.

Next day had to fill the gas tank in the car again to make the long haul back to Chitre to pick up my cheque as it's an hours drive don't forget. Sorry I know I have said this before but now I am pissed again lol.

Ok, so I get the cheque, but guess what?
We can't cash it for THREE DAYS, and we have to cash it at the bank where it was written and of course it isn't the bank we use. Of course not!
So three days later with yet another tank of gas I am off again to the bank to cash the cheque and after all of this, I finally GOT THE MONEY!
I spent it all on alcohol!!

It was about six months ago that we bought these 'beastly' creatures and just a few days ago I went back to this store. I am not sure why as I won't ever buy anything again from this store unless it's a chocolate bar that I can eat while I am there and not have to worry about returning it.

As I walked to the back of the store, what did I see displayed on the floor with the other patio furniture?
Yup, the same chair I took back months ago with a huge 'REDUCED' sign over it.

They had reduced it to $99 and the stain was still there albeit a bit less noticeable and where the 'hernia gone bad' stitching was, they had covered with a button.

So, I went to the one fellow there that speaks a bit of English and told him I wanted to buy it and I also said that I would be wanting a further discount as this poor excuse for a lounge chair had obvious signs of wear and neglect. Who in their right mind would ever want to sit in this repulsive excuse for a chair overlooking the Ocean with a drink in hand?
Certainly not me!
 
Off he trots and after about 20 minutes comes back and says to me, "You bought this chair before didn't you?"
Busted!
Just like the soup Nazi. No discount for you!!

So I ended up buying the same lovely and luxurious lounger that I had bought over six months ago for less than half the price.

Only in Panama.

Moral of this story:

If you buy anything that that has a plug, plug that sucker in before buying it and let it run for half the day if you need to make sure it works.

If it doesn't have a plug, go over it with a fine tooth comb before purchasing. When you exit the store it's yours and yours alone and good luck if you ever have to enter that store again with your purchase in hand asking for a refund!

But Panama. I still love you more and more every day!!



 
Time lapse, Panama City
 

 

Hammering for dinner!




Locals getting rock oysters
A sight to see!
 




 
 
 
 

We had always wondered what the locals were doing down on the beach with their hammers and knives during low tide.
It's amazing how they can see these oysters. They are completely covered on the rocks with a sort of sandy hard surface exactly the same color as the rocks.
They first get their hammer and free if from the rock and then with some ingenuity manage to  get the oyster inside.
This particular rock was covered in them and the young fellow had a whole pail full of oysters.
You would NEVER, EVER, EVER get me to eat these things, but the locals apparently love them.
 
 
 


La Garita Beach at Low Tide.

 


An old ship wreck on the beach!


Thank you again for reading my blog, and remember to 'Stay in the Light'.

P.S. The ketchup here is better than anywhere, just in case you were wondering:)
 

 
 

 

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