Monday, May 21, 2012

1020 Out of the Frying Pan

1020 Out of the Frying Pan

We’ve all been inundated by ads for those “green” frying pans.  They do this, they do that, they do the other thing.  Turn you into Martha Stewart or Emeril overnight.  Stuff just slides off.  Withstands oven temperatures.  Lasts a lifetime.  Use it as a hammer, it’s so strong. Now just $19.95.  But wait, there’s more.  Order now and get a second one free (just pay additional shipping and handling.)

Well, never let it be said that cheap TV ads don’t work.  We ordered in March and they delivered in May.  In the intervening weeks, we spoke to our new old friend Gomez at customer service several times.  Each time he soothingly promised that our four to six weeks shipping time was delayed by an overload of orders and lack of stock.

So it arrives.  They, actually.  Oh boy! Sunnyside up eggs for breakfast!  All you have to do is slick the pan by oiling it, heating it, cooling it, wiping it clean.  No problem.

Stove top?  Check.  Vegetable oil? Check.  Smoke detector on? Check.

Easy as can be.   The oil is to break the pan in.  Cooking won’t need it, say the instructions.  So fluffy and slick you can just blow it off the pan and onto the plate.

Not quite.  A powdery residue prevents that.  In fact, it prevents getting the egg off the pan in one piece.  So far, it’s no better than the stuff they sell at Pans R Us.  But for ten bucks, what the hell.

“Clean with warm soapy water and towel dry.”

Except for the black spots that have become part of the skin of the skillet.  

The eggs tasted fine.  Eat your heart out, Martha and Emeril.

The pan is no more no-stick than any other.  And the new decorations are inelegant..

So let’s turn ‘em back.  Call Gomez.  (How often do you get the same customer service rep twice? Three times leads one to believe there’s only one guy there.)

He turns on the light, gets out the truncheon and asks “why are you returning it?”
In the end, he promises to send a replacement, free.  No shipping or handling charge.  Seven to ten business days (don’t hold your breath.)

A “small number” of the latest batch of pans are defective.  Just dumb luck that one of them ended up here.  Eventually we’ll try the original "free" one (plus postage and handling.)  Chances are it, too, will be among the “small number” that is defective.

If it’s business as usual at Telebrands, the third one will arrive sometime before Labor Day and we’ll take that one for a test drive, too.

If it’s also among the “small number” all three are going back via UPS and when the credit card bill comes, it’s going to be challenged.

Meantime, come on over.  Have some eggs with blackish brown powder undersides.  Delicious.  Environmentally friendly.  Cooked in a pan you can use as a hammer.

Shrapnel:

--Word wonder?  Since “iota” is based on the number ten, is “not one iota of difference” the same as “not a dime’s worth of difference?”  And if so, who thought to translate the Cyrillic/Greek/Latin former into the American latter?

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

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