I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of being a “consumer” in this new hostile age of automated voice systems and arbitrary rules.

You might have already noticed a number of products being sold with the instructions: “Do not return this item to the store. Call 1-800….) Sometimes the notice is on the outside of the box. Sometimes the sneaky wankers put the notice inside the box so that you don’t see it until you get home and open the box. Someday, when I have loads of time to waste I’ll call the number to see what happens.

But today….well…I laughed all the way home. I bought a pump sprayer to wet down the ceiling before I scraped it. It failed and pressurized water sprayed all over the room, twice. I brought it back to the store.

She: We can’t take this back. It says here on the box to call an 800 number.

Me: I didn’t drive over here to call anybody, I have a phone at home. You sold it to me, you’re taking it back.

She: But it says on the box to call the 800 number and my manager told me yesterday not to take these back.

Me: I don’t care what it says on the box or what your manager told you. You sold it to me, not 1-800-Nobody and you’re taking it back. Or you could call the 800 number now and work your way through an automated customer service nightmare until you get someone who is going to try and solve the problem out of a manual. Be my guest.

She: I’ll have to call my manager.
Me: OK. But clue him in that we only have two choices here, you take it back or pay for the water damage.

They took it back. Beware. Read the box. Or open it in the store, at the checkout counter, before you pay for it.