victimized by greed and stupidity!

Somehow we’ve just kept procrastinating buying a DVD player. We got on without one by either watching movies that came on cable TV or ocassionally watching one on the laptop. So recently late December I decided to finally buy one, and went around enquiring for a good model.

I wanted a model that would play from a USB stick, and after looking around suddenly felt that support for 5.1 DTS wouldn’t be bad either.

There were a lot of models, but shortlisted the Philips 3256 and Samsung P480R both priced around Rs. 3300 with the Philips model slightly more expensive. But I liked the Samsung more as it had more buttons on the base unit which can sometimes be quite handy, and also an FM Radio and recording feature. The Philips model had some scratch card kind of thing where we might win something, and also free DVDs of 3 movies (no idea which ones) that would be home delivered after purchase. Hmm didn’t buy either that day as we were in a hurry, and eventually forgot about it.

Then a few days later while roaming around Big Bazaar one Sunday afternoon, came across an offer of some unknown brand Passion DVD player – and this one was clubbed with a Koryo (another vague brand) 5.1 DTS Surround Sound speaker system with inbuilt amplifier, all for Rs 3000. And on top of that they’d included in the same package a DVD Rental (BigFlix) membership at a subsidised rate of Rs 150 for 2 months (which would otherwise cost Rs 300 per month) and a chance to win some bumper prize, and some “surprise gift”. A DTS Sound system like that would cost atleast Rs 5000 on its own, so this looked like a pretty good deal.

When I examined the product I could guess it was not of really the best quality. Also I’d bought a Koryo Sandwich maker from Big Bazaar a year ago, and that used to roast only half the side of the bread, and we’d need to turn the sandwich around to do the other side, but somehow it had atleast worked.

Usually I’d prefer a good quality brand compared to nothng, but since I’m going through a somewhat asphyxiating financial crunch right now, and the greed of the ‘deal’ kind of got into me. So against my better judgement, I thought I’d try this out as an intermediate solution to my DVD player requirement.

So I was handed over these two boxes – the DVD player and the amplifier – and after picking up my prizes I went out of the shop to my bike. It turned out that my bike had got towed off due to a No Parking ticket – this was maybe the sign of things to come. I was quite horrified because this was the first time such a thing had happened. When I’d parked it there, I’d not thought much of a No Parking sign which had been quite a distance away, but when I found the bike missing I looked up a tall pole and right above my head there had been a No Parking sign, no idea how I’d missed that one! Anyway, I hadn’t even had my lunch and was really hungry, called home and my wife said I better come home and we’d get back the bike later. This was a welcome suggestion so I just went home. (thanks to my brother in law we did get back the bike later on)

Btw the “surprise gift” was a somewhat unimpressive microwave container, and I have no idea what I won in the New Year lottery.

When I went out with these two boxes – in the first place there were no batteries provided for the remote in one box. Maybe this is usual. And in the other one, the battery had leaked out! 😈 So I had to go and procure two AAA batteries from somewhere. Finally after everything was connected, it turns out that there was just no sound. After all the permutations and combinations and doublechecking all the circuits, I found that there was just no sound at all. Later on I had to go to Big Bazaar once again and look at how they’d connected it.

The DVD player has two audio outputs, one is a Stereo output – two cables – Left and Right speaker. The other was the 5.1 output – which has 6 cables – 5 for 5 speakers (Surround Left, Surround Right, Front Left, Front Right, and Center), and 1 for a Woofer (hence 5.1 which means 5 + 1). The point of the latter being that the sound gets distributed among these speakers to render special audio effects.

In the demo, they’d just connected two cables for the stereo!

Anyway to cut a long story short, it turns out that by changing some settings using the menu, I was actually able to get some output from the speakers. But even then, the dialogues were hardly audible and though I watched a couple of movies, it was almost impossible without the subtitles on.

This wasn’t even going to be an intermittent work around, Big Bazaar had succesfully managed to dump a Rs 3000 piece of electronic junk in my house! 👿

Finally after a week or so I made time to take the whole thing back to the place – I told them I really need something else. They empathised with me but I didnt have the wrapping packages, and also I had exceeded one week (they had given this timeline for a return earlier, but when I’d gone with my earlier complaint they’d said reassuringly that they’d exchange it no problem). Still they did try to file this return in their computer system, and in the meantime I identified a Philips player among the few other models they had on display. I was temporarily relieved this mess was finally getting over. Unfortunately they came back saying it wasn’t possible as it had been over a week. So I had lost my case. They were kind enough to exchange it for another Passion DVD player.

Atleast in this one the audio is relatively better if I connect it directly to the TV speakers – so its some consolation that atleast I’m able to watch movies now! Connecting it through the speaker system still wasn’t working, but I’d rather live with this than go through any other hassles – I might write to some customer support later maybe. (The ‘paint’ on the speaker system amplifier is actually a paper stuck on it which is already coming off!)

Ok apart from paying a big price for a real cheap DVD player, I think the only thing useful I got in the whole thing was the BigFlix subsidised membership where I saved a few hundred rupees for two months 🙄

I don’t know how exactly I ended up going through this situation – wasting a lot of time and energy. I think this really shows complete lack of wisdom on my part right from the start. I suspect maybe somewhere the greed that I might win some big prize pushed me into buying this cheap stuff. Hard lesson (re…)learnt was to be aware of the real intention behind any act without just looking at the superficial intention! Hope I manage to avoid (or if thats too overambitious – atleast reduce) getting victimized by my own stupidity and greed again :mrgreen:

A US student did a gullibility test asking people if they will sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide”. The reasons were very convincing…
1. it can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
2. it is a major component in acid rain
3. it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
4. accidental inhalation can kill you
5. it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

Out of 50 people he surveyed, only one refused to sign. Dihydrogen monoxide is popularly known as water !!

Source: why are we so gullible

3 Responses to “victimized by greed and stupidity!”

  1. Preethi Says:

    Nice post….
    You are being too hard on yourself.I was about to write the same kind of post on my blog too.I get tempted to save few pennies and then
    land up in issues where I end up paying the double the amount.I guess sometimes, I feel when I compromise on quality and save ” more “…I end up with more tension and less satisfaction.
    Loving ourselves and spending to make ourselves happy is also a spiritual trait.May be the middle way is important.The first duty would be as you said to find the true intention.
    You should write some posts on your journey form a full time job to a free lancer.If that is not a intrusion to your privacy…

  2. Sanjay M Says:

    Yeah… I kind of knew this wasnt a good idea but was hoping it would be atleast an intermediate solution… well at the end of the day it is since they atleast replaced it with a working model 🙂

    Sure my professional venture is on my todo list – so far I’ve updated the cv page in my meet the engineer page 🙂 but will write a post in more detail soon!

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