Monday, February 10, 2014

Something That Should Suck, Doesn't

I may have mentioned the other day that my wife was having problems with her vacuum cleaner. what it boils down to is she needs a new filter. I'll get into that later; right now I need to rant.

I have been working on vacuum cleaners for years. Its what a Redneck does; he fixes- or at least TRIES to fix things. Part of it is because usually it is cheaper to fix something than buy a new one, and part of it is the challenge of taking something that doesn't work, figuring out why it doesn't work, and then figuring out to make it work again.

With vacuums 90% of the time it is a clogged hose or a busted belt. Anything else and the cost of the parts is more than the cost of a new unit. But this vacuum is a new breed; for me anyway. No bag; it has a clear plastic tub you have to empty. And it has a filter! I figure the filter takes the place of the bags. Not as a dirt holder, but as something you need to keep buying to make sure the device functions.

The filter is where the problem is. I will say this for this little thing; it can suck up some dirt. I'd swear  the basement is cleaner after vacuuming the living room carpet; it is that efficient. But the tub is small, and needs to be emptied after each use. which isn't really a bad thing, or a hard thing.

But the filter; it needs to be cleaned almost weekly. It has a foam pre-filter, and then a paper HEPA filter. Trust me, no dirt escapes this thing. If it picks it up, it stays picked up. Unlike some other vacuums I have used, that manage to not really clean the room, but just redistribute the dust to areas other than the carpet.

Like my lungs.

Anyway, I usually clean the filter every weekend, just as a precaution. Last weekend I forgot; hey- it was a busy weekend. Which is why on Tuesday my wife cleaned the filter. The paper, HEPA filter. With water.

Yeah; it killed it. And I don't have a spare.

Surely A local store will have one. Wanna bet? Apparently this is a rare beast. I haven't been to a specialty vacuum shop yet, but nowhere else I have stopped has one.

The Hell with this running around bit. That's why they invented the internet, right?

Bissell has a website- a great website, by the way- I found my part in less than a minute. $3.99? Lets buy two! On to checkout; lets find out how much the shipping will be. And the website crashed.

Not a problem; redoing everything took only a few seconds; on to checkout.... and the website crashed.

Well that sucks. Ummm; no pun intended.

Wait a minute; they have an 800 number, and they are open on a Sunday; all is not lost!

I get right through - to some one who speaks English as a first language; another plus! But that was the last of the good news. Since the website was down, so was their phone in ordering system.

Well that sucks. Okay; maybe I did intend a pun.

But; they expect everything to be operational shortly.

Shortly? Whose got time for shortly? On to Amazon! I should have gone there first; probably cheaper too.

Yes the do have them; for $8.95!?!?!?!

Wait; here one for $2.95; that's more like it. $4.95 for shipping?!?!?!? This thing weighs less that a first class letter; shipping should be $1.95 tops.

But the $9.00 version has free shipping. So... 4 bucks for the filter and 5 bucks to ship it. Those sound like familiar figures. Maybe I can find a better deal; Hell; it looks like everybody has this filter. No wonder I can't find one at Wal-Mart; the internet has all of them... For $8.95 each. No wonder we got such a great deal on the vacuum; it looks like they are following the Lexmark example- FREE PRINTERS!; expensive ink.

Maybe I do have time for 'shortly'.

Back to the Bissell website; this time they are up. I have to 'join the Bissell Club' before I can order; do I want emails about their special offers? Uh. NO?

Then the obligatory method of payment screen, and BOOM; I have two new filters on the way for about $6.50 each, including shipping.

And they should be here in 5 business days.

D'oh! that's what I hate about internet shopping; no instant gratification. But that is another story.

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