Hall of Shame
Review posted: 2002-05-26
Location: Tukwila, WA, USA
Far be it from me to succumb to snappy ad jingles & catch phrases, but I did. Here is my saga.
- Prologue I wanted an MP3 player for my car that also had an auxiliary input for my cassette tapes. After doing plenty of research, I settled on the AIWA CDCMP32, which had a front-panel aux input (very handy).
- 2002-04-28 Talked to John, who gladly sold me the AIWA CDCMP32 for $249.95 + $13.95 wiring harness + some miscellaneous charges. They installed it within one hour (helps to walk in as soon as they open Sunday morning...)
- In the meantime The AIWA skipped like crazy, the "Magic Face" disappearing faceplate stuck closed most of the time (I literally had to massage it to get it to open), and half the time it wouldn't read my MP3 CD-R unless I ejected and re-inserted it. I did MORE research, decided on a JVC (front aux input, and hey, it's not AIWA!).
- 2002/05/?? I tried to return the unit. John convinced me to look at other units, said Cartoys didn't carry JVC because "a few years ago they started some car fires."
- 2002-05-19 After doing MORE research (interesting - no search turns up anything about JVC starting car fires...), I looked at different units at Cartoys. After going home, convinced myself to buy a $599.95 Kenwood unit (I figured my commute warrants the "upgrade"). John tells me that installation is free for the new unit.
- 2002-05-21 I tried to buy the Kenwood. John's not there. Cartoys wants to charge me installation! After telling them that John told me installation was free, they still don't budge. The tall Indian manager (no name tags) explains that the wiring harnesses are different between AIWA and Kenwood. If I were to upgrade to another AIWA, install is free. But installing a Kenwood unit requires paying the installation fee. AGAIN.
- 2002-05-22 I went in to return the unit, but had to schedule an appointment to get the original stereo re-installed. (I hoped I could get it all done then, but they were too busy.)
- 2002-05-25 I returned to the store.
John recognized me, asked if I wanted the Kenwood.
I told him I HAD wanted it, but since I'd have to pay for installation again, I was only returning the AIWA.
He asked me who said that, I pointed out the tall Indian guy (still no name tags), he said he would check on it and ran to the back.
He returned a few minutes later WITH THE KENWOOD IN HIS HANDS, and told me that Cartoys would not charge me for installation again.
I said it was too late - I already had a new stereo.
He processed my refund (a FULL refund, which he didn't have to do, explaining that his installers "didn't take the hit"), took my keys, and an hour later I was back where I was on 2002-04-28.
- Trips to Cartoys: 6
- Original Cartoys purchase: $293.63 (AIWA stereo, wiring harness, labor, misc. parts, WA State sales tax)
- Final Cartoys purchase $.03 (full refund except for some three-cent part)
- Cartoys stereo I wanted: $599.95 Kenwood
- Installation fee Cartoys wanted when I tried to buy a $599.95 Kenwood: ~$85.00
- Amount of money Cartoys lost because they wanted their $85.00: $514.95
- # of purchases I will make at Cartoys in the future: 0
The end result? Bought a more-expensive Kenwood from Crutchfield, installed it easily, and am enjoying it thoroughly. (see my review of Kenwood on the Fame page)