Tuesday, May 24, 2022

How Many People Does it Take to Change A Light Bulb The Conclusion

Last Thursday, I published a blog post about a little bulb that burnt out in the inside of our freezer.  Trying to find a replacement bulb for a "12 V E14" LED sent us on an hours long hunt where I learned more than I want to know about LED light bulbs and technology that goes obsolete between the time you buy something and the time something needs replacement.

This is a too-familiar story for many of us, and I thought that the commenters on that post might want to know what finally happened.  What we encountered was an odyssey of customer service (or lack of it), which seems to be normal for these times.

When I last left you, dear reader...

... I was exhausted from a long, fruitless Internet research. We used to have a couple of appliance parts places in this area, but we knew they were no more.  The manufacturer of the freezer had nothing at all about freezers on their website. They had a customer service number that actually had Saturday hours, but spouse didn't want to try it. Amazon didn't seem to have anything that looked anything like this little light bulb.  Finally, we gave up for the day.

The next day, our son came over for lunch and he tried to help us. He discovered our particular bulb had been discontinued.   Finally, he came up with a possibility, on Amazon (a site I try not to order from, but it was looking like we had no choice).  The bulbs (we had to buy two) came last Tuesday.  They didn't fit.

He thought he found a possibility at a big box store locally, and that's where my post Thursday ended.  So let's join our story, already in progress.

We have two of those stores locally and I'm not going to name the chain.

Store #1: spouse went by himself.  There was no one around the department to help him.  He couldn't find it although the website said it was in stock.

Store #2 (both spouse and I) couldn't find the bulb and, again, there was no employee around.  We asked the customer service desk person and she looked annoyed (OK, maybe my take on her facial expression, but I also know she has a thankless job and may have just been having a bad day, especially if the store was understaffed).  She paged someone to come to that department. No one came.

We then went to the next aisle (a different department) and there was an employee there.  This young woman helped us.  The bulbs son had found (I had a screenshot on my phone, thankfully) were another size: E-12.  E-14s apparently are no longer made. She knew very little about the light bulb department, so our thanks go doubly to her.

This E-12 was the size of the bulbs we got from Amazon.  I got to thinking, was there such a thing as a E-14 to E-12 adapter.  Turns out Amazon sold one, through an Amazon storefront (I think that's the right term) on the West Coast.  I emailed them to see if it would be suitable for use in a freezer lid.

I never got a response after some 24 hours but the adapter was so inexpensive I decided to order it anyway.  It came yesterday.

The adapter worked.

So, how many people does it take to change a light bulb?  The modern answer: Too, too many.

Have you ever had a planned obsolescence experience?

11 comments:

  1. ...Amazon has become a necessary evil.

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  2. I believe in getting appliances repaired, if possible, before throwing them out and replacing. While this was a hassle (designed this way I am sure), it must give you a sense of accomplishment. Good job.

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  3. A slight aside. That is exactly the reason why I recommend my clients buy HP or Brother printers. They maintain the parts one needs for a decade. If you elect to keep a printer more than a decade, then it's your problem.

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  4. What an ordeal, but at least you have a bulb now

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  5. Hi Alana - I certainly feel for you with this post - and am amazed you found the fix ... way too many people to set the rules and regulations for changing a light bulb too ... but I'm pleased for you - cheers Hilary

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  6. Unfortunately, with the demise of customer service in most companies, the consumer is often left frustrated and forced to fend for ourselves. I mean, it's not like we can buy a new freezer because we can't get the light replaced (although the companies wouldn't complain).

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  7. Well, you got something that works, and that's the important thing. But was it worth the aggravation?

    Until I went Mac, I seemed to always get the laptop that ws no longer supported within a year of my owning it.

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  8. That is an all too familiar story but congratulations on your ultimate triumph!

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  9. I never knew that about light bulbs. Also, didn't know there were regulations on changing a light bulb. Amazon is amazing and frustrating.

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  10. You won! Congratulations. Sometimes Amazon is a necessary evil. Nothing wrong with utilizing what tools you can.

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