by Andrew Arnett

There is a vicious heat wave crawling across the city and, the incendiary skies pixelate with maddening consistency. Bottom line- there’s no better place to be now, then huddled around your AC.

The AC in question would have to be no less than 12,000 BTUs and filled to the brim with Freon. That’s the situation we’re facing. People are melting in the streets. There’s no time for folly.

Sophie doesn’t like the heat any less than an ice cube on a hot tin roof and, in anticipation of this heat wave (we are students of the Weather Channel), she did dial up Best Buy to order their maximum powered warmth exterminator.

They promised to deliver the goods, toot sweet, via UPS. That was a great feeling for us. We felt like we had the jump on mother nature. This time, we would win. Sophie gave them credit card codes, numbers that would ultimately, transfer the funds from her bank account to the coffers inside of Best Buy.

They were hungry for charges. We were sweating for a cool down. Everything looked good until the package arrived. It was a bundled mess. It had seen better days. We could see damage from the get go.

The bottom of the box was broken. The Styrofoam inside was flaking, falling out. It appeared to have been sitting in some water, overnight. There were aggravated dents in the sides of the box, puncture wounds which had broken through the card board.

We were concerned for the integrity of our product. We opened the box with trepidation. Sure enough, there was a crack on the front face of the unit, the plastic part. It hung off the main frame with sickening defiance.

The vents across the top popped out like bulging eyeballs. On the metal in back, there were unsightly dents. We didn’t even plug the machine in. Why bother? This product was beat. It had to go.

Sophie dialed up customer service. After some time on hold, we got through, to a lady in the Philippines. She listened to our gripe. She was concerned. She promised us a new AC. They would send one right away, toot sweet. We were relieved. Just a few more days and we would be living in Iceland.

When it arrived, we were stricken by a wave of nausea. A similar sight, as the first delivery, presented itself. A beat up box. This one even worse off than the previous. What was the deal here? What kind of scam were they running?

We had our theories. One being that these returned machines never go back to the factory, they just slap a new delivery label on them and send them to the next buyer. If the buyer keeps it, all the better. You never knew, maybe a store manager would just plug in the unit, not caring about appearances.

We cared. This AC unit was in shambles. The box looked like it was chewed on by rats. There were dents in the back of the machine. The plastic frame in front was split in the corner, sagging woefully.

Forlorn, we called up Best Buy direct. No answer. We decided to make an appearance, in person. So we hoofed it down to the shop, the one located at Atlantic Station in Brooklyn.

Customer service couldn’t help us. Not unless they had the damaged one in the store. We had two machines in the house. It was turning into a bigger mess. On top of that, they would be charging for both items sent to the house. We were done with these shenanigans.

Bottom line- don’t go to Best Buy for an air conditioner. That’s the worst buy. Try Sears, P.C. Richards, or even your local bodega. Anything is better. This is not an endorsement. This is a plea. If you see ‘Best Buy,’ best to say ‘bye, bye.’ Run the other way. Leave this dreary hole.