Sunday, April 01, 2007

The dumbest thing I ever did (well, one of the big ones, anyway)

(Disclaimer: This subject makes me feel stupid because it was probably the dumbest thing I ever did. So bear with me.)

"Honey, they took out another $333.00!"

"Who did?"

"That scrapbooking company or whatever!"

"They did?!?!"

So, last spring, I let in some solicitors. I know, I know. Not very smart. Pretty stupid, really. Anywhosers, I let them in because they were doing something I thought was awesome. They are an "archiving" company. They take all your scrapbooks, unscrapbooked pictures, VCR tapes, home-videos, special documents, etc. etc. and they copy them. Anything you want! They have this awesome copier that does it very quickly. After it's all copied, they archive them onto CD's and DVD's and then store some in their own "vault". It's all legit (still is, I believe), and so I let them in, thinking "wow! If there was a fire, everything would be saved!" I proceeded to let them take my scrapbooks and videos to copy them at their place of business, which was about a mile from my house.

They brought it all back in pieces. Every scrapbook had been taken apart so that things the SAME SIZE would be copied together. So it would be easier to copy. Easier. For them. (And months and months later, my mother --my mother--has to put the books back together for me because I'm still reeling from what they did and just don't have time to fix it all).

Then the bill came. $2,000.00!! I am not joking. Nearly 2 grand for those 20 CD's and DVD's that I don't look through, nor are they organized. It's just a bunch of stuff scanned onto CD's. Out of order. All willy-nilly to the wind.

That's where the denial part of me set in. "Okay, okay. No big deal. I signed a thing. I have to pay for what they did. How can do this easily?" So I set it up with the company to pay monthly for 12 months. No big deal. I teach piano lessons. I can pay for this. DH doesn't have to be mad.

Of course, none of this would have happened if I had just discussed with him first. But, no! I had to make my own decision! I was being "responsible!" I was "being my own person" and all that crap.

So, back in Sept. DH asks "Hey, what's this bill?" and points to some weird name. I assume it's the copier/ruin-my-life-why-dontcha! company.

Now back to the above conversation (from 2 days ago). I'm freaking out. FREAKING out. And DH is not happy that they've taken almost $4,000.00 already! WHAT?!?!!? So I find the receipt. I email them. I call them. They aren't open. They aren't responding. DH and I are both FREAKING out. And, of course, we're taking it out on each other. Being rude. Snippy. And just plain mad. I leave to take a shower before the children think we're crazy.

As soon as I get out of the shower, DH says: "Ummm...honey? Well, uh, I looked again at that statement and realized this company name is taking money from our checking account, not the credit card account.'s our Roth IRA, not that scrapbooking company-thing. HAHAHAHAHAHA!"


"And I only have record that they've taken 2 payments, instead of 12!" (okay, well, we didn't realize they'd only taken 2 payments at the time; we thought they hadn't taken any, until we researched some more. But it makes the story flow better if we imagine that we knew that information to begin with. Yeah.)


So, there you have it. I learned 4 things from this experience:
  1. NEVER let in solicitors. NEVER! Even if they are 12 and selling candy. Just shut the door!
  2. Always discuss big issues with DH. Even if you know he'll say no and you really, really, really want to do it. Because he knows to think about it first. More than 30 seconds of thinking...
  3. Read the banking statements carefully before you accuse your wife --I mean, spouse --of allowing all your money to be taken away slowly and painfully...
  4. Never fight with DH on conference weekend over something incredibly temporal. Especially if you can work through it together. Or if a miracle happens and the subject of the fighting doesn't even exist...


Janelle said...

Cheryl....What can I say, AW has been there. I am the $$ nazi at my house. One time AW let in a solicitor and bought an entire frozen cow. Butchered, but still. We didn't even own a barbeque. I did a lot of lecturing to some avail. AW is still more likely than me to complete a phone survey or listen to salespeople so I have to screen phone calls and door knockers.

Cheryl said...

Well, at least phone surveys don't cost money... :) :)

Denae said...

That was painful to read, I am so sorry. I am definitely the one in my family that DOES NOT talk to solicitors but my husband for sure will and we've had some close calls on buying crazy weird stuff. I'm so glad your situation turned out ok though and that they weren't still taking money!

brenbot said...

it feels good to look back and laugh at yourself though, doesn't it?

Cheryl said...

Yes...and no. Well, mostly yes. :)

Amber said...

My heart really went out to you in this one. Seriously PAINFUL. But it really could have been much worse and at least the outcome with your hubby was funny. :-)

This is the very reason why my hubs and I have a policy that we don't spend over $100 without consulting our spouse first!

Cheryl said...

I like that policy...hmmm...I'm thinking we should implement it...