Fleeced: Meggy & Goldblum “Do Work”

So I’ve been in a rather lousy mood for a few weeks; on top of things being a general pain in the ass as of late, my Rega turntable seemingly shot craps, so I took it into an unnamed hi fi den in Chicago to get a diagnosis.

This shop sits in a rather lucrative spot; they are one of the only places in the city that sells hi-fi such as Rega, let alone repairs it, and it was where I’d bought mine, etc, so I had few other options. The only thing I could think of when I realized my turntable needed repair was when my Dad used to advise me against buying a VW because of the need for repairs, and how (back in the 80s) alot of mechanics around central Illinois didn’t service them. Which is the problem when buying something like a Rega turntable. I should listen to my Dad more.

To be fair, as a precursor, I’ll say that I’ve generally had good experiences in there before, but at times, the Deepak Chopra-like turntable gurus are a bit hard to handle.

TRIP ONE: From the outset, not only was a diagnosis not forthcoming, but the general maliase with which I was told I’d need to leave the player there in order for the “part” to come in (after I was told two days prior over the phone that they had it) was rather unnerving. But I had little to no choice. Leave it there I did.

TRIP TWO: So I return one week later (queue up last Saturday) and go in, only to be fleeced by what I can safely say is the most non-threatening duo since Ace & Gary. Allow me to elaborate.

The first half of the duo calmy explained to me in the hushed whispers that only the trained hi fi salesman and his cronies can actually hear, how the new cartridge they installed, along with new belt, made the player sound “brand new.”

Hmmm. To me, never a good sign. Telling the customer how good it sounds, is a classic Jedi mind trick lead in. It seems to chide: “what you hear will be NO different than before, but trust us, it SOUNDS better.”

"Sell You a Rega?"

Imagine, if you will, a more out of shape and worse complexed Meggy from This is England ’86, and this was who I was dealing with. His partner in crime looked like Jeff Goldblum, with Morrissey’s haircut, except totally silver.

The pair both communicated in mumurs (complete with Cheshire cat fixed grins) that amounted to a more aloof and less aggressive (if can be imagined) Kip from Napoleon Dynamite.

"Upgrade that cable?"

Meggy raved about this and that, Goldblum agreed. I think I may have been having an asthma attack. But undaunted, they plodded ahead with their pitch.

Before I knew it, not only was I down for a new cartridge (I had this in the budget) but also a new belt (not in budget, but not a big deal) and here’s the kicker – new speaker/amp wire. Which is expensive. Even more expensive when Meggy does not tell you it costs an additional $50 to put banana ends on said wire.

When I left, I had to take a second to gather my thoughts and process what had just happened: The complete and total opposite of savvy salesmen had just talked me into spending nearly double what I had planned on spending.

In a way, the only thought going through my mind should be, to quote Irwin Fletcher ,”God I admire you.”

That is, truly, “how it’s done.”

Hat tip, Meggy and Goldblum. Round One & Two go to you. There will be no Round Three. I am outgunned.

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