Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do you have to keep the receipt forever?

H-Mart SamplerImage by futurowoman via Flickr

Six months ago or more, I bought an unusually large stainless-steel pot with two steamer inserts and a glass cover at the Korean supermarket in Little Ferry.

It cost less than $30 on sale, but was made with steel so thin the bottom of the pot flexed.

Still, the generous 12-inch-plus width easily swallowed a pound of spaghetti, and was ideal for blanching large quantities of  such greens as bok choy, fresh spinach and collard greens.

And the inserts accommodated a 10-inch Pyrex plate for steaming frozen wild salmon or cod with sake, soy sauce and other Asian flavors on one level and vegetables on a second level.

This week, I noticed that rust spots started to appear on the inside of the pot and one of the steamer inserts, and this morning, I took the whole thing back to H Mart.

The first thing the woman at the customer service desk asked me is, "Where is your receipt?"

When I said I bought the pot more than six months ago and no longer had the receipt, she said she could do nothing for me.

I asked her to call chain headquarters while I shopped for a couple of items, and as I was checking out, she handed me a store credit for $19.99.

Then she explained the cheap-stainless-steel-pot facts of life to me:

There are all qualities of stainless steel and when you buy a pot for under $30, as opposed to one for $60 or more, you can't expect much.

And, she said, I had a responsibility to dry the pot and steamer inserts before I put them away. I thanked her and left.

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