If you haven't seen the Comfort Wipe yet on your television or Internet machine, feel free to click on any of these words for more information. For the click-impaired, a quick synopsis: It's a little grabby-arm used for wiping your ass. The ads claim proudly that it's great for old people and "big guys" and is the first major advancement in wiping your ass since the 1880s (I'm not making that up).
I am honestly a little suspicious that it it's a real product. However, please don't let the fact that this may not be a real product negatively affect your enjoyment of the following tale of my attempts to return one, which I can assure you is not fictional in any way.
CALL CENTER LOG: 06/14/09 11:34 CST
TELEBRANDS CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE: TeleBrands, this is Marci speaking, how may I help you?
CALLER: Hi, uh, Marci. I need to return a product I ordered.
CSR: All right, sir. Do you have the order number with you? It should be on the invoice that was shipped with the product.
CALLER: Yup, just give me a second. OK, got it. It's A662-BN2453-02334.
CSR: OK, I'll just pull that up on the computer for you. This is Chris?
CALLER: Yes! That's me.
CSR: And I see you ordered a Comfort Wipe package. We actually don't allow returns for that particular product.
CALLER: Why not?
CSR: Well it doesn't say here, but I'm guessing for hygiene reasons? We really have no facilities for handling used Comfort Wipes.
CALLER: Oh, I get it. Yeah, I don't know what I'd do with a bunch of those either. You'd need like a hazmat team and a priest, huh? OK. Well this one is still in the original packaging if that helps.
CSR: Oh. OK. Yes, I think that does. OK, can I ask why you're returning it?
CALLER: It was a gift for someone who has requested to no longer receive gifts from me.
CSR: I see, all r...
CALLER: It was an anniversary present. Or, was going to be an anniversary present. Not any more. So on the plus side, no more anniversary presents!
CSR: Yes, I think I can see why.
CALLER: Also on the plus side, no more anniversaries!
CALLER: I'm just having fun with you. Seriously, I've made a horrible mistake here. This is a real bad scene I've got myself into.
CSR: I'll bet.
CALLER: Look, OK? She thought
CSR: I don't really have anything to do with that sir.
CALLER: That's OK. I'm not concerned. It felt kind of stupid when I was saying it, but maybe if you got someone with a really dignified voice? Wilford Brimley, I'm thinking.
CSR: ... Do you want me to process this return for you, sir?
CALLER: Yes, please do.
CSR: Well, so long as the product is unused, I think we can work something out.
CALLER: Oh I used it. I thought I'd show her how to use it before she gave up on the whole idea, and well, that just made things worse.
CSR: I'm sorry sir? You said you used it? I thought it was in its original packaging.
CALLER: It is. I put it back in the original packaging afterward.
CSR: OK, but once it's out of the original packaging, we can no longer accept it.
CALLER: Ok, but I didn't "use it," use it. If you know what I mean. It was a dry run I guess. Is that a term? Do you use that term in the industry? That's what I'd like to call it. I can explain what I mean if you want.
CSR: Please don't. And it really makes no difference sir once it's out of the original packaging.
CALLER: And I washed it afterwards. Obviously.
CSR: Again, no amount of washing will be acceptable.
CALLER: Well this puts us in a bit of a pickle, doesn't it?
CSR: I'm sorry, sir. Is there anything else I can help you with?
CALLER: Yes there is. You work in a little call center there, right? How many people would you say work there with you on the Comfort Wipe product?
CSR: There's four of us sir, but we handle all sorts of different products...
CALL CENTER LOG: 06/14/09 11:39 CST
TELEBRANDS CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE: TeleBrands, this is Marci speaking, how can I help you?
CALL CENTER LOG: 06/15/09 11:46 CST
TELEBRANDS CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE: TeleBrands, this is Steven speaking, how can I help you?
CALLER: Hi, Steve-o! I need to return a product I ordered. It broke.
CSR: All right sir, I'm sorry to hear that. Do you have the order number with you? It can usu...
CALLER: Yup, got it right here: A662-BN2453-02334.
CSR: Just a moment, sir. I see, OK we do not accept returns on this particular product.
CALLER: Yes, well, it broke. It was faulty.
CSR: Sir, the Comfort Wipe explicitly does not come with a warranty.
CALLER: I noticed. You don't stand behind your product?
CSR: Sir, I try to stand as far away from that product as possible.
CALLER: Well none of that matters because there is a whole asswad -
CSR: -pause- Let me process a refund for you sir.
CALLER: Good lad.
CSR: OK. Let me pull up the Returns screen. I'll need to ask some questions first.... Oh lord. OK, how did the product fail?
CALLER: Don't worry, it wasn't on my ass.
CSR: Please do not tell me how you were using it sir. I just want to know how it broke.
CALLER: I was using it on the bus.
CSR: Damnit, what did I just tell you?
CALLER: I'm trying to explain. I have to take the bus everywhere now because my girlfriend owns the car, and while "we're rethinking things" I'm stuck without a ride. Anyways, the bus is just full of people, right, but not good people like you or me. Nasty people. And I was waving around my Comfort Wand on the bus so people would give me a little more personal space. So no ass-play at all! Honest! Steven would I lie to you?
CALLER: After all we've been through Steven, would I lie to you about ass-play?
CSR: ...How did it get broken sir?
CALLER: The bus driver told me to get off the bus. So I bent over and was rubbing it on my ass, over my pants though, so we're still good, and I'm all like "ooh, what you gonna do?" And then he kicked me right in the ass, and it got in the way and broke.
CSR: Sir, that's not a valid reason for a refund. It's not a manufacturing fault, that's deliberate misuse.
CALLER: But none of it got on my ass! None at all Steven! After I fell down, one guy put one of the pieces in my mouth, but that's it!
CSR: Jesus Christ sir.
CALLER: THIS IS JUST WHAT NAZI GERMANY MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE! -click-
CALL CENTER LOG: 06/15/09 4:17 CST
TELEBRANDS CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE: TeleBrands, this is Sharon speaking, how can I help you?
CALLER: Sharon, this is Chris Bucholz. You've probably heard of me. I need help.
CSR: All right. How can I help you?
CALLER: My Comfort Wipe broke off inside my ass.
CSR: I can't help you sir. You need to see a doctor.
CALLER: What I need Sharon, is a refund.
CSR: I can't do that for you sir. We've been told not to give you a refund.
CALLER: Sharon I am going to lay this down for you: If you do not give me a refund, I will stick something else up my ass. And I will call to tell you about it. I will continue sticking things up my ass and calling to tell you about it until my demands are met.
CSR: You're going to stick a never-ending stream of things up your ass because you want your 20 bucks refunded? Are you insane?
CALLER: I WRITE COMEDY ON THE INTERNET. YOUR MIND WOULD SHATTER IF YOU SAW ONE THOUSANDTH OF THE THINGS I HAVE SEEN.
CSR: -Five second pause- Let me get my manager.
TELEBRANDS MANAGER: Hello sir? This is Michael, the manager here. I understand you have something up your ass?
CALLER: Michael, I am an honest man who has gotten caught up in the high stakes world of telecommerce, and now I'm in too deep. The only way I know how to get out is by sticking things in my ass, but it would seem that is no longer enough. I need your help.
TELEBRANDS MANAGER: Sir, I'm going to authorize my staff to give you a full refund.
CALLER: Michael, you're a gentleman and a scholar.
TELEBRANDS MANAGER: I'm doing this on one condition however, Mr. Bucholz: that you stop harassing my staff. If you ever call this number, or make any conduct with TeleBrands again, I will alert the authorities.
CALLER: I promise that you will hear nary a peep from any of my orifices again sir.
TELEBRANDS MANAGER: -unintelligible- That's great. Have a nice day, Mr. Bucholz.
Plenty of everyday things have weird connections to the Nazis.
The thing about plot twists is that they almost never make sense on repeat viewing.
Sometimes the silliest goofballs get away with the vilest things.