Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Adventures in Homebuying: Soft Water

Last year, I bought a water treatment system for the house. It all started with a visit to the Home Show. The Hague water people had a booth, and I only asked for more info. Plus, they were offering a free water filter thing for your kitchen. All you have to do is let them in the house so they can test your water and trick you into buying the entire smash.

So, water sales guy comes over a few weeks later, and he makes his case, complete with a flip chart. He also tests my water and shows me how disgusting Kansas City water is. He hooks up his portable water treatment filter, and makes me a pitcher of Kool-Aid to show me how wonderful filtered water makes Kool-Aid.

Before I know it, I've leased a water treatment system for the house. Now, I'm not a pushover when it comes to sales. In fact, I'm usually the last holdout. So, you know this guy had to have been good to get me on board.

A few days later, it is installed. They don't let you wait more than a week because that gives you time to think about what you've done, and the last thing they want is for you to cancel. So, water guy not only installs the system, he also leaves 3 years worth of soap behind. Laundry soap, dish soap, body soap, soap for the dishwasher, shampoo, bar soap, multi-purpose cleaner, window cleaner, and a couple things I can't remember off the top of my head. The idea is that now that you have a water treatment system, you don't need to buy soap with softeners in them. You already have the soft water.

To their credit, the laundry soap is actually pretty good. The body soap smells nice. The shampoo sucks. (I still use my overpriced, salon-purchased stuff because I'm a neurotic hair snob.) I don't notice any difference in dish soap, but the dishwasher stuff is pretty nice. I can't use the bar soap because I apparently have a sensitivity to soap with oatmeal in it. (Which worked out because Brother loves the stuff.) Truth be told, I haven't purchased a lot of cleaning items for over a year.

Anyway, a few weeks after installation, a different sales guy comes over to "go over your lease agreement", which translates into "we're going to get you to buy this whole thing outright."

For the longest time, I had a problem with my skin. I itched...constantly. Initially, I thought it was a dry skin issue, but when you sit in a bathtub full of water and all you can do is scratch your legs, I figured it was an allergy. I changed laundry soaps. I changed body washes. I tried lotions, creams, medications. Nothing worked, and it was normal to see me with big welts on my body from excessive scratching. It wasn't until I made the switch to soft water, and I spoke with a dermatologist about it, that it was figured that I have a sensitivity to hard water.

This made it hard to say no to the buying of the water treatment system, not to mention the reverse osmosis water is pretty sweet. Chronic itching left me miserable. Besides, such things like water treatment systems add value to your home when you go to resale...or at least that was the reason I used when I signed the agreement.

Naturally, they asked for referrals. I put a couple names down, one of which being someone that I knew would end up buying the system, because he can't say no to buying anything. In fact, he usually buys multiples of the same item (you know who you are and you can't deny it).

As I predicted, he bought the system (I gloated about how right I was for months after). I was supposed to have gotten something free for the referral, but I heard nothing from the company until this evening when they called to schedule maintenance to the tune of under $200. Out of curiousity, I mentioned my referral that panned out. They asked for the name to confirm that he bought the system.

Low and behold, I get my maintenance for free. I was expecting a clock radio or a tent or something.

That's $200 I can use to pay for a shiny new crown for my tooth! I'm replacing one out of sheer vanity...but I'll post on that later.

Overall, Febraury is shaping up to be a good month. Provided no one tries to seduce me on the internet.


Bethando said...

One more thing about soft water (in case you didn't know): If you get blond/light brown highlights put in regularly it can turn them brassy and fade your color quicker. It sounds ridiculous, but if you can wash your hair with the hard water somehow on a semi regular basis, your better off.

But, I am happy your skin is happier!

Spyder said...

You drank the Kool Aid!

Average Jane said...

My water softener is out of salt, but your post has prompted me to plan to stop at Lowe's on my way home tonight to get some.

Incidentally, I can assure you that the cleaning products they've given you will last a lot longer than three years. I've had my water softener for at least five years and I have gallons and gallons of everything left - even the stuff I use frequently like the laundry detergent, hand soap and dish detergent. I gave up on the dishwasher detergent because it was awful and the shampoo because I'm picky.

Faith said...

If "neurotic hair snob" = "girl with processed hair that prefers it doesn't look like shit since she pays so much money for the fucking processing to help make her look pretty in the first place", then I'm a neurotic hair snob, too.

And Spyder's comment made me laugh out loud!

Heather said...

I didn't drink the Kool-Aid. It sat in a pitcher for two weeks before I tossed it out.

Sometimes, I'm in the mood for Kool-Aid. That wasn't one of those times.