Nintendo Customer Service

We’ve had our Nintendo Wii for quite a few years now and had never encountered any issues with it. We were pretty pleased, until last month – when my son and hubby started playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. They played for a few weeks until the Wii just could not take it anymore. I guess you could compare the experience with a couch potato who starts having sex three times a day with an olympic athlete – the heart can only take it for so long, until you upgrade it.

Since our warranty expired a long time ago, we had to find a place to fix it, or get a new one. We looked around at local places who could potentially repair it, but they either charge too much (almost the same price as getting one brand spanking new) or were just plain creepy. So, my hubby turned to Nintendo directly, expecting the price to be just as high and a wait time of 6 to 8 weeks or something. The customer representative (that’s at the Nintendo Canada office in Montreal) was very delightful and told my husband that it cost $95 including shipping. That’s not bad, considering they send you a new Wii if they can’t fix yours. We were also told it would be about 10 business days –  much better than the time we originally expected.

My husband packed up the heart broken Wii and sent it off on a Tuesday afternoon. The Thursday of the same week, we get a package from Nintendo! Yes! In 2 days, our Wii was shipped to Montreal, fixed and shipped back (and it was ours, not another refurbished one)!!! 2 DAYS! And it’s working like that couch potato on an overdose of Viagra.

Kudos to Nintendo (Canada) for the excellent service!

Final score: 5 out of 5


LG LCD TV (Model 42LK450)… and related events

We had been watching our 27″ 15 year old TV for like, well, 15 years now. It still worked perfectly fine so we never really thought of replacing it. We were on basic cable, far from fancy, but suited our needs. Last week, my in-laws surprised us with an early Christmas gift: a 42″ LG LCD TV. Whoa. Talk about big – compared to our 27″ of course. We’ve got the living room for it, so why not?!

My hubby and my father-in-law plugged it in… with our basic standard cable. Hmm. I kind of wanted my old TV back. This LG model 42LK450 is Full HD 1080p. Non-HD channels, coming in from standard cable, look horrible. I mean absolutely horrendous. I felt like crying. Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but I was disappointed. To encourage myself, I put in a DVD. That was better, much better. The image came through crystal clear, the colors were fabulous and even the sound was very nice. My in-laws mentioned I might want to get digital cable. ***SAY WHAT?*** I was already pissed at our cable company for cutting our extended cable channels telling us if we wanted them back, to get digital cable. I didn’t want to give them one more penny! I WILL NOT BE SUCKED IN TO THIS CONSUMERISM CRAP! A week later, we’re plugging in our digital cable box… (with PVR). :S Holy mother of God!!! Totally forgetting the consumerism thing, I am freaking out seeing how clear the image is on my new LG TV! Even the non-HD channels look awesome.

For the past few days now, I rejoice in the ability to record the shows I want, rewind a live show when I wasn’t sure if the New York chick said she wanted “poutine“, and seeing it all on a fabulous TV! A victim of consumerism… I enjoy digital cable.

The 42” LG LCD TV – 42LK450 has a sleek design, it was very easy to setup and use – I don’t even think my hubby looked at the instructions, and I picked up the remote and just played with it. The colors are amazing once you’ve gone through the wizard to set them up to your liking. It’s even got an energy saving feature that allows the screen to automatically adjust its intensity based on the ambiant lighting. I also enjoy the “ratio” button on the remote that allows me to quickly adjust the screen ratio for the show that is on; no need to dig through the menus. The remote control is also sleek, thin and has buttons that are just the right size with big enough characters that you don’t strain your eyes in the dark.

I suggest you get this TV only if you have or plan on having digital cable, or if you want to use it just for movies or connecting to the Web. The LG (Canada) website sells this TV for $699.99, but we got it at Costco (Canada) for $537.00, so shop around for the best price.

I’m still not sure I like seeing the actors’ HD pores on a 42″ screen, but that’s a personal thing; t’has nothing to do with the TV.

Final score: 4 out of 5

Centrios Speed to Sound Clock Radio for use with iPod/iPhone

A few years back, I was getting annoyed with waking up to the radio in the morning. I’d get up in a bad mood after having the morning news disturb my beauty sleep. I asked for a “Zen” alarm clock for Christmas, to help me wake up gradually. What a treat… for a few months. Until I had to move it further away from my bed as it was too easy to turn off. That worked, for another few months, until I just didn’t hear it anymore.

I’ve had an iPod Touch for about a year now and realized I could use it as an alarm clock and pick the music to which I wanted to wake up. So I went on a search for a docking station. My criteria: small, less than 50$, dull clock backlight (I like the darkness), dual alarm, and a “nice to have” sleep function to fall asleep with soothing music.

I found the Centrios Speed to Sound Clock Radio for use with iPod/iPhone. The box (and the sales guy) said it meets all my needs. And it does, but I discovered more needs as I started using it. Like being able to control the alarm volume… The Centrios doesn’t allow you to customize the wake-up volume and the default? MAX volume… on both the clock radio and the iPod. Even when you’re “sleep” function volume is low, you wake up feeling like you’re standing next to the speakers at a night club. I think I like the radio better.

I’m returning my Centrios and will keep looking. I might have to up my price a bit.

Final score: 2 out of 5