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Truly, advertising has a way of getting into our system. At least a year ago,  I witnessed a product demo at Ace Hdwe., SM City. Steam Iron Brush fascinated me good. For someone who spends considerable time ironing clothes-it takes 30 minutes for me to iron a polo (shirt) and another 20 minutes to iron my pair of slacks-seeing someone do an item in less than a minute really made a lasting impression. So I said to myself “I’ll buy one of those. ” Besides it has other functions which caught my fancy, it also disinfects clothes with its steam. Great product, or so I thought.

Last week, my foot got entangled at my flat iron‘s cord hanging by the shelf as I passed by it. The poor flat iron dropped on the floor with a loud thud; some of its spare parts ran on all directions on the floor. After the initial shock, I muttered to myself this is the time to buy that “magic” iron. Having some cash to spare, I rode my motorbike the next morning and went straight to Ace Hdwe, SM City.

The moment I encountered a sales clerk, I requested for a product demo of a steam iron brush. I was immediately ushered to the corner of the product. So it carries a brand name “Edmark Steaming Iron Brush.” The young man told me the demo person is not in the store but because I need the item very badly and because I have witnessed its magic many months ago, I just made sure there is a written instruction inside the box, then I bought it. Maybe I could figure out using it by myself.

As I got home I began to painstakingly read the instructions. The steps were not well-written  so I googled for instructions and You Tube offered 3 videos; two of which were made just for fun (read: no educational value whatsoever), and one is recorded in Arabic (see video below) but I did not understand a single word.

Useless. So I went back to the brochure. And after reading it a few times I understood it somehow. So I tried to use it. But I couldn’t duplicate the slick feats of the sales person the last time I saw it. Well, I thought I could use some demo, so I heaved a sigh-that’s for the wasted moments-and went back to the store for a demo. Ok, the demo guy has arrived; so he showed me the wonderfully awesome tricks of the Edmark Steaming Iron Brush.  Whoa! Thank you very much! I thanked the guy for impressing me much and convincing me, and went home smiling. He even told me to remember to keep the receipt. Even the sales crew seem to be happy; some of them look like they were having a great morning. I noticed even the guard on the entrance seem to be so cheerful. As if they were all happy for me. This is a nice day, I said to myself.

Home. Because I had to iron some clothes I’ll be using the next day, I immediately plugged the wonderfully awesome product that’s called “Edmark Steaming Iron Brush.

” Wow. Or should I say “whew!” All water in the reservoir has steamed out and 45 minutes later my poor shirt did not change much. It looked like a crumpled shirt, what else. I could have been doing something wrong. Maybe I am missing some steps. Had I been using a flat iron, this shirt could be hanging wrinkle-free and ready to use. Well, maybe it is better  I bring this polo to the store so I can see how the man would handle it. Really bright idea, I learned later. My instincts told me to bring everything, the item, the free giveaway, my polo shirt, and the receipt.

So back to the store I went.

The magician, err the sales man was out on a break, so I looked on some nice flat irons and winked at each of them as I waited for David Blane. What do you know, many of the models got their steam versions too. Enthusiasm. The trickster, este, the sales man is taking too long so a sales lady tried to help me iron my sloppy polo. The guard even remarked, wow, new polo! The lady said it belongs to me. Another sales clerk remarked, nice shirt! Jag. Well what do you know, the lady cannot do it either! Hm. That’s an eye-opener. She can’t do it, and that explains why I can’t either.
Bling! “Sir!” David Blane suddenly spoke beside me. So he’s back. “Hi, can you teach me how to iron this shirt? Somehow I cannot do it as good as you did on the articles on your rack.” He gave the shirt a thorough size up-front and back, as if to plan how to authoritatively undertake the challenge before him. By this time, some other store personnel have gathered around us. We breathtakingly awaited to applaud.  Or to watch David Blane’s downfall. And he in fact, manifested some struggle with it. The “magician” muttered that my polo has a difficult fabric, cotton. So? Did I hear him right? Cotton? It cannot handle cotton? Don’t we all wear and prefer cotton? Most of my clothes are cotton, btw.  Pardon the redundancy. That’s how irritating the situation was.

I thought it can handle any fabric- lace, barong, corduroy, maong, et. al. After all there were all kinds of clothes in fabrics of all kinds hanging on his magic rack. How could the humblest cotton be singled out. A portion of the shirt got wrinkle-free alright, but the front band where the buttons are,  the stitch line on the upper back, and the collars cannot be pressed neatly. These parts remained “manhid” (crumpled). Wow, David Blane lost his suave sales pitch and tried in vain. He was even assisted by a sales lady.

I’ve had it, so I declared I have decided to exchange the item for a flat iron (from the ones I winked at earlier). And what do you know, I will get to save at least 200 bucks for a very good steam iron. The magician cum sales man objected to my plan. He declared that the shirt was ironed and ready for use; to which I “violently” reacted. He said we had a good product demo earlier and that I’ve seen it perform (with flying colors). Besides this, he also said unwinnable arguments like I change my mind too quickly, and that the shirt I brought is a crumpled-style shirt and that it looked alright and ready to wear after his failed attempt to make it wrinkle-free. I asked aloud, would you wear that to work? (In that crumpled state, I meant). No one from the store personnel gathered around us dared butt in the argument.  Well, after I challenged him to see the same shirt in nearby Jag department, and see how good it looks on its un-crumpled glory, I said matter-of-factly  that I will not take the magic iron home, end of argument.

In jest, I said, maybe there is magic in that clothes rack. Defeated (and surely annoyed), he said he would call his superior, so he stood by the phone to do that. I took about 10 minutes before he finally held the phone to call his boss. He went back to me and allowed me to take a flat iron in exchange for the wonderfully amazing  Edmark Steaming Iron Brush; but he’s got to win somehow and he said I need to take other items to offset the price. In short, no balance reimbursement. I said, “No I’m not taking any other item, just refund me my balance,” a sales lady butted in and informed me I cannot be reimbursed.

I said matter-of-factly that it’s illegal not to. (I know my consumer rights, nice try.) Realizing they are in on a no-win situation, my promo merchandizer gave up and curtly told me to get my flat iron.

And choose my good looking Dowell Steam Iron I did while David Blane sadly returned the ESIB on its lonely shelf.

As I waited for the product to be handed to me, the store manager approached the cashier’s desk to sign my receipt. But before doing so, he cordially asked maybe I wanted to buy some other items to which I answered No. Got my item, thanked the cashier and left immediately. Whew, what a long day to buy a steam iron.

Still nothing can replace the good old flat  iron. Meanwhile, the Edmark Steaming Iron Brush as I have found out is all wet.