From the “Been there, done similarly” files:
[I] called the home alarm system company. A while ago I got a plaintive wail from the junction box: LOW BATT. A call to tech support gave me a complex series of instructions designed to revive Lowbatt from his confused, enervated state: unplug the transformer, disconnect the leads, let it sit for a while and think about what it’s done. This I did and when I reconnected the leads, the battery wailed again.
So. Called them up. This call may be monitored for quality assurance. They all say that, but only this company gives you the Beep! every 30 seconds like you’re on an Apollo mission. In the middle of the conversation the tech accidentally cut me off. They didn’t call back. I called back. We fixed everything, but I was wondering if I could replace the battery.
The tech said sure. Just go to any store that sells them.
I said I was thinking that they could replace the battery. It being their product, and all. It is an interesting question I don’t expect DirecTV to replace the batteries in my remote, but this thing is the size of a battery you’d find in construction equipment. He said he’d check to see if I had the protection plan … Yeah, you do. But the earliest date I can see for Bismarck is April 8.
I’m not in Bismarck, I said. That’s North Dakota. I’m in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Well that’s the service area I’m seeing here. It says they’re backed up because of the Red River flood.
That’s nowhere near where I am.
He seemed irritated.
Are you near interstate 94 and interstate 29? he asked.
“I’m a few miles from 94, and 247 miles from 29.”
Well that’s what I’m seeing here.
Great. If this guy was in charge of a Predator drone, we’d be at war with Switzerland.
Suddenly I feel better about my alarm company, which so far has yet to provoke any international incidents.
So I popped open the cabinet, to the extent that “popped open” applies to a metal box that’s sealed with Phillips screws, and found the offending component. Looked just like a Sears DieHard sent through the debigulator: same lead-acid chemistry, same 12 volts, though obviously not up to the task of starting a car. I grat my teeth and betook myself to Batteries Plus, where they had a whole shelf of the little bastiges.
And while they didn’t dispatch a tech, they did send me a spare and a bill for $25.