Radio Rentals: from Zaki to reliability

The household: two adults and six kids.

Time period: 1970s through to the mid-eighties.

The television situation

A regular flow of second-hand black and white television sets. My dad knew a chap called Zaki, a TV repairman and seller of television sets that needed life support machines. Zaki’s trademark comment was “It will be five pounds to fix it, or if you want a different TV, I can get you one for £30.” Zaki was a regular visitor to our home, it really would have made sense for him to move in if space was available – our TV sets were in constant need of repairs and being replaced.

From black and white to colour

The 1970s were about knackered second hand black & white TVs; the 1980s were about upgrading to colour TVs. We stayed loyal to Zaki and Zaki stayed loyal to us – he consistently kept supplying us with colour television sets that were on the brink of dying. Eventually, we ended our partnership with Zaki, and signed up with Radio Rentals.

It will be five pounds to fix it, or if you want a different TV, I can get you one for £30.”

Radio Rentals reliability

The new modern television was delivered. We decided to go for a video recorder too – it was a chunky, robust, mean looking front loading machine. Two new pieces of home entertainment equipment, zero breakdowns and no more visits from Zaki!

We did see Zaki around town about twelve months after we’d ditched him for Radio Rentals – he was polite enough, but was not quite his usual smiling self. The expression on his face: my income has taken a battering because of traitors like you… bastards!

Further essential retro reading…

  1. The TV repair shop
  2. The retro TV set: brutality in action

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