PEABODY (CBS) – It’s quite the television upgrade for 86-year-old Joe Pinto.
“It’s great. It’s beautiful,” he said of the brand new smart TV a generous WBZ-TV viewer bought for him. “Well, tell you the truth, I didn’t expect it.”
Only a few days ago he was watching his favorite shows on an ancient 15-year-old set. It was a 27-inch Panasonic tube TV that you wouldn’t even be able to buy in a store anymore.
“We just wanted to raise awareness,” explained Joe’s neighbor, Linda Hebert.
“I paid the same. No questions asked,” Joe said. Linda explained that Joe assumed it was a bill. He didn’t realize it was only an offer that he could have just tossed in the trash.
Joe estimates he spent about $1,000 on extended warranties on that outdated TV over the past 15 years. When WBZ reached out to Sears about this issue the company refunded Joe $200.
But, that just wasn’t enough for several WBZ viewers who all offered to buy Joe a brand new TV. “It filled our hearts for sure. I still wish that Sears had reached out to us a little bit more than what they did,” said Linda.
For Joe, a deeply religious man, the gesture was a testament of kindness. He was thrilled to experience a recent church service right in his living room, “It was the most beautiful mass. Big, bright, and beautiful. Just like you’re inside the church, inside the building.”
And in case you’re wondering, this time around, Joe decided to pass on the extended warranty. As we were leaving Joe’s Peabody home, Linda asked Joe if he was happy: “You bet your life on it,” said Joe with a smile.