Husqvarna Chainsaw Fiasco

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Charlie Self wrote:

Wow, flashback. It's amazing how Wal-Mart and their ilk have changed things, isn't it?
Dad started out as a bag boy. Now he makes more than my wife and I put together, and then some. The classic work your way up kind of thing.
Nowadays that just doesn't happen. Bag boys are long gone, and it's almost impossible to start at the bottom and work into a good paying corporate level job with any company without having to move here there and everywhere. Everything is chain stores now, and chain stores are as bad as the military for moving people around. Want that promotion? Sign the random relocation contract.
They call it a "mobile society" but I call it a bunch of people who never put down roots, and who consequently never really come to care about the place they live. At the heart of this kind of thing are all the people in this neighborhood who won't even speak to me. We've been neighbors for six years now, and I still don't know any of them. Their kids don't play with my kids, they don't come trick-or-treat at my house. Our kids ride the same bus, but don't even know each other. I've said hello to them, waved at them as they went by, and it's like I don't even exist, even though I can't possibly have done anything to piss any of them off, since I don't even know them.
It's weird.
Though I guess thinking about it, I forgot. They think it's my fault the state built the pedestrian bridge across the street from their corner of the block. I requested the pedestrian bridge, after all, and it was surely on my word alone that a $350,000 bridge was built. Surely I carry that much weight with VDOT, being an important muckity muck with my 20-year-old car and all. Well, me and the town of Blacksburg, who wants to build a trail to connect to said bridge eventually.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Silvan writes:

But don't bet on it. Long years ago, a friend went to work for IBM, when it was jokingly (sometimes) called I Been Moved. He stayed in the same location, or at least the same complex, for his entire career. In fact, he retired when the wouldn't relocate him for a couple of years.
Winn-Dixie in Bedford has bag boys, though most of them are older than I am, and it's been a few weeks since anyone called me "boy."
I'm not sure about bag boys and carry out at Krogers and Food Lion and such places. I started shopping at the W-D in Bedford 26 years ago, and followed it when it moved (a whole 300 yards). I just like the people. Prices aren't enough different to make sense of chasing my ass out to WalMart or elsewhere, though I'll sometimes hit that or Food Lionif they've got a break on cans of Coke.
IME, grocery shopping at WalMart is an exercise in getting pissed off.

Oh, I dunno. Parkersburg just got turned down for the WV state HS football championships, which was returned to Wheeling for the next 2 years (which will make a total of 12). P'burg is whining about the strip clubs and casions and whatnot right at the spot where the games are played. True, there are no casinos in greater downtown (or uptwon) P'burg, but the grade school closest to me is half a block from a really nasty looking bar which is half a block from a joint called the Nip & Cue. A short ways away, there are several outlets for the state lottery and scratch-off tickets, while a few minutes drive downhill would bring the kids to a local "adult" bookstore, which advertises "individual viewing booths."
Oh well. Those are elementary school kids so can be counted on not to know what is going on. Sure they can. Just like the Parkersburg HS kids another half a block down Dudley.
Rant on hypocrisy over.
Charlie Self "Character is much easier kept than recovered." Thomas Paine
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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SNIP

Hasn't been anything much (other than the Fed's Public Debt Building) in "downtown" Parkersburg since the Mall opened in Vienna in the early 1970's.I remember as a kid my mom actually taking all us kids downtown to0 do our Christmas shopping. Sears, G.C Murphys, local department stores, etc. Those lasted about a month after the Mall opened.

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Dave Hall responds:

True. Downtown really consists of a few bars, a couple lunch spots and government offices of one kind or another. That's it, except for some funeral homes and lawyers offices in old Victorian houses.
Don't look for G.C. Murphy for your Christmas shopping, but Sears and a couple semi-local department stores (at least I never heard of them until I got here) are in the mall, and a potful of stores selling doofus caps and similar doodads.
For those who don't know what a doofus cap is, it's a long brimmed cap that used to be associated with basebal. Curl the brim just right and your head looks like a bullet and your eyes appear to close together even if they're set in the sides of your head right next to your ears. Put the bill on the back and your brains run down the underside of the bill. Put the bill on the side and you prove you didn't have any brains to start with.
Charlie Self "Character is much easier kept than recovered." Thomas Paine
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) writes:

I work for a large metro newspaper, and yes, grocery stores are huge advertisers. The owner of one chain went bankrupt and we lost several million dollars as a result of the bankruptcy.
Now that I work at a newspaper, I have mixed feelings about advertising. On the one hand, my job depends on advertising, but on the other hand I'd rather pay less for the goods I buy.
There are three big grocers in town, two chains and SuperTarget. The two chains advertise like crazy in all media. About the only advertising SuperTarget does for food is a weekly insert in the sunday paper.
SuperTarget has lower prices on almost all groceries, in some cases far lower. I stil go to the chains occasionally, but only because SuperTarget doesn't carry as much.
Brian Elfert
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Its one of them chicken/egg things. Unless they advertise, you won;t know what the prices are, but it cost money to do that. Balance, I guess, is the key. If sales go up from advertising, they can sell for less. Ed
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Robert Bonomi wrote: (clip) Combined with superior customer-service (would you believe that they _still_ have the 'bag boys' take groceries to your car (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Yeah, but will they repair my Husky chain saw, since I didn't buy it there? <G>
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Knowing the way _this_ grocery store operates, they just *might*!
They've been known to go further out of their way for customers.
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I can't imagine any family spending enough on groceries for the store to make a $300 profit per month on one family.
Yes, it feels good to do this sorts of things, but it doesn't really hurt the store all that much. Many store owners would gladly trade a $50 loss in profit for a $300 savings in expense.
Brian Elfert
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On Sat, 24 Jan 2004 00:13:09 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Chuck) wrote:

No excuse for bad attitude, but gas prices are an odd case. Assume a station buys 3,000 gallons at a time (pretty typical). They sell it at a price that is usually 1-5 cents above their invoice (plus all the taxes). If the price of gas goes up 3 cents and they were selling at 2 cents over cost they have to dig into profit from other sales to cover the increase, but they can recoup that as they sell the new load. The problem comes when the price starts to drop. If the station across the street buys a new load that is 6 cents cheaper and cuts their retail price while you still have 2,000 gallons in the tanks you are pretty much up the proverbial creek sans paddle. If you price match the guy across the street you lose money on every gallon you sell. If you don't it takes forever to empty your tank and refill with cheaper gas. Most stations split the difference.
Most of the c-store gas stations actually sell their gas at almost no profit because they make the money on beer and cigs. The low gas price is just to get you in the door. Stations that sell gas and do mechanical work can also keep their prices lower. The ones that only sell gas usually have the highest prices because they have to make enough profit to run the business, and that will depend on volume and the local competition.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Most stations operate on a replacement cost basis. They adjust their prices day by day according to the cost of replacement gas on the wholesale market that day, whether they actually buy any replacement gas that day or not. (Chain stations may actually purchase futures contracts day by day, but independents rarely have the capital to play that game, and just have to sweat out a changing market.)
Pricing on the basis of replacement cost means they see an increased profit margin on gas they bought cheaply in a rising market, and a decreased profit margin on gas they bought dear in a declining market. But they always generate enough money to buy replacement gas on any given day. As long as the price swings aren't too rapid and radical, they don't have to dip into other revenues to refill their tanks.
Actually, most stations don't do it exactly that way. They do boost prices immediately when the wholesale cost of gas goes up, but they reduce prices more slowly as the wholesale price declines, often waiting for a competitor to make the first move. That delay helps to protect their profit margin in a declining market.
Jacking up prices on a commodity they already have in their tanks is when charges of profiteering are heard, And when the prices at different stations move the same way and the same amount at about the same time, charges of price fixing start to be heard.
Because nearly every station's prices seem to move so closely in sync with every other station in a given area, collusion is a tempting explanation. It usually isn't true, though. It is just the way the modified replacement pricing models work out in a competitive market.
Gary
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Gary Coffman notes:

Yeah, boy, do they. Speedways around here are supposedly the low end of the pricing scale, but on the days when there's a market jump, they're the first to change. This past week, the jump went from $1.54 in the a.m. when I drove by to $1.73 about 1 hour later.
Then, when they actually buy, the price turns out to be $1.63, two days later.

It's just the way they're charging much more for something they paid much less for that works out. That may be what keeps the station in business, but somehow, I think there's a bit more there than a "modified replacement pricing" model.
But one thing I'm sure of: it has become much more believable that we'll all be in the $2 range this summer, and up to $3 next year. And, hey, we're doing it without extra taxation! Non-European style, in other words. Only the companies get to screw the consumer, not the governments.
Charlie Self "Character is much easier kept than recovered." Thomas Paine
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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It's interesting to note that where I live, the cost of auto gas here is ALWAYS higher than any town in a 40 mile radius. On the "busy" side of town, gas is about 5 or 6 cents higher than on the "dead" side of town, along entry/exit routes. We have a real estate tycoon here who has his hands into everything, and interestingly enough, he owns both high and lower priced stations around here, including the highest, and the lowest. Also owns a major propane distributor, along with a large liquid transport trucking company. Hmmmm....
RJ
wrote:

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Why would any c-store add pay at the pump if they make little or no money on the gas?
Plenty of research has shown that people often buy more than they planned on, once they get in the store. Customers certainly won't buy anything extra if they never even set foot in the store.
Brian Elfert
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I think they do it because customers want it, other gas stations have it, and they'd lose customer traffic if they didn't have it. (I don't think that they're making little or no money on gas sales, though.)

Just based on my own experiences and observations, even though I always pay for gas at the pump, *since I'm there*, I may also walk into the store and pick up something else (quart of milk, loaf of bread, whatever). If I had to make a *separate trip*, I probably wouldn't buy those things at the convenience store, but *since I'm there anyway getting gas* I just might. I also appreciate that pay at the pump means I don't have to stand in a long line inside the store in order to make my other purchases.
Gary
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Gary Coffman writes:

Did just that yesterday. Filled the car, walked in and got a Coke. $1.09 for a 20 oz. I can buy 12 of those for $3.98 right now!
Charlie Self "Character is much easier kept than recovered." Thomas Paine
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Because they set the card reader on the pump up to be really finicky - about a third of the time I get "Card unreadable, See Attendant" error which gets you inside the store. The attendant doesn't have any problems reading the card at the counter...
--<< Bruce >>--
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Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
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SNIP

My experience has been the exact opposite. When my debit card mag strip was too worn for any store cashier to accept with a swipe, the gas pumps always took it. Since that is basically what I use it for 95% of the time, I went about a year without replacing it even though it was a PITA those few times I used it in a store.
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I simply use another pump or another station. Never have gone inside under those rare circumstances. I'd be lost without my debit card. Lane
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Sounds like the problem is with Husqvarna. Their service reps are not providing you with adequate service because the manufacturer is not providing THEM with adequate service (in this case - financial compensation). I will continue to order via mail or internet, but would think twice about dealing with Husky. They should take their own advice and try to see it from the dealer's perspective.
-Chris
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