O/T: A Nice Touch


Recently returned 2,500 miles to visit my mother in a rural community of Northern Ohio.
To set the scene, the nearest town of any size is about 8-10 miles away, still a local phone call.
Before I arrived, had been warned her stove, an apartment size unit was not working.
Upon inspection, it was obvious the stove had seen better days and needed to be replaced.
My mother does not have a computer, it was Wolley Segap time.
This is Saturday morning.
A few phone calls determined the big box stores had no inventory, but could order it.
The way I see it, you can't sell from an empty wagon, you need inventory.
Finally found an old time white goods appliance dealer that I had almost forgot about.
Yes, they had a plain white stove.
They weren't giving it away, but their price was reasonable.
They could still deliver on Saturday afternoon for a $20 fee which included dropping the new stove in place, hooking up the gas line and getting rid of the old stove.
Talk about a deal.
During the installation, they damaged a gas line on the stove.
Back to the store for parts to make a temporary repair while they ordered a replacement part.
Repairs were completed before 5:00PM.
Part arrived and replacement made in less than 2 weeks.
Today a letter arrived thanking my mother for her business.
Had almost forgotten that some people still know how to do business the way it was done when I was a kid.
Nice touch if you ask me.
Lew
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It amazes me why people do business with the large box stores. Service sucks, "sales people", (I use the term loosely!), have no product knowledge, and the prices are not that great!
I replaced soffit and fascia on my hone a few years ago. Decided Saturday afternoon that I needed to get going on the job. Stopped at three different big box lumber yards. None of them had enough materials on hand to do my little house. Got frustrated and gave up. Monday morning I called a locally owned lumber yard, you know a real lumber yard, with bulk nails and screws by the lbs., coffee and donuts on a dirty table by the back door, and people that actually know their product. They had enough material on hand to do ten houses like mine. Gave them a CC number, and the material was in my driveway when I go home. Best part is the price was LESS than any of the big box stores!
I need some windows replaced. For kicks I shopped the box stores and the fore mentioned lumber yard. One place I could not even get help, even after stopping on two different days. Another place I did get help and prices which again were higher than the local lumber yard! Either place would have to order them, but the box store could not give me an approximate delivery date, where the local yard said 4-5 business days! Next time I am not even going to bother! Greg
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wrote:

Doesn't always work that way, though. I needed a small sliding window, 2' x 3'. The local lumber yard didn't have it, but could order it, so we had them do so, just assuming that they were right that it was an "odd size" and not generally available. When the window came it was only 22 x 34, but that was close enough, I guess they measure the outside of the flange rather than the inside. Kind of spendy, but what the hey, it *was* a special order and they had it to us within 2 weeks. A few weeks later I was passing through the local Borg and noticed some smaller sliding windows sitting there. Yep, you guessed it, exactly 22 x 34, from the same manufacturer as the lumber yard and there was a whole pile of them - for about half what we paid.
Now I check all options pretty carefully, there is no reliable rule of thumb when it comes to building supplies.
-- "We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and bring something to kill"
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

G'day Lew. Makes life worthwhile, when there are people out there that CARE, about a person not a dollar and are more than happy when both come hand in hand. A great yarn. regards John
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Though my story may be non-woodworking, it fits in pretty well.
Believe it or not, our dentist always gives us a call that evening after doing anything invasive. Crowns, root canals, even basic fillings will earn a call from him shortly after dinner time. "How are you doing? Do you need anything more than Tylenol or aspirin for the pain? Please call me if you have any discomfort from the procedure that you'd like me to look into."
Now this isn't an old-school doctor - he's in his early 40s. This is also not a small-town influence - he's about 10 minutes east of Portland, OR. Lastly, this isn't a matter of lack of skills or patients - he's the team dentist for the Trailblazers.
We've *never* had any other doctor follow up on anything - well, our vet will sometimes call, but in his case, it is old-school and small town influences.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
  Click to see the full signature.
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The Oral Surgeon called about 7:30 after implant surgery and said I'd be swollen the next day as I wasn't using ice he recommended. Boy was he correct! Should have believed him as he taught the procedure at UCLA which is about 60 miles south of where we live. Only one to ever do that. Retired at age 55 a millionaire.
On Thu, 29 Sep 2005 21:49:15 -0700, Fly-by-Night CC

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Nice story, you bet those places are still out there. I come from a small town as well. Recently my mothers freezer gave out late on a Saturday afternoon. (Or thats when she discovered the puddle of oil under it). She's 14 miles out of town and 45 miles from the nearest "city". She called the local hardware store (which is more of a general store) about 10 minutes after closing. They answered. The owner says he couldn't get out there till after Saturday evening church and asked if that would be alright. Fella showed up at 8:30 with both freezers he had in stock on his lawn mower trailer and let her choose the one she wanted right there in the front yard. Then he helped transfer the food and took off with the old one by 9:45.... Betcha don't find that knda service at the BORG.
Knothead
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Well, I didn't ask you, but...;o]
But you're right, it is a nice touch. This town (although a city) of 70,000 has been serviced nicely by a lumber yard called Beaver Lumber (How Canadian is THAT?). You've met some of the people here, Lew, not a bad bunch, eh? When Home Depot first opened, Bob, the owner of Beaver/Home Hardware Building Centre, noticed a drop in local contractors buying basic building materials. He knew that would happen, but he also knew what would happen next. They all came back. The prices were similar, the guys and gals working in the store knew everybody by name. Delivery was prompt as always. But "they had to find out for themselves, nothing I could say or do would have stopped them from trying that 'new way' of buying." "No hard feelings" By the third year, business had actually improved to the point they (Beaver) had to hire new people. Several job interviews made it really clear, nobody trying to jump ship from HD had the knowledge to work there. And the guys who left Beaver to go to HD have always been welcome back.
You can't buy those warm and fuzzy feelings.
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