"Keep looking For Good Service"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, June 15, 2012

In my last column, I vented about things that irritated me like the net and ordering things using the push button phones. Just imagine if we still had the rotary phones, how long would placing an order take?

I complained that the demeanor of some of the people you reach, once you break through the push button code, could improve. I suppose they might be crabby because they were napping and hoped everyone would give up pushing and leave them to their rest. I had decided that (after my wife/editor told me) no one cared about my trivial problems.

I was surprised, however, when a number of people took time to express they too were upset by the new, “I don’t care about the customer” attitude so many company representatives display.

This week, I was going to write about politics because it’s a topic that always sparks controversy. No matter what I write about politics, I find some who agree with me — and an equal number who disagree. So it’s an easy to please group. I guess I’m just not ready to join the throng who are spewing out criticism of the president, his predecessors, his opponents and anyone who mentions any of the aforementioned. There are still months left to deal with decisions about the November election, and there will always be “fresh” political news to review.

I’m not done relating my everyday experiences; so I’m going to follow up on last week’s column. Things can change in a hurry; you recall I threw out my Norelco razor because the crabby person I talked to wouldn’t help me. I’ve decided next time I get a crab — I will hang up first. My air conditioner parts problem led me back to a factory rep who said my items would ship in seven to 10 days. Surprise — they were in my mailbox in four days and I was able to get the repairs completed before the heat hit.

I was also unhappy with my doorbell order via an Internet outlet that not only failed to deliver as promised but also missed their next three delivery dates. I canceled that order and called a manufacturer’s outlet who promised three-day delivery. I have to add, there were zero buttons to push, a person answered, and apologized for the delay their dealer had caused me and thanked me for my order. I’m now convinced dealing with factory service is the best way to go.

Ordering over the net is all right sometimes, but often it may work out better using another avenue. After spending hours trying to locate a repair company to service my volume air exchanger system (fan), I found three companies that would sell me a new one for $600 to $900. Although old (circa 1960s) my fan was in good condition so I knew it could be repaired. I recalled an ad in the classified section of this paper that mentioned a motor repair company in Bad Axe. I called the number and spoke to a gentleman that I was familiar with from many years ago. How great to discover he was still doing repair service.

I delivered my system to his shop and he looked it over and said no problem, I could pick it up in three days. While we chatted, I learned he was a reader of my column so he knew where I was coming from with my frustration using the net. I was again pleasantly surprised when I picked up the fan, the cost was $500 less than the lowest price for a new one and it is working better than ever.

While driving along in my pickup with my fan securely in the back, I encountered yet another problem to solve. When I hit the brakes, they growled like an old dog, so I knew it was time to check them out. I made an appointment with another service company that had helped me out in the past for tire purchases. When I brought my truck in, I was greeted by a young woman with a great smile and cheerful demeanor. Pat was with me and she marveled at how the waiting area was “spit polished” and neat as a pin.

If you read my column regularly, you recall my last vehicle service event was not pleasant, so I was apprehensive because this vehicle was past her prime. When I met with the mechanic he was very professional and detailed. He showed me exactly what I would need. He then wrote up a reasonable estimate and said I could bring my truck in first thing the next morning for the repairs. I was shown the new parts when the job began and a couple hours later my truck was ready to go — minus the growling. The whole experience was so pleasant after the few days I had spent with people on the net and phone who were anything but.

As I see it, yes there are polite, caring service people who do provide “customer care” but you have to look for them — sometimes right down the road.




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