Good service

April 25, 2012


To the editor:

Life is good in small towns and small businesses. I am a 65-plus-year-old lifelong resident of south Douglas County and I shop in the big box stores and the small mom and pop stores as well. It is interesting to compare the attitude and service provided by both.

I recently had a need for a new push lawnmower. Shopping around, I selected an advertised special that I saw on the floor of the Do It Best franchise store in Baldwin City. As a pure coincidence I had purchased a new chain saw from the same store late last summer. When I went in the store to pick up my new mower, I was informed that the store owner had noticed that the sale-price label had been switched on my new mower and I was overcharged by $12.

I had spoken with a store clerk about my difficulty in starting my 6-month-old chain saw, and her response was “get that saw in here before the (1-year) warranty expires.” A few days later I checked on the repair status and the response was that it was found to be faulty, and they had ordered me a new unit, which I just picked up.

Either of these two experiences could have been handled much differently, and I would have considered it business as usual. I have no relationship with the owner and crew at the Baldwin Do It Best hardware store. But it a pleasure to deal with an owner that is personally involved and understands the value of customer relationships.


Benjamin Roberts 6 years, 1 month ago

"I have no relationship with the owner and crew at the Baldwin Do It Best hardware store."

Au contraire, Mr. Martin, you have experienced the benefit of being in a relationship - as a valued customer - with the owner and crew at the Baldwin Do It Best hardware store.

rtwngr 6 years, 1 month ago

I suppose it had to happen eventually, but I agree with grammaddy. + another 1

seriouscat 6 years, 1 month ago

When the people who are responsible for how the business is run actually live in the community, it makes a huge difference in their attitude and relationship with their customers. It also makes a huge difference in the local economy, because those people spend their money locally, instead of siphoning it off the foreign bank accounts to avoid taxes. Everyone wins.

Thank you for sharing your positive experience with a local retailer, Mr. Martin.

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

This is a nice story, and how it should be. Unfortunately, I've noticed that many local businesses don't provide great service, and their prices are higher than bigger chains.

Ragingbear 6 years, 1 month ago

Local is not leaving the town you live in and traveling 20+ miles to another town. Local means the town you live in. That is like me ordering "local" produce from California and Florida.

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

He lives in Baldwin and bought the product in Baldwin.

And, there's obviously a huge difference in scale between buying a product from 20 miles away and one from hundreds of miles away.

Ragingbear 6 years, 1 month ago

Whether you get it from 1 mile a way or 1000 miles away, they will still charge you $20 for shipping and processing and it will take 3 weeks for it to arrive by mail.

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

But the environmental impact is far less, from the closer town.

Ragingbear 6 years ago

Not if it's a 5 gallon jug of CFC's.

parrothead8 6 years ago

But he wasn't buying a 5-gallon jug of CFCs. And he wasn't ordering it from 1000 miles away.

He bought a lawnmower. From a store. In the town where he lived.

jafs 6 years ago

Sure it is.

This is just obvious - I don't know why you'd argue about it.

If I have to transport something from California, it uses a lot more energy and creates a lot more pollution than if I transport it from Baldwin.

labmonkey 6 years ago

Lawn equipment, guns, etc.... I find it much better to buy locally or at least from the little guy. You do not pay that much more up front and the service more than makes up for the cost. Good story Jim, and I it is good to see those who provide a good service get a little public love.

Lawrence Morgan 6 years ago

If all local merchants would provide this kind of service, there wouldn't be nearly so much buying from the internet - because - there are more and more viruses on the internet, as well as theft of debit and credit cards!

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