Runs like a Deere….no thanks to a sniveling Lowe’s

by Skip

I still miss the ole’ Suburban.  What’s not to like about a land yacht that had a really nice comfy bench seat in the front where TMEW would sit right next to me, a long wheel base to smooth out the bumps, 4wd to take care of the ravine that one must pass to get to Murphy Manse (a H/T to DCE from Weekend Pundit calls his home), and was plenty big to haul all the stuff that our daycare center needed (at the time).  Plus it was always great to move snow with its plow as I stayed warm in the cab, listening to conservative talk radio and a Mtn Dew in the cup holder.

No matter who you looked at it, it was a vehicle that stuck a stick in Liberal and Enviro’s eyeballs.  Why do I say that?  Remember, they were complaining that NO ONE needed such a large SUV – they hated the idea of big “wasteful” cars that only single folks rode in – a CRIME against not only GAIA but also a crime against all those other folks “less fortunate” to only drive dinky cars.  Yes folks, the “gun on four wheels” of its day.  But, thanks to Socialist Enviro Lisa Jackson (about to be former EPA head) and Secretary of Transportation “Republican” Ray LaHood

Sidenote: you know, I did a post about NH GOP Greg Carson who all but has claimed that ANY person with an R next to their name was a GOOD Republican, as it helped the Party to gain Party; I need to return to the next installment of that thought process – after all, LaHood DOES have great power as Obama’s DOT Secretary – how’s THAT working out for us Liberty loving Republicans, eh Greg?  Especially as you are the point person for the Federal push, via the EPA, HUD (your department), and DOT to Federalize local New Hampshire communities’s zoning laws with the ill-named and worse intended result than the “Sustainable Communities Initiative”.

they’ve pretty much decided that Americans (if they can afford the newer regulation laden results) will only be able to drive tin cans that will be hard pressed to carry a grocery bag for cargo because of a doubling of the CAFE standards.  SURE, it’s gonna save us money in the long run – when have we heard THAT promise before (like with compact flourescent bulbs that have turned out to be a bust?).  But I digress.

When I sold the Beast, it left a problem – how to get rid of the snow in the winter?  Long story short, I bought a new $1,800 John Deere snowblower.  Big motor, double stage auger / impeller, electric start (wall plug), headlights, heated handgrips, remote control of the chute (left/right, up/down) – only thing it doesn’t have is chains and a wraparound cab (and the Youngest is giving me grief about the “no chain” bit).

First year – it lived up to the claims of “runs like a deer” – worked real well and exceeded expectations.  This year, same thing: the Youngest wanted to make nice on the me (“The Decrepit One” in his eyes) and do the snowblowing for me, so I went to start it up in case there was a problem (didn’t want to even be close to blaming up for messing the JD if it was my fault.  Once again, cranked it once to get some fresh gas into the system and the second time, started right up…..and off he went.

So, he’s going right along and I notice from the window (only thing better than being in the Suburban is in the house) – front auger wasn’t turning.  Yes, he ran over something that *I* had left out and snapped the shear pins – and that’s when the sniveling started.

Since I had promised TMEW that we’d go see The Hobbit in 3D IMAX this afternoon in Hooksett, it meant no sleeping in to get the shear pins at the local Lowe’s where I bought this higher-end unit.  Surely, they would support what they had sold, especially since it was not “the Lowe special” (as all the big box stores make deals with manufacturers for lower priced stuff).  A shear pin is used, for those not used to snowblowers, to protect the front auger that moves the snow (as you move forward) to the impeller that throws the snow up the chute and then out off to the side.  Before shear pins, if something got caught in that auger and stopped it, it would be a counter-force to the engine trying to turn it.  The result would be that the “auger transmission” would most likely break under the strain – a very expensive fix.

So, off first thing to get shear pins as I had used the ones that came with the snowthrower last year. ” Bingo!” I thought as there was a sales guy in the department to ask “where?”.  Oh, he was EVAH so chipper as he told me, with his best customer service smile with bright white teeth, that “oh, we don’t sell John Deeres here any more and we have no shear pins for it at all”.  He added “And we don’t have any other parts either.  The shear pins are a no stock part – we won’t be getting any more in either.  In fact, we won’t be getting any in region wide – NH, MA, VT….”  Still a big dopey smile on his face like I REALLY cared that this was a “regional mode” no-no. EXCELLENT news, apparently, on his part that he said with pride that I was SOL.  He added “I guess I can remove this label from the shelf – won’t be needing this anymore as we won’t have this SKU anymore” and removed it, balled it up, and threw it in the trash. And smiled again.

With 6″ of snow in the driveway, I had his store’s $1,800 legacy in my garage.   And he gladly had no solution.  Except one:  “well, they MIGHT have some over in Tilton” – that would be about 1/2 hour away with no traffic.   And he just kept on smiling like he had hands-down solved my problem be declaring “I have no parts – so you have no problem that I can help you wit”.  No offer to call over to Tilton to hold some if they had some – and no offer to have some brought over (even if it would be tomorrow).  Just a smile.  Grin from from ear to ear – “there, I have solved your problem on my part  by keeping it your problem and not mine”.  I asked “er, what do I do about that now-just-a-pile-of-metal I bought from you for a goodly (even hefty) price”?  “like I said, you could try Tilton” – and kept smiling on.

Tone-deaf.  I stayed polite the entire time, but I tried hard to put some exasperation into my voice and into my not-so-lovely visage as if to say “Hey dude, I freaking paid you guys $1800 bucks for this – and you’re not gonna do a thing to help?  Not even to see if that simple part is available….anywhere, and get it here?”  Just that big ole’ dopy smile….guess that’s what he learned in Customer Service Rep school – smile, look happy, and everyone else will be happy, happy, happy.

Even if the customer’s problem is still….a problem?

I turned in disgust and he called out “have a nice day!”.  So I kept walking to the front of the store and asked to see a manager (politely – Having had it done to me once, I never yell or scream – this transaction just didn’t have enough value for them and my purchase was already history for them (so it seems).  I waited, and waited, and waited some more.

And finally left having never had a manager want to talk to a customer.

Sniveling?  Sorry, but when somebody has paid a good bit of coin for a largish purchase, they may not expect you to fix it but they do want the problem addressed.  Or at least, listened to.  Maybe there was nothing that could have been obtained, but the lack of effort, or the will to make the effort, was rather off-putting.  Actually, very disrespectful, IMHO.  I made no demands, just questions.  All I got for my time was a dopey smile.  No solution from this store.

Even though the time to take TMEW and the Youngest to the 3D IMAX was running very close, I shot over to Tilton hoping to get the pins.  Yes, they had no more John Deere snowblowers, tractors, or anything else, but they had a coupla few pins left – I bought them all, rushed home and we went down to Hooksett.  Figuring that it would be packed and TMEW has a set of sets that she wants to be in for IMAX, we arrived early knowing that we would stand in line for a while.  Early enough to be one of the first few and the line ended up out the door.  The previous show was running late, but we finally went in.

Strange – no previews as it went right into the The Hobbit.  Well, sorta.  It started and stopped, hemed and hawed.  Turns out – they couldn’t get the 3D part to work and one of the ushers came in and announced “Due to technical difficulties with the projector, we will be showing it in regular 2D” and promptly walked out and the feature started.  LOTS of angry people “what, nothing else? You expect us, having paid a premium for the IMAX 3D, to just sit here?”.  Fully one third of a well attended audience promptly got up.  I tried to watch it, but dropping the 3D left a version of 2D that for me (and the Youngest but not TMEW) was mostly out of focus with or without the special glasses.  I had no intention of watching a bad movie, so I left as well (TMEW & Youngest soon after).

Once again, though, was the poor customer service during the announcement – simply a “sit there and watch”.  All those folks queued up at a single girl at the “Customer Service” desk.  Time after time, I heard her hectoring the folks to take the “rain check” instead of getting their money back.  Funny though, when I arrived in front of her, all I said was “money back….please”.  One look and she processed the credit card credit transaction.

Look, stuff breaks – I get it.  But for CineMagic in Hooksett, the first option was to declare “sit for the lesser cost item – even as you have paid more” (sorta like Progressives in Government: pay the premium but get the coach class result.

 

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  • http://granitegrok.com/author/mike Mike Rogers

    The problem with consumer hardware outlets is that they are essentially fashion victims due to the hgh turnover of models – at the bottom of the scale, try buying a new backlight bulb for last year’s bug zapper, for instance.
    The trick is to find those businesses wh take customer satisfaction seriously.

  • Hal Graham

    How is the snow blower running ?.

    • granitegrok

      It runs – and i will have to get another source for shear bolts.

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