Monday, August 29, 2011

The Other Side of the Coin

You probably read my rant about WalMart and their Customer Service. Well, the very next day, I went to the True Value hardware store and an exact opposite experience.
I bought a lamp at a garage sale on Friday while I was out running around with Curley. I got it home and found that the little bolt on the harp (loopy thingy that holds the shade) wasn't long enough to go through the hole on the antique stained glass shade that I already had. (That's the real reason I bought the lamp in the first place.) I messed around with it for a while, trying different things I had around the house, to no avail.
Saturday, I took the harp and the decorative finial and went to True Value to see if they had something that could be added to what was already there. This nice young man listened while I explained what was needed. He went to the cabinets of bolts, couplers, etc, of which there must have been thousands. No luck there. He tried different departments, checking thread sizes and I don't know what all. Finally, he came to me and said that he could take it apart, remove the little bolt, put in another longer one, cut some sort of groove in the head of the new bolt so it would fit in a flange and on and on. I sort of knew what he was talking about, so I told him to go ahead. He disappeared into their work room. I strolled up and down the aisles of the store. It's been a long time since I have really perused a hardware store. Wow! The stuff available to us today is mind boggling. Soon, Young Man comes out, shows me what he had done. Just what he said he was going to do. I asked him how much...63cents. Can you believe that? When I asked how much for his time, he said, "Nothing, it's part of the service here, just glad I could help." I thanked him profusely, shook his hand, and headed for the cashier. She was courteous, friendly, and had a smile. I asked her if I could leave a tip for Young Man, and she said that they weren't allowed to accept tips. What a store!!!
I thanked her too, and said it was a shame that they didn't sell groceries!! I will go back there the next time I have a "hardware crisis."
This store is locally owned. I know the owner and his wife. They are both civic minded, and really cool people. Brian is one shop owner that has taken a small business, made it grow, and is even in the process of expanding into the shop next door that closed (another victim of WalMart). With customer service like his store offers, it's no wonder his business is a success!


Mellodee said...

What a nice counterpoint!! Whenever I can I shop local, especially for things like this. Though to be fair, sometimes Home Depot and Lowe's staff can be pretty darned helpful too. Still, I am always glad that there are local retailers who understand the business they are in and provide the service that you just can't get at the big box stores. Long may they succeed!

Jimmie Earl said...

My son worked at Lowe's for years, and I have to agree that their service is hard to beat. I was amazed with all the big box stores in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, that my brother goes to a local hardware like mine, and the service there is exceptional. I don't know why I was so surprised, I guess being a small-town guy, I just didn't expect personal service like that.
I also had the Costco experience while I was there. I was even surprised there by how personalized their service was.
Wonders never cease!