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amazing customer service on my saw, helping a friend - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
amazing customer service on my saw, helping a friend

This afternoon, our friend "K" contacted "J" with a problem. One of her car tires was leaking, and she wasn't sure what to do other than adding air. Fortunately, she didn't have an urgent need to go anywhere during the day, because we had our own errands.

My main errand was to take my table saw in to the shop. The place charges $50 for evaluation, which counts toward repairs, and has a $200 maximum bill; if I understand correctly, if it can't be fixed for that much, you get a reconditioned saw instead.

Anyway, it turned out that the repair shop was closed for Thanksgiving holiday, and we were already in the car on our way. So J searched on Yelp for another option, and found a place in White Center with great reviews. She phoned, and the repair shop's namesake answered right away. I pulled over to describe the problem, and he asked me a couple of questions about things I had already tried, and I gave some more details. He said I could bring it in for a look. He quoted a price of $60 per hour.

After a long drive in light traffic, we were there – almost. The address didn't seem to exist. We phoned again, and found we were at a "South" address, and his was a "Southwest". A moment later we were there.

I lugged the saw to the door of a residence with the business name on the garage door. He apparently saw me coming, and opened the door. I set it on the work bench and turned it over.

He discovered that the crank handle was broken, which I kind of figured, though it was worse than I had guessed. He sprayed on lots of oil and applied a few light hammer smacks, and franked on the worm gear with a pliers. Before long it was cranking again.

He removed the broken hand crank and showed me how to replace it with a scrap of pipe or some other improvisation. He said that he could weld a replacement if I came back, but White Center is quite a drive, so I think I'll try an improvisation with bolts instead of welding.

When it came time to pay, he seemed surprised, as if it had been hardly worth billing. I paid for the part-hour at the quoted $60 rate, and he seemed pleased.

With the saw un-stuck (though still without a proper handle), it was time to help K. We drove to her place, and I puzzled over swapping out the slow-leaking tire for the spare. The car had locking lug nuts, so we weren't sure how to remove it until K found the key thing. Then, with all five lug nuts off, I still couldn't get the wheel to budge. I put the lug nuts back on.

Fortunately, the tire hadn't lost so much air that it was unsafe; it just couldn't be driven fast or far. The nearest Les Schwab isn't far, so she drove there, slowly. I followed, and we waited while she checked in.

Although I couldn't change the spare even after K found the lug nut key, our rescue attempt wasn't a total waste. If I hadn't discovered the lock issue, she might not have had it when she took it to the tire store. And rather than waiting at the store for repairs, we were there to give her a ride.

Rather than give K a ride home, we invited her to join us for Thanksgiving leftovers. She was pleased to join us, and we were pleased to share food before it spoils. And good guests are always nice.

After dinner, K checked on her tire. It was done. I gave her a ride back to the store and waited for her to settle up. As expected for fixing a flat at Les Schwab, it was free; all she had to do wss sign out and get back her keys (including the lug nut key). She thanked me and we headed home.

Back home, I have the evening largely free. I'll work on my writing project to the extent that I can; I'm pretty sleepy already.

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