Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Tears in my eyes
Old 06-09-2008, 01:00 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
cantlogin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pocono Mtns.
Posts: 884
Tears in my eyes

There’s a frost free hydrant in my barn and I discovered that if the hose isn’t disconnected water can remain in the head and allow damage from freezing. My head is cracked.

This thing is at least six years old and maybe as old as 20. I don’t know because it came with the barn. The only identification is the manufacturers name cast into the head. Searching the internet located the 50 year old company easily enough and they have an online catalog with what seems like over a thousand items. There were several hydrants listed and also a means for contacting my state’s distributor for their products. I sent an email to the distributor and they advised me that the closest retail outlet for their hydrants is about a three hour round trip for me. How this thing wound up in my barn is a mystery.

Without much hope for a positive outcome, I emailed the manufacturer with an explanation of my problem. Within hours there was a reply in my inbox inviting me to call the sales department at their home office on their 800 number. Expecting to learn that my hydrant was unidentifiable or obsolete with no parts availability, and the only way I could get it to work again would be by buying a new barn or something equally expensive, I called the number.

The phone rang a few times and I was not directed to push buttons or listen to advertising while on hold. A real live sounding woman named Donna asked how she could help. After answering two simple questions about the hydrant I had it was identified and availability of replacement parts confirmed. Name and address information provided and “We’ll ship it UPS tomorrow”. WAIT! I exclaimed you forgot my credit card info. “No, there will be a packing list enclosed, consider that an invoice and mail us a check, we use the honor system”.
I felt as though I had entered a time warp. My living color mental image of Donna and the office cubicle she was sitting in changed to a black and white movie with a metal desk covered with rolodexes and thick bound product catalogues weighing 5 pounds each.

This is the way I remember business being conducted. Just like the old days. I admit that there was a little mist in my eyes when I said goodbye to Donna.
__________________

__________________
cantlogin is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-09-2008, 01:05 PM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,852
Wow!! Don't hold your breath waiting for THAT to happen again.

I'm really glad you had such an easy time of locating the parts you needed.
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 01:20 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantlogin View Post
There’s a frost free hydrant in my barn and I discovered that if the hose isn’t disconnected water can remain in the head and allow damage from freezing. My head is cracked.

This thing is at least six years old and maybe as old as 20. I don’t know because it came with the barn. The only identification is the manufacturers name cast into the head. Searching the internet located the 50 year old company easily enough and they have an online catalog with what seems like over a thousand items. There were several hydrants listed and also a means for contacting my state’s distributor for their products. I sent an email to the distributor and they advised me that the closest retail outlet for their hydrants is about a three hour round trip for me. How this thing wound up in my barn is a mystery.

Without much hope for a positive outcome, I emailed the manufacturer with an explanation of my problem. Within hours there was a reply in my inbox inviting me to call the sales department at their home office on their 800 number. Expecting to learn that my hydrant was unidentifiable or obsolete with no parts availability, and the only way I could get it to work again would be by buying a new barn or something equally expensive, I called the number.

The phone rang a few times and I was not directed to push buttons or listen to advertising while on hold. A real live sounding woman named Donna asked how she could help. After answering two simple questions about the hydrant I had it was identified and availability of replacement parts confirmed. Name and address information provided and “We’ll ship it UPS tomorrow”. WAIT! I exclaimed you forgot my credit card info. “No, there will be a packing list enclosed, consider that an invoice and mail us a check, we use the honor system”.
I felt as though I had entered a time warp. My living color mental image of Donna and the office cubicle she was sitting in changed to a black and white movie with a metal desk covered with rolodexes and thick bound product catalogues weighing 5 pounds each.

This is the way I remember business being conducted. Just like the old days. I admit that there was a little mist in my eyes when I said goodbye to Donna.
Missed one thing: Who is this paragon of virtue, this American company, this deserving of free advertising maker of hydrants?
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 01:53 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Better wait until the parts arrive, they are the correct ones, and the invoice amount is correct.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Broilmaster BBQ - Similar Story
Old 06-09-2008, 02:45 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
Wheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 58
Broilmaster BBQ - Similar Story

Another company that I was so pleasantly surprised to work with was Broilmaster. The first time I lit my bbq this spring (for a soccer team party), I let it warm up, until someone pointed out that it was on fire! I got the gas shut off and upon inspection found most of the internal parts had been damaged.

Downloaded the parts list and went to work figuring out what I needed. Whan I called Broilmaster, the person I spoke with on the phone told me that where the air and gas are mixed, spiders build their webs (during non-use) or dirt can collect. If it does, a fire can start due to the disrupted flow. She also pointed out the section in the manual where it says to clean this area carefully after an extended down period!

Long story short, they sent me all the parts I needed at no charge, and paid the shipping to boot!

So, I have to give Broilmaster a hearty thank you for reminding me to read the manual and then sending me all the repair parts at no charge to overcome my stupidity.

Good to hear that there are more companies out there like this!
__________________
"The surest sign that there is intelligent life out there is that they haven't tried to contact us yet." Calvin & Hobbes
Wheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 07:47 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
cantlogin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pocono Mtns.
Posts: 884
Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Missed one thing: Who is this paragon of virtue, this American company, this deserving of free advertising maker of hydrants?

They are Simmons Manufacturing.

Simmons Manufacturing
__________________
cantlogin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 08:52 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Not strictly related, but:

One of the big issues I run into all the time is "protecting the channel." The supply channel, that is. The link from manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer (with a few intermediate nodes in the chain for various distributors) has not kept pace with the internet age. Frequently I'll run across a product I want/need, go to the manufacturer's web site to get the technical details about it, but can't find anyone to sell it to me. The manufacturers typically only have a hazy idea of who I should call, and it ends up taking a long time to actually buy the thing. This happened with a filter housing I needed when I installed my furnace: One company made the exact housing I needed (90 deg bend with the right filter size.) No one would sell it to me, I finally had to have a local tradesman order it for me from a local HVAC parts house ("we don't sell to homeowners), and I paid him a commission. He begged me not to tell them that the item was for my own use when I picked it up.

I'm smarter now. I've now got my own "home improvement business" and have even made up a groovy letterhead that I've used to request quotes. Fight dumb with dumb.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 09:17 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Htown Harry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,516
My most recent positive experience was somewhere betweem samclem's and cantlogin's.

My house builder used a certain brand of spring-loaded door hinges on the door between my attached garage and the rest of the house. One of the three hinges gave out, which led to the discovery that springy door hinges come in several sizes. (And an annoying draft when I kept forgetting to shut the door.)

Home Depot, Lowes, the old-timey hardware store in the old part of town, my builder...all dead ends. The manufacturer's web site said my six-year-old hinge was fully warranted for five years. They also listed their dealers, each of whom would be pleased to sell me a case of 24 hinges...if I was a home builder.

I called the manufacturer's sales desk, explained my problem and received a sympathetic (and sincere) apology. The new hinge arrived two days later.
__________________
Htown Harry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 09:20 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantlogin View Post
My head is cracked.
Oh, I hope not!

__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 09:32 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantlogin View Post
They are Simmons Manufacturing.

Simmons Manufacturing
Cool - checked my yard hydrant installed in the last 5 years and it has Simmons cast into the handle - bought it at either Home Depot or Lowes. Under $50 if i remember right.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 09:37 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
packrat44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: near Canadian border and near Mexican border
Posts: 1,142
When you said you cracked your head, my first thought was the cylinder head on your motorcycle.
__________________
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
packrat44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2008, 08:44 AM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
Jeb-NY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North Coast of NY
Posts: 269
My barn hydrant froze a few years ago also. I was dumber yet, I had added a screw on valve for the summer and left the hydrant on the last time I used it in the Fall. When I discovered it a few months later (it is outside on a side of the barn you can't see easily) I had a foot plus diameter pillar of ice. Luckily our water is fairly cheap, I was dreading when the water bill came, but it was only about $100 higher than normal.

I drove into the nearest city (20+ miles away) and hit all the big box home improvement places and no one had a hydrant like mine. I was on my way home thinking I didn't really want to dig up the whole thing and remembered a small country hardware that was only 5 miles from my house. They had the exact same hydrant in stock. I now stop there first when I'm looking for something.

Wish I had thought about trying to find the company but I'm not sure I even had a name to go by.

Jeb
__________________
Jeb-NY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2008, 05:27 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
MikeD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 805
I once was buying a gun from a boisterous machine gun dealer in Indiana. I had driven there with a retired guy I knew at the time for company. It was a long trip from Virginia.

While there, my older friend noticed a hangun that he had always wanted in the dealer's safe. It cost over a thousand dollars and this was back in '91. My friend mentioned that he had always wanted one of those. Without batting an eye, the dealer said "Here, take it and send me the money when you get home." I was flabbergasted. My friend claimed that's the way things always used to be. He sent the money the next day.

Mike D.
__________________
MikeD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2008, 04:16 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
packrat44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: near Canadian border and near Mexican border
Posts: 1,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
I once was buying a gun from a boisterous machine gun dealer in Indiana. I had driven there with a retired guy I knew at the time for company. It was a long trip from Virginia.

While there, my older friend noticed a hangun that he had always wanted in the dealer's safe. It cost over a thousand dollars and this was back in '91. My friend mentioned that he had always wanted one of those. Without batting an eye, the dealer said "Here, take it and send me the money when you get home." I was flabbergasted. My friend claimed that's the way things always used to be. He sent the money the next day.

Mike D.
It was definetely different many years ago. When I was 13 yo (mid '50s) the neighbor kid and I use to cruise the 2nd hand stores for entertainment. One day I saw a Winchester Model 62 and asked the price and was quoted $27.50. I said I was not really interested. The shop owner kept dropping the price which eventually went to $20.00 as I was about out the door. At $20 I was interested but I told him I would like to have it checked out prior to purchasing. He let me take it without any payment. After a gun dealer verified it was in excellent shape and a great buy at $20, I returned and paid for the rifle. Still have it and it still shoots well.
__________________
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
packrat44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2008, 04:22 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Milton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
I once was buying a gun from a boisterous machine gun dealer in Indiana.
Perhaps you should change your forum name to "Rambo".

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
While there, my older friend noticed a hangun that he had always wanted in the dealer's safe. It cost over a thousand dollars and this was back in '91.
Korth?
__________________
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
Milton is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2008, 04:45 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
MikeD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milton View Post
Korth?
I don't remember what it was exactly. It was a very large western style revolver in both caliber and physical size.

I am not interested in western guns and was beside myself in excitement with the prospect of picking up my very first belt-fed!

Mike D.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg happinessBeltFed.jpg (24.6 KB, 0 views)
__________________
MikeD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2008, 04:51 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Milton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,074
Sounds like you're in excellent shape to defend against an invasion of marauding grizzlies.



Are they thick on the ground where you live?
__________________
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
Milton is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2008, 04:59 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
I once was buying a gun from a boisterous machine gun dealer in Indiana.
I want to party with MikeD

It's been a few years since I've been to Knob Creek, but I'm itching to go again. Sadly, current machine gun prices would seriously impede getting to FIRE, or I'd own some.
__________________
mja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2008, 05:03 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
In other news, Donna was waiting until the end of the day to tell her boss she was quitting. In the meanwhile she mailed out over $10,000 worth of free spare parts to lucky customers.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2008, 05:14 PM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
MikeD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milton View Post
Sounds like you're in excellent shape to defend against an invasion of marauding grizzlies.
Are they thick on the ground where you live?
I like guns for the fun factor of wrecking stuff. It's a left over juvenile male thing. I would not hurt a defenseless/innocent animal in any incarnation.

Mike D.

PS - My wife and I are solely responsible for the body damage to this car. I paid extra at a shoot in Hot Springs, Ark to have them tow in a vehicle for my personal destruction. My wife concentrated on the hinges until the door fell off. There was thunderous applause from the peanut gallery.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mcar.jpg (43.5 KB, 63 views)
__________________

__________________
MikeD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do you have blue eyes? We're related! mickeyd Other topics 8 02-03-2008 06:12 PM
The eyes of Texas are on retirees mickeyd Life after FIRE 34 06-12-2007 08:49 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:46 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.