Friday, May 04, 2012

Some Still Don't Get It

First, the bad news.

Some North Coast Merchants are just never going to smarten up. Hasn't anyone told them there's an Internet out there?

Once again, I did my damndest to "shop local." I had a small everyday electrical part - a three-pronged rocker switch, as I found out later - that had shorted out and needed to be replaced. It's not an unusual, or even uncommon, item. 

I went from pillar to post, schlepping to several places around Astoria and Warrenton. Nobody had it, and no one offered to order it for me. I didn't ask them to, but I was surprised no one even thought to offer.

Anyway, I finally found a place that had something close, but it had two prongs instead of three, and was told that I would have to figure out which wire went to which prong. I explained it was a snap-in switch, and there were no wires involved. It's plug-in-and-go kinda thing.

No, thanks, I wanted the right part. The guy explained that if I couldn't find one, I could come back for that one, and it would cost $11.95.

In total frustration, and knowing nothing about electrical parts, I finally gave up and went to the Internet. It took me an hour to find the right thing (it was an "I don't know what to call this damn thing" issue), but find it, I did.

The part is $1.99. Each. So I ordered four of them, and with shipping, my grand total was $11.91.

Once again, it goes to show, most local merchants are just plain clueless. What the hell are they going to do when their aging-out non-computer-friendly Internet-ignorant customer base goes to that great showroom in the sky? 

And now, the good news.

As always, I'm enthralled with Columbia Fruit and Produce, who not only have great prices and wonderful fresh goodies, they are even on Facebook, and they regularly post the specials of the week. Now that's forward thinking. I'm a big fan. Bravo!

A little while ago, the heater/air conditioner switch on my car was down to one working speed. And, the tailpipe was leaking after an unfortunate venture to Radar Hill (which also caused a flat tire at the top of the hill, but that's another saga for another day). 

In fear of getting flayed by a local merchant, I was hesitant to take the car anywhere in the area for repairs. But I finally gave in and took it to Putnam Pro Lube in Warrenton for an estimate. I sat in the waiting room gritting my teeth.

I thought I was hearing things when I was told it would be $100 to fix both. The tailpipe welding was no big deal, but the heater part was a computer chip. I was delighted, and happily coughed up the dough. Thank you Putnam Pro Lube!

I'd sure like to see more merchants around here like these two.


Anonymous said...

Hey- thanks for the tip about the Columbia Fruit and Produce website. LOVE IT! I thanked you for the heads up on Facebook and encouraged people to like their page. What a cool page from a local merchant!

Elleda said...

I agree, it's great to see a local merchant move out of the Stone Age! They not only have great products, they're smart enough to promote them on Facebook. Good on them!

Dph111 said...

Looking for a local camera shop to service my D100 any suggestions? thanks for the recomendation of Columbia fruit and produce.

Elleda said...

No, I'm sorry, I don't. You should probably call Canon and find out an authorized repair place - but I bet you won't find anything closer than Portland.