Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Paying for knowledge

Me: "Can you help me with a plumbing question?"
Sales guy: "You can ask me anything, I know it all."
I am a do-it-yourself kind of guy. There are not many projects around the house that I won't attempt. Our current project is a bathroom refit. This isn't a minor paint job but a full gutting and rebuild. part of this obviously includes a significant amount of plumbing. I am no plumbing expert!

I have learned over the years that, like most businesses, some building supply stores are cheap and some of them have good service and expertise. The two rarely meet. Unfortunately I was lured into one of the large box stores by their cheap prices. I needed a lot of supplies and figured that I could save a buck.  

Since I knew that I needed help on my current (PEX vs copper) plumbing question I went directly to the stores "service desk". There was a young man (boy?) at the counter chatting with his co-worker (potential girlfriend?). So I ask him, "Can you help me with a plumbing question?". His reply was, a smug, "You can ask me anything, I know it all." 

Now, that response should have been enough to clue me into the fact that he would be useless, but I humored him. It took approximately 10 minutes for him to fumble through a "solution" to my problem. In the end he didn't have one that gave me any confidence that he knew what he was talking about.

Rather than settle for his half baked solution I decided to venture over to Simms Home Hardware. I know from experience that they are not the cheapest in town but that isn't what I needed right now. I needed a solution. 

They didn't disappoint, it took the man all of 30 seconds to hand me the 5 pieces that I needed to complete my project. He was confident, knew his subject and understood my problem. That is what I needed.

This experience was a firm reminder of why the cheapest price is not necessarily the best solution. It is hard to pass on cheaper prices but good advice pays off every time. 

If you are in a business that is not trying to be the lowest price in town, have good service and you will have me as a customer.

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