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Thread: There are still good companies out there

  1. #1
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    Default There are still good companies out there

    Twenty-two years ago I bought an ergonomically-designed office chair because most office chairs caused back pain due to an old injury. It was expensive, but oh-so worth it. Fast-forward to recent days; the hydraulic ram that adjusts the seat has started to leak internally, so the chair slowly sinks to its lowest level when I sit on it. This morning I emailed the company in the faint hope that they may still have parts to fit this chair so that I can repair it. The nice lady emails back all happy that I have had my chair for so long and that I still enjoy it. Of course they have the part I need. When the pandemic wanes enough so that I am able to travel to the pestilent city, bring it to their showroom and they will be glad to replace it. If I can give them a day's notice of when I will be coming in, they will make sure that a technician is available and will repair it while I wait. How much? Why, nothing at all, sir; our warranties are for as long as you own the chair.

    Just.. effing... awesome!

    Chairs Limited, Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth, NS.


    (mine is dark green)

    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Nice. Though it’s probably a lot healthier to have to stand up every five minutes....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    That is wonderful.

    LL Bean used to be that way until too many people used their warranty to rip them off.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Nice. Though it’s probably a lot healthier to have to stand up every five minutes....
    If I stood up every five minutes I would never get any work done. A few strokes on the rowing machine that sits on the other side of the office every hour or so will have to suffice.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Choices. Sitting is the new smoking. Glad you got a new chair.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Choices. Sitting is the new smoking. Glad you got a new chair.
    Same 22-year-old chair, bluedog; just gonna get a new hydraulic piston in the base.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    If I stood up every five minutes I would never get any work done. A few strokes on the rowing machine that sits on the other side of the office every hour or so will have to suffice.
    He's right that new research suggests that standing to work is better for you. Izzat the final word? I doubt it.

    But there certainly are still good companies out there. It's the ones like that in your example whom I respect the mostest. I used to do purchasing for a large architectural millwork firm... and BTB is a different proposition. It's all about relationships. Give & take over a lot of frequent transactions. Still true for even my small operation. But retail... it takes a more serious commitment. Which is much appreciated when found.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    it must be comfortable for you to have kept it so long, cause it sure is fooking ugly
    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    (mine is dark green)

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    it must be comfortable for you to have kept it so long, cause it sure is fooking ugly
    Smash you back falling from a telephone pole, add forty years for the injury to settle in and re-assert itself whenever it feels like it, and looks in a chair are a very distant consideration. And, it looks better in hunter green...
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    That is wonderful.

    LL Bean used to be that way until too many people used their warranty to rip them off.

    So did REI. You'd go into the basement where the returns were being sold off. The stuff was all tagged with the reason for the return.

    You were always finding things like a shredded and torn 20 year old mountaineering tent. Reason for return: "blew down in a storm at 15,000 feet".

    Or ancient hiking boots patched with shoe goo and the Vibram soles worn down to nothing. Reason for return: "Not durable".

    The REI return policy is rather limited these days.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    So did REI. You'd go into the basement where the returns were being sold off. The stuff was all tagged with the reason for the return.

    You were always finding things like a shredded and torn 20 year old mountaineering tent. Reason for return: "blew down in a storm at 15,000 feet".

    Or ancient hiking boots patched with shoe goo and the Vibram soles worn down to nothing. Reason for return: "Not durable".

    The REI return policy is rather limited these days.
    Remember when Sears tool warranty was wide open?

    Framing crews tend to be hard on tapes. So SOP at the times was to buy all Craftsman brand tapes, and for an apprentice to round run a bucket of abused/dead tapes periodically, and run 'em down to the handy nearby Sears store for full replacement. Sears eventually got sick of it also.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Remember when Sears tool warranty was wide open?

    Framing crews tend to be hard on tapes. So SOP at the times was to buy all Craftsman brand tapes, and for an apprentice to round run a bucket of abused/dead tapes periodically, and run 'em down to the handy nearby Sears store for full replacement. Sears eventually got sick of it also.
    i remember trading in my craftsman hammers when the waffle head wore off
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    i remember trading in my craftsman hammers when the waffle head wore off
    Lots of examples like that. It was 'no questions asked'. I remember seeing a box of Sears returns that included a steel framing square that had been run over by a forklift. If the question was 'pretzel... or framing square'... I'd have shaded toward pretzel.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  14. #14
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    I would be embarrassed to flog something to death and then try to return it, even with an unconditional guarantee.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    I would be embarrassed to flog something to death and then try to return it, even with an unconditional guarantee.
    i would be now

    as a broke 19 year old framer (glorified tote boy really) it was the only thing to do at the time what with serious crew peer pressure in play as well

    my younger brother worked at sears for a while when he was a teenager as a distribution/parts center; they actually repaired some tools and resold them, one day per week all he did was rebuild craftsman ratchets. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    I knew a woman who worked phone sales @ Beans. According to her, one of the last straws on their forever warranty was a # of women who would buy their summer wardrobe, wear it all summer, then return in the fall. They'd then buy their winter wardrobe, wear it all winter, return it in the spring. Lather, rinse repeat. We're not talking a couple of shirts - but $2,000 or so each time. They eventually flagged these people & refused the returns. Of course one said she'd sue - so they changed the warranty.

    There will always be jerks who ruin it for the rest of us.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  17. #17
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    I tried to get new ratchets when my Craftsman ones started to slip, but all they did was give me a rebuild kit. I was fine with that. Now, 25 years later, the new bits are worn out, too, and the warranty died with Sears. The newish Stanley ones I have now are not near as nice to use, and the black finish gets too hot to touch if they are sitting in the sun.

    My brother was a swamper on a furniture delivery truck for the T. Eaton Co. (Canada's original mail order and department store) for awhile. He spent a lot of time delivering furniture to show homes and suites in new condos, then picking them up as "returns" six months later. Like Sears, Eaton's are no longer with us.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd;[URL="[URL
    tel:6450395[/URL]"]6450395[/URL]]Smash you back falling from a telephone pole, add forty years for the injury to settle in and re-assert itself whenever it feels like it, and looks in a chair are a very distant consideration. And, it looks better in hunter green...
    Impressive fall. Ya got me beat. Funny, I can’t sit much. Gotta keep moving. I’m sure it’s healthy but exhausting. I’m always interested to find people with old (serious) back injuries.

    My temporary stand up desk is still going strong since COVID started. It’s almost a pleasure to stretch back and look up at the screen instead of hunching over.

    88300010-4475-4BDE-B64A-8C6B6BF99912.jpg

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    I knew a woman who worked phone sales @ Beans. According to her, one of the last straws on their forever warranty was a # of women who would buy their summer wardrobe, wear it all summer, then return in the fall. They'd then buy their winter wardrobe, wear it all winter, return it in the spring. Lather, rinse repeat. We're not talking a couple of shirts - but $2,000 or so each time. They eventually flagged these people & refused the returns. Of course one said she'd sue - so they changed the warranty.

    There will always be jerks who ruin it for the rest of us.

    I take it that those women were "from away"?
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  20. #20
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Twenty-two years ago I bought an ergonomically-designed office chair because most office chairs caused back pain due to an old injury. It was expensive, but oh-so worth it. Fast-forward to recent days; the hydraulic ram that adjusts the seat has started to leak internally, so the chair slowly sinks to its lowest level when I sit on it. This morning I emailed the company in the faint hope that they may still have parts to fit this chair so that I can repair it. The nice lady emails back all happy that I have had my chair for so long and that I still enjoy it. Of course they have the part I need. When the pandemic wanes enough so that I am able to travel to the pestilent city, bring it to their showroom and they will be glad to replace it. If I can give them a day's notice of when I will be coming in, they will make sure that a technician is available and will repair it while I wait. How much? Why, nothing at all, sir; our warranties are for as long as you own the chair.

    Just.. effing... awesome!

    Chairs Limited, Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth, NS.
    I had the exact same experience with a Herman Miller Aeron chair, when I called about parts, a few months outside of their 12 year warranty. They sent someone out to replace all parts for free.

    I've owned and have gifted to friends, a lot of Steelcase chairs. They don't service for free (at least chairs bought second-hand), but they are durable, and repairable. Many parts are not available from Steelcase but are available aftermarket online, and plenty of youtube videos on how to service. For the same price as a new but cheap Chinese-made chair from the office store that will fall apart, these chairs are better ergonomically, and more durable even when already 10 years old. I helped find, clean, and fix chairs for friends who needed to set up home offices in spring of 2020.
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    i would be now

    as a broke 19 year old framer (glorified tote boy really) it was the only thing to do at the time what with serious crew peer pressure in play as well

    my younger brother worked at sears for a while when he was a teenager as a distribution/parts center; they actually repaired some tools and resold them, one day per week all he did was rebuild craftsman ratchets. . .
    So that's where it came from. About ten years ago, I went to exchange a Craftsman (tm) ratchet that had busted. New one said Made In China. MF'er, I complained. Clerk looked left and right, pulled out a reconditioned Made In USA ratchet from under the checkout counter. Made me happy. Kept my business. Until a year later I tried to exchange a small (about 4") Craftsman (tm) bench vise that had broken, and they refused, even after talking to the manager. I walked out of the store vowing never to set foot in a Sears store again. And I never have. And I grew up on Sears, my dad and I bought Sears everything. Never again. Ever.
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    In the early 90s a Seattle Times reporter broke the tip off a family heirloom LL Bean fly rod from the 1920s. He was told that he could return it to the store and they would have it repaired. Shipping a one piece 11 foot rod would have cost him close to $100 including insurance. He thanked them for the offer.
    The Algorithm Is Watching

  23. #23
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    In the early 90s a Seattle Times reporter broke the tip off a family heirloom LL Bean fly rod from the 1920s. He was told that he could return it to the store and they would have it repaired. Shipping a one piece 11 foot rod would have cost him close to $100 including insurance. He thanked them for the offer.
    In the mid-'90s I brought back to LL Bean an early Leatherman tool that I bought from them, the jaws had broken when a friend tried to cut a thin buckle cable that had broken on a ski boot (must have been an imperfection in the jaw steel, this wasn't that stressful a task). They handed me a new one, I didn't even have to send it back to Leatherman (it did have a 25 year warranty), they'd take care of it.

    15 years later, I couldn't get a zipper slider repaired on an LL Bean waterproof-breathable parka, they just shrugged. I brought it to REI downtown, they fixed it for $5. I wrote a long letter to LL Bean management about how far their brand had declined.
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    MSR, Mountain Safety Research. I have an original Whisperlite Internationale stove. Spot weld broke on one of the legs. Didn't even have to mail it in, just visited their service center in SODO Seattle, they swapped out the legs in about 30 seconds and I was on my way.
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    In '79 or '80 I came across an ex-rental tent on the bargain table at the local outdoors store for something like $15-20. A Diamond brand 2-person A-frame - much like the more common Eureka Timberline. I used it, and then my wife and I used it for something like 200 nights before the screen door zipper gave out about 10 years later.

    Being a well-made tent with lots of life left, I contacted the company and figured it would be worth the cost to have it repaired properly. The lady on the phone said to send it in and they'd take a look and see what they could do. A few weeks later the tent was returned with a new zipper on the screen door and also on the storm door. No charge. Diamond Brand.

    - John

  26. #26
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    Default Re: There are still good companies out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    I take it that those women were "from away"?
    No idea - but everywhere has 'em.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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