This is why Randy Fendon is so great.
I bought a television at Fendon’s Furniture a few years ago. Unfortunately, it broke last month. One day, it just wouldn’t turn on. So I called Fendon to ask whom he’d recommend to fix it.
Now Fendon isn’t even in the electronics business anymore. He’s stopped selling televisions because the margins aren’t good, exacerbated by competition from online retailers such as Amazon (which is precisely why Best Buy’s going bust).
Fendon asks me if the set is under warranty. I tell him highly doubtful. I never buy the warranty because I always figure the warranty’s a sucker bet — like they wouldn’t offer you the warranty unless they were making money on it, so the odds have got to be stacked in their favor.
Fendon: You should still check. Do you have your paperwork?
Pause for laughter.
So Fendon goes back into his files to check. Turns out that he threw in a two-year extended warranty when he sold me the television.
So I call the warranty company and they tell me there was a manufacturer’s recall on a part, so I need to call the manufacturer, and then the manufacturer tells me there hasn’t been a recall, so it’s the warranty company’s responsibility. I needn’t bore you with the back-and-forth details of how each party was trying to pass the buck.
Randy literally kept calling me back, asking me if the problem (which is not his problem – and would’ve been a lot bigger problem if he hadn’t bought the warranty because I was too cheap) had been fixed.
He hears my story and calls the warranty company himself. Bam. By 8 a.m. the next morning, he’s got a service call lined up.
Now granted, the service call didn’t work out because the Lancaster-based electronics dealer is no longer in the service business. The next service call was similarly cancelled when Fresno-based Coast To Coast Electronics politely informed me that I was out of their service range.
So I call back the warranty company. By this time, I’m not quite as understanding. I ask for a manager. I also casually mention that I own a newspaper and that this is turning into a really great tale of woe and incompetence.
Shameless, I know, but it works.
One month after the initial inquiry, I think I may have a service call lined up next week — with Kami Electronics out of Beverly Hills. Despite everything, I have great empathy for WarranTech. Little did they realize when they sold the policy that it would ultimately require a roundtrip service call from Beverly Hills.
And really, hats off to Fendon. In a text exchange as we were trying to figure this out, he wrote, “We try so hard to give good customer service that when I run across stuff like this it just angers me to no end … they’re probably trying to figure out how to get here from Fresno or somewhere like that. All these companies look at a Google map of California and think we’re 60 miles away from Fresno!”
Full disclosure, Randy’s a client of mine and runs advertising in this paper. In fact, he’s running a flyer this week. But he sure as hell doesn’t know I’m writing this, and if he did know, he’d probably get modest and tell me not to write it, that that’s not why he went to the lengths he did on my behalf, etc.
But I know that. And you should know that.
Because if you don’t support the local businesses and persons of character like Randy Fendon, you will wake up one day in a world devoid of brick-and-mortar shops, buying all your crap online, and when something breaks or goes wrong, you’ll look around for help and all you’ll see are ghosts.
In response to the Harrell letter, I had Lara obtain a copy of Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez’s employment contract. The Town pays her pays $4,000/week. It also pays the employer’s share of PERS (retirement), provides a car, free housing, free utilities in that housing and a telephone.
When Andy and Lara heard these terms and began to bitch, I had them take note of the ergonomically correct chairs in The Sheet offices. I also noted that The Sheet often buys them coffee and pizza
I also learned this week that NO ONE applied for a recent postal job opening at the Mammoth Lakes Post office which paid $14/hour. The job was apparently posted on the door as a courtesy, though job postings are officially posted online at usps.com.
While this job does not offer the pay and perks reserved for Assistant Town Managers, it does boast the opportunity to work with thespian Chuck Scatolini.
Closure of US Highway 395 – High Point Curve Correction Project
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has scheduled night closures of US Highway 395 in Mono County near Topaz Lake as part of a $17.2 million road realignment and retaining wall project. Road closures will continue each night from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. until May 17. A signed detour between Holbrook Junction (US 395 and Nevada State Route 208) and Bridgeport (State Route 182) is available during the night closures. State Route 89 over Monitor Pass will stay open for passenger vehicle traffic (weather permitting).
After May 17, 2012, one way traffic control will be in effect until October.
In the past month, the Mono County Board of Supervisors decided to appoint a staff person to act as the lead for the County’s involvement in the Digital 395 project. The Board chose GIS Coordinator Nate Greenberg to act as the Project Manager. At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Board reviewed Greenberg’s new contract with these additional duties. Supervisor Hap Hazard, however, was displeased with the outcome of the agenda item.
“I fully support Nate in this position, but he was suppose to be relieved of his current duties and moved to D395,” Hazard said. “I never suggested an increase in salary or an enhancement of duties.”
Board Chair Vikki Bauer pointed out that when an employee moves to at-will it usually results in a bump in pay because of the protections the employee gives up when he or she leaves the union. “I understand, but this isn’t the direction I wanted to go,” Hazard said. The contract was approved 4-1, Hazard dissenting.