Blind ambition

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Although it was only tangentially related to woodworking, I had a marvelous experience this week I thought you’d enjoy hearing about.

We love wood blinds. We use metal miniblinds in the bedroom for their absolute light-blocking ability, but anywhere else we want blinds we favor wood. We currently have them in the living room, dining room and kitchen. Why not in every room? Because good ones are expensive, so we add them only when we can afford the luxury.

The cord broke on the good wood blinds in the kitchen two weeks ago. I could figure out how to fix it, but was clueless as to the right kind of replacement cord or where to find one. Instead, we called two blind-repair shops (and where I live there were only two; one of those 35 miles away). No one answered at either, but we left messages.

The more distant shop called back first and said the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty, but it doesn’t cover cords. Further, the blinds came with the house so we weren’t the original purchaser. Still, they’d look at them and give an estimate. I said I’d get back to them, and planned to do so.

Then the other shop called. He reiterated what the first shop said, but noted that in his experience that manufacturer always fixed them anyway. When I took them in he said my timing was perfect as he had a scheduled pickup the next day by that very manufacturer. He said they’d probably fix them without saying a thing and return them the following Wednesday with their regular pickup run, but promised to call if there was a problem.

Two days ago he called to let me know they were in, fixed, and ready for pickup. No charge. When I went to get them I pulled out my checkbook, expecting that even though the company fixed them free he’d have a service charge of some kind. Shipping charges, at least. Nope. He explained that he did nothing at all except give them to the truck driver, and he wouldn’t charge me for that. I offered several times, but he refused.

He could easily have charged me something, and I’d have happily paid. Indeed, I was prepared to take them to the first shop for that estimate. But this guy put integrity and customer service ahead of a quick profit. That’s something you rarely see anymore.

Needless to say, when it comes time to buy blinds for those other rooms – and there will – you know where I’ll be shopping.

Till next time,

A.J.

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