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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why Northern Tool Rocks!

I can't even tell you about this without mentioning right up front that it was all my wife's idea. Okay? Is that good enough?

Okay, maybe a little more.

I confess that I would not have even taken the time to drive over to Northern Tool this evening if my wife had not pushed and pushed and pushed for me to do so. I was actually taking a nap when she re-read the warranty on my screwed up pressure sprayer and told me that the 800 number was open until 9PM EST. So is everyone clear? My wife gets credit for this.

Now onto the story.

About 18 months ago, I went to Northern Tool and Equipment, a place I had already been fond of, to purchase a pressure washer. If there is any doubt in your mind that I am a cheapskate (and that is no reflection on Norther Tool, mind you), several friends had told me to spend the money and buy an engine powered pressure washer, not the electric one, but of course, I bought the electric one.

For some reason, and I still don't know why, I paid the $23.00 to purchase a 2 year extended warranty. This is behavior unlike me, unless it is something really cheap, like and extra $3 or $5 added to the price. And usually, I don't even remember to activate the warranty, but again, for some reason, I did this time.
Now, fast-forward to this past weekend when my wife was using the pressure washer on a project she has been working on, and the thing goes Tango Uniform big time. The motor would not cycle down and the power would not turn off. In fairness, I figured we just used the thing enough that it was time to break. I paid $199.00 for it which I figured out the first time I used it, was way too much, but we used it a lot. I was satisfied to just toss it out or give it to my brother-in-law and let him work on it or something.

My wife on the other hand needed the pressure washer for her project. And, she knew it was under warranty. Between Sunday and today, she kept asking me about it. In fact, she went so far as to go to a pawn shop and price a used one, just to show she meant business.

So let me cut to the chase here; she hates it when I drag these stories out, and in fairness, this is her story. I had called the 800 number found on the broken pressure washer and they closed at 5PM eastern. But my wife looked at the warranty and found a different number to call that was open until 8PM.

At 7PM, I called the number, talked to some guy who asked a few identification questions, then he gave me a confirmation number. I asked him what was next and he told me to take the broken washer back to the store and give them my receipt and the confirmation number. Bad news. I have the receipt, but I just have no idea where on earth it could be. No problem. He told me to give them the conformation number.

At 7:15PM, we are headed down Culebra - they close at 8PM. Even on the way there, I was sure that there would be a hassle. I was convinced there was some conspiracy that involved me having to pay some sort of pro-rated, additional $198 to get a full refund or something, or they would first want to have it in the shop for three months to work on it.

We arrive at Northern and bring in the washer. I hand the lady my printed out warranty (from an e-mail that I had somehow managed to save from 18 months ago) with the confirmation number jotted down on it. The nice lady at the register calls her manager and of course, I'm thinking this is where the story turns south.

A phone call and some clicks in the computer and the lady is saying, "Grab a new one" and to be honest, I was waiting for her to laugh and say, "Psych!" But she didn't.

As I was walking over to grab a new one, I asked almost jokingly if they would give me a credit toward a better model and she just nodded and said, "Of course."

WTF? I gotta tell you, I seriously started looking for the hidden camera because I was sure my wife had set this whole thing up and Alan Funt was on his way out to slap me across the face, point out the Candid Camera and call me the dumbest idiot in town.

Instead, after a few minutes of paper work a new extend warranty (hell yeah!) and some oil, I write a check for $143.00 and I'm on my way to the loading dock to pick up a new Honda 2600 PSI Pressure Washer!
Even as we waited at the back door for the guy to put air in the tires, I was still thinking it was too good to be true. But sure enough, we came home and fired that puppy up just before 9PM (sorry to my neighbors for that) and in the morning, my wife will be in action.

I rarely have something good to say about retail places. Northern Tool and Equipment gets a huge thumbs up! And my wife gets a little pat on the back for making me take the washer back rather than throwing it in the trash.


Anon E. Mouse said...

You go gal!

Anonymous said...

ooohh ooohh arrrg aarrgg as Tim Allen would say. Just a bit of advice, now that you have the power be carefull not to blow holes in the driveway or sidewalk surface coat like one dummy I know (me) If it comes with variable degree heads use at least a 25 degree. It could be you are working and someone or something distracts you and before you know it's time for a trip to the depot for a surface patch

Guy D.

Anonymous said...

Eva says...

Call me Tina the tool gal... I love all that power. I was giddy all the way home. Oooh oooh arrg aarrgg. I went through almost a gallon of gas the first day . Full power!!!What a rush!!!

SunSpotBaby said...

What the hey kind of project is your wife working on that calls for a POWER WASHER for God's sake???? I'll have to give this some thought.....like is she some kind of artist and is going to carve gigantic designs in a hillside for some performance art project or something???

Dave said...

Don't try this at home but she is trying to get some old latex paint from an antique bed. The type of Environmentally Green paint remover we purchased actually suggests you use a power sprayer to help ease the paint off the wood.

I am still expecting a little sandpaper and elbow grease will be needed before we can re-stain the bed though.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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