This is crazy! With all my unhappiness about customer service in this nation as of late, I FINALLY have a positive story to share.
If you would jump into the WAY BACK machine, and arrive somewhere around 2005 (our best guess) you would find us buying a new garden hose caddy. You know the type, where you hook your hose (garden variety, dummies) to this box (mind out of the gutter, now) and you wind it in. Bonus for it not looking completely like a trailer trash addition to the back yard. Not only did it wind up the hose, it had this “guide” that moved back and forth so that it didn’t roll the hose all up in one spot.
Now, fast forward to this spring, and you would find me trying to fix a leaky connection somewhere in the bowels of the machine. After some 3 hours of tinkering, I figured out how to take the thing apart, and low and behold, there was a crack. Not a big crack, but a crack none-the-less. It was just big enough to cause water to spray out when you turned on the hose bib. I tried a bit of epoxy, but no dice. The leak would not be plugged.
That’s about when we started to look for a replacement. Same requirements as from years ago. Non-ugly, guided hose winder and durable. Add to that, CHEAP, after all I am unemployed. Come to find out, the cost of these puppies has gone up from what I remember. To replace this unit with a similar one would cost us about $100 bones. Not really what I wanted to do. I looked at some of the less costly units, around $50 and they would not cut the mustard, as they say.
After some discussions with the wife about what to do, we decided to let it sit for a few days, while we figured out if it was worth paying $100 for a new one, or just getting rid of it completely, and winding the hose up manually on the deck. Ugly… Well, the next day, i was researching them online, trying to find the BEST deal when I came across the companies website that made our model. They had a “Order Parts” tab, and that’s when it hit me. Just order the broken part, and things would be good. After finding the item I needed for the repair, I added it to my shopping cart, expecting to see some inflated fee for the piece, but after hitting submit, it simply said the item was on it’s way. I sat there dumbfounded for a moment, trying to figure out what just happened. I didn’t enter any payment info, nor did I select a shipping method. I totally expected both of those on the following screen, but there was none.
That all went down on Monday, memorial day. I figured that I would give it a few weeks before i gave in and bought a new unit, but to my surprise, the replacement part actually came in today’s mail. I was a bit blown away. Not only was the replacement part free, but so was the shipping. Add to that, the hose caddy was ‘at least’ 7 years old. Don’t get me wrong – 7 years of use from it was awesome. But to send out a replacement part after that long is totally unheard of. FOR FREE. For what it’s worth, I will certainly buy another Ames hose caddy, when this one finally dies.