Grill of My Dreams

Mauree Miller

Barbecuing in nice weather is one of life’s small pleasures. With sunshine and warmth, the smell of grilling makes a lovely day perfect. Spring is in the air, and it’s time to replace our old gas grill. It starts, but we usually have to start it with a match. The last few times, even the matches broke, looks like we have to replace the matches, too.

Comparison shopping is always a good idea, especially for a significant purchase. Where to look? We tried three options—our local independently owned hardware store, a big box store and the local family owned appliance store. We found that the price for the grill at the big box store was a little lower than the hardware store’s price. However, the big box store charges for delivery, evening out the pricing. We would prefer to have used the hardware store, because dealing with them is easy—no 5 hour windows for delivery and local access if there is a problem. The only problem with the hardware store was that they wouldn’t take the old grill, creating a nuisance for us in having to find someone to take it away.

We hadn’t originally thought about going to the appliance store, thinking that they only sold appliances—logical thought. But, you never know, and it’s always a good idea to think broadly. Since this store had been dependable and had taken away old appliances in the past, we checked their website and saw that they sold grills. While we’ve always had good experiences with them, and a friend was recently pleased when I referred her to them for a new washer, we had a few communication problems. Earlier in the year, we needed a repair, and had difficulty getting a call back when we left a message for their repair service. This time, we decided to send an email to check out cost, delivery options, and whether they would take the old grill. One email—no response; second email—no response. This just wasn’t like them, but we now have 3 instances of lack of response. What to do—pick up the phone when email doesn’t work.

I went right to the owner, because he has a reputation to maintain, and I thought that he would want to know about the problem and would probably be responsible for fixing it. I told him about the recent history of lack of response, focusing on the email. We both learned something here—I learned that they were still responsive. The owner learned that the marketing service for the website was problematic for email. He didn’t even know where the emails were going, and hadn’t seen them. I found that this store wouldn’t charge for delivery and would take the old grill. When he explained that he didn’t know how the email worked, I suggested that he take off the email address, since lack of response wasn’t in sync with the good service that they normally give. And he needed to talk to the marketing company—they should have been promoting him, not morphing him into the Invisible Man. If I hadn’t followed through and told him about the problem, he wouldn’t have known, and probably would have lost a customer. Silence never yields results.

I’m getting a grill without hassle on delivery and removal. And, for my inconvenience in having to chase him down, he threw in a grill cover without charge—his suggestion; I didn’t have to ask. 

We’re barbecuing chicken tonight.