Love Fee: Just Bring In 3 New Customers
I don't know beans about electronics, but I do know that when I press "play" on my VCR, the thing is supposed to play the tape I have put in. I also know that it is not supposed to shut down of its own free will and refuse to work. When this happened to my machine, I immediately concluded that my VCR was either possessed by an evil spirit of one of the bad movies I had rented recently, or it was on the blink.
Now, today's VCRs mostly are of the throwaway variety. You pay less than $100 for one, and when it doesn't work any more, you throw them away and buy a new one. It cost $30 minimum just for a repair shop to look at.
Except, perhaps, if you buy at Love TV Sales and Service on Natural Bridge Road in Bridgeton, I found out recently.
I decided to revisit Love, where I had paid quite a bit for this super duper VCR more than 5 1/2 years ago, to see what they would do for me. I even found my sales receipt. (I cannot find the instruction booklet for the new barbecue grill I bought just two weeks ago, but a 5 1/2-year-old receipt pops up and hits me like a heavyweight champ hits an old pug.)
I figured if I showed my receipt, I might get a better deal on the repair. I soon found out these guys know how to satisfy a customer.
Jim Wilhite greeted me at the counter, and right away proceeded to confuse the heck out of me.
He turned my VCR upside down as if doing Johnny Carson's Karnack the Magnificent mind reading act, wherein Carson would hold an envelope up to his forehead and answer the unknown question sealed inside.
"Do you have kids?" Wilhite asked me as he held the unit. I told him I did.
He then pulled out a screwdriver, and with a few turns, removed the cover.
"I heard something rattling around in here somewhere," he said, examining the insides of my VCR. "Ah, here it is," he said, pulling out a kidney shaped bean --- the kind they give kids like my three-year-old to do projects with in preschool.
Wilhite put my VCR back together, minus the bean, which I pocketed to take back home to show my son.
I figured he needed a quick lesson in the difference between a bean and a video cassette tape. He put in a tape, and the VCR played perfectly.
All that was left for Wilhite to do was to tell me what the fee schedule for Love TV Sales & Service told him to charge for performing a bean-ectomy on a VCR.
"Should we say two or three?" he asked his colleague behind the counter, and breathing a sigh of relief, I reached for my wallet.
They agreed on three. "Send us three customers," he said to me, pulling out three business cards. That was his fee.
I promised him I would. At least three.
Love TV Sales & Service. In Bridgeton. Look it up.
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