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Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe and this is MNB Radio, available on iTunes and brought to you this week by Webstop, experts in the art of retail website design.

MNB readers may recall that about a year ago, my friend and colleague Michael Sansolo got a bunch of columns out of the fact that he had a non-functioning snow blower during a winter in which his part of the country, the Washington, DC, area, got pummeled by a series of blizzards. He used it as a metaphor for business preparation, writing that “we all too often forget one of the great lessons from the Bible: that Noah built the ark before it started raining.”

I, for one, was paying attention.

The first week of December, I was talking with Mrs. Content Guy about the fact that we probably ought to get our snow blower tuned up so we’d be ready for winter. We talked about it, I did a little research on the web, and found a place a few miles away where we could take it, and lined up one of my neighbors to help me lift this very heavy piece of equipment into the back of our SUV last Saturday morning.

Problem was, it didn’t fit. Not even close. So I had to go back to find out if there was someone who might come out to the house and service the snow blower ... and I was looking at the calendar and the weather reports, thinking that if I could even find someone, they’d probably be busy, and that I was probably cutting things a little close. (If you’re thinking that I should have just changed the oil and replaced the spark plugs myself, I should tell you that my repairman abilities begin and end with changing lightbulbs.)

Now, to be perfectly honest ... Mrs. Content Guy said weeks ago that I ought to find someone to come out to the house. I didn’t listen. To her credit, she didn’t say “I told you so” as I went back to my laptop. (She didn’t have to. She just smiled. I know that smile. I get it a lot.)

Suddenly, I had an idea. We didn’t actually buy this snow blower. It was given to us by close friends who moved to Florida and didn’t need it anymore ... though they may be sitting down in Orlando this week wondering if that was a hasty decision. But for the first time, I actually took a look to see who made it. And saw that it is a Sears Craftsman.

So I went to the Sears website, got a toll free number, and made a phone call.

Within five minutes, I was talking to an actual person. She was incredibly nice. She told me that yes, Sears offers at-home servicing of snow blowers. She checked my location and said that she’d have someone out to the house on Monday afternoon. (This was Saturday morning.) I was, to say the least, surprised. And pleased.

I was then shocked when I was informed that they had a special going, and that the usual $110 charge was being discounted by 10 percent. (You’d think that early December would be the perfect time to double their prices!)

The service guy showed up on time, found an enormous mouse nest imbedded in the engine, cleaned and tuned the equipment, and just generally was a pleasure to deal with.

Over the years, I’ve said a lot of negative things about Sears, Kmart, its ownership and management, and the company’s various missteps. But I have to tell you, I was extremely impressed. Talk about a core value ... This is something that Sears does very, very well ... and while I’m guessing that a lot of you already know this, it is news to me.

I can safely say that Sears has a very satisfied customer.

And me, I have an ark. And the rain hasn’t started yet.

Eat your heart out, Sansolo.

For MNB Radio, I’m Kevin Coupe.
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