Saturday, May 26, 2007

Lowe's Home Improvement - HOORAY!

I've mentioned previously that I enjoy cooking very much. At some point, I may write about the Zen-like bliss that comes over me when I cook with my Brinkman Electric Smoker. It is one of my favorite appliances, given to me as a gift several years ago and it is a much beloved member of our household, much like a pet.

My smoked ribs are better than any ribs that I've eaten almost anywhere*. I've done all manner of chicken, turkey, pork roasts, lamb(!), seafood, corn, name it. My smoker never fails to render some of the best flavors I hope to experience this side of Heaven.

But that's not what this post is about. I'm writing today to extoll a case of excellent customer service at my local Lowe's Home Improvement Store. I have been looking all over town the last two weeks for some replacement grilles for my smoker. To no avail and to my growing consternation, nobody has 15.75" grilles in stock. So today, upon seeing my distressed expression, the two young red-besmocked women working in what I learned is called the "seasonal" section of the Richmond Lowe's asked if they could help.

I told them my plight and they both set to looking to see if they could find something suitable in what was truly a generously stocked section of the store featuring all manner of barbecue hardware and gadgetry. Nothing. Then one of them cast me a conspiratorial sidelong glance and said, "Is your smoker like one of the ones we have here at Lowe's?". I affirmed that it was identical to the display model at the end of the aisle, albeit several years older.

We walked down to the display model. She removed the perfect, bright red lid and withdrew the two grilles from the smoker and handed them to me. She smiled and asked if I minded taking them. Fair sputtering with joy, I thanked her effusively, and assured her that I was pleased to take them. She then pulled out a slip of paper, wrote some numbers on it, made up a very reasonable price and handed it to me saying, "This should get you out the door."

I left happy and fulfilled. This type of "smokin'" customer service is very hard to find any more and I am grateful. The new Menard's that is being built 1/2 mile down the road is going to be very, very hard put to win my business.

* There is this one place in Oak Cliff, the infamous south Dallas suburb. It is called Burrell's and it is on South Ledbetter Street, I think. Their ribs may be better than mine, but nobody else's. Get there, if you ever can.


Heidi said...

I miss the days of the local hardware store (yes, I actually was around one growing up in NW Iowa --- it closed in the late 80's). The guys working there would take the time to help you figure out what you needed.... and, if you were looking for something for your home, they were probably around to help the people who lived there before with the same doo-hickey. Ahhh... and customer service with a smile is always nice, too.

DaveG said...

I should add you as a guest poster at one of my more ignored (by me, and hence the rest of the innernets) blogs:

This is just the kind of story I created that blog for, but I don't have enough material to keep up with it.

Barry Pike said...

That would be an honor, Dave. I like the idea behind that blog. When it comes to customer service, I believe in rewarding those who are worthy and punishing those who offend.

DaveG said...

It looks like I can add you to the permissions with your email address. You can send it to one of my scrub email addresses: