January 16, 2009

Readers to the rescue - again!


Frustrated, frustrated, frustrated.

That's how I felt from the moment I got the voicemail on the "24-hour emergency service" line of my regular furnace servicing company until about ten minutes ago. As it turns out, the "24-hour emergency service" they had advertised in the phone book was from an old ad. Really, it's 12-hour emergency service. Whoop-de-doo.  They stopped taking emergency calls at 23:00.  Apparently, I'm not the first one to have been confused by this.  You'd think they would change their message to keep their customers from getting ticked off.

They returned my slough of hourly overnight messages this morning, informing me that I was first on their list for today. 09:00 rolled around and then 10:00 and still, no service technician arrived like a knight in dingy old coveralls to fix my furnace.

I called them again. Yes, indeed I was first on the list for the day.  After they finished with their regular appointments, I was first on their list for emergency calls.  Kinda goes against the "urgency" in "emergency", doesn't it?  

"When should I expect you, then?" I asked.

"Couldn't say."

"Couldn't say" in response to my question could be anywhere from "they're already on your step" to "they'll be there when the Universe  achieves thermodynamic entropy".

Now, I wouldn't want to interrupt someone's scheduled service appointment, but if the situation were reversed and someone else were without heat going on twelve hours, I would be willing to move my appointment back, especially if it meant that I could help keep their pipes and children from freezing.

As luck would have it, "Anonymous" left a comment to tell me about Lance at Certified Heating and Services (I'm not sure who Anonymous is, but s/he lives on the same street as Lance, apparently).

I called Lance to see if he could do an emergency visit. He had a couple of appointments but said he could be here for 13:00.  That was already better than the possibility of the other heating company arriving there the next time George W. Bush is elected President of the United States of America. We agreed that, if the other company came first, I would call him to cancel. If he came first, I would call the other company to cancel. 

Like a knight in tidy brown Carhart coveralls (as close to shining as you can get Carharts), Lance leapt up the front steps two hours earlier than he told me he could arrive.

He had the problem fixed in a jiffy and let me watch so I would know how to fix it if it happens again.

The Great Furnace Failure of '09 isn't the first time this year that we've been helped by our fellow bloggers and blog readers. I may not live in a small, helpful community anymore, but I take comfort in knowing that there is another community out there that's willing to offer advice or lend a hand when it's needed1 - even when I haven't thought to request it.

Thank you, Anonymous, and thank you bloggers and blog readers. You warm people's hearts in so many ways.

1Apparently, some of you can fix washing machines, too.


Jennybell said...

Please do not even joke about Bush being re-elected!
Tuesday can't come soon enough!!!

Glad your heat is on, at least it waited for a warm up to go kerplunk.
Don't you love repairmen who show YOU how to solve your own problems so you don't have to continually shell out $$$

Meandering Michael said...

Indeed, I do!

Anonymous said...

Anon was Chris (you and I did a cleanup at Pumphouse a few years back) I took that pic of you in the canoe full of rusty cans. Lance, Dennis Z and I all live on the same cul-du-sac.

Good to hear Lance helped you out, I've been here 15 years and avoid the big companies (Griffith's and Fireweed) like the plague. I've yet to hear a bad experience with Certified.