Letters to the Editor

Great service from many Langley businesses

Editor: This is to offer kudos to several Langley retail businesses.

Longtime friends from Texada Island were visiting with us. It is a three-ferry, full-day trip to get here.

They, like many folks from outlying smaller towns, like to shop here for certain items that are less expensive or unavailable at home. They had limited time to get this all done before going to their son’s anniversary party on a recent Saturday afternoon.

As the shopping had to be done on Saturday morning, often the busiest shopping time, my wife and I decided to drive our friends around separately.

Our friends have a challenging problem, with over 5,000 bats roosting in the cavities of their vertical board and batten siding house on Texada Island (Is that where they got the name “bat-ten”?)

We stopped at West Central Building Supplies on 62 Avenue, loaded up several items and the shipper helped us find two special rolls of three-foot screen door type screening. We were impressed with the great service.

The screen is to hang from the eaves, which discourages the bats from returning to the roost they were accessing from the top of the batten board space. Word is they will fly under the screen to leave their roost, but won’t fly under it to return to their roost.

Next, we stopped at Nufloors on Langley Bypass for a special product which they didn’t carry. The friendly gal at the counter referred us to another company, and gave us a printout of a local map to redirect us. We were impressed with such helpful friendly treatment.

We then went to Home Depot and a sales rep in the flooring department helped us find a special product my friend wanted to apply to his boat. We were done in five minutes, and received excellent instructive advice.

Then we went to the tools department for special lithium-ion battery impact and driver tools. My friend, a professional engineer, is willing to pay more to avoid ‘Made in China,’ so I was wondering how this is going to happen.  He found a $200 set with a special lifetime warranty offer, done in three minutes. Again, we were very impressed with knowledgeable sales rep, who with a two-minute spiel sold two sets to two different customers. The tools are made in Taiwan.

Then it was off to the seasonal department, looking for bat houses. I had very low expectations about finding such a thing.

Home Depot doesn’t carry this, but the salesman there was really helpful. He went on the internet and located a bird store in South Surrey, which carries a good selection of this unusual item. He even phoned them to see if they had some in stock.

We drove to Birds Unlimited and again received excellent service. We were out of there in 15 minutes, with three bat houses at a cost of $170. They can accommodate about 6,000 bats.  Bats are desirable little creatures, in that they can consume up to half their body weight in insects daily.

We made a few more stops. Upon leaving each store or department, we commented on the good service. Upon arriving back home, we were commenting with our wives about the over-the-top excellent service we got everywhere we went.

Such good service doesn’t happen by chance. It takes repeated conscious effort, and I’m thinking it might be easy to give such quality service to good looking young people — but to two discriminating old grandpas who were shopping in a hurry? Our friends spent about $3,800 on retail goods during that rushed four hours.

This was private sector, non-union enterprise in action. It’s something that the unionized sector might consider to strive to be better at. No doubt many of us could strive to learn and practise better personal, pleasing and effective communicating skills as well.

Roland Seguin,

Langley

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