This Guy Blows

, , , , , | Right | April 24, 2019

I was working the sales floor of a farm store one day when I was approached by a gentleman wishing to purchase a two-stage snow blower. He explained that he needed something heavy duty because he had a business and had contracted to clean the sidewalks for our city. It’s important to note that we live in a very small town, so it was likely the blower would get much use.

After chatting with him, he settled on a 30-inch, top-of-the-line model. We prepped the unit and he was on his merry way. The “merry” part didn’t last long, however. The following morning he was waiting for me when I came in for my shift. He was furious and explained that he’d had problems with his “defective” blower. I asked what was wrong and he told me the “feet” on it were defective.

Each blower has a pair of plastic, or metal — as on this guy’s blower — feet that the snow-catching part of the blower rides on. The intention is both to set the blower to the desired ride height, but mostly as a sacrificial wear item so the actual blower isn’t getting ground away. In my entire career selling and maintaining these blowers, I’d never seen feet worn down more than an inch or two at the most.

When this guy showed me what had just yesterday been a brand-new, top-of-the-line blower, I was speechless. The auger looked as if it’d been chewing cinder blocks, and the discharge chute was full of dents and bends. The most perplexing part: both feet were ground off completely, along with the bottom two inches of metal of the bottom of the blower. Imagine this thing having been dragged on a giant cheese grater for several miles and you get the idea.

The customer insisted he’d only been using it for “light sidewalk cleaning” in town and claimed the damage had been as a result of “defective equipment.”

To make a long story short, I tried to uphold company policy regarding returns on equipment that was obviously abused and not being used for its intended purpose, but he threw a fit and I had to get the store manager involved. He eventually caved and the guy got a replacement blower.

The following morning, you guessed it, he was back and the replacement blower looked the same as the first. This time, the manager stood his ground and wouldn’t let the guy have another one. The man threatened to get our corporate office involved and get us “shut down” but quick thinking on the manager’s part — a call to the office to warn them of the impending call — prevented any further shenanigans.

To this day, I still can’t fathom what the guy must have been doing with that poor blower… dragging it behind his truck?

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