Thumbs UP!

It is so easy to complain.  Let’s face it, we all do it.  Everyone is quick to post a review on line when stuff goes wrong.  For some reason it makes you feel better about whatever perceived injustice you just experienced.  People in general seem to be less inclined to post reviews when they are satisfied, or frankly, surprised by over the top service.  We try really hard to be equal opportunity posters- whether on this blog,,, or other on-line communities.

We are subscribed (and members) of Active Captain– a boating website and service that uses subscriber-supplied content in addition to many tools for navigating, boat maintenance, etc. (they are also the keeper’s of their dogs’ blog Taking Paws).  One of my jobs (Beth) as CIO (chief information officer) is to finally get our e-boat card set up and learn how to use the site and tools.

A few years ago, Active Captain offered a special price for Eartec Simultalk voice activated headsets at Defender.  We needed a new set after our old Motorola Talkabouts died on us.  It really makes it easier to pick up a mooring or do other things (including work in the house) with headsets.  No yelling and clear communication.  As you know we did not do a lot of boating the last few years, so the headsets didn’t get much use.  When they did, we had a lot of trouble with them, trying to get them both working.  I really got sick of saying “Can you hear me now?”.

Last week we were going to use them at home, and they just wouldn’t work.  Not only did it seem like the batteries were dead, one of us could hear just fine but the other one (talking) couldn’t hear anything!  Kevin found the instructions (printed in 2003?) and found out the company was nearby, in Narragansett RI.  He sent an email and they said if we brought them down, they could repair them.  Great!  A trip down there meant more Baa Baa burgers at Crazy Burger.  Yum!

When we arrived, an extremely helpful person came out to talk to us and diagnose the problem.  He looked at the headsets and said “Do you know how to wear these?”  put them and DOH!  All of our complaining about them not being ergonomic or logical went out the window – we  DIDN’T know how to wear them!  After feeling stupid, we started to feel better when he confirmed that there was a problem with the switch on one of the receivers…  plus the batteries needed replacing.

These were way out of warranty, and we expected to pay for new batteries and any repairs.  Instead, he gave us a new receiver, said he would put a new switch in the old one and I guess put it back in inventory, and charged us for the batteries only.  As an added bonus, he gave us new instructions… Wow.  We were not expecting this at all – what fantastic customer service!

Eartec has a great product, is a (small) local company, and they are really nice people to deal with.  If you are looking for some kind of wireless headsets – they seem to have them all.  Please help support them – they definitely will support you!

One more quick Thumbs UP goes to Sewing Parts  We needed new belts for Kevin’s mom’s (now my) old Kenmore sewing machine.  I ordered the two belts from them using the part numbers provided by sears (and confirmed on their web site).  One of the belts was just too large and flopped around.  No way was it going to work right.  After more digging on the internet it looked like this belt was described both as a 13 7/8 AND 13 1/4 inches.  How can the same belt part number (for a specific model number) have two sizes?  Who Knows?

Anyway it was obvious I needed the 13 1/4 instead of the 13 7/8 belt.  I called customer service and they were extremely pleasant.  We found a different  belt that looked like it was the right one, and they shipped it immediately.  She told me it wasn’t worth sending the other one back, AND she refunded the difference in price to my credit card (the new belt was almost $4 cheaper than the original).  Wow – didn’t expect a refund – in my opinion that was not necessary, but again, now they have a happy customer and I will order from them before going anywhere else.

It’s great when you can say NICE things about two companies in one day!


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