Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Went Old School - I Used The Yellow Pages

Saturday night and we had a plumbing problem. The master bath tub faucet decided that it did not want to stop running the hot water. Not just a drip, but a full stream of steaming water down the drain. We had to turn off the water to the whole house to stop the flow. The thought of no running water until Monday was not appealing.

However, my wife could not reach our regular plumber. She left a message, but after a few hours we had not heard back. He is an independent businessman, but that also means we were not going to hear back on Saturday night.

It was quickly approaching dinner time, and I needed water to cook. I had to turn to desperate measures.... I took out the Yellow Pages.

I will be honest, I thought about going to the internet, but it was one of those times that I knew that "Old School" was the best answer.

I called a local service company who has the best name recognition. Their ad mentioned that they did not charge inflated weekend rates until after 8 PM. Sounded good. The weekend operator took my information, but I did not get a return call for over 30 minutes, and it was now 7 PM. I went a different direction and called them back to cancel my request.

AAA Auger Plumbing had a large ad that mentioned they do not charge any additional rates on nights or weekends, and they were always on available with trucks all over town. I rang, they answered, and assured me someone would be at my home shortly.

The plumber, Jose, showed up a half hour later and did a great job of solving the problem. Within an hour our bath tub had returned to normal and the night's trauma was solved. It was not expensive (although not cheap, either!). The leak was fixed and we could get on with our weekend with running water.

Even in this day of the internet, it was an old-fashioned Yellow Page ad that lead me to finding the right answer.

After it was all done I ran a practice twirl through Google to find my way to the right plumber, but they all looked the same in the search results. The Yellow Page ads were my fast pass to stopping the running water on a Saturday evening.

Have A Great Day.

thom

4 comments:

Lindy said...

This is less an endorsement of the efficacy of Yellow Pages (good luck by the way, on being able to find what you wanted in this instance.)

I see what you say about the poor use of the online representation of local business and agree wholeheartedly.

I'd have trouble seeing your example as reason for a local business to spend a lot of money putting in expensive ads in the Yellow Pages. For a fraction of the cost - or even no cost aside from some 'sweat equity' in learning how to do it, local businesses can get all that information and more online for their customers in their local area of operation. As you point out, there is often very little competition, since small business is lagging behind in picking up on the new digital tools that can help them expand the reach of their business.

Thom Singer said...

Lindy-

thanks for stopping by and especially for leaving a comment.

I do not think I meant to endorse small business spending money on Yellow Pages. I am all about the power of the internet.

I was more pointing out that in our hyper focused online world, it is not yet the perfect solution for the consumer. when you search you get a bunch of lines that look the same, what I needed was an ad that screamed "no weekend or night charges and fast service" at a glance.

We forget sometimes that we as a society are not 100% digital yet.

My observation was that as a consumer, the internet is not always the fastest answer (although in most cases I do go online for answers, and will continue to do so).

Have a great day.

thom

Harwick Family said...

Call Plumb Quick next time and ask for Kortez.

David Cross said...

Mr. Singer,

Thank you for your business! I am pleased that we were able to take care of you in an expeditious manner.

We are only as good as our worst plumber on his/her worst day; however, we are truly committed to your satisfaction. Should we ever fall below the mark, please give us an opportunity to make it right.

Thanks again!

Regards,

David Cross
CEO