Susan gave me my 65th birthday present early, while the days in VT still have a hint of warmth and the sun sticks around for a while at least. It is a magnificent (!!!!!!!) Kubota 4-wheeler—aimed at feeding my growing passion for landscaping on the mountainsides here in West Tinmouth.
I showed it off to a good friend, and I mentioned the wonderful support Susan had gotten from the Kubota dealer. He seconded the story, as he does business with the same guy. "I still can't believe it. I bleed green [Deere's color] and I've left them behind. [He has enough Deere equipment to fill a freighter—and has had for years, and then more years.] But the fact is that when I call the Deere dealer with a question, I'm lucky if he bothers to get back to me in the next two days. Finally, after the pattern was clear and then some, I'd had enough. A pack of wild horses couldn't get me to reverse course."
So Deere makes utterly superb equipment and innovates constantly—not an ounce, or gram, of doubt about it. But today, as always, the basic "soft" service from the company or its distributor-dealer/s makes or breaks the relationship, given some decent alternatives, in which category Kubota fits and then some.
No news in this story—except for the always Big News that, whether it's your father's world or Web 2.0 world, it's the basics (e.g., of returning phone calls) that make you or break you.
(NB: People come from hundreds of miles away to purchase from the good-guy dealer in question.)
[Photo credit Susan Sargent, for the great photo of Tom and his Kubota, above]