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Swing Set

Mar 18, 201310:06 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

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Thursday came and almost went with no word from SALT about our circuit boards, so I called them and was told one was in, but the other one wouldn't come in until the next day. We left it at that, but shortly after, Shawn called and said Chris would be out to replace our board on Friday, no matter what. It was just a matter of whether it would be in the morning or in the afternoon. I told him I'd be waiting for a call in the a.m.

What would be good for everyone to know is this practice of charging "door to door" on labor rates. I don't know how us consumers ever let this practice get a foothold, but we need to be aware of it. The labor total was calculated on this "door to door" total at $100 per hour. The original bill amounted to the one hour of diagnosis at the outset and then an additional four hours applied for the board swap out. We settled on three hours, but I was fully aware that the time on our boat was under three hours when the wrong board was installed. I allowed some wiggle room.

The funny part, if there is a funny part, comes in the marked difference in the time required for our service call, between when we were paying for it and for when SALT was doing it on their dime.

On the first visit, Chris informed me that he had to stop by Home Depot for some Super Glue, and he would then get to the marina. Of course, there was to be a stop at the marina office to "check in." All this I was agreeable, not knowing about the "door to door" policy.

Chris eventually pulled up to the ramp at the dinghy dock where I was waiting patiently. He got out, walked around the truck, pulled out his tool bucket and a box with our parts in it and set them carefully on the ground. I was nearby and asked if he needed help carrying anything, but was told it was not necessary. He then pulled into a parking spot just a few feet away. I was still watching as he diddled around at the truck for a few minutes more.

I appreciated the attention to detail that Chris possessed, yet was surprised as to how many times he had to revert to the lengthy instructions included with the part in regard to how to install it, even though it was the wrong one.

When Chris showed up on Friday morning with the right part, he whipped into the parking lot, power sliding his van into the nearest parking spot. (Just kidding here, but no stop at the dinghy dock ramp was necessary this time, although the amount of things to be carried was identical.)  It took about 90 minutes to swap out the board, and he went on his way.

Bottom line though, I will do business with SALT again. I'll just make it clear about what I expect in regard to the "door to door" policy, and always use our VISA card to help in our protection for potential exorbitant charges.

We still need to stop by the SALT office to collect our spare board, and then there is still the issue of us getting a credit applied to our card when and if any warranty claim is judged to be in our favor. I'll keep you posted.

Marie, on my right, and Andrea, on Rosie's left, met us at Lazy Days on Friday afternoon for another happy hour. Their discounts start at 3 p.m., and you better get there early, as the happy hour prices are at the bar only and it fills up fast.

We took the dinghy over, as the wind was from the East, but we had the protection from Vaca Key, making our ride a dry one. Holly had to stay on Swing Set, as Lazy Days recently changed its pet policy to exclude them. Marie and Andrea both inquired as to her well being, a little disappointed not to see her, as they were leaving the next morning to head back north.

They took their leave a bit earlier than us. Rosie walked them out to their car after I hugged them both goodbye. I don't know how it fared in the parking lot, but I was able to keep a dry eye during our goodbyes, not something I'm always able to do, but I make an attempt to remain stoic at goodbyes. One never knows when it's the last time you will see anyone else, but I try to look at all departures as if they're only temporary. Life is just too hard if you look upon goodbyes any differently, but we are not always so successful. Once the dam breaks and the tears come, the game is over. We had a very nice visit with Marie and Andrea. Who knows where we'll see them again.

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