rage against the bank (which woke me briefly from my blogging hibernation) was quite happily tempered by the complete opposite service experience of getting my television repaired by Réal Giguère. Well actually, it was by his two sons. The business has been fixing televisions in the Plateau since 1955, but Réal himself passed away twenty years ago and now his sons run it. They are a perfect example of what makes Montreal such a great city to live in. There still exists small service stores where knowledgeable, friendly, local people provide quality work and quality customer service. They are not locked into some strict set of national policies. They can make decisions on their own. They know their field and can give you a wide range of advice. And it can actually be a pleasant experience.
The whole thing started with me being an idiot. We moved into a new place with cable outlets everywhere. I tested one out, found it worked and then went to another one that was in a different location. It didn't work, so I moved the TV back. Except I forgot to unplug the cable. Like Big Moose, my stupidity is offset by incredible physical strength and I ended up ripping the cable port right out of the television. Though we usually watch stuff via the computer (which is connected via HDMI), the loss of cable was big. We use over the air HD and you need to connect the antenna through the co-axial cable port.
I got the TV to Réal Giguère on Wednesday. The place is a flat building with curtained windows butting right up onto Marie-Anne. It is so full of televisions and television parts, that there only is a narrow trail from the front door to a slightly more open space where the phone and cash register are. They have decades of televisions and TV parts. They also rent old TV sets for use in movie shoots, which must be a nice niche business to have. They also sell new TVs and said they have very competitive prices, but I have no idea where they could possibly keep them, as there is nothing on display, let alone a showroom.
I dropped the TV off. One of the brothers told me that they would call the next day to let me know how long the repair would take and how much it would cost. What I found also funny was that before they had done the diagnosis, they said that if the repair would take a while then they could offer me a loaner. The question was "is this your only television?". I guess for some people a TV is like a car or stove, essential to their existence.
It turns out they see a lot of cable ports ripped out. I guess I am not the only one. Usually it's just the metal housing that gets broken and they can sauter that back on. Unfortunately, in my case, I had actually broken a chunk of the circuit board right off and they would have to replace the entire module. Fortunately, they had that very module in the store, housed in a TV in the same line as mine, but with a broken screen. Entire cost to me was $150+tax. I have no idea if this was a good price, but with my experience in getting other A/V stuff fixed, I suspect it is. They said that ordering the module new would have cost $500. Can anybody out there confirm that?
So I went over and paid up. When one of the brothers was going to get the TV, I told him not to rush because I had to call a cab. They asked where I live and then said, no problem, my brother can just take you over there. We had a decent conversation about television repair and Syria on the way to my house.
The entire experience was efficient and pleasant, with excellent customer service by a couple of brothers who know their stuff and do good work. As someone who is concerned about waste, I was also very satisfied that I could use an existing part from a defunct TV rather than ordering a new one.