Free air pays I just came in from the cold and rain. I was outside at our ``free air'' station, filling the tires on an elderly lady's car. When I finished, she asked: ``How much do I owe you?'' My reply was: ``How about a big smile?''
She not only paid me in full, but went on to say she was new to the area and that her Lexus would soon need tires, and she knew where she was going to get them.
I sat down at my desk to warm up and catch up on some of our trade publications—yours in particular. ``Mail Call'' is one of our favorite sections.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I read the letters from dealers Bill Trull (Dec. 7) and Ron Vak (Jan. 18) telling how they refuse to provide ``free air'' for ``non-customers.'' I was further astounded to see that one was a manager and the other a co-owner of an independent tire outlet!
Haven't these two ever heard the adage, ``People aren't the interruption of our work, they are the purpose of it''?
Our store is located on one of the busiest corners in northern Illinois. We put up a big ``free air'' sign, hose and gauge about 20 years ago.
I can't even begin to tell you how many thousands of tires we have sold from that ``free air'' sign, not to mention the goodwill it has created.
I've been in the auto service business all of my life, and have been selling tires for 33 of my 48 years. I have always been proud of my life's work, until I find that I have been sharing in it with guys like Mr. Trull and Mr. Vak.
To them I say, ``Take down that free air sign'' and put one in its place that says ``Closed.''
I'm warm now.
Merle D. Korlaske
Fox River Tire Co.
St. Charles, Ill.
I'd like to read more about what dealers are doing to find qualified service techs. This seems to be an especially severe problem in major metropolitan areas.
Garden City South, N.Y.
How dealers cope
Tire Business and its staff are to be commended for staying on top of this ever-changing business.
I'd like to see more features on how independent dealers are coping with competition from huge mass merchandisers.
Vice president, sales
Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Check UPS costs
Everyone should know that United Parcel Service charges an extra $3 per tire unless it's in a box or special bag!
We have switched all the tires we can to Federal Express which has not instituted such a charge.
Also, we now use the U.S. Postal Service which charges less in many cases.
For shipments over 500 lbs., it's cheaper to use a freight line. However, you really have to check these costs before shipping.
Wallace W. Wade
Wallace W. Wade Specialty Tires