Tonawanda News

October 26, 2013

TUCKER: Poor service is aggravating

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — In July, a terrible wind storm blew down two sections of my wood fence and loosened the rest of 60-foot span which is on one side of the yard. Of course, I called what I consider one of the most reputable fencing firms, Classic Fence, who put it in originally and has repaired it over the last 20 years.

The salesman came out took measurements, gave me an honest quote, which the insurance company paid almost immediately. The sales person said it would take a month as the firm was backed up with work.

So I waited a month, then another two weeks, then called to see when it would be installed.

The very pleasant receptionist checked and said because of weather conditions it would not be installed until at least Oct. 24. (Perhaps you recall that the weather during those weeks was lovely, hardly any rain the lots of good warm weather.)

So, OK, I waited until a week ago when I called again to see if the Oct. 24 date was firm.

“It may not be until after that,” the woman said. Once again. weather was blamed.

So I called again and she said it definitely would be Oct. 24. And yesterday the fence went up.

When I told this story to a number of friends and relatives, every one had an experience with waiting for merchandise which matched and surpassed the time I waited. One said she ordered two reclining chairs and was told eight weeks, but the company went out of business before time was up. Another ordered a chair and wanted it in a different fabric. She was told 10 weeks but after call after call and three months passed with no result, she called, cancelled the order and demanded her money back. She went to another story and in three weeks had a chair she wanted. Very few have been satisfied with service. A friend of my son said his friend and his wife ordered a huge sectional that came with a side chair and matching pillows. The sectional came, but the chair and the matching pillows have yet to show up — three months later.

What are companies thinking? Why not tell the truth upfront? What kind of customer service are we getting?

Who is he?

Last week’s column included a photo of John Sullivan, a photo found in the street in the Town of Tonawand We are still searching for this young man’s identity.

Mike Addy, formerly of North Tonawanda and who many of us know from former Canal Fests, emailed to say the photo reminds him of a gentleman he met many years ago when they were both in the restaurant business.

“We met in my last year with Canal Fest and prior to us moving to North Carolina,” Mike said. “The man’s name was also John Sullivan and has remarkable likeness to the picture. He was no longer in the restaurant business, but was in the real estate business. I wish I could remember who he worked for, but as I get older my memory is getting less and less.

“I know this isn’t much information, but perhaps it might help in locating the John Sullivan I knew back then. ... Canal Fest is still very close to my heart.”

Thanks, Mike. You are the only one who responded to the photo. Hope we find out more about the “mystery man.”


It’s so sad to see Budwey’s store sold. It’s one of the few business staples in town. Think about how many we’ve lost: McCarthy’s Fruit Market, Wagenscheutz Hardware, Cramer Hardware, Berns’s Children’s Shop, Morrison’s, Parsons Drug Store, Bob Johnson’s Meats, O’Connor Toy Store, Zeffrey’s, Litzenberg Hat Shop (our favorite especially at Easter when all women and children wore hats,) Fowler Electric, Sugar Bowl, Nestor’s, Werkley’s Candy Store, Fezer’s Market and Saffer Jewelers.

No doubt you can add dozens to this list, most of which were “uptown.” Even more if you add Oliver Street or Payne Avenue.

Sad note

Condolences to the family of former NT mayor Mary Kabasakalian. She was one of the happiest, most gentle and giving mayors the city had every had. She came to all events she was invited to and always had great pride in the city. Not a politically driven person, she stood by what she thought and knew was right. She’s probably organizing heaven even as we speak.

Contact community editor Barbara Tucker at 693-1000, ext. 4110 or email