This article is the first in a new series where Tempo will tell the stories of local people who fix important things for us in TBL.
Servicing your vehicle with the local garage
Before last month, your Tempo correspondent had always taken his car to the dealer for service. This was a half-hour drive away. He thought that this was the only way to comply with his warranty. But he noticed that many people in TBL do not do that. Instead they go to one of the local garages. Recently, when he had a problem with his car, he went to Dings to see Arlene and William McKellar.
What was the difference?
First of all, he learned that Dings, and most local garages, are warranty approved for all service. Secondly, he found the experience quite different. It was very personal. The mechanic, Jeff, went on a test drive with him. In a minute, Jeff had the problem diagnosed. Then Jeff took me into the work space, put my car up on the hoist and showed me what he was going to do. No secrets here. With the problem diagnosed, Arlene ordered the parts and gave me a quote. The parts arrived in a day and the car was back on the road with the problem fixed. Dings is 2 minutes drive from my home and Arlene will give you a lift.
This sense of being personal extends to all aspects of the experience. The front office is like a good barber shop. Clients sit around and drink coffee and share gossip. Some come in just for a chat! The team is like a family. Jeff has been working with the McKellars for 15 years. Geoff has been with them for 5 years. William McKellar has worked locally all his life. He started work as a mechanic aged 13 in a small local garage. Arlene, who does the books, makes all the appointments and deals with the parts ordering, has lived here for 36 years. She was raised in South Stukely. Arlene is also the founder and organizer for the local “Village Reads” organization that helps kids at school here. This is the 7th year of the program. “We live here and need to give something back to the community.” She told me with a smile.
Your Tempo correspondent left feeling good about paying his bill. He knew exactly what had happened and could trust the diagnosis and the result. The entire experience was all about trust.