Now THAT’S Service


We arrived in England a few days ago and are staying with family in a small village about 120 miles north of London.

A day after we arrived, the boiler gave out. No heat. No hot water.

We called just about every ’24 hour’ boiler service company we could find. They all had the same answer.  “We don’t work on Christmas Eve” and “Nothing until after the New Year, sorry”.

I called the company that made the boiler. British Gas. Just about anyone I could think of.


“We don’t do anything between the day before Christmas and the day after New Years”.

That is “British” service. About on a par with the old Soviet Union.

So we gathered around the fireplace and have been living there ever since. It’s COLD out here!

Ironically, on the same day (Christmas Eve), my new Leica M8 stopped working. Or at least the read-outs on the back of the body and the digital controls gave out. The camera still takes pictures, but you can’t review ’em, can’t download ’em.

I searched the web for advice or help. Nothing.

Then, I emailed Ken Hansen.

Ken Hansen is one of the pre-eminant camera dealers in the country.  He used to have a place in NY, but I think he has since decamped for Florida, but I deal with him over the phone and online. He got me the M8 when no one else could find one, and when B&H was telling me that it was a 4 month wait.  Ken not only got me the M8, but shipped it to me in NY with a small, handwritten note, asking me to drop him a check to pay for it ‘when I had a minute’.  (This is NOT how they do business at B&H).

Finally, I emailed Ken.

I got a first answer in a matter of hours – on Christmas Eve.

I got more information on Christmas Day – he had checked with a few technicians he knew.

I got more emails the next day.

Alas, it looks like a loose connection, and it appears there is nothing he or I can do until I am back in the US.  I can live with it, but what unbelievable service.  That’s how you build customer loyalty for life.

As for British Gas. I am sitting here in a down coat typing this to you now.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year to everyone.


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