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Feb. 222014

February 22, 2014

►    Customer Feedback:  Mary S. from Nashua, NH stated that her general shopping experience with us was Excellent.  Did any of our team members do an unusually good job?  “Victor did a wonderful job helping me with product selection, instructions, and troubleshooting.  He was very patient with my daughter who has Autism and kept interrupting us.  Patrick has also been very helpful.”  Sales help, operations, and communication were all rated Excellent.  Product performance was rated Good.  “Depends on what I used.  Did not like Baquacil.”  What can we do to improve?  “Not really an improvement, but wish furniture prices were a little more affordable.  They are beautiful.”  What do we do really well?  “Customer service.”

►    Advertising changes Sunday, Feb. 23:  “Look at the Big Picture”.  The road sign changes, but everything else continues from last week.

►    Our New Hampshire Home magazine advertisement on Montreaux by Tropitone is out, now.

   I was able to take apart a Master Temp 125 heater at the Bay State show last week.  It is amazing.  All of the parts are exactly the same as the bigger Master Temp heaters, except the heat exchange is smaller and the bulkhead fittings are 1½” instead of 2”.  It is not $1,199 because it is made cheaper – they just seriously underpriced it in order to introduce it to the market.  And, they made a mistake.  I guarantee it will go up $500 next year.

►    I have changed our policy on protecting above ground pools from snow; to allow removing snow from the top rails only. Because removing snow from above the iceberg could damage the pool if the iceberg is floating.  Please see the email that we just sent to pool owners on Seasonal Reward$ (below).

►    Marquis has just announced a special, no-interest for one year financing plan that will run March 1st to April 30th.  It is a great deal.  However, it is with a new bank (Wells Fargo) and it is a Visa card, and they just gave us the application to join Wells Fargo.  Oh, and we have no information on rules, approvals, etc.  So don’t tell anyone about it until we have approval, and rules and applications.

►    Congratulations to Mia and Stephanie.  In the first Dale Carnegie class, Mia remembered all 46 possible names.  In their second class, Stephanie won the Pen award for Outstanding Performance.

►    From the Coffee News:

Color combo:  People who want to eat less, or eat more of the right kind of food, should consider the color of the dinner plates they use.  In a study done by researchers at Cornell University in New York (US), diners took larger portions if the colors of their food matched their plates.  For example, people heaped more pasta with tomato sauce on a red plate than they did on a white plate.  On average, people took 22% more food when it matched the plate.  It is thought that this happens because big servings look smaller on a matching background, while small servings look bigger on a color-contrasting plate.  Perhaps dieters might consider eating peas on a green plate!

►    From the Reader’s Digest:

Tear up the lease!  Think it’s easy being a landlord?  Check out these tenant complaints:

–        “The toilet is blocked, and we cannot bathe the children until it is cleared.”

–        “Fifty percent of the walls are damp, 50 percent have crumbling plaster, and 50 percent are just plain filthy.”

Snowload Warning for Pool Owners

Snow loads seem to be approaching those in 2000, which destroyed hundreds of above ground swimming pools and many buildings around the state.  In fact, the Amherst Fire Chief stopped in yesterday to warn us to shovel our store’s roof. Actually, we keep two special snow blowers staged on the roof, and have been clearing paths to the roof drains all along. What’s the problem? Normal snow blows off roofs and swimming pools after a while – but dense, rain-soaked snow doesn’t blow off, and it is way heavier than normal snow.

What to do about your swimming pool? Most of all, be very careful! You can cause major damage by doing the wrong thing!

Above Ground Pools

Industry standard advice is to do nothing. Disturbing the ice inside the pool can shift it, tear the liner, and the falling ice can destroy the pool.  Your best protection is to use a pool cover that is at least five feet bigger than the pool. If yours is only three feet bigger, it’s too late now. You may want to consider loosening the cable and allowing the cover to fall into the pool if it is straining; rather than let it rip off the top rails.

If your cover is properly sized, and the pool is properly closed, weight on the water should be OK. However, the walls and the top rails are actually not as strong as the ice and water.  A reasonable, alternative to doing nothing, is to remove some of the snow and ice from over the top rails only. However, BE VERY CAREFUL.

  1. Disturbing the iceberg inside the pool can be      destructive.
  2. Do not try to shovel while standing on the      pool or its cover. If the ice cracks and you fall in, you can die.

To learn more about ice damage, read our Pool Tips™, click here.

Inground Pools

It’s pretty hard to hurt an inground pool – all of the earth is holding it together. It is possible to damage or ruin a safety cover, though, if it is installed incorrectly.  At this time of year, the safety cover should have stretched down and is sitting on the ice. That assumes you left the pool water at the right level, and you did not have any leaks. As long as the ice is supporting your cover, it should be OK. If it is not, it may be too late for a fix.  Adding water would be difficult.

If your cover is not sitting on the ice, then releasing the cover right now would be very dangerous. It is under a tremendous strain. You are probably not strong enough to loosen it, and you could be injured if it snapped.  Just stay away from it until the snow melts, and hope the straps just pull out of the buckles. That is the most likely scenario, and the repair cost should not be too bad. Replacing damaged pegs can be expensive, but they (and the straps) should be stronger than the buckles.

Finally

Good luck. If you have any questions, call anytime. We are open all year.

Feb. 182019
►     This week’s report card comes from the Smerekaniczs from New Boston.  They said that their shopping experience was excellent, mostly because Stephanie was so amazing.  They also said that the best thing we could do for our business would...
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