If you're as old as I am, you remember a time when, let's say you wanted someone to mow your lawn or you wanted to get a lawnmower repaired, you would open up a phone book, go to the Yellow Pages and look up lawn care or lawn mowing or lawn services or some such and make some phone calls.
Same with lawn mower repair -- go to the Yellow Pages and look up lawn mower repair or small engine repair and contact the various companies listed there. Or as in my small town, you would drive down to the small business neighborhood and find the guy that did small engine/lawn mower repair, drop your mower off and get it fixed.
Now, of course, everything is better because we have cell phones and apps and search engines. It's so last century to open a book and turn pages and stuff. Just type in what you need and violá it's all at your fingertips. Get with the times old man.
So I needed my lawnmower repaired and concurrently needed my yard mowed as well, because my one year old Sears mower wouldn't start this year when I went to use it for the first time. My other mower, that I had for 20 years was also a Sears mower. I've been using mowers from Sears since I was 15. Never had a problem. My old mower was a tank. Every year I'd sharpen the blade like a ninja, clean and gap the plug, make a new air filter and dump a little gumout in the tank. As it aged, you had to pump the primer about 10 times instead of 5, but it fired up on the first pull. Every year. For twenty years.
New piece of sh*t? Nope. Use it for one season and now nothing. Guess you're supposed to either throw it away and buy a new one each year or pay the equivalent amount to get it repaired each year. We'll see.
Anyway, I go online, 'cause we don't have phone books anymore, and do the seach engine thing. Supposedly this is an improvement. I get a bunch of paid advertisements for companies nowhere near my area. Then I get a bunch of aggregate companies -- Angie's List, Thumbtack, Home Advisor, etc., that have pre-screened lawn care professionals for me.
After tossing out the guys that wanted $100+ to mow my lawn, I narrowed it down to five companies. Of course you can't just call them, how old-fashioned of you old man, you IM them through the service and await their response.
waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting . . .
Get one guy who's all "Yeah, let's set something up." I give him my number and never hear back from him. After a few more misfires, I settle on the one guy who seems to be answering fairly quickly. He doesn't want my phone number at all. And tells me his team is in my neighborhood on Mondays and Tuesdays. Great, I tell him. They finally show up two weeks later.
And do a mediocre job. But it's done. Meanwhile I'm trying to find someone to fix my mower or I'll even buy the parts and fix it myself. I narrowed it down to the carburetor, and I'm more than capable of replacing the thing myself . . . if I can get the parts. And there's the rub. Because there's no model number on the mower. The model number listed in the owner's manual doesn't exist with Briggs & Stratton. And the number on the side of the mower doesn't exist either. So you're trapped. You have to give it to Sears or a Briggs & Stratton repair place to get it fixed.
Meanwhile, my yard is up to my knees now. So I call the guy who mowed it the last time and said he'd keep me in his system and all I needed to do was call for another appointment.
Straight to voice mail. No return call. And no one shows up. I give him two weeks because last time . . . Finally I call again. Get the owner. They'll be out Wednesday, he tells me. No, he doesn't need my address, I'm in their system. You guessed it . . . never showed up. So I ended up renting a mower and doing it myself.
Perhaps if I'd been able to speak to these people on the phone or in person, maybe they'd have had a bit more of a professional attitude about dealing with a customer. Perhaps if my choices weren't pre-chosen for me by someone accepting money or working off some other self-serving way to rank their top companies, I would have had better luck.
I guess what I'm saying is that I think things worked better when I was able to make my own decisions about stuff like this and not let someone else do my thinking for me.
I worry for the new generations that are surrendering their decision-making processes in the name of progress.
I'm not sure exactly who's doing this, but someone puts out these photoshoots with the tagline/imprimatur May Contain Girl. I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is not false advertising as I've seen a few of these sets, and these look like girls to me. But you can decide for yourselves: