Online Hose Suppliers or Snake Oil Salesmen?

Kip commented on my last post about Online Hose Suppliers and he cautioned me to be very careful.  His comments were valid and my responses lengthy enough that I figured they’d make a decent little post on their own. 

Here is what Kip said in his comment on my last post:

Be wary of would-be hose suppliers who promise the moon; they tend to be in the same class as snake oil salesmen. And let’s face it, they can tell you anything and show you any kind of pictures they want on the internet. There are some things you just shouldn’t purchase online, and this is one of them. You need to see that hose in the flesh and hold it in your hand, make sure it connects properly and produces a healthy flow when turned on. As they say: think globally but act locally! The hose you need may be in your own backyard. So get out there and find it: examine it well, hook it up and turn it on! Don’t despair that you haven’t found it yet. If you have faith in it, it will come!

 And, now my response:

I’m not certain that purchasing something like this online is necessarily a bad deal, though it would require certain additional considerations and many, many precautions.  I would never purchase a hose sight unseen.  I would insist on the opportunity to see the hose, hold the hose and try all the appropriate functions to ensure the hose and my pump fit well together.

 If the hose I needed were in my own backyard, I’d be happily swimming in my blissful pool rather than looking for a quality hose!  I can assure you that there really are no quality hose suppliers in my area and I’ve been diligent in seeking them out.  You see the emphasis here is on quality.  I believe the inner construction and the make up of the hose will determine its usefulness and effectiveness in working with my pump over the long haul.  Most hose dealers are supplying hoses that are poorly constructed, made of weak or brittle materials, not long enough or are simply not the right kind of hose for the job.  After all, if I’m looking for a hose to attach my pool to my pump, I’m not going to use a garden hose.  Garden hoses are not bad and they definitely serve their purpose, but it simply isn’t the kind of hose I’m looking for.  Further, you’d be surprised to find out how many local suppliers post a picture of a hose that looks serviceable but then when I go to visit them to see the hose, they present me with a worn, damaged, dirty and defective item.  It is disappointing, tiring and I’m not wasting time with any of that!  So, I continue on with my search for the best hose for my pump.

 As for the getting out there and finding it?  Well, I’ve worked tirelessly at this project for some time now.  I’m quite willing to do the legwork required to examine the hoses thoroughly, hook them up, and turn them on.  It is upon closer examination (before even hooking up)  that I usually find defects, flaws, ways that the hose would be incompatible with my pump.  When these concerns in hose viability arise, it seems foolish for me to go the next step of hooking up the hose and turning it on.  Why waste my time trying to make a hose work when it isn’t a good hose or the right hose?  No, I need to be able to see that the hose is the right hose before the hook up and turning on.  Once I take that hose home, I can’t expect it to become a different hose.  I can’t just see a brand new hose, hook it up and turn it on and hope it works. I just don’t shop that way.  I prefer to do my research on each hose carefully and thoughtfully first.  Salesmen hate me because I ask a lot of questions and can determine fairly quickly where the inconsistencies lie and where the defects in the hose will be.  When I do find that special hose, then and only then will I consider hooking it up and turning it on.  After all, not just any hose will do for my pump.  I want the best hose!  I’m willing to pay well for it, travel the earth shopping for it, and when I get it home I will care for and maintain it well because I really hate hose shopping.

19 thoughts on “Online Hose Suppliers or Snake Oil Salesmen?

  1. Willing to travel the earth searching for the best possible hose, did you say?

    You recently had an opportunity to test out the best of all possible hoses when it was touring in your part of the country (I alerted you to the exact date it was being shipped, remember?), but you let that opportunity slip through your fingers. Yes, the hose in question was perhaps only temporarily detached from its usual pump system, but if you’d tested it out and found it to your liking, and believed it could meet your needs, I’m sure that it could’ve been yours for a song, and whatever price you were willing to offer would have been ample compensation and incentive for speedily retiring the old pump system.

    Sometimes, when a product comes along whose features and potential are almost too good to believe, and seem more compatible with your needs than any other product you’ve ever encountered before, you just have to do whatever or go wherever is required to get that product in your hands and satisfy yourself as to whether it really is too good to be true – or whether it is exactly what you need and a dream come true — even if the warranty remains forthcoming.

    Plenty of products that come with a warranty nevertheless break down in short order. When I finally got around to buying my dream car, it was months and months before I received the title in the mail. But you know what, it was well worth the wait because it was the best car I ever owned and made me happier than I could ever have imagined. Sometimes the paperwork and annoying transfer-of-ownership details can pale to insignificance when set beside the product itself and its inherent value.

    When scoping out a product remotely, find out everything you can about it, assess how you think and feel about it, and then–and only then–travel the earth if necessary to test its virtues in person. It would be tragic to write off the find of a lifetime simply due to inconvenient technical details. What product comes with no inconvenience whatsoever? Some things are worth a little trouble, no?

    Like

    1. Well, Kip, you may be right, but I wouldn’t call five states away a tour in my part of the country. And, as you know, timing is everything even and especially when it comes to hoses. It was midwinter then and I had no need of a hose for my pump then! LOL

      Like

  2. Seems to me that midwinter is an ideal time for hoses. All that cold weather could very well overtax the hot water heater and you could end up with a flood unless you hook up a hose for the runoff.

    Okay, five states away is perhaps not a walk in the park, but I seem to recall the words “travel the earth.”

    Like

    1. Kip,
      Midwinter could be a great time for certain hoses, however, in the context of this series of posts, summer was the chosen season. And, while I will travel the earth in search of if need be, again I have to refer back to the timing thing. I simply wasn’t in need of a hose at the time your product was in closer proximity, nor did I have the funds set aside for such purchase even if I did need one. 😉

      Like

  3. A touring hose? Sounds like a lot of unnecessary work if you ask me. All that assembling, showing off, disassembling, moving to the next location and starting all over again. And the temporary nature of the detachement sounds a little ominous. Was the usual pump down for maintenance? If so can the maintenance be completed without the hose?

    It’s not as if a hose can’t be safely stored away until the pump is operational once again. It won’t perish if not used 24/7. Granted one needs to unfurl it carefully before blowing the dust out but once it’s in constant use it only takes regular preventative maintenance to keep it in tip top shape!

    In these times where short arms and deep pockets are an asset I think it only good sense to utilise what one has rather than retiring something just for the sake of it. Those snake oil salesmen love customers who are drawn to the new shiny piece of equipment because they realise that when the gloss wears off that customer will be back looking for the latest and shiniest upgrade once again.

    Just some thoughts.

    TC!

    Like

    1. Enigmatik,
      I do like your thinking. I hate change and adjustment. Well, okay, it depends on what is changing and what is needing to adjust, but when it comes to my pool, I really don’t like changing out the pump or the hose, especially not just for the sake of change. In other matters, like what kind of pool toys there are or where I like to vacation and so on I am much more adventurous, but when it comes to my hose, I want a hose for keeps. The The Hose On Tour idea doesn’t appeal to me either, which is part of the reason, I didn’t take Kip up on his offer when his hose went on tour. However, I am sure there are millions out there who would pay good money to be a part of that kind of entertainment. We should start up the “Hose On Tour” Company and then couple it with the “Hoe On Tour” for those who are less into water and more into earth. I think we’d make a decent living even in these tough financial times. Hee! Hee! But my hose stays with me, I’m also not into sharing…at least not that particular item.
      Just sayin’.

      Like

  4. Fair enough. But just keep my products and services in mind next time you’re in the market; there’s no telling when I’ll be peddling my wares in your territory. My inventory includes far more than just hoses.

    Like

      1. Current Inventory:

        Reinforced hosing (easily attachable)
        Automatic listening device
        Non-toxic laughing gas
        Feedback-generator w/built-in regulator
        Gyration supplement w/multi-speed settings
        Hot tub enhancement agent
        Heavy-duty household cleanser
        Automotive diagnostic & repair kit
        Intelli-Pro cranial stimulator
        Eco-friendly dynamic health supplement
        Reciprocal fulfillment exchange unit

        This is just a short list of the items currently in stock. There are too many more to list here. Price list can be furnished upon request, along with direct-dial toll-free number for when you are ready to place an order. Satisfaction guaranteed on all items, or money back. Act now!

        Like

  5. Obviously, there is an intrinsic value/cost associated with each item, but for the right customer I would be happy to throw in the works for one agreed-upon price. And I can’t imagine who would be satisfied with the hose alone. Well, some people are/have been, and that’s fine, but something of a shame when I have so many other useful items in stock.

    Like

    1. Kip,
      Since I am such a comparison shopper, I have forwarded your list of items and comments on to my snake oil salesman in order to see if he will match or beat your prices or products. LOL! Isn’t that how it is done these days?

      Like

  6. Well, he can tell you anything, can’t he? Talk is cheap. There’s nothing quite like handling the merchandise yourself or taking it for a test drive. And while he may charge far lower prices than me(initially), I think you’d find yourself paying way more in the long run for products incomparably inferior (all false modesty aside) to mine.

    Like

    1. Kip,
      You’re right. He can tell me anything and talk is cheap. But then…so can you tell me anything. The Last Hose Supplier has, to this point, simply been willing to make good on his word, which eliminates the talk is cheap argument, at least, where he’s concerned. After all, a two week free trial has been negotiated at his expense and inconvenience, not mine. Are you willing/able to present a similar offer? So far, while I’m not opposed and am certainly able to pay the necessary costs for a great hose/pump fitting, this dealer has asked nothing of me and is more than willing to work with my particularly unique financial limitations in order to give me the opportunity merely to see if the hose and pump in question are compatible. No guarantees and no expectations. In addition, he follows up daily with personal contact (at his expense) and inquires as to my needs so he can better match my requirements to his particular products. I’d say this is true customer service. Most people willing to make a sale for a sale’s sake aren’t going to go to that trouble or expense simply because it is more cost than the product is worth. In addition, it is more effort than they are willing to expend, which indicates to me that once I purchase the hose, I am probably completely on my own for maintenance and upkeep and so on. I’m so not into doing the hose/pool thing on my own. I want a quality person who can continue to service my unique needs over the long haul. 😉

      Like

  7. Cat,

    I believe in the adage “you can’t sell if you don’t advertise” but in my experience the harder the sell the more inferior the product.

    A good product usually sells itself and an effective salesperson knows that his/her job is merely to introduce the customer to the product and answer any questions relative to the customer’s needs. The less scrupulous salesperson has no qualms about selling a 1 inch hose for a 3/4 inch fitting, anything to make a sale!

    As for price, you usually get what you pay for. I recommend quality over quantity even if the price is greater. Salespeople are less apt to drop the price of a reliable, quality product because the rate of return is much lower.

    Caveat emptor.

    TC!

    Like

    1. Enigmatik,
      I am in agreement with you on many counts and am glad you chimed in. Good products do sell themselves but the customer often needs to be directed or informed of the product’s existence. I’ve had many try to sell me an ill-fitting hose and have become quite good at determining the different sales strategies as well as differentiating between a comfortably fitting hose and one that does not fit at all.

      I’m searching for quality over quantity, knowing full well, that the cost in terms of time, effort, risk and cost are far greater. But nothing of quality was ever obtained without great risk/cost. I certainly don’t want to end up being one of those unhappy customers that comes back and makes the salesman’s life miserable because it was a poor choice on my part to begin with. I take responsibility for knowing my own pump, my own specific needs and requirements, and being informed. The downside to a bad sale can go both ways and I certainly don’t want to be part of that!
      ;D

      Like

  8. Yes, by all means, know thy own pump. And act accordingly.

    Kudos to you for negotiating a free 2-week trial, and to the salesperson for extending it. As long as you’re fully aware of the risk that his hose may perform admirably over the course of two weeks, bringing you–and the salesperson–considerable satisfaction, only to fall apart shortly thereafter. And should that happen, there will be simply no getting back the investment you’ve made … because, after all, while he may be footing the cost of parts, labor and shipping, you will still undoubtedly be making a physical, emotional and time-consuming investment. If you’re okay with the risks, then go for it!

    As for me, I’m completely hosed.

    Like

    1. Kip,
      Yes there is always the possibility that after the two week trial the hose dealer will go silent before closing the deal or that the hose may deteriorate both in quality and function shortly after the deal is done. This is sadly the risk that exists every time someone is in the market for such products. No matter how well you shop or how closely you scrutinize there is just the reality that eventually the newness (or at least newness to you/me) of the hose/pump wears off. Nothing is ever guaranteed though, if one pays attention, we can minimize the consequences of poor decisions by making more informed choices. Even when being informed, failure can occur. Even a local vendor could do make big wonderful sounding promises and make good on it for the trial period then back out on the deal, and several have over the last year. I am going to protect my interests and I will also be considerate of the Supplier’s interests too. That is the best I can do. It is the best anyone can do. If things don’t work out then it wasn’t meant to be and there will be a better fitting hose somewhere down the road. He certainly can choose to back out on the deal at anytime, either before the trial, during or after, as can I. The trial period is just that a trial. Yes, hopefully, a compatible arrangement for hose and pump can be made but nothing is ever guaranteed. I’m keeping that in mind before making the decision to purchase the hose, fittings and related attachments for any longer period of time than the trial. While everything, to date, would indicate something very exceptional as far as this particular hose dealer’s character and his products, services, warranties and limitations, it is still very possible that this still is not the right hose. I’m willing to accept that if that reality transpires. It will be very disappointing, yes, but that’s a risk one must take at times. To simply not check out the goods and services on the basis that it might be painfully disappointing if I find out afterward that the goods and services don’t work or that they are a disappointment seems a bit like being afraid to do life because in the end you’re going to die anyway. I spent the first half of my life making bad decisions out of fear of failure. I’m no longer afraid to fail and I’m not going to stop attempting life because the possibility of pain, loss, disappointment or failure exists.

      I’m not sure why you are hosed though. Shouldn’t you be pumped?

      Like

  9. You funny lady. Thanks for the smile. Yeah, I should be pumped. I really really really should be. But my pump is shot and I can’t get the damn thing disconnected.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Like

What Did You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s