HTP customer service - kinda long

Its not all that often that I get misty eyed over how a company handles customer service, so when it happens I feel the need to tell others.
A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to find a 1944 Hardinge horizontal mill in very nice condition. The previous owner had a large hoist and was able to load her in the back of my pickup. Once the euphoria of doing the "old iron happy dance" wore off, I realized I had to get her OUT of the pickup (about 900 pounds dry, about 1050 lbs with the Bridgeport vertical head).
I decided to get a wrecker here, and she has a new home in my shop. Now the problem is that I need to lift her so I can slide the neat new rolling cart I designed for her underneath.
So - with the help of Rob on RCM, I designed a portable gantry with adjustable height. Spec'ed out the steel needed, and then remembered that my welder is only good to 120A (HTP 120).
I call HTP and talk to Steve. He tells me that the 140 would work for my project (max of 1/4" plate), but he offered that HTP is carrying a new 170 machine called the 1600 (not sure exactly why its called that when it puts out 170A, but...).
Anyway, Steve tells me that the 1600 is $749 and he sends me specs on it. Has a couple less bells and whistles than the old 160 model (no stitch and 2 fewer amp settings), but otherwise it is the same machine. He then tells me that they have a demo unit he can let go for $699.
Now Steve knows I live in SE Wisconsin, about 2 hours from HTP. He offers to bring the demo 1600 to his home (about 40 minutes from my house) and I can come by and try the machine - no obligation. If I like it and want it - he'll take back my 120 in trade for WHAT I PAID FOR IT.
So, I get to his house yesterday and proceed to test the welder on some 3/8 angle. Nice smooth arc, great penetration, and the beads I produced made me look like a much more seasoned weldor than I am.
I told Steve that I'd take it, and he wrote me up. He threw in extra tips, a 10lb spool of .030 wire, and is sending me a replacement upgrade Tweco gun for another $20 (the original one is fine, I just wanted something a little larger for comfort).
Total cost - $330 after my trade. The price is nice, of course, but the thing that really impressed me is the lengths that HTP goes to make sure the customer is satisfied - both with the equipment and with the company.
I can't wait 'til I get the new catalog - Steve tells me they have a new plasma cutter out that can handle 1/2" plate and can be carried on your back.
Disclaimer - I don't work for HTP, not related to Steve or anyone else at HTP, have no financial interest in the company, and no one at HTP offered me beer in return for this post. I'm just an incredibly happy customer with one really cool MIG welder.
--
Regards,

Rick

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I love HTP. Rick and Jeff Noland will go to extremes to make you happy.
That plasma cutter is the new 300 and it is *tiny*...I'm just about to order one....
J

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