It's me, isn't it?

I spent this afternoon in a Monty Python sketch.
Walked into my local welding supply store with my empty 40 CF
O2 cylinder (only ~500 PSIG left).
The guy behind the counter walked over to the bottle and says it is
out of hydro. I pointed out to him that the latest stamp showed it
to be in hydro until October of 2018, seven years and four months
in the future ('08 stamp plus the star).
He laboriously worked out the hydro numbers starting from the
previous stamp (1998). I waited patiently.
In retrospect, the proper thing to do at this point *would have been*
to thank the man, pick up my bottle and trade elsewhere.
I know that now. I had "task tension" and had become acclimated
to antics of increasing bizarreness behind the counter, including the
time I had to fill in a police report after receiving a lease bottle
that had been sold to me because "the owner is no longer in business".
Ten minutes on the web showed that the owner was very much in business.
But I digress.
So he finally admits it is in hydro, accepts my cash and hands me a
bottle off the display rack. In the parking lot, I glanced at it's
hydro stamp. It's 1971 without a star. Good till 1976, or 35
*years* out of hydro. I return to the store and point out to him that
the bottle he gave me was slightly out of test.
Eventually, he accepts the dud back and says I can pick up a refill
in two days on Friday.
If he is still in the country on Friday, I fully expect that:
1) The bottle will be empty or very much underfilled (1) or:
2) The threads will be so damaged that I won't be able to
put my regulator on it (2) or:
3) It will be filled with something other than O2 (3) or:
4) It will be reported stolen (3) the moment my truck leaves the
parking lot, or some other bizarreness.
My question:
How do I purchase welding gas and have it delivered over the Internet?
:)
But seriously guys, do you really put up with this crap now?
It used to be so *fast, cheap and easy*. What changed?
Thanks.
--Winston
(1) Happened twice so far
(2) Happened once so far
(3) Hasn't happened yet AFAIK
Reply to
Winston
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Is this the only LWS in town?
Reply to
Nadogail
--The yellow pages are your friend; surely there's a reputable dealer within driving distance! Have had trouble with mislabeled and mis-filled bottles in Santa Rosa; I switched dealers and the problem went away..
Reply to
steamer
Not at all. There are several. I've tried them all, locally and in surrounding towns.
One actually behaved like a real business for several years in a row. I liked buying stuff from them because they behaved like adults. I made the mistake of writing a huge recommendation for them in my local yelp.com, pointing out that they were different than 'the pack'.
On my next visit, Dr. Jekyll turned to Mr. Hyde behind the counter and they were suddenly completely useless (1). I cancelled the yelp listing and went hunting some more. Unfortunately they talk amongst themselves.
Sub 'penny-ante' players like me are considered great sport. There's nothing to lose, because we can't afford to buy all the welding gear we want.
(1) Favorite routine: Playing Dumb. Asking me to return several times to pick up small TIG consumables, one at a time. Claiming they never heard of a Pyrex TIG cup!
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
Yup. I've done that, over and over.
Here, the LWS's talk with each other and compete to see how angry they can make the 'small time' customer. It is risk - free and great entertainment. The little
Reply to
Winston
I have been lucky to develop lasting good relations with my local suppliers, but even they are letting me down now because nobody wants to sit on inventory any more. All the little obscure items that used to just sit on a shelf until somebody actually asked for them, are gone. Everything that doesn't sell fast is special order only.
If I am impatient for TIG parts I can just drive to Auburn and buy directly from CK Worldwide via the TEC Welding store across the street, but odd filler rods and replacement parts are all turning into special orders.
No wonder Arc Zone's online store is expanding every day. TigDepot.net carries a lot of special TIG fillers, but the price is not low.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
>> --The yellow pages are your friend; surely there's a reputable >> dealer within driving distance! Have had trouble with mislabeled and >> mis-filled bottles in Santa Rosa; I switched dealers and the problem >> went away.. > > Yup. I've done that, over and over. > > Here, the LWS's talk with each other and compete to > see how angry they can make the 'small time' customer. > It is risk - free and great entertainment. > The little > As Walt Kelly's comic strip character Pogo said, > "I have seen the enemy and he is us." > > :) > > --Winston
Reply to
Snag
What Ernie and Winston said snipped, but everyone knows about the cylinder merry-go-round.
I FINALLY got my cylinders straight, and it was through a guy behind the counter that had a brain, and a will to get and keep cylinders. Also, a customer (me) who stated that I had been shat upon at the competition, and that all I was after was a reasonable solution to my problems from the local monopolies.
He ended up taking two cylinders from me that were out of hydro, one a 300 O2, the other a midsize acet. Then there was my owner 75/25 to be filled.
Anyway, I walked out with two filled in hydro cylinders, a refill on mine, and parted with good chunk of change.
But I did not have to pay any hydro charges.
After I got home, I found the irony. One of the cylinders I got back from them is from a company in Seattle, or somewhere in the NW. The other company who was such a pain on owner bottles told me they would not do any owner bottles any more, as they were "too much trouble". Well, if I'm so much trouble, let me get out of your doorway, pal. I'll go to somewhere where the staff is reasonable about such things. They wanted me to give up a bottle I bought from another part of the country, and no doubt they would have altered it and added it to their line. At least this one took it and gave me equal value plus a free hydro.
I hope you find a good local supplier.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
(...)
Sounds like you've been pretty lucky, overall. Cool!
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
I gladly do business with those guys because it is so painless and easy (and cheaper, for me). I appreciate that I don't have to get in the truck to buy supplies.
My local Tractor Supply Store sells 02 and Acetylene. I will try them next. I'm just chagrined that I didn't go there yesterday. Oh Well!
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
Dayum. That's been *a while*.
I had a similar experience about a year ago. I inherited two teeny acetylene bottles that were far out of hydro. Used up the gas then went to my local supply store. Guy swapped them out for two bottles in hydro and just charged me for the gas. Fast, cheap and easy.
Sounds like he wants your money. Good.
Thanks. I'm looking.
Hmmmm! $625 you say? 93% O2? Might be worth it.
Say! I know where *my* lottery winnings are going.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
I don't buy gas (no torch, stick weld only) but I have noticed a difference in the way my tiny bit of business is treated by local welding suppliers. I am learning where stay away from. I am upfront about the tiny size of my potential purshases. I let them know who sent me to their door. I try to find a person who can identify with the facts that I am long of tooth, a retired Navy Chief, and have worked for several companies. I have found that "Please" and "Thank You" can work wonders and move mountains.
Reply to
Nadogail
Sorry, substitute customers for last use of word "cylinders".
Stupid Spelchekr. I need a Gramrchekr.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
Yup. I consider courtesy to be a bare minimum. I go a *little* overboard perhaps, by referring to the guy behind the counter as 'sir'. That little show of respect never hurt a bit.
That's why I don't understand all the 'attitude'. I follow the directions on the signs, drive slowly and carefully in the lot, observe safety precautions, smile a lot and am respectful. Just another Sweet Mystery of Life, I guess.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
I figured that's what you meant.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston

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