MARNE, Mich. — A West Michigan man—beyond frustrated by several recent experiences at a local repair shop—turned to the 13 Help Team for answers.
Tim Merrick claimed the same shop had repeatedly botched the same job, forcing him to do without his tractor for several months.
Merrick revealed the vintage John Deere had since been repaired and returned to him, crediting 13 OYS with facilitating the recent progress.
It came amid a string of attempts to fix the equipment by a local dealer, which Merrick claimed had only worsened the problem. At the time, he said he wanted his money back or to, at last, get what he paid for: a mower that worked.
“That's a 1968… engine and everything was in a milk crate,” Merrick gestured in the direction of the John Deere tractor parked in his Marne backyard.
It took a little vision and a whole lot of elbow grease…
“Rebuilt the whole motor and everything.”
Circa 1993 – restoring the vintage, tell-tale green mower to its former grass-cutting glory.
Like clockwork, Merrick still climbs into the driver’s seat…
“Daily, well, weekly... ever since.”
Until just recently, when he noticed…
“A leaky axle seal on the left side and another seal that I didn't know where it was coming from.”
Because he doesn’t do as much of the hands-on repair work as he once did, Merrick said he called on the professionals to diagnose the problem.
He decided in favor of the GreenMark Equipment location in Kent City.
GreenMark, Merrick said, agreed to replace both of the vintage tractor’s leaky axle seals, charging him around $540 to complete the work.
“[They] leaked worse than when I took them to them,” he related.
GreenMark, he claimed, then returned to pick-up Merrick’s still-busted tractor the following spring.
“Had the tractor for two months,” he explained. “Got it back… still had a leaky axle.”
When Merrick called the business to schedule another repair, his third appointment…
“They told me there's no parts available, which was not true,” he noted.
Something Merrick said he learned after tracking down the replacement parts himself…
“No problem by calling… one of the GreenMark companies in Jension,” he related. “I got them within 24 hours.”
Merrick circled back with the repair crew out in Kent City, claiming they offered to eat the cost of labor but told him he’d again need to open his wallet to haul it over there.
“It would be like double dipping in my opinion. So I told him I would not do that.”
The store manager, Merrick said, then agreed to pick the tractor up personally and would be calling to schedule a time.
“Never heard another word from him,” he said.
Merrick wants now what he wanted in the beginning—a tractor that works.
“I want my tractor fixed,” he related. “That's all I really want. It's all I took it there to begin with. That's all I wanted to get done. Well, apparently they don't want to do the work so I'll take my money back. Make me whole again. I’ll take it somewhere else that will do the job.”
Responding to a recent request for comment by 13 ON YOUR SIDE, the management team at the Kent City GreenMark vowed to work directly with the customer, Merrick, in the interest of resolving his concerns.
The following day, Merrick said he’d received a call and was told staff would pick the tractor up, perform the repairs and cover the additional cost.
The repairs were completed around a week later.
"Couldn't have done it without you," Merrick related. "Without a doubt."
Once the equipment had been returned to him, Merrick said he put it to the test and, at the time of publication, said he was satisfied with the quality of the work and his treatment by staff.
"Time will tell the story, but… I haven’t had any issues."
"Would you call the Help Team again," we asked.
"Absolutely," Merrick laughed. "I’d call them a lot sooner the next time. I wouldn’t wait three years."
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