Ben Ciuffa’s Photo Journals

February 6, 2009

Qufa’s List: My Experiences With Above Average Customer Service

Filed under: Miscellaneous,Uncategorized — admin @ 9:50 am


Recently,  I decided to report findings, that were above my expectation as a consumer. In a world of ever increasing shoddiness, I believe, today, it’s critical to shine a light of on the precious few.     I’m starting with Kalamazoo, MI, where I’ve lived for over 20 years. 

Periodically, there will be a link to Qufa’s List on Ben Qufa’s's facebook.  My inital list is as follows:

January, 2012:

Menards, West Main,  Kalamazoo, Mi,  Customer service was patient & helpful, tracking my purchase info., although there was an automated kiosk available for customer use.   They found the info, & quickly processed the return.  This was the most pain=free return i’d ever seen. It appeared that the clerks were quietly competing, with each other,  to be the most helpful.

Harding’s Drake Rd, Kalamazoo, MI.  A clerk took my bags to my car.  Jeff refused, repeatedly,  to accept a tip.

Urban Blend, Kalamazoo, MI This neighborhood eatery not only had a great break fast, but it’s far more than a n eatery.  Lewis & Gloria Parker provide an atmosphere of  friendship & diversity.    I stopped in one afternoon, to find an after school tutoring, program in full swing with six volunteers that included a retired principal and teachers.

Hoekstra’s Hardware, Portage St., Kalamazoo, Mi.  This would be incomplete if I failed to mention this old fashioned hardware a repair co.  I brought in a a part that needed repair.  One of them spent a while finding some screws, washers that worked.  I walked out with my part fixed and a receipt for $81.  This is a place that we must all support.  I try to buy items that cost less than $100 from Hoekstra & the higher priced items from Menards, on West Main.

Panama Hattie, located on the corner of Rose & Lovell, Kalamazoo, MI.  I found this to be more than a great curio shop,  2 yrs, ago.  Imported items included hand carved figurines, fabrics and clothes.  But it was the 2 room collection of Authentic African Carvings that got me to offer to volunteer & help out.  Marylyn Edlund  has been dealing with this type of merchandise for many years.   She is enjoys explaining  these items,like a  museum curator. A visit  to see thre African collection is unequaled, from Chicago to Detroit.

February 2012:  

Michael’s Auto Service, West Main St. Kalamazo, MI has service our cars & friends cars for several years expertly & fairly.  A few years ago, the passenger seat motor stopped working. The dealer said that it woul need a motor eplacement at a cost of $200+, parts & labor.  Michael’s looked at it, then reset the seat back onto its track.   Cost: $15.00……This is one example of their looking to service cars as if they were their moms’ cars.

Office Max’s Impress Dept., West Main S. Kalamazoo, has printed my photos & photo collages expertly at minimal cost, for the past 5 years. We worked via emails on several projects that include my work in El Salvador, Ecuador, & the US,  My wife & I worked with others until the West Main office Max became a favorite place to do business. Prior to finding them, a compettor ran off several printts, then told me that the digitals were poor.  I took the digitals to West Main & had excellent prints in less than an hour.  There have been times when my digitals were tricky..we worked together, successfully.





I spent 40 years as a Quality Management, Professional, working to detect and report unacceptable products, services and practices. The programs were diverse, ie, Apollo Lunar Lander, Anti-Ballistic Missle sites manufacuring & of BB guns, wheels & Cosmetic jewelry. Since 2000,  I’ve been a Quality Management Consultant.

For the past 30 years one of my passions has been  as a consumer advocate.  I wrote a weekly consumer column. In 2005 I joined Underwriters Laboratories to initiate a fix on electric ranges.


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