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FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

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Old 04-08-2002, 12:34 AM
  #1  
moesair
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Hi, I've got more kits and engines new in the box than I've been able to use. A few years ago, longer than the warranty would cover I purchased this radio from tower hobbles. Last week I charged it up for the first time with the intent of learning how to program it and put it into service. Within 15 min. of turning it on I got smoke out of the transmitter. Looking under the back cover I could see that a Resistor turned into popcorn. After contacting the Tower supervisor I was told that they could only refer me to their service dept. and these people advised me that they suspect that my cost would be about $100.Does anyone out there have a circuit board for this radio or a source for getting some compassionate reasonably priced help from a distributor or maunufacture, thanks Moe. Hi it's Moe again a few days later 9 of apr. It's been good to have seen about 18 responses to my thread, and I sincerely thank you all for your input. I've also met Annmarie Cross whom I didn't know before I posted my thread, she's given me encouragement and my radio is now enroute to the service center, I'll let you all know how I make out, I also think that this RCuniverse is a great thing for the hobby both dealer and customer,thanks again. There I was at 100 feet, losing airspeed and ideas, nothing on the fuel guage but the makers.MOEAIR.
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Old 04-08-2002, 12:47 AM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

I had an 8UAFS that sat around for almost 2 years before ever getting used. The first time I fired it up it was dead. I sent an e-mail to Futaba describing my situation and they said to send it to them with a note telling the same story. I got it back a little over a week later, good as new at NO CHARGE! Tell your story to the right person and I bet they fix it!
Good luck to ya!!
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Old 04-08-2002, 01:04 AM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Futaba R/C is now Hobbico, I wouldn't hope for much sympathy.

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Old 04-08-2002, 01:11 AM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Well, since Hobbico and Futaba are both distributed by Great Planes, that shouldn't make any difference. Futaba repairs are still handled by Hobby Services.
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Old 04-08-2002, 04:52 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Originally posted by sherman
Well, since Hobbico and Futaba are both distributed by Great Planes, that shouldn't make any difference. Futaba repairs are still handled by Hobby Services.
If you have been around RCing for any length of time you would know that Futaba's recent change in their U.S. operations was not a move for the better as far as the average customer is concerned!!

Great Planes ( and all it's aliases) is one of the worst things to have ever happened to the RC hobby industry!!

They buy up all the exclusive rights they can get their hands on and when they control the supply they control the prices!!
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Old 04-08-2002, 06:09 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Originally posted by GUNSHIPGUNNER


If you have been around RCing for any length of time you would know that Futaba's recent change in their U.S. operations was not a move for the better as far as the average customer is concerned!!
I agree that GP is killing the hobby shop slowly but surely. I have a friend who's shop closed down because he couldn't compete. As for the average modeler though, in my experience, they've been been very customer service oriented. I have dealt with Hobby Services more times than I can count in the past (3 of those times were for my 8UAFS's) and I've ALWAYS been treated very well by them. The last time was only a month ago, so I personally didn't see any difference in the way they handle their customers. I'm just one modeler though.........

As for being around RC, 13 years enough??
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Old 04-08-2002, 08:37 PM
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Default Great planes does have issues

I have to agree with you guys. Great Planes has some great product lines such as OS and Futaba... but their business philosophy is evil! Their goal is to crush competition by agreeing to sell their product, and then copy it in their own overseas plants and then undersell the original manufacturer until they go out of business. If you are looking for great low prices on products... this is a good thing. The long-term outlook for the hobby is extremely bad though. Most local hobby shops will close because of increased rent, and lower profits. There will be less selection and diversity in products, because there will be only a couple manufacturers of products. Horizon Hobby supports the independent companies without stealing their rights, and putting them and the hobby shops out of business. However, that's just my opinion...

Matt J
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Old 04-09-2002, 11:28 AM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Hi guys!

Regarding the 8U out of warranty period, as I indicated to you by email, I can't promise you taht we will or will not cover it under warranty as a courtesy without seeing the radio. We will very likely cover it as a courtesy, but until we see it I can't promise anything. Please send it for service.

Regarding the service being worse for the average consumer, that ocmment worries me enormously. We work VERY VERY hard to provide youk, our customers, superb support, including hte enormous amount of time I spend in forums like this one daily. I guess if that's just wasted time, perhaps I shouldnt bother? We provide pages upon pages of helpful info on the web to help users resolve their problems on their own, whether it is 3AM or whatever.... we provide email support which was unavailable in California. We offer services California did not (such as preset pricing and ease of processing to do band changes, etc), and prompt quality radio service.

I encourage you to read all over the web -- see the comments on the service we're providing. There have been occasional flubs, no doubt, but the overall satisfaction from our customers, IN WRITING, says we're doing an exceptional job.


Regarding our business philosophy, I respectfully but EXTREMELY ADAMANTLY disagree. Killing the hobby would make no sense, gentlemen...it would be biting the hand that feeds us. Many people assume that when they see us carrying products under our name that we've "ripped off" our exclusive partners, but if we did that we'd have no more exclusive partners! Many of our products (Hobbico servos just as an example) are produced by our exclusive partners specifically for us AND AT THEIR REQUEST. Just as a simple example, the Tower radio line has been a real win win situation for Futaba for using up older design style items, etc....

Most of the companies we now own were purchased at the seller's request... and are saving companies that would otherwise be gone forever. Believe me, I get to hear offers to us regularly!

While in many cases a small group of users may be disappointed with items that are culled or redesigned, the steps are taken based solely upon those very same modelers votes -- with their dollars. Let's look at Dynaflite for example -- people scream at me about not having the Dynaflite scale bird lineup any more, but it took us YEARS to sell of what was left of stock of those when we did have them. People simply did not buy them...

How things appear from the modeler side of the fence and how things actually work in the industry are two VERY different things -- having been on both sides.
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:02 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

It appears that the Great Planes conglomerate dislikes competition, and wants to be everyone's one-stop shop for all things RC. Of course you don't want to kill off the hobby--you want to control the manufacture, distribution, and retail ends.
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:05 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Hi, Mike! We don't dislike competition -- I always love when someone says we're a monopoly, and then someone else jumps in and says "yeah and htose horizon people too"! :-))

But you are right, we as a distributor do want to do our very best to provide our dealers with everything they need from one location. And our dealers tell us, day in and day out, that's what they want from us. Just like I prefer to shop at Walmart where i can get everything i need in a single trip to a single store...the daelers don't want to spend time calling 35 different companies to order items, they want to buy them all in one place, in one package, pay one shipping price, and get it all in one bundle. And that is exactly what we try to offer them.

Sincerely,
Mrs. AnnMarie Cross
Senior Manager, Proprietary Services and Support
Great Planes Model Distributors
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:17 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

AnnMarie, nobody likes competition in business. Life is easier without it.

While I completely agree that it's easier for dealers to work from one catalog, it's the perception of controlling the entire supply chain that troubles me. GP is hardly a monopoly, but the trends over the past 15 years kind of trouble me. The amount of consolidation and 'one stop shopping' is pretty amazing. It may be that many of these companies were failing or that their owners were becoming somewhat aged, but (and correct me if I'm wrong) the RC industry has grown quite a bit in that period.

On a different note, I do have a question for you that is somewhat topical, if just out of my own curiousity. Hobbico/GP seems to be adding more and more diverse products to its fold. As a support person who deals with all of it, do you find that a bit daunting at times? I do admire your diligence in all the work you do. At some point do you see yourself focusing on one particular area, due to the expansion of the product line?
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:20 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Hi, Mike!

I have a staff of 50 under me which deal with support and service for the varied lines.

I do find that since Futaba joined us that is my personal focal point. I have a real nack and passion for the computer radios and I focus there alot. I count heavily on some really fantastic techs to deal with car, boat, and engine questions which reach ouside my area of expertise, and lean heavily on my husband who is helping me learn to better understand the heli stuff particularly as it pertains to the Futaba radio lineup.

Sincerely,
Mrs. AnnMarie Cross
Senior Manager, Proprietary Services and Support
Great Planes Model Distributors
productsupport@greatplanes.com
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Old 04-09-2002, 12:53 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Whoa guys, back up a bit here. How many representatives do we have here from other companies??? I think AM is doing a great job helping us all out. There will never be a pefect company and sometimes service will be less then what we expect, get use to it as it's a fact of life. I have never had a problem when I have sent something in to be fixed and turn around was good. Just recently AM came to my aid on something that she didn't need, or had the responsibility to do but she was right there and went that extra mile. Sometimes you will just plain fall between the cracks, so just forget about it and move on.
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Old 04-09-2002, 01:53 PM
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Default Thanks AnnMarie

Don't get me wrong people... I give AnnMarie my thanks and gratitude for participating in this forum and answering the many questions that we have about the Hobby. Thanks AnnMarie. The point I was just trying to make was that I have worked in the retail hobby business for the past 10 years. In this time there has been a big push by companies such as Great Planes, in my opinion, to focus there sales to the direct public. I understand they are trying to maximize profits. Who wouldn't! But at the same time, how can they expect a retail outlet to make a 10% profit off of merchandise; when we are trying to match their mail order outlet, Tower Hobbies, prices? If a store were to survive on 10% margins, they won't survive for long. Perhaps all major distributors will travel this path... I still think nothing beats going in to your local hobby dealer and having them take care of the basic warranty needs. Nothing is more frustrating then sending your new product in for servicing. Regardless of how good the service is. Don't misunderstand me though. Would I buy a Futaba radio or any other product from Great Planes, of course! They have awesome products and their service is good! I have tremendous respect for you AnnMarie, and appreciate your time and your thoughts. Now lets all take a deep breath and say, "Smiling is good". Thanks again,

Matt J
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Old 04-09-2002, 01:58 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Thanks, Matt!

I know our dealer division takes your questions/concerns and pricing worries VERY VERY seriously, and we strive very hard to strike a balance that gives the customers who don't have a quality dealer an option to buy these products while at the same time supporting those dealers who are there, are taking good care of their customers, etc.

Respectfully, Matt, how can you feel that www.horizonhobby.com does more to support its dealers with its direct sales to customers than does www.bestrc.com? or www.gpdealer.com?

I guess i'm just at a loss as to how, from the dealer's perspective, their ownership of IndyRC and the growth of their direct sales, which is pushed in direct advertising right along side their product ads for all customers, and which includes MAP pricing right in their advertising, is more supportive to you, the dealer, than the separate division approach we use here?

Sincerely,
Mrs. AnnMarie Cross
Senior Manager, Proprietary Services and Support
Great Planes Model Distributors
productsupport@greatplanes.com
www.greatplanes.com
www.bestrc.com
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Old 04-09-2002, 02:14 PM
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Default WELL........

As for GP's business policy's ...........

The only thing that drives me nuts is, that I can get something at Tower for only a couple more bucks than it costs a hobby dealer. Example, the new Futaba 9CAF. Tower has them for $379.99, plus they're offering a $15 discount. That's $365 to me, the consumer. My Hobby Shop owning buddy of mine would have to pay $360 for the same radio to RESELL it! That's $5 less than I can get it myself and he still has to mark it up to make a profit. Plus he has to pay for shipping to boot.
And we wonder why the small shops are closing down all over the place. It's kinda nice to order everything I need at once, and at a great price from Tower, BUT I would like to be able to go to the local shop and look at it, play with it, decide if I want it, and then take it home FOR A GOOD PRICE. and have it that day no less. I know there'a ton of people who will window shop in their local hobby store, then go home and call Tower. If they would just make it possible for the hobby store to make a few bucks, it would benifit us all.

As for GP's customer service ........

I'm gonna repeat what I said earlier. This is one area I believe they've gotten right. In my opinion, product support is excellent. I have yet to be disappointed by Hobby Services and I've used them quite a bit in my career. I would also like to add that it was in large part due to AnnMarie. She's a nice lady that will go out of her way for you. How many department heads will answer e-mails personally?? NOT MANY!! I even asked for her on the phone once and she was on it in less than a minute!!

Thanks AnnMarie and keep up the excellent work!!! Some of us really do appreciate your efforts!
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Old 04-09-2002, 02:34 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Hi Sherman!

First, please know that radios are an EXTREMELY EXTREMELY EXTREMELY small margin area to start with, so it is a very tough one to look at.

Please also know that Tower is offering $15 off ANY order...not just off this radio. They are taking that discount "hit" to earn your business, and that is a separate situation from the selling price of the radio. In some cases they may actually lose money on this one sale to make you happy and keep you coming back....

We do strive to support the dealers, and one of the many ways we do so is to separate us as a manufacturer/distributor from our retail division in our support/service programs. And many customers get quite irritated when we don't want to sell them items directly from the service center for any of a hundred different reasons....

Thanks again for the kind words! I love what i do...does it show? (grin)

Sincerely,
Mrs. AnnMarie Cross
Senior Manager, Proprietary Services and Support
Great Planes Model Distributors
productsupport@greatplanes.com
www.greatplanes.com
www.bestrc.com
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Old 04-09-2002, 02:43 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Originally posted by amcross
Please also know that Tower is offering $15 off ANY order...not just off this radio. They are taking that discount "hit" to earn your business, and that is a separate situation from the selling price of the radio. In some cases they may actually lose money on this one sale to make you happy and keep you coming back....
I see how it works now, the pusher (Tower) luring in the addict (ME!), hehe.

Unfortunately, I've taken advantage of that $15 offer 3 times this month! Arrrgghh! The first step to getting help is admitting you have a problem.

My name is Brian and I'm an RCaholic................
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Old 04-10-2002, 11:13 PM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Gunshipgunner and Sherman

Right on ! You NAILED IT !
Long term is the big cartel hurts the hobby by stifling the oportunity for the small innovators. You build it ,they run to Asia copy it and just try to out lawyer them . YUCK
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Old 04-11-2002, 10:42 AM
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Ladyflyer,
Respectfully, do you work IN the industry? because unless you've got an inside look at how the industry ACTUALLY works, assumptions like those you list as fact are inappropriate and, I can tell you with an h* of a lot of experience, about 99% WRONG.

Sincerely,
Mrs. AnnMarie Cross
Senior Manager, Proprietary Services and Support
Great Planes Model Distributors
productsupport@greatplanes.com
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Old 04-11-2002, 12:53 PM
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Default SERVICE

I THINK WHAT HITEC MIKE AND MS CROSS IS DOING FOR THE HOBBY IS EXTREAMLY VALUABLE AND THEIR ABILITY TO TAKE COMMENTS GOOD AND BAD IS ADMIRABLE.

HOWEVER I HAVE HAD EXPERIENCES IN THE PAST AND CURRENTLY THAT DID NOT MAKE ME HAPPY WITH FUTABA SERVICE COMPARED TO THEIR COMPETION

WHEN FUTABA SERVICE WAS IN CALIFORNIA I HAD OUT OF WARANTY WORK DONE AT VERY REASONABLE PRICES OR NO COST. ONE MONTH AFTER GREATPLAINES TOOK OVER THE SERVICE I SENT A FUTABA RX TO THEM BECAUSE IT WAS IN A PLANE THAT CRASHED. I DID NOT EXPECT TO GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING. HOWEVER, IT WAS RETURNED TO ME WITH NO TROUBLE FOUND AND I WAS BILLED $28 PLUS SHIPPING--I WAS NOT A HAPPY CAMPER!

LAST MONTH I DUMPED A PLANE IN A LAKE AND MESSED UP TWO SERVOS AND THE RX WAS DEAD. SENT THEM TO HITEC WITH MY CREDIT CARD NUMBER AND ASKED FOR REPAIRS AND TO BE BILLED. I GOT THEM BACK WIHIN TWO WEEKS AND THERE WAS NO CHARGE NOT EVEN FOR SHIPPING.

WHILE ALL OF MY TRANSMITTERS ARE FUTABA YOU KNOW WHOSE RECEIVERS AND SERVOS I WILL BE USING IN THE FUTURE.

THANKS FOR PUTTING UP WITH ME BUT I THINK WHEN PEOPLE CAN VENT AND HAVE A GOOD EXCHANGE IT LEADS TO PROGRESS.
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Old 04-12-2002, 03:58 AM
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Default FP-T8UAF -tower hobbies

Originally posted by Ladyflyer
Gunshipgunner and Sherman

Right on ! You NAILED IT !
Long term is the big cartel hurts the hobby by stifling the oportunity for the small innovators. You build it ,they run to Asia copy it and just try to out lawyer them . YUCK
Paul M. who operates a small business and hangs out of the RC air news group had a company in China make a small run of .46 size engines for him to sell.

These engines were excellent, far more powerful than any other engine under $100.00 and well made.

He sold the entire first run and was half way through the second run when a MAJOR distributor of RC products here in the states bought up the entire remainder of the production run AND ALL FUTURE RUNS!!

Then this major dist. changes the specs (the usual - de-tuning) and incorporated these engines in their product line leaving Paul and his customers out in the cold.

But of course this can't be true can it? How could we know this happened as described when we don't know what really goes on "inside" the business.

I know of several prominent flyers that dumped their Futaba gear and switched to either JR or HiTec when it was announced that Tower had all the exclusivies for dist. but more importantly repair.

And having been burned and insulted (it must be the way you ran the engine sir!) during the OS 46 cylinder liner fiasco my opinion of Tower is NOT favorable.

I am still wondering why OS changed the makeup of the OS .46 liner if there was NEVER a problem as Tower claimed over and over.
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Old 04-12-2002, 11:02 AM
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Gunship,

I won't even touch the situation of manufacturer X changing management/ownership and choosing to accept a huge volume deal with a different customer that utilizes all of their resources. I am not at liberty to comment on how long the huge volume deal had been "in the works" BEFORE the small company's engines hit the market, etc....

As far as the OS 46 liner fiasco (as you put it), if you will look through any of pages upon pages upon pages of web discussion on this situation, you'll find the information I've provided, over and over, including pages of comments on liners we sent to OS, on efforts we made to duplicate the problem, on covering engines FAR out of warranty.

Some modelers left Futaba when the change was made. We were sorry to see that happen and are doing our VERY best to change that and to bring them back to the fold. MANY who stayed are telling us now how happy they are with the current residence of Futaba USA, of our fast and quality repair service, our knowledgable support team who can ansewr phone calls, emails, and provide tons of web data, all the informaiton we provide on current and past systems, how accessible we now are, and especially some of the progress being made with new products such as the manual for the 9C, the crystal-less receivers, buying receiver crystals alone, the Getting to Know Guide for the 9Z, the 75MHz computer radio systems for robotics, the bypass on the 9C instead of a diode, and so on....

I can't encourage my fellow modelers strongly enough -- if you left Futaba because you were afraid of the change, please give us a chance...and see what you can find. I'm betting you'll really like what you see....and if you have problems, please do come to me with them and let me do what i can to help.
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Old 04-12-2002, 04:47 PM
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OK! OK! Enough already. I can see it coming. Who else is going to start the next, "well what about when this company didn't do this!" or "that company did that to those people!". I've seen this in every industry I've had experience or worked in. No one is perfect and there is ALWAYS something going on that you/we don't know about.

I'm all for constructive dialogue. But this is starting to look like a pissing contest. Please stop the pissing.

So, where do we go from here? If you don't like the products sold by someone, don't buy them. If you have to pay more... then that is the price you pay for your cause. As far as the monopoly of business, if I had a business, that's exactly what I would want. A place where people could come to get anything they want, when they want it, at a price and/ or service better than anyone else.

The corner grocery store run by your grandfather has gone away and the new Von's or Safeway has cropped up. They even have bakeries, Starbucks and Banks in them now.

The "warehouse" stores are everywhere and offer the lowest level of "service" but the best prices... and they continue to grow. People wait in lines that would seem absurd in a local convenience store, just because they are getting good deals.

Luckily, we live in a world that provides us with a pretty good level of choice. You have the choice to do most anything you want. And, I think it was Elenor Roosevelt that said, "do what you want, you're gonna get criticized anyway".

Good flying.
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Old 04-12-2002, 07:28 PM
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