Readers Respond

Banning the bulb

The following letter is a response to the article “California says goodbye to 100-watt bulb.” 

“I am a strong believer in efficient markets. If the technology were such that the efficiency of the alternative were better than the incandescent at an appropriate price then the markets would transition accordingly. However, as evidenced in the market, the current alternative lighting in existence does not meet the expectations of the masses and, therefore, the alternative is relying on government regulations to sustain itself. I am opposed to this kind of interference; nonetheless, I will sell the bulbs if mandated.”

— Jeffrey Gamss

Greenhill Industrial Supply

Bronx, N.Y. 

Healthcare reform: Repeal by the roots?

As politicians revisited last year’s healthcare reform plan, HCN solicited viewpoints on the wisdom of repealing the reform altogether. Here are two responses:

“In my view the cost of health care must be addressed, but to pass a monster healthcare bill with more than 2,000 pages that almost no one read before they voted to pass it was ludicrous at best and stupid at worst. All the regulations that were woven into the bill will impact every section of our economy. The last time I checked we don’t have citizens dying in the streets because they couldn’t get emergency health care, so the sense of urgency was hard to understand. 

“The politicians need to identify the problems and then come up with the solutions and fine-tune the best healthcare system in the world — not destroy it. If they want to address the spiraling costs, they need to pass tort reform to do away with defensive medicine and the frivolous lawsuits, which costs hundreds of millions a year. They need to go after fraud and abuse to recover taxpayer money that shouldn’t have been paid out to begin with, and make it understood fraud and corruption will no longer be tolerated. Our country is on the verge of bankruptcy, and to pass huge spending bills is irresponsible.”

— Bill Bates

R.P. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Andover, N.H.

“Any attempt to repeal health care is short-sighted, anti-people and anti-business. What we need to do is move beyond this first step and quickly move to a single payer system. This will reduce overall costs to both individuals and businesses, while extending quality health care to all. Let’s stop listening only to the spin doctors and start analyzing the situation and data available.”

— Bruce Millar

Are housing forecasts overly optimistic?

HCN asked readers if a 20% increase in residential construction was a reasonable forecast for 2011. Here are some responses:

“Our forecast is for approximately a 2% drop in housing starts nationally. We believe, however, that Texas may hold up a little better — not much, but a little. We are overall predicting a 5% sales gain, but some of that is inflation. 

“I am deep down an optimistic person, but the reality of the late 1980s and early 1990s speaks loudly to me. And in those days we had far less foreclosures than today.”

— Byron Potter

Vice chairman and CEO

Dallas Wholesale Builders Supply, Inc.

Return policy reform?

From an exchange that appeared in’s Readers Respond section regarding customer return policies. 

“Marvin’s has a very customer-friendly return policy. If you buy something from us, you have the ability to return/exchange, repair or return/refund as long as you have a Marvin’s receipt. Right now, we do not have strict timelines established around returns (i.e., 30 days, 90 days, etc). We do require vendors to support our return policy as their customer, the same way we support our customers. We stand behind what we sell, and expect our suppliers to do the same. … When we find issues of abuse, we address it accordingly, but for us, return abuse is the exception, not the rule. So we do not feel that crafting our return policies around the exception is a sound business practice, and it definitely would not make it easy for our customers.”

— Craig Cowart


Marvin’s Home Centers

“I totally agree with [Craig Cowart, president of Marvin’s] in keeping the focus on building customer loyalty through a customer-friendly return policy. …

“As a vendor to ‘big-box’ stores, my concern is directed toward those few consumers who abuse the ‘system.’ Store personnel appreciate that policies are quickly set aside by upper management, even when abuse is clear or a return/refund is not warranted. … Good enough, we all understand that it is in the retailers’ best interest to honor an unwarranted return. It’s sales over time, not today, that build the business.

“All we need is for that same retailer to treat its vendors with the same care as they do their customer. We all need each other. If a retailer makes the decision to honor an unwarranted or unreasonable return/refund request, they should do so at their expense, not their vendor’s.”

— Barry Bader

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