Monday, December 5, 2022


Good, better, best. . . huh?


By Chuck Woodbury
roadside journalIt always amuses me when I come across a business that offers a product with several levels of service, labeled as good, better and best. It happened today at a Firestone dealer in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

You can’t see the service breakdown in the small graphic here because it’s too small, but the store offers three levels of brake service: good, better and best. I am headed over to the store later today to have own brakes checked, so may need to decide. But when it comes to brakes, the idea of “good” doesn’t seem good enough when it seems more could be done.

The funniest “Good, Better, Best” I ever saw was in a chain restaurant in Georgia. I forgot the same (wish I hadn’t so I could go back). Besides the standard coffee shop fare, it offered beer and wine. The wine menu offered two main choices, white and red. Once you decided your preference you had to choose either good, better or best. No information was furnished about who made the wine, where and when. I can’t remember my choice. A Frenchman would have been horrified!

But the very best Good, Better, Best-related businesses I remember were two construction companies, one in Washington, one in Wyoming. There was no good, better or best choices, just one, which was reflected in the name of the businesses: The first was named “Better than Average Builders,” and the other “Trial and Error Construction.” If you had to choose, which would you pick?


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5 years ago

As I read this article, I’m eating the “better” cornflakes, much better than the only “good” oatmeal, but wishing I got the “best” eggs. Obviously, the ad is selling DIFFERENT services (brake friction hardware, brake line flushing, and a better warranty), so as you say good/better/best doesn’t apply.

The craziest thing to me was learning what brake service actually is these “modular” days. Nobody lathes rotors, and annoying drum brakes are gone, making needed tools minimal. When I asked my buddy who owns a garage (in another state) what a reasonable price for my truck brakes should be, he pointed out that you can get $50 rotors and $20 pads and do it yourself in 15mins/wheel. Most parts stores lifetime-guarantee parts, making it totally free after the first set of pads/rotors – my high mileage car is on it’s 4th set of freebies!

Beth Wannberg
5 years ago

I want to tell you of the “GREAT” customer service we have received from VanLeigh, regarding our Vilano. My contact at VanLeigh has taken care of every little issue we have had with the 5th wheel.
This has been immediate, even when we are on the road. We use to purchase Keystone products and had no help from the manufacture, only lectures (I won’t go into detail). We will only purchase VanLeigh or Tiffin products from now on.

5 years ago

I can’t decide if this is one of your better columns or not. It was funny sad. When I eye surgery I had a choice of lens replacement; the gov. only covered the cheapest.

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