I ride motorcycles. Not a lot, I’m not fanatical about it, but I’ve done it for over twenty years. Sometimes it was my only means of conveyance, sometimes it was just for fun. about 14 years ago I treated myself to a heated jacket liner that you wore under other jackets/coats. It came with a lead you attach to the battery on the motorcycle. Then you plug a controller into that lead and the jacket liner into the controller. There’s a knob on the controller and the further you turn it, the warmer it gets. I’ve ridden my motorcycle in below freezing temperatures and been relatively warm.
I made a small modification to my motorcycle last week and took it in for maintenance before a ten-day trip I’m planning at the end of the week. With a little luck, I’ll do 4000 miles on that trip and I’m excited about it. I wanted to ride the bike to work today to see how the modification and maintenance did. It was about 37 degrees when I left the house so I put the liner on, and in doing so, noticed a seam starting to fray on the elastic cuff. As I was riding to work I noticed a couple of cool spots and a couple of warm spots, it wasn’t heating evenly anymore.
I got to work and pulled up the manufacturer’s website to see what they had to offer these days. Here’s a link if you’re interested. I can’t recommend them enough, mine lasted 14+ years, and still works. Figuring I paid $250 back then for it, I’ve more than gotten my money’s worth out of it. They had two models that I couldn’t decide between so I called the number on the website and had a good talk with the guy who answered. He told me about a trade-in program and when I went through the purchase process it dropped the price of the liner I wanted to under $200. So I pulled the trigger. Can you tell I just got my tax refund?
A couple hours later I got an email from them with an RMA number. The lady said that instead of sending the jacket liner in, to just cut it up and send them pictures. I couldn’t do it. It still works fine, it’d be great as a back-up or as liner for a passenger. There are too many memories that go with it, it served me too well to cut up. So I called back and the call was actually answered by the owner. I explained it to him and offered to pay full price for my liner. I said I’d rather do that and keep the old one than cutting it up. We talked for a bit, found out he’s an Army vet. I told him I’d taken the liner to Iraq with me and used it in the turret. He ended up telling me to just keep it and canceled the RMA and still gave me the discount, almost 1/3 off the original price.
Great service, but it was a funny reminder of the loyalty I develop to certain things and people. Some people might call it sentimentality, but it seems like that’s a wrong word for it. When something has served me so well, I just believe it deserves a better ending.