Prompted by @Omeganut 's thread about bad experience with ADs, I thought it'd be good to bring you all some perspective of what it's like to be the guy on the other side of the counter. I'll include some positive stories, but I'll be blunt here - bad customers left the most vivid memories. For what it's worth, I worked for an AD of Tissot, Certina, Rado, Longines, Atlantic, Epos and G-Shock. Sales were one thing, another was stuff like warranty repairs, replacing straps, adjusting bracelets, ordering accessories or watches themselves.
For the first round of horror stories, let me tell you about...the filth on the watches.
People who brought their watches in for warranty repair or just servicing often left a really bad impression of how they treated their watches. I mean, most of us tend to almost baby our watches. These people haven't even bothered to clean them. There was this lady who wanted to replace the strap in her Certina. The model was introduced two years prior to that. It looked like it wasn't cleaned for at least five. I bet most of you have watched "Pulp Fiction," and remember the story of the gold watch hidden up where the sun don't shine. Yeah...this watch did look a lot like that's the way it was worn. When I detached the worn, stinky, filthy strap, I nearly puked. The watch was clogged with filth between the lugs. I'd swear there must have been some fecal matter in there as well. Asked the lady, "Pardon me, ma'am, but what have you been doing with this watch?"
"Oh, gardening," she said. Gardening, yeah. I bet it involved a lot of manure as natural fertilizer. I had to use a copious amount of disinfection liquid before I felt I had every trace of the watch off of my hands. Later on, I had a similar experience with an all-ceramic Rado, I think it was an Integral. There wasn't a single nook and cranny on it that wasn't chock-full of gunk.
Close by was a car mechanic's Tissot Couturier. His wife had it cleaned up a little bit, but the overload of grease was there. Old, dried-up grease. If only grease. Come on, how can you let a watch become this filthy? All instructions manuals have tips for cleaning your watch regularly. It doesn't hurt to read that.
So, dear readers, if you bring in a watch for repair/strap replacement/whatever... BOTHER TO CLEAN IT FIRST! It's really no fun handling a watch that looks like it has been stuck into a certain orifice.
Sorry if you've read this while having lunch. Mr. Bloke, out.
Staff writer at WahaWatches. Collecting and researching vintage watches since 2014