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Old 09-09-2019, 09:50 PM
 
5,722 posts, read 3,027,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini1963 View Post
I'm curious to hear from people who are happy with the services in their city / town / area (and if you don't mind sharing where that is, at least generally). I'm thinking especially of the nuts and bolts of daily life:

primary care physician
dentist
car mechanics
veterinarian(s) and other pet services (daycare / boarding)
attitude or demeanor of staff in all sort of stores (grocery stores, post offices, dry cleaners, pharmacies)

In our area, neighbors and even strangers on the street are generally friendly. But we're noticing more and more that many service providers ... just aren't. And in the medical / dental arena especially, it seems like responsiveness and even competence in scheduling and billing is getting worse and worse, to the point where it has become really awful.

So, we're curious whether there are areas of the country where people are still treating customers and clients well and efficiently. Or are we all just experiencing a phase when there is too much stress, and the pace is too fast, to provide decent, courteous service?
I live in a predominantly rural area in the Four Corners. Services are a mixed bag.

Great trash pickup company (it ainít Waste Management or BFI).
Wonderful seamstress.
Fine service from the propane company, electric company, water company, and Internet provider, though the last is not the fast connection that large urban areas get.
We have a pretty good hardware store, and the next closest town also has one.
I love all three of the libraries in this county!


Now for the not so good:

NO doctor; I have a nurse as PCP, and she was assigned to meócustomers are not allowed to choose. She seems good but I havenít presented anything challenging, healthwise. Facility has made some admin mistakes; it was undergoing a major transition.
I do have a dentist, whom I have seen only once so far. The first dentist I went to here lost two staff in one day (apparently gave no notice, and my appointment for teeth cleaning the next week was left up in the air); things sounded iffy to me, so I switched.
Auto mechanics: I have little faith in the local shopsí attitude toward anything but Ford, GM, Dodge
products, so I have always driven 55 to 75 miles to other towns for service.
Attitude of retail staff mostly is very good, Iím pleased to report.
We seriously need more LE here. There are too few to cover a large territory. Not a comment on quality of service, I know...but they are stretched too thin.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:16 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
20,290 posts, read 19,272,044 times
Reputation: 34644
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini1963 View Post
I'm curious to hear from people who are happy with the services in their city / town / area (and if you don't mind sharing where that is, at least generally). I'm thinking especially of the nuts and bolts of daily life:

primary care physician
dentist
car mechanics
veterinarian(s) and other pet services (daycare / boarding)
attitude or demeanor of staff in all sort of stores (grocery stores, post offices, dry cleaners, pharmacies)

In our area, neighbors and even strangers on the street are generally friendly. But we're noticing more and more that many service providers ... just aren't. And in the medical / dental arena especially, it seems like responsiveness and even competence in scheduling and billing is getting worse and worse, to the point where it has become really awful.

So, we're curious whether there are areas of the country where people are still treating customers and clients well and efficiently. Or are we all just experiencing a phase when there is too much stress, and the pace is too fast, to provide decent, courteous service?
Suburban Hartford CT area--

Hated it when I moved here two years ago but now

Pcp is wonderful and always there for me. This took a while to find though.
Dentist--wonderful and honest.
Car mechanics--expensive so thank goodness for a relative who works on cars!
Veterinarians--very expensive so we drive quite a way to get a wonderful and reasonably priced one
Attitude of people in stores, etc.--depends. We switched from CVS because they were so rude. Grocery stores--it depends. We go to the store where they are helpful. One store is so nasty they won't even order a product for you and the one time they did, they charged 3 X the price! For them, it's all about money.

One thing here, you call your dr and you are put on HOLD or else a robot tells you that you are in the queue and you can either wait or give your phone number and they will call you back. I find this to be dead wrong for a dr's office of all places. We don't have a good hospital either and they are always trying to cut back and save money. There is Yale but it's a long way from here.

In general, people here are very nice and polite, will hold doors for you, let you go first when driving. I'm the same way, so it works out well. People aren't overly friendly but it's live and let live. I'm used to that.

Best place was the north shore of Massachusetts, Newburyport south to about Wakefield. Millions of doctors, access to great hospitals, lots of small town, home grown cheap car mechanics, wonderful dentist, best veterinary service at a reasonable price, drug store people were chatty and fun, best small grocery store chain--cheap prices and they cared about people, relaxed atmosphere, train access to Boston if you ever wanted to go to the place, lol, picturesque, historic, happy, small towns, lots to do.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
609 posts, read 657,094 times
Reputation: 985
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post

Honestly - its a service, and if they get the job done, they don't have to be all chipper and chirpy.

Hi everyone.


Thanks so much for these really helpful answers. I'm really interested to read everyone's replies. As you can probably tell, this is a not-so-thinly veiled attempt to fish around for ideas of where the baseline quality of life is pleasant, so if your location is not clarified in your post or on the City-Data "Location" line, I'd be really grateful if you'd tell me where it is, even in general terms. (Of course I understand if you just don't want to.)

I wanted to address the quote above. I wish I'd found a way to incorporate something about this in my original question. I agree that service providers don't need to be all chipper and chirpy. I guess I am probing to find out about places where the general level of content or discontent is so prevalent that it seeps into the services, too -- and in particular where the discontent is so deep that it actually starts to yield bad service.

BUT I'm also interested in the particulars I mentioned (and that people have been addressing) - so I can learn about places where the infrastructure for daily life is generally good.

Thanks again, everyone! Really interesting posts!
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,011 posts, read 1,411,786 times
Reputation: 6917
Iím not a Texas fanboy but I love Plano, TX. Plano is the only reason that I live in Texas. Within a 5 mile radius, I have the best of everything one could possibly want. Great doctors and specialists, many hospitals, outstanding schools, more restaurants than Iíll ever visit. We are the headquarters of 25 U.S. companies, such as Toyota, Frito-Lay, JC Penney... No state income tax, but property/school tax 2.2%.

Car dealerships from MB, BMW, to Ford to Chevy, many German cars here. This is Texas so people are friendly and courteous. If you want to get away for a long weekend, hop on a plane at either Love Field or DFW and head to NYC for a show or San Francisco for sightseeing.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:45 AM
 
5,995 posts, read 6,847,475 times
Reputation: 15511
For us here in East Tennessee:

primary care physician - Very happy with both of them. Specialists are a little weak simply because they don't get the concentration of issues where they can develop expertise.

dentist - Good, substantial practice.

car mechanics - Use the dealer and they have been fine. Costs more, but when things go to hell it is on them as they "take care of our cars".

veterinarian(s) and other pet services (daycare / boarding) - Many vets....reasonable services....technology lacking. Boarding is...well...disgusting. We put cat in hospital setting where it is clean.

attitude or demeanor of staff in all sort of stores (grocery stores, post offices, dry cleaners, pharmacies) - Very friendly. Mostly attentive. Sometimes lacking in expertise, but who isn't these days when it comes to "service"?
grocery store -Poor quality and selection. Kroger is the best we have. Filthy store (admitted by the manager who blames corporate), But, they have come to know us and are always pleasant and helpful and will even call when fresh product comes in. Small towns DO have their advantages !

post office - The small local post office is close to a three person operation. Pleasant as can be, but could use some help from "up the line".

pharmacies Local pharmacy goes out of his way to be really helpful. Closemouthed.


restaurants- we really miss good food and service. Mostly cook at home or drive about an hour to get decent food. a real weakness, but overcome by other things.


environment- could not ask for more...lakes, mountains, hiking and every imaginable out of doors activity. really wonderful...if we could just get the locals to stop burning everything they want to get rid of. Old couches can burn for days...not to mention what that chemical based "fabric" puts into the air when it burns. Or smolders!



We are really happy here and even though there are weaknesses, there is honesty, decency, morality and an out of doors like no place in the world. Think Smokey Mountains.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
24,353 posts, read 18,138,230 times
Reputation: 28607
I'm in the same place as Ted Bear.

PCP - OK for simple things. Hospitals are middling. Complicated conditions or major hospitalizations - you're basically going to an out of area hospital system. That could be UT-Knoxville - about two hours away, or Vanderbilt, Duke, or some place in Atlanta. All are four to five hours away.

Dentist - fine.

Car mechanics - about the same as anywhere else.

Vet - I'm impressed with the one I've used. They've somehow to keep a twenty year old cat running with only minor, occasional problems.

attitude - better than when I lived in Indianapolis.

Grocery stores - as Ted mentioned, awful.

Post Office - I use the main one in town and rarely wait more than five minutes. The smaller ones get backed up more.

Pharmacy - I use the neighborhood CVS. It's fine.

Restaurants - I disagree there. Johnson City actually has quite good restaurants for a town that size not in a major metro - even Bristol has a few local gems. Kingsport is bad. Smaller towns are mostly fast food and chains.

Asheville is just about an hour away and has a nationally known dining scene. If I want something fancy, I go to Asheville.

Environment - Agree with him. Rural areas have a lot of burning/dumping, but that can be avoided buying closer in and staying in "better" areas.

The big problem I have is how far everything is from here. It's several hours up into Virginia to find anything north of here that's worthwhile. We're moderately close to Asheville and Knoxville. Charlotte is the closest major city is about 3.5 hours away. The airport is efficient, but tiny and there are very few direct flights (seasonal FL flights and now Dallas) to anywhere but Atlanta or Charlotte.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
6,078 posts, read 5,015,547 times
Reputation: 20745
We love our doctors. DH and I have the same primary care physician and she is great. Super thorough, and easy to work with. I have a thyroid issue and we work together on keeping my numbers "just right", so I see her twice a year for that. DH's oncologist is super too.

We changed dentists because the first guy was awful and we thought he was actually making up things to charge us for. Everytime we went in he would find something to bill us for that he didn't before. Our new dentists are a father/son office and they are very good, and, SURPRISE, we no longer are constantly having to have work done.

In the stores, well this is Tennessee and people here are friendly beyond measure. Pretty much everyone wants to talk from the cashier at the movie theater to the produce guy in the market. It's just the way it is here, but don't be in a hurry, because nothing's going to happen fast. I do miss the high quality produce and variety that we had in CA, but the people here are so much better. The grocery stores I frequent here are clean and nice, or I wouldn't go back.

Contractors here - UUUGGHH. Don't get started. They are completely on their own timetable. Do not expect to get something done quickly, they will start a project and then leave you hanging for days, or they won't return your calls. We've found a plumber and a handyman that we like who were prompt, and they will be our favorites that we will use again and again, and recommend to others. But most of them just act like you've got nothing else to do but hang around waiting for them to get around to your job. This may be true everywhere, I don't know.

Post Office, I never go there, so I don't care.

Pharmacy, basically the same as any other store here. They seem nice and competent. I don't deal with them more than a simple transaction once in a while.

Restaurants, for the most part very friendly folks. We've actually had the manager sit down with us and chat a few times. In our local restaurants, in our neighborhood, everyone knows each other, and us, so it's easy to get good service. We usually have good service at most places, with an occasional dud, but nothing as bad as the service we would get in CA. The food, well as with the produce, we miss the high quality and variety, as well as the healthier methods of preparation, but we knew that would be an issue with southern food.

We're very happy that we made our move from CA to east TN.

Last edited by TheShadow; 09-10-2019 at 07:20 AM..
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:18 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
30,464 posts, read 55,452,833 times
Reputation: 32195
Here in the city of Sammamish WA we have about 65,000 people, and lately several assisted living facilities have been built.



We have primary care physicians within 1.5 miles, though ours is about 3 miles away. There are many dental offices within 2-3 miles. A major hospital is 4 miles away. There are 3 auto mechanic shops, but many more including tire stores about 5 miles in either direction in nearby Redmond and Issaquah. The same applies to veterinary services, we have a few but those other adjacent cities have many. We have no problems with attitude or demeanor of staff, and responsiveness, scheduling and billing are just fine.
Our only real problem is $7,500/year (and rising) property tax bu that pays for the good responsive city services and lack of crime.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:09 AM
 
6,524 posts, read 4,897,827 times
Reputation: 13640
Medical is great on Long Island but it is as always still important to find the best docs and to be assertive on getting the best care.

The rest of this thread seems to focus mostly on the type of reception you receive when going to stores. Well, I go to gas stations. I pump my own gas and there is rarely any human interaction. I do go to Costco for food shopping. The employees seem friendly enough but they are busy pushing tons/hour of goods through the registers. I rarely shop anywhere else and rarely enter a store of any kind. We buy almost everything else online, mostly through Amazon. We probably average 3 deliveries a week. I think I went to the post office once this year. I went to a dry cleaners about 5 years ago. I had my only suit and sport coat cleaned and put them in storage. I got prompt service but there was no conversation. I don't go to stores or the post office expecting some sort of social interactions and conversation.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:23 AM
JRR
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
3,865 posts, read 2,315,380 times
Reputation: 5709
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
Medical is great on Long Island but it is as always still important to find the best docs and to be assertive on getting the best care.

The rest of this thread seems to focus mostly on the type of reception you receive when going to stores. Well, I go to gas stations. I pump my own gas and there is rarely any human interaction. I do go to Costco for food shopping. The employees seem friendly enough but they are busy pushing tons/hour of goods through the registers. I rarely shop anywhere else and rarely enter a store of any kind. We buy almost everything else online, mostly through Amazon. We probably average 3 deliveries a week. I think I went to the post office once this year. I went to a dry cleaners about 5 years ago. I had my only suit and sport coat cleaned and put them in storage. I got prompt service but there was no conversation. I don't go to stores or the post office expecting some sort of social interactions and conversation.
Good thing that you don't live here in Tennessee as engaging in conversation in almost any setting is common. People here just like to talk at the drop of a hat. Fortunately, I fit right in as I enjoy talking with people.

Last edited by JRR; 09-10-2019 at 08:50 AM..
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