I have lived in Karnes City for just a year and a half. We arrived here at the beginning of the Eagle Ford boom. I love small towns, and prefer doing business with local businesses because, Lord knows, they have enough difficulty with competition from national chains. What galls me, though, is how some local businesses are willing to take advantage of local customers because of the influx of money from the shale play. I cannot understand why fuel prices are significantly higher locally than just 25 miles up the road in Floresville or Beeville other than they feel they have a captive audience. I do not buy fuel locally. I won’t even go into the home rental issue. But what really upsets me is how abusive some business owners can be of local people because they know they can make money without local support. I bought a set of tires for my wife’s car at a local tire dealer. I was willing to pay what was obviously an inflated price because I sincerely wanted to do business locally. It soon became evident there was a balance problem with at least one of the times and I brought the vehicle back to get it corrected. I was told they could not get it balanced any better than what it was and I needed to take it into a tire specialty company to get a computer balance. We had the tires checked at Wyatt Arp Dodge in Seguin and were told two of the tires could not be balanced and needed to be replaced. I brought them back to the local dealer and was told they did not replace tires, they only sell them. They would have to send them back to the manufacturer for an adjustment. I bought two new tires in San Antonio and took the defective ones to the local dealer. This time the owner was there. I explained I did not want an adjustment, I wanted a refund. He said the manufacturer would not make a refund but might make an adjustment after seeing the tires, sending me two replacement tires. I told him again I did not want two tires, but a refund for defective merchandise his business sold me. He then got verbally abusive, cursing me, and when I told him I would not stand for his using that kind of language, he ordered me off his property. What a wonderful example of a local business and what a great message it sends about how local businesses feel about local customers. I guarantee the next time I prepare to make a major purchase, I will not think twice about going out of town to do so. For those businesses such as this tire dealer, the day will come when the money from the shale play is no longer here and you will have to rely on local customers to keep you afloat. Good luck -- you will need it.
Rev. Emet Huntsman