July 11, 2012 - By C.J. Carnacchio
It's no secret that major media outlets frequently publicize sad tales about businesses taking advantage of customers.
Newsprint and airwaves are packed with a seemingly endless supply of stories about scams, price-gouging, crooks and shoddy workmanship.
But folks never seem to hear about all the good things local businesses do everyday to help people in difficult times.
A terrific example can be found courtesy of John Camerron and Sons Well Drilling, located at 2996 Metamora Rd. in Oxford Township. The company not only helped Orion Township resident Justin Fox locate his broken well pump, they helped him dig it up and advised him on how to replace it himself. And they did it all free of charge – that's no misprint.
"I thought that was pretty impressive," Fox said. "He was just being helpful . . . It was very encouraging to know there are businesses like this, especially a local business."
It all started when the pump on a 50-plus-year-old underground well went kaput at the rental home Fox's owned in Independence Township since 2001. His poor tenants were facing temperatures in the high 90s with no running water to keep cool and stay hydrated.
Fox tried to dig it up himself, but the "Clarkston clay" he encountered was "like concrete."
"It was rough," he said. He decided to call a few local well drilling companies to find out what it would cost for them to locate, dig up and replace the pump. He admitted his "heat-weakened heart skipped a beat from sticker shock."
"To just find the well would have been $175. To dig it up and replace it would have been $2,500," Fox said.
These steep estimates spurred him on to continue chipping away at the hard earth in the sweltering heat.
However, "after losing 5 pounds of water weight," Fox decided, on his uncle's recommendation, to call John Camerron and Sons Well Drilling to see if he could borrow their well locating equipment. His uncle lives next door to the Oxford business.
Dave Camerron came out, located the well himself and, much to Fox's surprise and delight, even lent a hand with the labor-intensive digging.
"Dave certainly could have charged me an arm and a leg for this, but (instead) he offered his own arms, legs, back and advice," Fox wrote in a e-mail to the Leader.
"I couldn't have done it without him," he noted. "He definitely was helpful and kind. My tenants now have running water, which they appreciate."
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.