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ABC Electric closes doors after 70 years


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#1 martini

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:53 PM

http://www.timescolo...3966/story.html

ABC Electric, a staple in appliance sales and repairs in Greater Victoria for 70 years, has closed its doors.

The company store on Hillside Avenue was locked and windows covered in brown paper yesterday.

Calls to both listed phone numbers were unsuccessful, with one message box apparently full and the other line no longer in service.

The website remains active, but e-mails to the owners via a link on the site were not returned.

Eileen Corbin is listed as president of the company and Sterling Corbin the secretary on the B.C. Registry Services branch of the Ministry of Finance. A corporate office is listed on Fort Street with no phone number.

ABC, founded in 1939, had been located downtown for decades but moved twice in the last 15 years, first to Fifth Street, in the Quadra Street Village area, and last year next to McDonald's opposite Hillside Shopping Centre.

#2 Bob Fugger

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:21 AM

I was on their emailing list, as they were the place to go in Victoria for higher-end home espresso makers - sales and repairs. I did get an email on Thursday of last week or so advising of a 50-70% off sale going on that day. I thought it was a bit odd that there wasn't any prior notice...but I suppose this explains it.

As for my espresso machine, I hope mine doesn't crap out, or I'd be pretty much forced to chuck it.

#3 Marilyn

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:34 AM

So now what are we going to do when the element in the stove burns out or we break a glass in our yoghurt maker?

I know, throw everything out and buy new stuff.

#4 gumgum

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 07:13 AM

Terrible service there.

#5 North Shore

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:31 AM

So now what are we going to do when the element in the stove burns out


Can't remember the name, but on the N.E. corner of Jutland and gorge, accessed off the back alley/parking lot, there is a store that sells esoteric stove elements etc...
Say, what's that mountain goat doing up here in the mist?

#6 Holden West

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:51 AM

Reliable Parts Ltd.
491C Burnside Road East, Victoria, BC V8T 2X3
Telephone : 250-381-5522

Has a lot of appliance parts. But ABC was the best. I'm a big fan of repair over replace.

This is why. We are so wasteful when it comes to appliances. We're lucky if something lasts a year before it gets chucked in the landfill. My apartment dumpster usually contains perfectly good appliances and computers that are chucked just because the people are moving and can't be bothered to take it with them or give them away.



Ben toasts the bread in the same McGraw Electric Co. Toastmaster his parents, the late Benjamin V. and Elizabeth Bennett, received as a wedding gift in October 1937.

"It's never failed, although in 1956 my dad brought it in to get a new cord. But that's the only thing it's needed in almost 72 years. Every once in a while I turn it upside down and shake out the crumbs. And today I cleaned the chrome with Windex. That's about it.''

"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#7 martini

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 09:00 AM

Can't remember the name, but on the N.E. corner of Jutland and gorge, accessed off the back alley/parking lot, there is a store that sells esoteric stove elements etc...

West Coast Appliance

#8 think local

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 04:45 PM

We're bummed about this and have always had great service in the past. We ordered a small appliance from there months ago, paid for it and still not received it. We've been assured we'll still get it but haven't heard back.

It's a sad situation.

#9 Nparker

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:42 PM

The writing was on the wall for ABC when they moved to their Hillside location. The space was tiny and service and selection dropped dramatically. Perhaps it was just their time to go.

#10 Holden West

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:44 PM

They probably couldn't compete in the retail arena with the big box stores. And as for repairs, who repairs a $15 coffee maker?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#11 sebberry

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 07:08 PM

They probably couldn't compete in the retail arena with the big box stores. And as for repairs, who repairs a $15 coffee maker?


That's what we're seeing too. People are simply replacing their computers with new ones from Future Shop for $399 rather than spending $150 to get theirs fixed. We can't possibly supply new systems for $399.

Labour to repair systems was our bread and butter (still is I guess) but too many people would rather chuck it than fix it.

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#12 concorde

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:19 PM

I've already put in a call to Dewalt and told them they need to come up with a replacement service centre in Victoria as ABC Electric was the only one in town. Dewalt told me I can ship the tools to Vancouver AT MY EXPENSE and they would be happy to fix it

#13 Bob Fugger

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 09:13 PM

And as for repairs, who repairs a $15 coffee maker?


Probably no one - but my automatic espresso machine costs several hundred. No way in hell I'm chucking that out.

#14 mat

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:15 PM

They probably couldn't compete in the retail arena with the big box stores. And as for repairs, who repairs a $15 coffee maker?



This is a very good question - how do we make mass market appliances last further than their projected operating life?

When purchasing a BC hydro energy efficient washer/dryer combo from Sears last year, we asked the rep about actual 'life' of the machine, how long it was expected to last. As he admitted that was the last week on the job, he was quite open (but the info is also available online) - 5 years, max. Parts, production and potential service are so f'ing shoddy that a brand new, $1200 set, with a Hydro grant, would likely fail within 5 years.

In 1968 my mother purchased a new GE Hostess electric oven/range. It moved with her and our family from Alberta (various cities and towns), to Vancouver (2 houses), Victoria (2 houses), where I eventually inherited it.

That stove still works just fine. I enjoy cooking with it, and it is just as energy efficient as new 'flashy' models.

#15 martini

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:21 PM

This is a very good question - how do we make mass market appliances last further than their projected operating life.

When purchasing a BC hydro energy efficient washer/dryer combo from Sears last year, we asked the rep about actual 'life' of the machine, how long it was expected to last. As he admitted that was the last week on the job, he was quite open (but the info is also available online) - 5 years, max. Parts, production and potential service are so f'ing shoddy that a brand new, $1200 set, with a Hydro grant, would likely fail within 5 years.

In 1968 my mother purchased a new GE Hostess electric oven/range. It moved with her and our family from Alberta (various cities and towns), to Vancouver (2 houses), Victoria (2 houses), where I eventually inherited it.

That stove still works just fine. I enjoy cooking with it, and it is just as energy efficient as new 'flashy' models.


Crazy isn't it?
That's why I won't buy new on most things.
I have a 70's dishwasher I got for free that's been reliable for years.
Same with my washer, dryer, and tv over the years.
You couldn't pay me to buy a big ticket item new.

#16 victorian fan

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:14 AM

Old-fashioned quality seems to last forever.

(living in a museum ;) )

#17 Jill

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:17 AM

I've already put in a call to Dewalt and told them they need to come up with a replacement service centre in Victoria as ABC Electric was the only one in town. Dewalt told me I can ship the tools to Vancouver AT MY EXPENSE and they would be happy to fix it


Cuisinart can top (or bottom?) that. If something breaks, even if it is under warranty, you not only have to pay to ship it to ONTARIO because they have no service on the island (and they didn't have a service contract with ABC even when ABC was still going), but you have to send them a cheque to cover the return postage when they ship it back to you. In my experience, when they do ship it back to you -- four months later -- it will arrive looking like someone kicked it across most of Canada.

#18 Holden West

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 09:13 AM

Just a few minutes ago our GE portable dishwasher failed, spewing all the water onto the kitchen floor. It was only a couple of years old. To be honest, it never did a great job of cleaning dishes anyway.

Why didn't I catch the spill in time? Because at that exact moment, two Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door, and God help those unfortunate JWs that get into a theological conversation with Holden West. Actually, that was probably God getting revenge on me. I'm glad He and I share the same twisted sense of humour.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#19 sebberry

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:07 PM

Why didn't I catch the spill in time? Because at that exact moment, two Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door, and God help those unfortunate JWs that get into a theological conversation with Holden West. Actually, that was probably God getting revenge on me. I'm glad He and I share the same twisted sense of humour.


That's priceless :P

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#20 cagleyleslie

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:26 PM

I took my $2500 espresso machine to ABC for repairs 4 months ago, and they still have it! How do I go about getting it back now that they've closed? I'm freaking out...

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