Consumer Service & Parts Company



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South Euclid, Ohio
Joe Sopko
Shelia
CET
49
Daughter, Christina
2 Cats
Flying
Teaches Ground School

Joe's Place

Joe says that he got his start in Electronics in the Army in 1962. He was sent to the Signal Corps School at Ft.Gordon, Ga and took a course in “Carrier Equipment Repair”. “Lucky for me” says Joe, since carrier waves are used in just about every piece we service and it prepared him for a lifelong career. “I apparently found my Niche as I was held on at the school as an instructor and taught hundreds of students how to repair a variety of equipment.”

"When I got out of the army I got a job with RCA Factory Service Co. Starting as an apprentice, working through Journeyman, Master Tech, Chief Technician, and Service Engineer.” Joe says that when the chief tech in a branch couldn’t fix a piece, it would be sent to Cleveland and wind up on Joe’s bench. “I got a lot of good experience”, he said. He had 20 years with RCA at the time of the GE corporate takeover, and worked another 10 years for the “combined” company. It was during that time that Thomson bought the manufacturing end of the CE business. At the end of 1993 GE decided it didn’t want to be in the Electronic Service business any more & closed all their service centers, including the one Joe was running for them in Mayfield Heights.

He says that “Faced with the unemployment line, I bought the fixtures from GE and reopened the next day as an independent. I had to spend the day taking apart the GE service center, and then drive a couple miles up the road to set up my own. Sometimes I made it home by midnight. It was pretty depressing. I was real “Gung-Ho,” a real “Company Man” and I would have been perfectly happy to work 40 years for them, then retire instead of being tossed out like an old shoe.”

Consumer Service was incorporated at the end of ’93 and opened at the beginning of ’94. The name is a play on the old service center since it was called “GE Consumer Service”. Joe says that a lot of his customers followed him and liked to hear a similar name when the phone was answered. “I’m able to do more for them now”, he says, “GE restricted us from working on some equipment for customers, and I can offer parts on All brands, not just GE. The company sells parts for Major Appliances such as stoves, washers & refrigerators. “As I was closing the old shop, many customers asked me what will they do for parts. I decided to keep selling them in my new store, and since I’m not GE owned anymore, I can offer all brands. I can repair a greater variety without GE’s restrictions, too.” Joe says that he’s repaired Leaf blowers, Lamps, Toasters, Hair Dryers, Fans, Power Tools, and even an Electric Lawn Mower. “I’ll look at whatever is shoved under my nose”, He says, “I like fixing stuff” and says he could fill a book with the “Weird” stuff he’s looked at.

When asked of what he’s most proud, he said “We have had a 100% QOS (Qualityof Service) with GE Contracts ever since I opened. I’ve received the “Service Excellence” award. I kept doing GE contracts mainly through loyalty to my old company, and my old customers. I don’t do warranty work, and I don’t make house calls, but I do take great pride in‘taking care of my people.’” “I’m also proud of being written up in the local Sun Newspaper. They recently did an article on my company – focusing on the antique radios we repair. I have a couple dozen of my own on display in the lobby & people will talk about them, eventually saying “I have one in my attic – would you repair it for me?” Well, of course we will. At any time, I might have 3 or 4 sixty year old units in the shop”. Joe says that he enjoys seeing a variety of equipment, and is someone who really enjoys his work.

He says that although he Really likes the repair work, he doesn’t like working for himself. After 30 years in a corporate environment, he feels very alone and unprotected. Also, Before, he only suspected that his boss was an axxhole, Now, he’s Sure of it ! He says the feeling of being alone was the driving force for his joining NESDA . “I’m glad I did” Joe says, “With the Nesda-Net, I don’t feel so vulnerable, and I look forward to our monthly meetings.” Joe is a frequent contributor to the Nesda-Net, usually replying privately to people who post a question. We are pleased to have Joe in the Nesda Family.