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Pembroke's TV repairman is of a rare breed

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POSTED: March 29, 2011 9:37 a.m.
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Steve Nolan has seen many changes in both the business and the technology of televisions since he started his Pembroke shop in 1972. While he and his employees still make some repairs at the shop, house calls are now more common. (Al Hackle)

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The growth of America’s throw-away habit to include televisions has made TV repair people such as Pembroke’s Steve Nolan a rare breed.

Some entrepreneurs would be glad to have fewer competitors. But Nolan, whose Electronic Services team repairs sets as far away as Hilton Head and Kings Bay, complains that throwing away TVs both hurts America’s economy and threatens the environment.

His shop is crowded with big-screen sets. Few of the smaller ones are in evidence, supporting his contention that people simply throw them away, especially when they break after the warranty expires. Sometimes the first impulse is to toss the big ones too, as when a Statesboro man’s 50-inch flat-screen Samsung stopped working a few weeks ago.

“He was about to throw it away and then somebody told him about us,” Nolan said. “When he brought it in, he told me, ‘I didn’t know there were people who still did this kind of work.”

Looking to the west, Nolan observes that Claxton and Lyons no longer have TV repair shops.

“Say you go up the road through Soperton, the first time you hit a shop, you’re in Dublin,” he said.

Likewise, he asserts, a swath of South Carolina between Hilton Head and Charleston has no local shops. Savannah and Hinesville do have some repair shops, and Jesup has one. But some don’t do warranty work, and when area residents call retailers or warranty referral centers for repairs on certain brands, Nolan’s company gets the call.

“Say if you bought a Panasonic TV set or an LG set or a Toshiba set from Best Buy and you lived in Brunswick or Hilton Head, I’m the only guy,” Nolan said. “We were down in Kingsland the other day fixing a TV set. We’ve been to Valdosta to fix TV sets.”

For more, pick up a copy of the March 26 edition of the News.

 

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