We have an old box trailer. Incorporated into the towing hitch is an hydraulic ram that activates the trailer's brakes and the ram itself is protected from dust, dirt and general grime by a rubber bellows which is secured by some clips. In the freezing cold the old bellows have given up the ghost and disintegrated. I rang the manufacturers of the trailer hitch - a company called Bradley - where a most helpful gentleman named Adrian was pleased to tell me exactly what I needed and explained that they preferred customers to buy spare parts from their dealers. Having explained that I lived in the Midlands he pointed me towards their local dealer and assured me that they would have what I needed in stock and would be happy to post it to me.
The local dealers are a company named L and S Engineers in Walsall (who regrettably do not seem to have a website). There a delightful chap called Wyn was pleased to take my order and explain that the process of replacing the bellows was within the compass of a DIY mechanic and that instructions came with the kit of parts. He then quizzed me for a minute to see what other bits of plant I possessed and what else he could sell me. He seemed only mildly disappointed that I owned nothing else that might require his company's services and it was done in such a cheerful straightforward manner that I could only smile. My payment details were taken and I was assured the parts would be in the post today.
Two examples of outstanding service which go to show that the concept is very much alive and well in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector of our economy. Brilliant.