Kelsey Tidwell had a good point, even if you missed it (In the letters section of the May 2009 issue, Tidwell takes issue with a February Tech Tip that says bearings demand grease with special characteristics. She felt the answer was too generic.)
Have you taken a look at the plethora of greases, oils, and/or fluids with OE specifications? When a customer comes in looking for a specific fluid based upon the OE specs, what are you going to sell him?
I defy you to find a comprehensive listing of equivalents. A customer being sold the wrong or non-compatible product may find himself on the wrong end of a warranty issue. And guess who he is going to come after? It’s the same with repair shops. Whether the customer is walk-in or wholesalethe counter professional is the expert and the one the customer is expecting correct answers. So, the generic answer is not the best education. Instead the counter professional (whether “seasoned”, or novice) needs better instruction as where to find the correct application grease, oil, fluid, or what-have-you.