Yesterday I tried to arrange for a particular company to send me a skilled craftsperson to fix something in my house. This process will not be cheap, by the way, but it has to be done. The company is happy to arrange this, but they won’t commit themselves to a time of day for this maestro to arrive on the premises. We had agreed the dates, but I couldn’t get a time out of them. It would be sometime, their nice switchboard person assured me, between 8 am and 6.30 pm. Definitely. Not a minute earlier. Though perhaps a few minutes later, let’s say 7 pm. But 8 am was just as likely.
I suggested gently that as I had a full-time job which was not totally undemanding, I couldn’t just hang around at home preparing for the triumphant entry of the craftsperson, no matter how talented or skilled. Sorry, I was told, ‘but that’s how we work’. So are they completely unable even to guess when it might be, or in what order the journeyman might conduct the business of the day? ‘Sorry, Darling, we don’t hand out that kind of information.’ What, that’s classified information, in case the KGB get hold of it? ‘It would be unfair to tell you, love, since we don’t do that for anyone else.’ Why don’t you do that for anyone else? ‘I’m afraid that’s how we work.’
I am increasingly intolerant of businesses that feel it unnecessary to accommodate the customer, assuming that someone will find it easy to be at home all day, or that if not they would take a day’s annual leave. I simply do not believe that it is impossible to narrow down a service visit to something less a than a whole day.
I shall not be doing business with this company again. Once this particular job is done I shall call them and tell them so. I cannot specify what time of day I’ll be making the call, but I presume someone will be waiting at the phone between 7 am and midnight for this purpose.society
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