Whilst ringing around to gather some quotes for getting our chimney swept:
Craig: Um… This is XXXX? You sweep chimneys?
Craig: Excellent. I’m calling to get a quote for having our chimney swept…
Anon: (laughter) … You must be hard up then mate
Craig: Excuse me?
Anon: Money must be tight!
Craig: No. We’ve never had a chimney swept before so I’m just calling around to find out how much it will be. It’s an open fire…
Anon: Best keep calling around then mate (hangs up)
I’m absolutely shocked! I figure he must have had a shocking day. Perhaps his pet died, he walked in on his wife in bed with the Gas Man, or maybe his numbers came up in the lottery and he forgot to buy the ticket… must have been pretty awful to think that this conversation was acceptable.
Craig actually made this call at work and was laughing about it by the time he returned home. I guess my other half knows me pretty well as he refused to tell me the company name. I’d definitely be on that phone now giving this idiot a piece of advice or two.
I appreciate we’re in a recession and local businesses are feeling the strain. It must be a competitive industry and frustrating to be constantly priced out of the market by bigger competitors – but this is essentially a service industry. This guy probably relies on repeat business from homeowners – and this is probably his busiest time! He needs new clients right now to keep the money coming in to keep him afloat during the slow summer months. What a ridiculous way to speak to people!
Turns out we were pretty naive as it’s only costing us £50; so a pretty minor sum. But we weren’t to know how inexpensive it was when we made that enquiry. He could have quoted us £70 and we’d have gone ahead and booked. A prize idiot it would seem.
Have you had got any incredulous customer service stories? Would you ever name and shame?