Friday, July 27, 2007

Want my business? Show up.

There is something about the home service industry that is nearly universal. If you need someone to come to your home, meaning they have to do all the leg work, you are going to get a huge window and if you're lucky, they might actually come.

Take my cable internet service, for example. After a week of waiting for their special appointment, they never bother coming. They make a new appointment, and again do not show up. The very idea that I would be upset about this is mind-boggling to them. They assume customers have nothing better to do than sit around waiting for them to do their jobs.

This is always blamed on something. It is not the company's fault, ever. Sometimes it is the weather, or traffic, or another customer was being difficult, or a driver called in sick. The cable company actually told me that the reason they hadn't shown up was because they had too few drivers for the amount of appointments they were making. When I suggested they hire some more employees, they told me that it was simply they way things were done. Okay. Its like corporations are narcissistic teenagers. It's never their fault.

I'm waiting for some roof work to get done. The company always blames the fact that they haven't shown up on the weather. Yet despite having a full week of sun, and that they have been promising they'd be out "tomorrow" or "in a couple days" or "within this week" every time I call, I still do not have a dang construction worker standing on my roof yet. Did I mention that the original appointment was scheduled 2 months ago?

If I hadn't given them a deposit, and if the work was really time sensitive, I would have gone with someone else a long time ago. The problem is 1) I may not get a deposit back, which means I have to dispute the charge with my credit card, which means I will probably have to deal with a collection agency after the company sends it off to them, which means I'll spend several months dealing with it, and 2) I'm pretty sure all the other roofing companies are just as incompetent.

This, folks, is why you should do everything yourself. Even if you do a lousy job and your house explodes, you're still better off than dealing with dim witted contractors.

PS: I know there are plenty of great contractors out there. Thanks for doing such a great job and, well, thanks for just having the decency of showing up when you say you will.

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