For all the stick that double glazing companies get for being unreliable and unreasonable, I would like to make the point that there are some customers out there who are just as bad.
Whoever came up with the phrase “the customer is always right” really should have thought that through before saying that. As the years have gone on, it is my belief that customers feel that they can treat companies in any manner they like, talking to the staff in any manner they like. Often when there is a dispute, we are finding more and more often that customers use loud and abusive language, swearing and being generally hard work to deal with.
Here is an example from this morning. A customer rang to say he was having problems with a PVCu door. The Euro-profile cylinder was not working correctly and he decided he wanted a new one from us. We tried to explain the benefits of having a high security door cylinder but he could not be swayed, convinced that his big bad dog would do the job. Any way, he bought a new standard cylinder from us for £10, took it home and found that it wasn’t working either. So, he rang us back and explained the issues and we explained to him that in this case the problem may not be the cylinder but the locking mechanism instead. This is where it went sour. Rather than wanting to know more about what could be done, he then started to accuse us of selling him a duff cylinder (bear in mind we checked it to make sure it worked before we sold him it) and that he thought we thought he was stupid!
We offered him his money back straight away. He came back about 15 minutes later. We did try to explain to him what the problem was likely to be but he kept talking over us and just didn’t want to listen. He said we were talking ‘a load of bollocks’ and stormed out of the office! Now I’m sorry, but I just can’t see where we went wrong there. We tried to help, we immediately sold him a solution to what he thought the problem was in the first instance and all we got back was swearing and difficulty.
When did people start thinking it was OK to talk to businesses like this? We have had worse. Swearing, not honoring signed contracts, abuse to our office staff down the phone. We even had one customer demand we find another blinds installation staff member because the one we use had to go to Canada because a family member died – to them it just ‘wasn’t good enough’. We did try to explain that we don’t like postponing work, but they just didn’t understand that their blinds which they weren’t going to suffer without them, were not as important as this. The blinds were up two weeks later.
At what point do businesses say enough is enough. I’m not just talking about window firms now, but businesses in general. Why should we have to put up with foul and abusive language that is totally unnecessary and doesn’t create a conducive atmosphere to help solve whatever issue there may be?
The other problem businesses have is that there are so many laws and so much legislation to protect the consumer, that businesses are generally held over a barrel and are almost always blamed for whatever problem arises. This to me is totally unfair and people/consumers out there need to realize that people, not robots, run these businesses and need to be more understanding and work together.
An interesting one this and one that has had me thinking the same about the phrase “the customer is always right”. For this customer of yours to be so unreasonable after HIS diagnosis of the fault was proven to be incorrect and then go on to ignore all further advise shows that he was up for it in the first place. Some people are just like that I guess. Given the circumstances outlined I doubt anyone would have dealt with it much differently and who’s to say any other approach other than showereing the begrudged person in loads of freebies,… Read more »
That is a terrible story Martin. Why do people think it is OK to act in such a crappy manner. I wouldn’t ever dream of being 20 minutes late, never mind two hours! I would feel too guilty!
You and the buyers are far better off without that sort of stress!
Thanks for your comment!
Customers!! Who needs them???
I totally agree when did bad manners become so prevalent not just in our industry but everywhere. We recently had a customer who took so long to sign the contract, despite us saying that nothing would happen without their signed agreement and then they changed the designs and the colour so we redid the paperwork. We even personally tried to deliver it to save them the hassle. Their first complaint was that we had taken so long to get the job processed and now they were two weeks behind! We acted immediately on every single thing they asked us to… Read more »
Sharon – that’s appalling behavior. You really can’t do enough for some customers, and they just can’t see the effort that you go to to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
Thanks for your comment!
You’re making me paranoid!
Lol, don’t worry! I am referring to some extreme cases in the past and recent, you’d have to go some way to beat that last example I gave in the blog post! Thanks for your comment!
I’m finding that young customers expect everything instantly. Everythings now done on the internet, banking, booking holidays etc. Some younger people have no grasp that quality things take time and we also have other clients to deal with.
I’d love to see there faces if they took a car for a service and the mechanic handed back their keys 5 mins later and asked for £300 quid…