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.