Dear national glazing companies, consider this an open to letter to each of you. And I know that you’ll be reading this because I have seen plenty of you from all national companies subscribe to this site! So, it’s time to listen up.

It’s about time you all changed your ways. I saw this tweet from a DGB follower on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon:

Do any of you really think that it is OK to quote £8000 for a door and a side light? If so, the please speak up via the comments section below as I am sure many readers of this post would love to read a justification of this price.

The facts are, not a single national company has changed, or ever will change their ways when it comes to selling. If you work for a national and you’re reading this, you will know that the above isn’t a one off or an anomaly. This is very much the norm, as your training centres teach this and your sales staff then go out selling in the ways they’ve been taught. So in a way, I don’t blame your sales forces, rather the ones in charge who are advocating these types of selling.

Each and every time something like this occurs, all you serve to do is to tarnish your own company name and the industry’s along with it.

It’s time you all changed your ways. It’s 2016, not 1986. But the sad thing is, I know you won’t really be listening to any of this, or care in the slightest. So I’ll stop addressing you lot now and go back to speaking to the rest of the professionals in the industry.

A problem never to be ended

When most of us see cases as is mentioned in the tweet above, we all shake our heads in dismay. Partly at the frankly laughable sums these “sales” people are quoting, partly because we can’t believe that this sort of thing still goes on.

Yet, no matter how much bemoaning of the practices, no matter how many schemes, initiatives or plans to cut this thing out, it continues. And it will always continue. The national companies, and we all know who they are, are far too rooted in the old ways and will never change. I think if they ever did try they would actually go bust because they would be so used to the old ways they wouldn’t actually know how to do it right in the first place.

The industry-minded of us hate it to our bones. Professionalism in our craft goes completely against the sorts of hard-sell and outrageous pricing models that the nationals are determined to work on. The opportunists of us don’t mind it because if we’re selling against them to the home owner, chances are they’ve made our jobs easier and increased our chances of a sale.

Burying heads and disappontment

As some of you will remember, a while ago I had a national company, Everest, advertise for a period on DGB.

It came about after what I think was the fourth time of asking by Everest to advertise on DGB. The previous three requests were either ignored by myself or they had an email back to say that given my previous posts and opinion of the nationals, it wouldn’t be best. But my arm was twisted by the promise from high up in the company that under new owners they were definitely going to change their ways. So, I gave them a chance, and they were willing to pay for it. Being form Yorkshire, I wasn’t going to say no too many times to easy money!

However, as time rolled on, it was clear that nothing had changed, and nothing was going to change. Reports like that of the tweet above kept on coming. In the end, when it was time to renew, I didn’t bother. They had their chance, and they failed. They were bad payers too, so it was no skin off my nose to see them go.

Another point I’d like to make is that when it comes to the industry’s biggest bodies and organisations, there is lots of head burying when it comes to sales tactics mentioned above. All the main nationals are members of bodies like the GGF.

In public, industry bodies come out against such hard-sell tactics and disingenuous pricing structures. Yet they will know, as well as me, you and the general public, that some of their members do indeed go about their business in the ways they say they don’t support. So where is the recourse? Where is the warnings? Where are the teeth that could actually show the industry that this sort of thing is taken seriously? It’s not there. Boats don’t want to be rocked, I suspect. And whilst that continues, people will fail to respect or believe that industry bodies do have any actual power to govern over the sector.

Whilst I believe that our industry is going to be forever stuck with hard-sell and absurd pricing structures, I do wonder if we’ll ever see a tipping point. A point in time where our industry, and other industry’s that suffer from the same problem, will say enough is enough, clarity and transparency is the way forward.

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