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    1. #1
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      Mr Kleb's Avatar
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      That's a way to lose my business.

      Our gas water heater is 23 years old. Time to replace it.

      A company based in our small town does gas water heaters. I talked to three people who don't know each other and all three agree that their customer service, uhm, isn't the best. To be fair I called and left a message on their machine. No callback. OK they had their chance.

      I called another company in the next town over. They had previously promptly scheduled and fulfilled an appointment to look at our wall furnace. So I called them to schedule an appointment to quote on replacing the water heater.

      No show, no call. Okay, things happen.

      They called the following day to schedule an appointment six days in advance. No apology about the missed appointment. Well OK. Fine, still works, no rush.

      No show, no call.

      I have been in office support for almost 30 years, much of that time doing procurement. If a vendor performs like this it's because they are incompetent, don't want or need your business enough to perform what to me is basic customer service, or you haven't paid your bill (yes we did, showed up on our credit card statement).

      There are several other companies to choose from.
      Andrew, Faye, Achilles, and Fitzi

      Not gone, only gone on ahead - Bruno, Rex, BoJo, Kendal, Kingsley, Moonpie, Avis, Corndog, and now Stella

      I invite you to visit my blog, Hidden Content .

      The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life -- the sick, the needy and the handicapped. -Hubert Horatio Humphrey, US Vice President (1911-1978)

    2. #2
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      That seems to be the way of businesses today, severe lack of customer service. They must be busy with other customers to be able to ignore others. It's a huge pet peeve of mine.

      Hope you find someone reliable.
      Hidden Content
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    4. #3
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      We have had similar experiences. Most recently the water conditioning company was scheduled to come to the house last Wednesday to change out the RO filter under the kitchen sink. When they did not come we called. Oh, well, they had some free time on Tuesday so someone came by the house that day instead to see if they could do the work. First of all, that wasn't the day the appointment was scheduled and everyone was at work on Tuesday. They claimed they had called to let someone know. No, no calls, no missed calls, no messages. So it was rescheduled for today, and again, no call, no show and no answer when we called them. Very frustrating. So glad they're rolling in dough and don't need to do what they promise to do.

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    6. #4
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      I used to get upset when people came to the house and were rude or critical. Now my husband has convinced me that if they show up and do the work, we're in good shape.

      Quote Originally Posted by smartrock View Post
      They claimed they had called to let someone know. No, no calls, no missed calls, no messages. So it was rescheduled for today, and again, no call, no show and no answer when we called them.
      What is that about? Caller ID people! Call logs, texting, e-mail, you name it. We know you didn't you didn't get a hold of us!

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    8. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by janedoe View Post



      What is that about? Caller ID people! Call logs, texting, e-mail, you name it. We know you didn't you didn't get a hold of us!

      As a service provider and small business owner, and try my best to practice and have my staff practice 3 things. 1. Appreciation for the call. 2. Promise to be prompt within appointment window 3. Gurantee all work for at least 90 days.

      If a customer calls us, we will call them back with at least an availability answer. These guys know you called, emailed, etc. They are just rude.

      As a guy who has had to wear the 5 different hats at times as, customer service, service provider, invoice control, parts stock and uniforms- just to get started, I will say that it is un-excusable when a service provider doesn't call you back. We call customers back intentionally for two reasons. 1. Follow up on service expectations 2. Even if we don't service their area, we will at least return the call.

      So, point is, not all service providers and small business owners are the same.

      Yes, as someone mentioned there are those that have plenty of work, but don't have the decency to at least give you a minute and and half for a return phone call. It is poor customer service and reputation. Honestly, the customers that they miss, we get. We try to set a standard. It's rare, yes, but once you find one service provider ( plumber, HVAC, Appliance, Roofer, Electrician -are the top 5 ) ask him or her who they would refer. Most of the time the good guys are in a network, and if they can't get to you, they know someone that can.

      Find that one, and you'll find his network. If you " thought you had found the one " maybe you didn't, or maybe it's a new concept all together. This is coming from a service providers perspective. There are still networks of good SP's in your area, so don't give up.

      Good luck.

    9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jdog For This Useful Post:

      Mr Kleb (11-23-2017), SunDance (11-23-2017)

    10. #6
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      In a way it's fascinating because my town has a population of about 2,500. The next town over has a population of about 10,000. My understanding is that there's a rule of thumb - if a person has a bad experience with a business they will not complain directly to the business, they will tell about four people who will then be less inclined to patronize that business. Yet the place in my local town - the one I contacted first - stays in business. Perhaps because there are family connections and I'm an outsider, having lived here only nine years.
      ------------
      On a slightly different topic. Our water heater is rented, which coming from Texas was a challenging concept to wrap my brain around. You pay a monthly fee and if there's a problem you call a number, service shows up, and shazam! problem solved. For eight years we've paid a monthly fee which in total would have paid for most of a new heater including installation. I guess it's like having an extended warranty on a car. You most likely don't need it but if you do, having it evens out the cost.

    11. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mr Kleb View Post
      In a way it's fascinating because my town has a population of about 2,500. The next town over has a population of about 10,000. My understanding is that there's a rule of thumb - if a person has a bad experience with a business they will not complain directly to the business, they will tell about four people who will then be less inclined to patronize that business. Yet the place in my local town - the one I contacted first - stays in business. Perhaps because there are family connections and I'm an outsider, having lived here only nine years.
      ------------
      On a slightly different topic. Our water heater is rented, which coming from Texas was a challenging concept to wrap my brain around. You pay a monthly fee and if there's a problem you call a number, service shows up, and shazam! problem solved. For eight years we've paid a monthly fee which in total would have paid for most of a new heater including installation. I guess it's like having an extended warranty on a car. You most likely don't need it but if you do, having it evens out the cost.
      Yes, alot of "old businesses " ( whether they are still any good or not ) get the benefit of the doubt in a small town like that. It's almost the mentality of " well, who else are we gonna call?". These businesses were once probably owned buy an older gentleman maybe either got passed down to a child with repair skills, but horrible at business practices. Almost as if " if you can catch them, they will do a pretty good job" and really that's a load of crap.

      About the complaints to others instead of the business, tells you that theynare not reliable, old fashioned word of mouth. New age word of mouth is google search for a SP provider, believe me, people will tell you about their experiences with a buisness. It's a valuable and free tool. Sometimes not totally accurate, but just look at what the majority are saying in the reviews. 4 star or higher is probably a pretty decent SP.

      If they are hungry, they will take your call, if not then my suggestion would be to "google" ( whatever SP you need, ie: AC service - and the next biggest town to yours. Then you"ll see a wider selection, and should see some reviews as well. Some companies have a 100 miles service radius, so there is someone in a neighboring town that will take your call. Problem is, you pay for that conveneience, or wait on JIMBO to open back up and return your call whenever that is. Sure Jimbo the repairman is a great guy, but you do have options.

      About the water heater rental, that's new to me. Usually standard protocol is to either own the home or your landlord takes care of all major repairs. If it's under the landlords name, he should be getting on it for you.

      A home warranty should cover all major household issues, maybe it does, ask your landlord. Maybe the water heater is being financed, or if it has an extended warranty you should still be able to request out of network cover with reimburse for ASAP service. As far as being at the mercy of when their SP can show up, you can ask the warranty to company ( or your landlord can ) to get it done "now" outside of network warranty, and the insurance/warranty company re-imburse you. It will take a few phone calls, but can be done.
      Just things I've learned working in the service world. Still, find that SP/Company in your next largest town, and they will have a network so don't be afraid to ask. All good guys who know their business, take care of customers, etc. Usually affiliate with other businesses that have similar values. It may not be JIMBO's pricing, but looks like he might not be Mr. reliable anymore, and that can be for a number of reasons stated above.

      I wish you well.
      Last edited by Jdog; 11-22-2017 at 11:08 PM.

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    13. #8
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      Jdog, thank you for your responses. It is really good to have insights from a service provider.

      Water heater rental is a thing in Canada, more than a few homeowners (like us) rent. Not only water heaters: HVAC (yes HVAC!) and water softeners are two big ones. Our rental is a holdover from the previous owners. I'm reluctant to continue renting - our rental fees for the past eight years would have pretty much bought our next one outright including labour - but I'll get that company to run their numbers so I can compare to cancelling the rental and buying outright.

      We will likely go with a regular old fashioned vented one like what we have. Tankless does not make sense for us. While powervents might get rebates the additional up-front cost, complexity, and electricity use over its lifetime weigh heavily against.

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      Jdog (11-24-2017)

    15. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mr Kleb View Post
      Jdog, thank you for your responses. It is really good to have insights from a service provider.

      Water heater rental is a thing in Canada, more than a few homeowners (like us) rent. Not only water heaters: HVAC (yes HVAC!) and water softeners are two big ones. Our rental is a holdover from the previous owners. I'm reluctant to continue renting - our rental fees for the past eight years would have pretty much bought our next one outright including labour - but I'll get that company to run their numbers so I can compare to cancelling the rental and buying outright.

      We will likely go with a regular old fashioned vented one like what we have. Tankless does not make sense for us. While powervents might get rebates the additional up-front cost, complexity, and electricity use over its lifetime weigh heavily against.
      Yes, buy it outright right away. As far as tank less, don't do it. Stick to electric or gas if you prefer. Electric is my choice, but that's just me. If you think you have service problems and finding someone now, the tank less WH is a specialized plumbing "niche" that many plumbers just choose not to get into. One of my referrals/network is a Master plumber, 10+ years. I only hear the plumbing aspect of it through him. I actually specialize in refrigeration. I carry certifications, etc. And so should your SP. usually the companies that are serious, care about their reputation- are usually growing companies. Which in return means they probably have an 75-100 mile service radius as well.

      Good news is: Usually you can find a SP that has a 40 mile radius and the price goes down some. Even if it's a franchise name, it could be locally owned. Difference is: Punctuation, Customer service & pricing. If your main concern to a "reputable" company is to have it fixed ASAP, they shouldn't gouge you by any means. It's ok to ask about price but just not in your opening line. Why? They think you're going to be more trouble than the cost. So, call that company with good reviews ask them their availability and tell them the situation and let them reply back first, then ask about price.

      Also, don't get hung up on a "service call fee" the good companies are worth their time for diagnosis, that way you don't pay for a repair without being explained what is needed. You can either decline repair or proceed, but the SP has to be paid for his time and skill-or there would be no repair business, only a "free estimates business, which many companies go under because of that, just fyi. The service call fee can be "applied" towards the repair, and most companies do that. It's a built in system for pricing usuaully, service call plus parts and labor- just being general but depends on trade. Just remember though about price, you get what you pay for, their technicians have families too. So, you pay for their sacrafice OR wait until your hometown handyman opens back up.

      Glad to be of help. Hope it was encouraging and informative at least.
      Last edited by Jdog; 11-24-2017 at 12:31 AM. Reason: spelling

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    17. #10
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      Thanks again. A service call fee is not at all an issue - the company, and the service tech, should certainly be paid for their time and trouble.
      ---------------
      I will post follow ups as events unfold.

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