Call Me Maybe

Stay with me to the end of this week’s blog. I promise it’s worth it.

Last week I was moaning about bad customer service, and if I thought things were going to get any better in the days ahead then I was sorely disappointed. I know I run the risk of sounding like a moaning git, taking things too seriously, worrying over the small stuff, but let’s face it. British tradesmen are hopeless, even the nice ones.

A month ago I booked a tree surgeon to come and stake a tree that he had recently replanted. It had blown over in the wind because his initial staking was useless, so he agreed to come on Friday afternoon. Of course he didn’t turn up, so I called and was told he’s come the following day, Saturday. And guess what? He was a no show yet again. I tried one more time and Monday was promised, but he was the invisible man and stayed away. I called again, and again, and........you get the idea.

Not only is the fact he didn’t keep his promises just plain bad manners, but each time it was me, the customer, who had to call to see what went wrong. No apologetic text or email or any communication from him whatsoever.

Then this week I booked an electrician to fix a light in my hallway. He, of course, failed to turn up and, again, there was no warning or excuse. I chased him up and he said he’d be there, same time next day. Nothing! Then today, more of the same. He was as visible as tar in a blackout.

But this week, and this is the bit that’s worth the wait, I heard the best ever excuse from a tradesman, and it had the benefit of being absolutely one hundred per cent true.

Two weeks ago I called an upholsterer I’d used before to come out to my house and do some extra stuffing of a sofa which had begun to sag after fourteen years of hefty bums, like my own, bouncing up and down on it. I like Jason, the man with the magical touch, as he’s fun, wears shorts whatever the weather, and he has a ‘phone that crows like a cockerel in a barnyard when he gets a call.

He came out to see the furniture, sized it up, and then said he’d call me on Monday to give me a date when he could do the job. And, of course I heard nothing on the Monday, or the Tuesday, or.......I’m repeating myself.

I called him this week and eventually got through to a very apologetic man. It turned out that Jason had lost his mobile ‘phone with my number on it the previous Monday before he could call me. He had searched everywhere but to no avail, and then he received a call from a customer at his shop last Friday. The lady told him she was very happy with the job he’d done on Monday, but there was one problem.

She had spent the week wondering why she could sometimes hear a cock crowing in her lounge, and she had traced it to the couch. Jason had accidentally sewn his ‘phone in to the lady’s sofa.

Now that’s a great, a brilliant excuse, and one that made me forgive him everything.

I just wish Jason fixed electrics and knew how to stake trees because while my sofa looks great now, my light still doesn’t work, and my tree is leaning against my neighbour’s fence.

If you know a good tree man or electrician, please call me straight away. Hopefully Jason hasn’t lost my ‘phone inside my cushions.