Trust is a big issue when making a purchase, big or small.  I recently decided to get some floor boards installed, a not insignificant investment especially in our house which is single income.  I used an online service that connects local tradespeople with potential customers and received a few answers.  Some came across more eager or sincere than others, some had many 5 star reviews and some had none.

After interviewing each prospective installer I landed on one.  I decided to go with my gut instinct, he had no ratings on this site as he was new to it.  He was capable in answering my questions and did not come unstuck as I dug deeper into the topic of flooring.

Come install time it was clear that there was a batch quality/consistency issue with his supplier.  The boards were strikingly different colours!  I was fobbed off and told I’d have to pay more labour if I want to continue checking each one as it is laid down - something I thought any installer worth their salt would do anyway?  Pride in a job well done and all that.

After relenting and confident that they understood my concerns about starkly contrasting colours being placed next to each other, I left them to it.

I came back a few hours later to this:

After I requested that the clearly mismatching boards be replaced with the ample stock remaining, I was met with frustration and resistance.  The key issue at stake for the installer clearly was the effort and time, not my ultimate satisfaction.  He told me that “it looks good to me!  It’s fine, it’s meant to look like that!”. 

In the end I managed to get what I wanted and expected, though the effort and stress involved were significant.  And it made me think  more about trust and doing business.

My mistake was that I should have relied more on the reviews and not been so trusting.  I also withheld payment until a proper contract and invoice was drawn up stating my rights around returns and warranty and failure/defects.

One thing I am proud to say at Number 9 Fashion is that we always act in the best interests of our customers.  We always own our mistakes and pay for them and we never let a customer get the raw end of the stick, regardless of the problem being our direct fault or not.  We also offer a solid and transparent return and refund policy and publish all reviews, good and bad.

So the next time you get good service from a company, DO leave a good review!  Do share them around, as this social proof is the best way we all have to protect ourselves from the dodgy vendors out there.

Business is hard, especially in the current climate… scratch that, it is damn painful in the current climate.  However undercutting and trying to extort your customers is never going to lead to long term success no matter how much pressure you may feel to cut a corner or two.

While it is not corner cutting, today is the last day to use the FAB20 discount code and cut $20 off your order too!  :-)

Thanks for reading this far if you did!

Richard.

19 September 2019 — Richard Ford

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