The Rude Roofer

It seems like these days, good customer service is hard to come by. Recently, my wife and I decided it was time to get a new roof for our house. The old one was about 25 years old and desperately needed to be replaced. We shopped around and finally settled on a company that had done one of the houses on our street.

Once we picked out our shingles, and the rains finally let up, the owner of the roofing company (who I will call Rob) and his crew got to work. We’re very happy with how the roof turned out. However, there’s a lot to be said for Rob’s bedside manner. Just because our ranch house in Warren isn’t a mansion in Grosse Pointe, there’s no reason to be rude.

I’ve always been very hands-on when it comes to our roof. Over the past year, I installed some foam wedges that keep our gutters debris-free. So naturally, I went up there a couple of times with some questions. Whenever I reached the top of the ladder, Rob would throw a little hissy fit. Pardon me pal, but my wife and I spent a lot of money on that roof and I just wanted to make sure all of our concerns were being addressed.

I knew full well that once our check was written and they had moved onto the next job, odds were good we would never see them again. So, as my wife wrote out the check, I coaxed Rob into walking around the house with me for a final inspection. I pointed out a downspout that had shifted during the roof installation. He huffily grabbed a ladder and straightened it out. Apparently, he had another job to get to. Oh really? Tough!

Whatever happened to customer service? These days, if you walk up to a store counter and the clerk isn’t checking out social media on her phone, consider yourself lucky. Companies like Trader Joe’s, JetBlue, and CVS, pride themselves on their customer service. I can remember exactly when the Customer Service Train went off the rails.

It all began with Dell Computers. For many years, Dell had set the standard for excellence in PC Support. It was part of the reason so many people bought a Dell PC at the beginning of the PC Revolution. However, they eventually realized that U.S.-based customer service was getting expensive. So Dell became one of the first companies to outsource their PC Support to India. Customer service has been sliding downhill ever since.

That said, if you do run across someone who provides you with excellent customer service, please thank them. In a world of ungrateful customers, it could just make their day and yours!

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