Local carpet company covers up error

For more of my commentary on life in Richmond, Indiana check out RichmondMatters.com.
(Please note, because of the time that has passed since I wrote this article, it may no longer reflect my current views or the most accurate and complete information available on this subject.)

Apartment PhotoThis is another customer service observation, though hopefully not one that isn't already completely obvious. I recently had some new carpet installed in an apartment that I rent out (which, by the way, is available again at the beginning of August, if you're interested), and it was the first time I'd ever hired anyone to install carpet. I felt fortunate to have been recommended to a local carpet sales company by a person I trust, but the end result was pretty disappointing. They did a great job with sales, pricing was awesome, the work seemed high quality, and the folks doing the work were nice. When they were done, they left a nice and tidy collection of the spare carpet pieces gathered in the corner of one room. I thanked them as they left, and felt good.

Later, when I moved the nice and tidy collection of spare carpet pieces, I found the not-so-tidy hole in the wall that they had created during the installation. The spare pieces had been strategically placed to cover up their glaring destruction. I couldn't imagine any scenario other than that they had blatantly created a distraction to give themselves enough time to make an exit.

I called the manager and described the situation. I expected (A) an apology, (B) an explanation, and (C) a partial refund. He sighed as if to imply that it had been a problem in the past, and offered (A), saying "don't hold it against us for the future" and offered to have someone come help patch the wall. Since I wasn't sure if he'd be sending a friend of the installers (who I'd presumably just gotten in some trouble), I said that wouldn't be necessary, and patched it myself.

Customer service lesson: Never, ever, ever try to cover up an error that you don't fix yourself and that the customer is clearly going to find out about sooner or later. You absolutely must come clean and offer to make it right, as soon as it happens. When you get into issues of physical destruction of property, it's even more important. Not doing this is about as unprofessional and unethical as you can be, and puts you in the class of swindlers and scam artists. In this case, it was egregious enough that I would never be able to use or recommend the services of that company again, even if I believed it to be an isolated incident.

(I wasn't going to blog about this, but then I thought of the semi-clever title, and couldn't resist. Was it good for you too? Nah, I didn't think so.)

One thought on “Local carpet company covers up error

  1. keep up the good work. our lives are dominated by our consumption, so your stories of customer service and company practices are an important part of community organizing. i appreciate how seriously you take quality customer service in your own work.

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