Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Putting Things Right

One of our handymen was asked to assemble an ikea shelving unit last week. This is normally a very straight forward job, assembling flatpack furniture is something our handyman service does all the time.

There was an added difficulty on this job however, the shelving unit was almost 2m wide and 2m high and needed to be assembled on its side and then lifted in to position. Unfortunately there was not a 2mX2m clear space anywhere in the flat we were working in. The handyman decided to attempt to assemble the wardrobe with it in an upright position. This was going well, he managed to get the outer frame together, but as soon as he tried to move the bookcase in to a position where he could add the individual shelving units the frame colapsed, damaging the laminated chipboard wood it was made from beyond repair.

Knowing the difficult conditions we were working on, the customer was understanding, but did expect us to replace the bookcase and have it assembled by the next day. We tried to explain that the most logical way to deal with this situation was for him to order a new bookcase from Ikea, have it delivered and we would put it together for him and reimburse him the cost of the replacement bookcase. But he would not accept this solution and insisted that the bookcase be replaced and assembled the following day.

So two of us set off to Croydon Ikea at 19:30 that evening, we bought a replacement shelving unit, had a couple of hot dogs and drove across London to N16 to deliver the replacement unit.

The next day our handymen returned and assembled the shelving unit, this time disassembling the bed in the room to allow enough space for the unit to be assembled on its side.

With a four hour round trip to replace the bookcase, the £110 cost of the wardrobe and the extra 1.5 hours of labour we completed the job and charged the customer a grand total of £72+VAT. I don't need the Dragon's Den panel to tell me that this equation does not equal profit, but it did equal a satisfied customer. Which at this stage of our business is just as important!

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