So the Thermador dishwasher-repair guy calls to confirm that he’s coming today.

“When?” I ask.

“Between noon and four,” he says.

“You can’t tell me any more specifically than that?” I ask.

“Nope,” he says. “We’re busy.”

Nice. And I’m not.

That suggests to me that he doesn’t really know his job very well. You’ve got to figure that an experienced dishwasher guy would have an idea how long repair calls usually take. And you’ve got to think that the appliance company he works for would have some experience in how to effectively dispatch the repair guys.

For the better part of two decades as a lawyer, I scheduled appointments, calls, and meetings with clients, courts, and other lawyers. Not once did I schedule something for “noon to four.” If I thought a client meeting would run longer than the hour I was planning for, I’d make sure not to schedule something for the next hour. It’s not that hard.

Cable and phone companies, appliance-repair companies, and delivery services: it’s time to start caring about your customers and their time. Either figure out how long your calls will take, or get better at staffing and dispatching. Or both. It’s really not that hard. Giving customers four-hour windows is a cop-out. It’s also disrespectful.

Note: not only did this particular repair company say that they charge by the hour, but they made a point of saying that they also charge in six-minute increments. Nice. Looks like I’ll be watching this guy like a hawk. When he eventually arrives.

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  1. Reply

    Mitchell Goldstein

    27 February 2012

    I have a solution – send them a bill for your time when they are late. I actually contested a bill partly because of that (and partly because they repaired the product, never told me what was wrong or how much it would cost and then billed me, but that is another matter).
    When they don’t pay, you don’t pay. When they sue, counter sue. It should be fun.

  2. Reply

    Matt Austin

    28 February 2012

    Please add “physicians” to your list of people who can’t properly plan. I’ve been going to doctors visits with my wife a lot recently and a 1:00pm appointment usually means you’ll be called back into the room around 1:20 and the doctor will appear around 1:50pm. Not once in about 12-15 visits (with multiple doctors and offices) have they ever been close to on time.

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