Tradesmen in Australia: Service With a Smile

About a year ago I wrote a post called Tradesmen or “Tradies” – Lucky Dip, in which I gave an example of some not so great service from a local tradesperson. At the time, my general impression of the tradies around here wasn’t great.

But since then I have had some excellent service as well as some more, what should I call it, well…… comical service. So it is still a lucky dip, but just lately I’ve been quite lucky. But first, the comical story.

Security Grilles

An almost essential addition to the windows and doors of many homes in Australia is the security grille. That’s not because the streets are full of burglars, but in a country that is as hot as Australia, it’s nice to leave all the windows open around your house all the time.

Wouldn’t it be a pain if every time you were to go out or went to sleep, you had to go around the house closing all 17 windows? And then every time you woke up or got back home again, you had to go around opening those 17 windows again.

So, as ugly as they look……..

security grille…. security grilles are very useful.

My house had security grilles on every window, except one. (Or so I thought, read on.) How silly is that? What’s the point? And the one window without a security grille was at the front of the house. It gets sillier doesn’t it? Even worse when that window looks into my lounge, complete with 50 inch plasma TV. Now it’s getting really silly, right?

Still, it’s only taken me just over three years to get around to correcting that stupid situation.

So I telephoned the first security grill company that I saw in the Yellow Pages, leaving a message on their answerphone. 10 minutes later, I got a call back from them and they quoted me over the phone.

Their price seemed pretty good, so I couldn’t see the point in shopping around. Besides, companies don’t normally phone back within 10 minutes or quote immediately on the phone. It got even better.

The very next day he was round to officially measure the window and take my order. He even gave me a date for when he would be back to fit the new grille.

This was fantastic service, so very efficient. Until the day he was supposed to be back to fit the grille.

A different guy phoned me and said “I want to come round and remeasure your door, I’m new here and only started on Monday, but I don’t trust the other bloke’s measurements.”

This didn’t sound so efficient to me as I replied “it’s not a door, it’s a window.” Still he insisted he needed to come back and check the measurements.

He turned up a few days later, measured the window and said “Oh, it’s spot on.” “Great” I said, “are you going to fit it then?”

Turned out he hadn’t brought it with him. It’s which was fine, because I’d found another window that didn’t have a security grille on it, so I asked him to measure that one up while he was here.

“Sure” he said, “I can fit them both when I come back, it’ll save me coming here twice.”

Hmmm.

When he returned with both grilles about two weeks later, the one that he had measured up was wrong. So he was right, it did save him coming twice. He came three times instead. Four including his ‘untrustworthy’ colleague.

My New Solar Hot Water Tank

Compare that with my solar hot water tank. My old tank sprang a leak, several leaks actually. I never knew because these tanks are on the roof, and at the time, it hadn’t stopped raining for six months! But when it did, I soon smelt a rat when I heard water still trickling down my gutter during a hot and sunny day.

I telephoned a company called Solahart on Friday and their representative turned up at his appointed time of three o’clock (on the dot) the same day. I signed the order and asked for the fastest install they could do. They said Tuesday (in ten days time) but also said they will phone around their contractors to see if any of them could do it quicker. I got a call back on the same Friday evening saying they could do the install on the following Friday.

I then got another telephone call on the Wednesday morning saying they could fit it that very afternoon if I was around. So from my initial telephone enquiry to a completed installation was just six days, and two of those were the weekend.

Excellent service!

Solar hot water tankPest Control Treatment

I’ve used the same guy, Paul, for my pest control treatment every year since I’ve been here. He last did our house just before Christmas. He popped round a couple of months ago at my request when I discovered a small infestation of termites around a dead tree stump in my front garden. He gave me some great advice and didn’t charge a penny.

Over the last week we’ve seen about six cockroaches on different occasions around our kitchen. There are only two things that make my wife scream and one of them is cockroaches.

Normally we would struggle to see a cockroach a month. So yesterday I phoned Paul and asked if he felt there was a problem. “I’ll be round in 10 minutes” he said.

And he was. He gave our kitchen another quick spray, declared it a cockroach free zone, but insisted we call him back if we had any more problems. Again, no charge.

So an example of some excellent service and some not so good service. But virtually all trades people who turn up here to do some work have one thing in common.

They are all so very cheerful and happy. Nice people too, they always tell you their names, shake hands, chat, and none appear to be in a massive rush. Now that is a refreshing change.

So Aussie tradies get the thumbs up from me, whether they get it right or they mess it up. You just can’t beat service with a smile.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • david rae April 13, 2011, 10:57 pm | Link

    hi bob love this post. i just got my trade recognition australia (tra) results on tuesday.they said yes.im a panel beater to trade and have just submitted my state sponsorship to sa .if i can be as happy as these guys sound then im happy.cheers bob your making our leap of faith a great deal easier.many thanks the raes.

    • BobinOz April 15, 2011, 7:19 pm | Link

      Hi David and congrats on getting your tra. Hope the state sponsorship works out too. I can tell you, it’s so much easier being smiley when the sun is shining almost every day, as it does in SA.

      Glad to hear my site is helping you in some way.

      Good luck

      Bob

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