Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Australian Work Ethic.

This is probably a side-bar to the brickbats and bouquets theme.  As usual there are very few bouquets around in this.

It seems that the major aspect of this is to follow Dave Allen's advice "stop it or you'll go blind." One would have thought that in these times of economic crisis any business you called to sell you stuff would lean over backwards (and forwards and possibly, if they are athletic enough, sideways) to get your cash. Not so.

It is well recognised that the professionals (doctors, lawyers etc) all shut up over Christmas but it no seems that other places do as well.

I wanted to get a roo-bar for our car, since the macropods are getting very numerous around the area.  The initial proposal was a 2 week delay as they were running low on stock.  It now seems to be at least a 4 week delay since they have run out of a key part and the foundry doesn't reopen until 17 January!  This gets worse - here is an email from the company (after a phone call talking about a problem getting the bar painted:

Hello Martin,

The powdercoaters have got their ovens working today but I'm afraid this is not the hold-up with your bar. We are still waiting on the cast aluminium ends from the foundry in Queensland. The foundry only returned to work this week so we are hoping to get the castings in the next few days. The workshop has told me it will then be two and a half weeks before your bar will be ready to fit. I'm really sorry this is taking so long. As you can see we are totally in the hands of the foundry. As soon as we receive the castings I will expedite your order as quickly as we can.

Kind regards

web: www.subaxtreme.com.au

... and this is my response:

Dear xxx

Thank you very much for giving me this update. 

My crucial concern at the moment is that we are planning to drive to Adelaide leaving on the 22nd of February.  We'll be going across the Hay Plains close to dark and I really do want to have the bar fitted by then.  It is not clear to me whether you will be able to meet that deadline.-can you confirm that your company (I realise this is not down to you personally) will be able to meet that?  It means an installation date of 19 February - this is 4 full weeks away (5 weeks after the foundry decided to start work again and 8 weeks since my original enquiry on 25 December last year).

I really want to support local industry, but that only works if the local industry can put the hard word on suppliers (and I could run a seminar on what that involves) to deliver to meet demand.

From my research you have the best product but it is no use having great product if it can't be delivered.  Timeliness is a crucial aspect of "quality".  Note that your competitors are offering 10 working days from order to installation.


 I have received a call after that exchange: they can do the installation on 16 February!!  Well done!!!  Can even accommodate me not getting there until noon.  Excellent!!!

Then I wanted to get a termite check done on the house.  The first guy I spoke to - who advertised in the Bungendore services guide - said he doesn't come out this far any more.  Since this proves that he doesn't know anything about the Bungendore area (we are actually closer to Canberra CBD than is Bungendore) he could go back to doing what he does best (probably related to Dave Allen's advice).  The next guy was actually happy to come out here, but is so busy that he couldn't make it until 3 weeks time.  He did attribute this to taking a couple of weeks off, but at least knew where we were and wanted the business.

Shane turned up a few minutes early and did a thorough job of looking around the place.  
So,  Mann's Pest Control (62997980 mannspest@dodo.com.au) get a wrap from me.

Next step was to get service on our (a) hydronic heating system  and (b) solar hot water service.  In both cases I stared off by contacting the manufacturers as revealed by Google to get details of their local service agents.

  • The hydronics people range back advising that I should talk to Fyshwick Home and Heating.  So I rang them and was answered by the receptionist who seemed surprised that anyone wanted a service.  Possibly this was because I used some long words in my questions and   the time between 10am and 3 pm is reserved for her toenail painting.  After going away and speaking to someone she gave me the name of a couple of guys who might be able to do it.  Since the only phone numbers were mobiles I guess they are sole traders.  First one I rang went through to voice mail.  Watch this space.
  • I never heard back from the first guy, but his name - Eddie Zammit - rang bells as one of the local prats who never return calls unless you are, like them, of Greek ancestry.   The second one at least spoke to me and reckons he can fit us in in a couple of weeks.  Keep watching.
  • So I rang Australian Hot Water Fyshwick to get a service on the Solar Hot water service.  After describing the problem the Pleasant Rascal Answering Telephone (best I could do to get that acronym) said they don't service systems that old but he could sell me a new one for $4950.  I said that it would need to save a lot of electricity to cover that cost.  Absolutely no interest in client service (which I have taken pleasure in pointing out to the head office bloke who recommended them.  At least in Tanzania they'd send round a fundi who would fix anything with a couple of banana leaves and some string!


Denis Wilson said...

You should move to Bateman's Bay for the Holidays (lots of Roos there, and termites).
That's where Canberrans make their Lemming-like rush to the ocean - which is why you and I stay away from, it in January, obviously.

Flabmeister said...

My memory is that most Canberrans - even those from Gungahlin - unlike lemmings, pull themselves out of the water.

The post has got a bit negative, so i am re-reading a book on Yiddish so as to be able the kvetch with authority!