Where do you go to find quality service nowadays? I find myself harping on about this all the time but it is something that really gets on my nerves. All the time we are being bombarded with ‘special offers’ and websites claiming to find the ‘cheapest hotel/insurance/holiday’ etc etc supermarkets claim to help our pockets with ‘pushing prices down’ or telling us that ‘every little bit helps’…but most of the time all they are selling us is… crap.
bpzp. hotels, crap insurance, crap food in crap supermarkets…. all run by people that aren’t paid enough to give a crap.
I know, I know – the way to stop these type of sales techniques is to just stop using whatever service it is that they are offering. But – unfortunately it kind of pervades into every aspect of your life. Because supermarkets try and be very cost effective, this trickles down into every aspect of the supplier chain. So …when a new supermarket is built…every part of the supplier chain must also be subject to the price test? Are they the cheapest supplier are they offering the best value for money…???
Now we get to the point of this blog – my particular industry is a little odd. It is a ‘new’ industry and as such is continually developing the services that it offers. There are very few ‘ground rules’ and the type of service offered is still shrouded in mystery.
Lets just say there are ‘grey areas’ – areas where jobs can be won or lost on an offer of something that just isn’t true. Warranties are a great way of winning works – if you offer a ten year guarantee it sounds a good selling point. Look closely at this offer and you realise that an ‘in-house’ warranty just isn’t worth the paper that it’s written on. I still get a smile on my face when I see an ‘in house’ warranty on a piece of thick paper with a border round the edge to make it look kosher, it makes it look ‘official’ …but its worthless.
To try and combat this Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd set up INNSA (The Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association – www.innsa.org).
We contacted all the major players in the market and set up a trade body which would ensure that all members adhered to a set of guiding principles that would remove the ‘smoke and mirrors’ form the table. All members would offer a set of agreed services within similar parameters. Warranties would be comparable and all be insurance backed – so that clients comparing cost estimates would be able to compare ‘like for like’ and make a decision based on the competitive nature of the works offered, rather than by being lulled in with a fake insurance scam.
All well and good – apart from the fact that there is no current legislation obligating contractors to be a member of INNSA.
How can we get through to clients that the contractors that aren’t a member of a trade body are just loose cannons who have no morals??
We see new companies opening offices (usually from home) on an almost weekly basis – who then produce a website saying they are the number one ‘knotweed’ company in the UK (note – we don’t charge VAT) …. the prices they charge are ridiculously low – simply because they don’t know what they are doing…
We recently had one of these companies trying to buy tickets to our seminar. When we challenged them about their request for tickets they stated that they ‘wanted to learn more about Japanese knotweed …. whilst on their website it claims they are the ‘number one company on the north of England’…
I think my point that I am struggling to make is that you get what you pay for…
….and in a World, that strives for the cheapest of everything all that we will end up with …