Friday, 18 May 2007

The Glaziers Tale


Mr Knitbert and I are fortunate enough to have a lovely conservatory at the back of our house, which is fairly new; new enough at any rate to be still under guarantee. So, in January, when I noticed that there was a small gap, on the outside windowsill, between two sills which join at an angle, I had no hesitation in ringing the service department of the well known double glazing firm who built it to ask them to come and fix it. The company sent out two operatives, who looked at the gap and announced that what was required was a small plastic joint which would seal the gap and join the sills together.
A month went by, and as there had been no word from the company, Mr Knitbert called them to find out what was happening. By an amazing co-incidence, they were just about to chase the matter themselves when he rang. A week later, two more operatives turned up with the part. Imagine their astonishment when they looked at the windowsill and then at their plastic joint. It was half an inch too short! They said they would order one that was half an inch longer. Mr Knitbert suggested that they might like to measure the length of the gap to ensure that the new part was the correct size, but they explained patiently that they were highly trained operatives and could tell through their expert knowledge that the part was half an inch too small and they would simply order one half an inch longer.

A month went by, we went to New Zealand and returned, and as there had been no word from the company, Mr Knitbert called them to find out what was happening. By an amazing co-incidence, they were just about to chase the matter themselves when he rang. A week later, two more operatives turned up with the new part. This time they turned up an hour later than the latest time they had said they would arrive, so Mr Knitbert was already a little tense.
Well. Imagine everyone's surprise when the new part turned out to be EXACTLY the same length as the old part, that is to say half an inch too short.

Mr Knitbert was not amused. He requested that the operatives return within one week with a new part of the correct length. He suggested that they measure the gap this time to ensure that the new part would be the correct size, but they explained nervously that they were highly trained operatives and could tell through their expert knowledge that the part was half an inch too small and they would simply order one half an inch longer.

A week later we got a phone call to say that the new part was ready. Mr Knitbert arranged to stay at home to wait for the operatives. Forty five minutes after the earliest time they should have arrived, I got a call at work on my mobile. The operatives were very sorry but their van had broken down and they would not be able to fit the part that day. I called Mr Knitbert with the good news and put the phone down quickly so I would not have to hear anything which might distress me.

The next week the company called again to say they would like to reschedule the visit, but guess what? Mr Knitbert is now in Singapore, and it is much more difficult for me to be at home during the day waiting for double glazing operatives. I haven't even had time to call them back and arrange the appointment. Maybe I should get Mr Knitbert to call them from Singapore!

3 comments:

Seahorse said...

I don't know... can you melt someone's ears via phone line all the way from Singapore? ;)

I must say Mr Knitbert looks thrillingly stern in the photo!

clarabelle said...

Groan. I know the problem - we are similarly waiting for something 'missing' from our newly-built conservatory. Igor has even asked for the bit and said he would do it himself! Decent after-sales just doesn't seem to exist anymore. Get Mr Knitbert to rough them up when he returns....

Fiona said...

Good grief! I dread dealing with workmen.

Though the Dyson engineer who came to fix said Dyson this morning was fab. Makes a change.

Can I borrow Mr Knitbert for such occasions where workmen aren't fab, please?