A personal post from Graham Ellis
Lisa and Graham live in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

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Pressure selling in the fire safety business

Written earlier this month / posted 19th February

The gentleman from Xxxxxx Fire (UK) Ltd visited us for an annual check on our extignuishers on Wednesday. He told us we needed 4 new exinguishers (out 5) at what we felt was an excessive price for supply and installation. When challenged on the price, he told us it was high because he sold high quality extinguishers that would last longer than "ones bought on the Internet". When we asked for a breakdown of his quote, he wasn't able to give us one, said he would have to get his office to do that. He emptied the extinuishers (rendering them useless), telling us that was the law. And he left.

The extingusishers have been serviced and renewed by his company, and a predecessor local company who were rather good, for many years. They were taken over by a firm from Preston, and since then we have been concerned at rising prices and the need for snap decisions at service time. We have felt bullied. I question the morals of empting out what were I suspect perfectly functioning extinuishers - though perhaps needing attention very soon indeed - and leaving us with signifcantly reduced fire cover. I also question the legal requirement on him do do this. For a company that's supposed to help protect, I find this behaviour deplorable. At worst case, I would have expected an opportunity to consider options before the destruction; I can't believe that at 12 months from last examination an extinguished suddenly becomes useless!

That was a Wednesday. We had an interim arrangemnt of extingushers in place by the evening, with the units the engineer destroyed being replaced by permanent ones bought online very quickly indeed. They were cheaper - much cheaper ... around a third of the price. Lower quality? I don't think so - they are the same make and model he wanted us to buy from him. And we've arranged for a well known company to take an annual look (we'll call the more if we have any uses or concerns, of coures)




I wrote, but did not post, the above a couple of weeks ago. It's a very serious matter to post a negative review. However, something has triggered me. I recall that when the company was taken over, we received at least one visit from an ex-employee who was now working elsewhere and wanted us to transfer our business. As it was the company rather than an individual we were with at the time, we declined that invitation.

This month, a couple of days after the sales rep / engineer visited, we got a "cold call" from another "company" asking if they could look after our fire prevention needs. They seemed remarkably well informed for a company who had been "looing at hotels in the area online and calling around", and rather persistant. I find these calls (initially taken by one of our team) an amazing co-incidence - and suspect that it might be no conincidence.
(written 2016-02-19, updated 2016-02-20)

 
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Some other Articles
Image indexer / thumbnail display scripts in PHP
Getting to the Royal United Hospital - the Hopper and the alternatives
Coats of arms - towns and authorities in Wiltshire
Testing new algorithms in PHP
Pressure selling in the fire safety business
Why populate object with values as you construct them?
Object and Static methods - what is the difference; example in Python 3
Why is bus funding a much hotter topic than a new set of traffic lights?
On the problems of a printed train timetable
Sometimes you wonder about people. And perhaps you should not.
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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