Matt and I went to the Home Show a couple of weeks ago, just to check out what products were on offer. We wound up setting up appointments with a few different trades to get some estimates: retractable screens, gutters, and a product that will fix cracks in the front walk.
I received an email from Joseph at the gutter company, saying, “It was great meeting both of you,” and that someone would be in touch to set up an appointment. So far, so good.
I then received a phone call from Joseph to talk about setting up an appointment for him to come by and have a look at what we need. He was very friendly, yet also put some emphasis on Matt being part of the discussion. About three times during the conversation he made a reference to how if Matt can’t be here we can reschedule, all with the tone of someone who is being helpful and accommodating. Naturally I downplayed this as a concern, given that 1) Matt is back at the office full time, and 2) I am an intelligent individual who is perfectly capable of showing someone the issues we would like addressed.
I then received a confirmation email. This email opened, “Hi Matt, it was great chatting with you.”
Now, I should point out that the very first email opened with, “Hi Matt & Krista.” So he knows my name. He even knows how to spell it (coz he got it off the form we filled out at the Home Show). I am also fairly certain there was no way he did not know he was talking to ME on the phone.
I replied thusly: “I just need to point out that you were not speaking to Matt, you were speaking to me. Not sure how you missed that.”
To which he replied: “My apologies. Our system auto filled Matt’s name. See you next Monday.”
I replied: “Thank you. All good. It’s important to double check these things before hitting send.”
He replied: “Noted! My wife reminds me of this all the time :(“
Now, if it were me, I would go in and fix my auto-fill information. At least use both our names, even if for whatever reason dude can’t see fit to just address me. Did he do this? Let’s find out:
[Also in this email it said, “It is important that the decision-maker(s) be present on-site for this meeting. If the decision-maker(s) are not available or if you will be sending someone else, please let me know so we can reschedule.” –> so my back is going up a bit because he keeps talking about including Matt, and now emphasizes the importance of “the decision-maker(s)” being there, and I’m getting the sense that he doesn’t believe I can possibly be that person. Not even to mention that he just totally dismissed me by not using my name. Ok, on we go]
Joseph himself came to my house and I showed him what we needed. He took photos, and talked about their products, etc. etc. All the things one would expect.
Then he emails me the contract.
Attached is your gutter system contract. I have itemized the quote as requested. Please carefully review and sign to proceed. Our office will be in contact with you shortly after we receive the signed contract. Feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions.”
And yes, the Hello Matt was in a title format at the top, in bold.
Let’s examine how this made me feel, shall we? Dismissed, ignored, like I’d been kicked… Those are good for a start. He certainly hadn’t changed his autofill information, nor did he follow my suggestion to double check an email before hitting Send.
I sent a somewhat passive aggressive reply that said something like, “Can we try this again?” and signed off with my name in bold red, but that turned out to be a no-reply email he had used. Shucks.
He sent the contract email about four times before I finally wrote back. I hit Reply on the email wherein he said his wife reminds him of this all the time, and I said:
He replied by saying it was not a problem to change it. He changed it and re-sent the contract. No apology.
Now part of me is wondering–and maybe you are, too–why I didn’t just say, “Forget it.” I mean, there are other gutter companies. Coz this sort of thing has happened to me before: the assumption is made that Matt is the one who makes the decisions, that the company rep speaks to Matt and ignores me completely, that they ask to speak to my husband rather than speaking to me, that they assume my last name is the same as Matt’s… the list goes on. There are times when I want to scream: “I AM A HUMAN BEING!” What the hell year is he living in? He’s a young fella, too, so… wtf?
But. I am hopeful–maybe it’s silly of me–that I can comment on this in the feedback survey I have been promised, and maybe it can be a teachable moment, rather than a case of a customer looking pissy. Am I being pissy by asking that I be addressed as ME not as my husband? No, I don’t think so. But I am hoping the message is received once I send it.