Q&A: What Do You Do When A Pro Keeps You Waiting?
Q: I’ve scheduled a meeting that a Pro has set to 2-3 days. When I ask for a set day and time, he shows up when I’m not there. Then we set a day and time and he doesn’t show up. I then call an hour later and when he finally calls back he says he got held up. He finally shows up 3 hours late. Is this just a standard in construction or should this not be happening? - Melissa & Joe
We love a professional that provides a great product. The quality is there, but their business ethics are failing or non-existent. You hear things like “I’ll be there between Wednesday and Friday” or they don’t bother to call when they miss a meeting and when you call they say “I got held up.” Is this just a standard in the construction industry? And what do you do in this case?
A: It is absolutely acceptable to not hire this professional. In fact, I encourage it. If blatantly standing up their clients is the way they conduct their business, then they should not be in the service industry - and that includes construction.
When there is a meeting scheduled, there needs to be a specific day and time set. Wednesday-Friday, sometime in the afternoon or between 9am-1pm is a joke. Feel free to laugh. Sure, your job might get busy, but so is the rest of the world. No one cares. The only thing we care about is making a meeting and not wasting our time waiting for it.
If there was a specified day and time set but the professional didn't bother to call to cancel, give notice of tardiness, or call at all, then you have every right to say that you will not be using their services. They expect you to be on time, then why shouldn't the same apply to you.
Of course there are exceptions to the rule. Some meetings will need to be scheduled around weather. In this case, set 2 meeting times and the Pro should check in with you the morning of the first meeting, and, if needed, follow up on the second.
And then there are times when mistakes just happen. I admit, there was a time that the meeting just vanished from my schedule and I felt horrible to have kept a client waiting for 30 minutes. I had no excuse, I apologized and make it up to them by going above and beyond in my scope of work.
But you, as the homeowner, must understand that this is a working relationship with equal shares in the project. Don't start off on the wrong foot or let it veer off track and set an example for the next Homeowner / Professional relationship.