Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 4, 2011
Last week we had a new picture window installed for our house. Yes, it was cold, about 25 degrees, and it might have seemed like a strange time to have a window replaced. I don’t like bugs; enough said. 🙂
The window that was there had been there about 50 years or so. It had never been broken and looked fine, but it was old technology. The living room has always been cold, so much so that in the winter my wife and I pretty much stay out of there. In the summer it’s so hot because of the evening sun that, once again, we have to stay out of there, even if the curtains and blinds are closed, because the heats builds up a lot then won’t go away.
So we had a new, modern window installed, which you see above. Looks pretty good, and it has some neat features to it. At one point, though, I went over to the window and touched it while the guy installing it was still there. And it felt cold.
I said “Hey, the window feels cold“.
He said “It’s supposed to feel cold. The outer window is exposed to the cold, so cold will eventually reach the second window.”
I said “But when the sales guy came, he had an example of what he were getting, with the heat lamp that he pressed against the window, and we didn’t feel any heat whatsoever. He told us we wouldn’t feel anything.”
He said “I always worry about sales guys because they sometimes tell people something that’s not totally true. I’m glad I’m just a contractor so I don’t have to deal with them all that much.”
My wife came home and said that she wasn’t feeling the draft anymore; I’m not so sure. I can’t feel much difference in the living room than I did before the new window was put in. The sales guy promised us that we’d see at least 15% in savings on our heating bill and our air conditioning bill from putting that window in. I’m just not so sure anymore. Did I really need a new window or just someone to do more with sealing problem areas around the window?
Why do we hate being sold to? Because we just don’t trust what people say to us about something. My wife and I don’t know a lot about windows but we’ve learned some things since the first set of windows were put in.
For instance, as I watched this guy most of the day (and it was cold, so that wasn’t pleasant for almost 6 hours), I made sure he was sealing the area around the windows both inside and outside of the house. We learned that lesson when we wondered what was going on with windows we purchased 4 years ago and had a contractor come by and show us that none of those windows were sealed properly. So, I know this guy did the job pretty well.
Yet, we can’t know it all. Years ago we had a company come in called Zero Draft to do an assessment on our house for drafts and the like. We ended up paying them around $3,500 for the job, which included more insulation and other stuff. The result; the house still felt cold, even after the guy came back and did his tests and said their scanners were saying all the drafts were taken care of. Do these folks ever get a recommendation from me? Not even close because I’m not satisfied.
As an independent consultant, I understand the issues in trying to convince someone that I’m going to do right by them. Almost everyone has had someone who has promised them something and didn’t have it delivered. Sometimes it’s the fault of the person doing the selling; sometimes it’s the fault of the person who perceived something that wasn’t stated. Either way, it’s always up to the person providing the service or product to not only try to represent themselves legitimately, but to try to give what’s promised, if possible.
I look at the products that I’ve created and wonder whether they deliver what people are expecting. I certainly know they’re as good as I could make them, but would someone purchasing those things agree?
I had one bad situation years ago at a hospital in New York City. The guy who set it up for me promised the moon to the guy who took me on. The place had way more problems than I could attack, most of which was having to try to work with people who belonged to a union that administration had irked so much that the employees that reported to me weren’t really supposed to talk to me, though they eventually did.
That’s a lot to overcome, and I’m not omnipotent so what was hoped for wasn’t happening. I did the best I could, tried to bring them back into regulations, and ended up bringing in the most cash they’d had in a one week period all year the last week I was there. But it wasn’t close enough to expectations. Was that my fault, the fault of the guy who promoted me, or the fault of the guy who took me on by not letting anyone know just how bad things were? By the way, that hospital’s closed now, which shows just how bad it was.
As bloggers who are trying to make a buck off our blogs, or off our websites, it’s incumbent upon us to try to always put our best foot forward in whatever we do. If you’re writing a product review, do you really believe what you’re saying, or are you writing what you are just to get paid? Will your product really solve the problem you told people it would or does it go in a different direction? Are you giving people solutions or history?
And yes, I’m still cold.