Topic: General Chatter
Here is a copy of my latest rant on Facebook that went viral this week. Please copy and share it around. It's good to let your customers know how things really work!
BEWARE THE DIRECTORIES! (Thomson + Yell)
A little known truth that potential customers might be interested in is that very few genuine local tradesmen now advertise in the physical paper directories (the usual door to door books), as well as their digital counterparts.
The genuine local and most competent tradesman are ditching the directories in their droves since the large national firms are constantly eating up the prime advertising space. We are simply sick of paying for advertisements that get lost amongst an array of national advertisers that use false locations, make misleading statements and use a network of redirected landline numbers to rope in and dupe unsuspecting customers.
The truth is, the directories do not give a shit. These national companies are keeping them afloat and the blind eye is being turned to keep them sweet.
A common tactic used by national advertisers is to buy a full page advertisement and split it into multiple adverts using different trading names and numbers. The truth is that all the numbers actually reach the same call centers. The customer will generally not accept the first inflated quotation and shop around, unwittingly ringing the same firms over and over, led to believe the inflated price is in fact the going rate for such work.
The little guys, the local guys that can probably offer the same service at a fraction of the cost are being pushed out and it is becoming harder for customers to find details of genuine local tradesmen.
The same thing is happening online, national firms paying premium prices for misleading adverts that trick a customer into using their services.
As a customer you will rarely receive a satisfactory result, if you do it is going to cost 2-3 times more than your local tradesman.
Genuine local tradesmen struggle to make ends meet due to lack of work and go bump leaving the nationals a free for all and charge whatever they want.
My one piece of advice for any potential client that has bothered to read this far down into my rant is this:
DON'T RUSH INTO ANYTHING!
Alarm bells should be ringing if the people you have called are unfamiliar with the area, have different accents or are pushing uncomfortably hard for the sale. Some won't even issue a quote unless they have your card details and postcode. Is this what you would expect of your local reputable tradesman?
Get online, Google the company but be wary of review platforms which are notoriously open to abuse and 'self reviewing'. Often after a poor review the offending company will bury it below a pile of self authored reviews.
I won't rant any further, I just hope I have reached just a few people and raised awareness of the appalling standards that have been adopted by the leading directories.
Please like and share folks, if it saves just one customer from being taken for a mug then it was worth writing.