Day 96: Carpets on a snow day

Just a bit of ice and snow in Tennessee means trouble on the roads. Infrastructure and curvy, hilly roads makes travel perilous. Today was our first such day of this winter, and fortunately, I had a pretty empty schedule and lots of work that I could do from home. I’m working on updating our policy manual…not my favorite type of project, but it’s got to be done. Now, at bedtime, my eyes are seeing double from working on the computer so long today. I only got about a third of the way through the thing. Ugh! Maybe I need another work from home day to get it off my plate.

While I was at home today, the doorbell rang. I had forgotten that the carpet cleaner guy was coming. Then, I was surprised that he made it with all the snow and ice. He had driven 2 hours from a place that was harder hit by the ice to clean my carpets. But the story behind Daniel, the carpet cleaner, is bigger than just that.

Last year, I needed my carpets cleaned. I had company coming and needed it done by a specific day. I was going to do it myself, but then a telemarketer called (and I never pick up those calls), but this day I did. She told me she’d do 2 rooms for $50 plus tax because they needed to fill the schedule in my area that day. I asked her 3 times that they’d clean my living room and dining room for $50 and no more. She said, “No more than $52.”

On the day the cleaners were to arrive, they were a couple hours late, with no call, no range of hours they could show up. When they got there, they had no idea what the girl has said and looked at my two rooms and said, “No way we can do it for that price; we can clean half the space.” I was incredulous! Who gets half a carpet cleaned? Of course, we could pay more.

The guy got his manager on the phone, and the manager agreed they couldn’t do it for what I was quoted. When I told them to leave, the manager swore and the guy left. Unprofessional bait-n-switch tactics made me leave a bad Yelp review. I had never done that before.

After a few months, I started getting calls from a guy named Shawn, who said he was the new owner, and he wanted to make it right by me. He said he had fired all the bad apples. I didn’t believe him. I got many such calls from Shawn. I was so burned by this company that I didn’t respond to any of his calls.

Last Sunday, the door bell rang. It was Shawn. Nearly 9 months after the original frustration, this new owner had driven an hour out of the way on the chance that we might be home. I talked with Shawn and he seemed very sincere. He said he wanted to make it right. So, I gave him a second chance. I told him I’d pay him for the work. I didn’t do a bad review because I wanted something for free. I wanted integrity. I wanted someone who stood by his word. And clearly Shawn is turning his company around.

Fast forward to today. Daniel showed up ahead of schedule, in the ice and snow, having driven 2 hours from his home. Daniel was polite; he was knowledgeable; he was thorough; and my carpets look great. He wouldn’t take money, but I forced a tip his way anyway. Wow! That’s a company that is trying to rebuild its reputation. And I was impressed. I’m waiting for 2 carpets to return next week before I change my review, but I will reward what Shawn and Daniel are doing. It shines a little light in this dark world to see real customer service again. Well done, gentlemen. Well done!

DAY 96 HOMEWORK: The homework is two-sided today. Is there a place where you can let your integrity shine? It’s sorely needed in this world, so look for those opportunities. People are watching. Second, do you need to give someone a second chance? I didn’t want to do it, but I’m sure glad I did. A little grace goes a long way.




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