A Lesson In Business Insanity!!!

I have to share this with you because if you run your own business it highlights what can only be described as Business Insanity!!!

Let me set the scene – I am based in South Australia and the weather this weekend is ridiculously hot.

To give you an idea, today it has reached 41 degrees Celsius (that’s 105.8 degree Fahrenheit if you’re based in the U.S.) and tomorrow is forecast to be around the same temperature.

Now – with this in mind – what do you reckon “broke” two days ago?

Yep – our airconditioner (Murphy’s Law!!! LOL).

It gets better – yesterday was the Australia Day Public Holiday (if you’re in America, think 4th of July celebration) so trying to get someone out to fix the airconditioner yesterday was impossible and (of course) all the retailers who sell portable airconditioning units were closed for the public holiday.

Ever the optimist, I smile and say “All good – everything’s open tomorrow, so we’ll “soldier on” through today and tonight (it was “only” in the mid-high 30’s yesterday!!! LOL) and I’ll go and get us a portable airconditioner tomorrow to keep us going until we get the “big” unit fixed.

So, today I am out on the road nice and early – rock up to a major airconditioning retailer (I won’t mention any names, but let’s just say that their “schtick” is the Sales of Airconditioning from a Warehouse – all you Aussies out there, have you worked out who I am talking about yet?!!!) only to find that the doors are closed???

I look at my watch – 9.15am – I look at the advertising on their front door – “Open Saturdays from 9.00am until 12noon” – I look at the 7 other people standing there waiting for the doors to open and say –

“What’s going on?”

They all just look at me and then one of them says –

“Looks like they’re not opening today.”

I scratch my head – push the door a couple of times (it still doesn’t open – funny that) – then I come up with this fantastic idea –

“I’ll call them in case they have forgotten to unlock the front door!!!”

Phone number is dialed – phone rings –

and rings – and rings – and rings –

Looks Like No-one’s There!!!

We all stand there and look at each other for a while until I come up with my next great idea –

There’s another store in town – I’ll ring them to find out what’s going on!!!

Phone number is dialed – phone rings – phone is answered –

By An Answering Service!!!

The blurb goes something like “Thank you for calling us – we are not answering phones today because we are so busy due to the hot weather, so check out our range online or drop in to see us and we look forward to helping you”.

Things are looking up – the second store is almost an hour away from where I am, but it is starting to get hot – damn hot – so off I go.

Almost an hour later I arrive at the second store –


I look at the three people waiting at this address (only three this time) and mumble

“What the Hell is going on here?”

No-one knows – and I’m not wasting my time trying to call this store in case they have forgotten to open up because there is a dirty big cage over the front door so it is obvious that no-one is there – so I wander in to the retailer next door to find out what’s going on.

“Do you know what’s happening to your neighbours next door?” I ask the Manager to which he replies –

“Not sure, but I think they are having a long weekend off because of the public holiday yesterday”.

Yep – time to lose it –

“You’re bloody joking, aren’t you?!!!”

I wander outside to be the bearer of ill tidings to the others waiting there trying to work out what is going on – we all growl and vow never to shop with this crowd again – and off we all go to find an alternative solution to our problems.

This story does have a happy ending though – I find just the unit I want at just the price I want to pay for it at JB Hi Fi in Gepps Cross South Australia (yes – a shameless “plug”  because I LOVE JB Hi Fi – I’ve never had a bad experience at any JB Hi Fi store I’ve been to – and I’ve been to a few!!! LOL) and home I go to set up our new portable airconditioner until we can get the old one looked at next week.

Why this debacle has blown my mind is because we have known that this “hot spell” has been on it’s way all week – our weather forecasters have been warning us about it since last weekend – so wouldn’t you think that a business in the business of selling the exact solution to this problem would have been rubbing their hands together waiting to make a fortune this weekend instead of saying – “Why don’t we have a long weekend off instead ah?”

Oh well, the positive thing that comes out of this experience is that you – that business owner out there reading this post – now knows exactly what NOT to do when a perfect opportunity comes your way.

Anyway, back to hugging my new – cool – airconditioner from the wonderful team at JB Hi Fi (yes – another “plug” – don’t care!!! LOL) while we wait for the weather to cool down a bit and to reflect on another example of shoddy customer service that has just lost a business more customers.

Oh – and as an aside – the reason for the picture up the top is because the crowd I am talking about has some guy standing with his thumb pointing up in all their advertisements and – as far as I am concerned – an animated “bubble” with it’s thumb pointing down is a much better representation of the standard of the service they provide!!! LOL

2 Responses
    1. admin

      It’s so true Aris – let’s go through a few more –

      All the bus drivers go on strike, so the taxi drivers decide to take the day off!!!

      The banks close down for a bank holiday so they turn off all the automatic teller machines!!!

      There is a power strike so all the camping stores decide not to sell camp lanterns and generators out the front of their stores because they might sell out of them!!!

      How often do we – as small business owners – long for these “golden moments” to occur?

      It does my head in, I must say – oh well, they are obviously making enough money (until they go broke due to poor service at least!!! LOL).

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