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Some Promises are Made to be Broken

Holly Parsons January 06, 2018

We’ve all been there.  You make a promise you think you can keep, then life happens and you break that promise.  If the promise wasn’t a major one, the fallout will likely be minimal…but if you had to break a big promise, well, that could have disastrous consequences.  This is true in our personal lives, but this is also true in business.

Whenever I see a business “guaranteeing” something, I am initially inclined to get excited and buy into whatever it is they’re guaranteeing…but then my critical thinking kicks in and I look at just what exactly it is they’re promising…

For example, let’s say you see an ad in which a company is guaranteeing that they have the lowest price on a given item.  On its own, that claim is a difficult one to make.  It is unlikely that the company knows what each and every one of their competitors is charging for that particular item.  If they don’t know what each of their competitors is charging, but they still want to be able to promise the lowest price, they may say that if you do find a lower price at a competitor, they will match it or beat it by a certain amount.  Now that sounds like a promise they can keep!

In the construction industry though, making a guarantee or promise of any kind can be dangerous and we would advise you to be cautious.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

One of the main reasons it’s difficult to make promises or “guarantee” things in the construction industry is that on any project, big or small, there are so many variables to be considered.  Not only are there a lot of variables, many of them are unknown until the project is well underway.

A perfect example of this happened to us recently.  We were hired by a client who needed a switch replaced with a dimmer.  Simple, right?  Well, nine times out of ten it is simple, but not in this case.  When we installed the new dimmer, the light fixture it controlled stopped working.  Of course we then traced the problem to the light fixture and there we discovered the problem: illegal and unsafe electrical work had been done at some point in the past.  In order to access and remove the unsafe wiring, we were forced to cut a hole in the ceiling.  This was obviously not expected by us, and certainly not by the Homeowner.  We of course explained the situation to the Homeowner beforehand, and she understood that this was necessary to make things safe (and to get their dimmer working, the reason we were actually there), but we all understood how unfortunate the situation ended up being.  We always do everything in our power to limit, and usually completely avoid, cutting drywall, but in some cases, such as this one, it had to be done.  This is why we don’t go out of our way to make sweeping “guarantees” and promises.  Some just can’t be kept.

Although we don’t go out of our way to make grandiose promises or guarantees, there are certainly some promises we are confident in making:

  • We promise that as a company we are always striving to provide our Clients with prompt, professional and courteous service. 
  • We promise that as we value our own time, both professionally and personally, we also value our Clients and their time.  That being said, we make firm appointments.  If something beyond our control arises that prevents us from making a scheduled appointment, we will ensure that you are contacted and made aware of the situation.  
  • We promise to treat your home or business with the same respect that we give our own home and business.
These are the types of promises we know we can keep.  These are the promises and guarantees that our company has been built around, and we can promise that we will never stop improving.
 

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