Sunday, October 4th, 2009
I had an interesting set of exchanges with the company that installed my boiler. It’s a three year old installation. It’s time for a second cleaning and so I called the company and asked to schedule. They asked if I was a customer. I said yes. They said, not according to our computer. I said, I purchased the boiler from you, therefore I’m a customer. They affected ignorance concerning this definition of customer. They wanted to know if I was an oil delivery customer, which is what they meant by customer, but not outright, implied rather. They said, as I was not a customer, they’d charge exorbitant for cleaning. I basically told them to take a leap and that I’d call the company who provides us oil for the cleaning, which I did, and will soon get, for a third the price. I told “the company” that they’d lost a customer and that they “should” care about that.
I guess I don’t understand the definition of customer. What the company doesn’t seem to understand is that ethical action dictates up-front definition of the extent and limits of service. They don’t, however, define customer because they know that they’re practice is unethical, only servicing boilers that they install if the customer agrees to purchase their oil, which is fine only if this written in service agreements. Such a service agreement would sound pretty silly.
For business or corporate concerns to assume a central place as a dominant ethic in governance of the country is suspect. Sure, Connecticut is not very friendly to commerce. But it works both ways, too.