||[Jun. 9th, 2004|10:34 pm]
I've got fleas.|
It's not such a big deal. I've had them before. Not on myself but in my
house. Well yes, on myself too. That's how one notices them. Until
recently we had a cat. We gave him away two months ago before we went
on holiday. Sadly, we just couldn't look after him anymore now that
we've got two kids. He deserved more attention than we were able to
give him. Sniff. We used to have two cats from the same litter, but the
other one buggered off when Rosie was a baby. That one was always much
smarter. But I digress... Now that the cat is gone and the weather has
turned hot, the eggs that have lain dormant are hatching and the fleas
have been multiplying. This happened in our flat a couple years ago
when we were on holiday for three weeks in the summer and had given the
cats to stay with a friend. We arrived back after an overnight flight
and set Rosie down on the carpet while we set about hauling the luggage
in. I picked her up a few minutes later to find at least a dozen of the
bastards crawling on her arms and all through her hair. That was awful!
We got that situation sorted pretty quickly though. A thoroughly
competent exterminator sorted them out with a single spraying of this
residual pesticide. It works over 4-6 weeks, which is longer than a
flea's life cycle.
I would of course phone this same company again, but we have moved
outside the area so I've had to find another company. I phoned a few
yesterday to compare quotes. This morning I found four fleas on me when
I got out of bed so I decided I'd better do something about it. I hired
the company who had given me the lowest quotation. On the phone
today I double checked the figure with the man in the office. £55 for
the basic flea treatment, eh? Yup, alright that's what we said
yesterday. "The exterminator will be able to tell you if there's any
more needed." Okay. That sounded a little bit suspicious, but hey, they
could come out this morning. So I hired them. The guy only showed up
one hour late. No big deal. I can let that go. I'll tell you what I
can't abide though. Guy walks around my house to get a sense of the
size of the place (modest three bedroom house in Surrey) and phones his
guv to find out how much to charge.
Guy: "Right, guv says that'll be £140 plus VAT for the whole treatment."
Me: "£140? You've got to be f**king kidding me?!"
I'm pretty sure I said something like that to the guy. I expressed my
disappointment in having been so wildly misled and I phoned the man in
the office to try and understand how a £55 quote can nearly triple all
of a sudden. "Well that qoute was just for a basic localised flea
problem. My man says you've got six rooms that need doing and that's a
lot more." Bullsh1t. There's no such thing as a localised flea problem.
You've got fleas, you've got them pretty much everywhere. They jump
onto you and then they jump off. And you can't tell me that my
little house represents anything other then the typical customer
scenario for this company. It's not like there are a whole lot of
studio flats out here in the suburbs. As I started to explain to the
man that I didn't think it was very good business to underquote and
then try to rip off your punter at a disadvantage with lame
explanations, he began to raise his voice with me.
Man: "Look, if you don't wanna pay the money I'll just pull my man off. You know, forget about it."
Me: "Excuse me? Can I just talk to you please?"
Man: "No, I'm really busy right now. This is a very busy time for us."
Me: "Oh I see, well allow me to lighten your workload."
Busy indeed. Busy ripping people off and/or wasting their time. I
suppose if I'd had to make special arrangements to stay home from work
I would have felt obliged to bend over and take it. Currently I work
from home. So I sent the guy on his merry way. Poor bloke, I'm sure
it's nothing to do with him. As I was arguing on the phone I could see
him shaking his head in dismay. I wonder how many times this has
happened to him. I've got a different company coming around tomorrow.
They gave me a very reasonable quote yesterday after taking the
relevant details and they're sticking to it. And tonight I'll just have
to put up with the odd flea crawling over my ankle. The important thing
is that my dignity is intact.