Saturday, 16 June 2007

Smart Energy

I'm all in favour of promoting green energy, as you will see from my web site, and I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is and invest in programmes that look like they have the potential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. However I felt it necessary to add an item here to express my concerns about this company, Smart Energy, who promote and sell solar hot water systems.

When I saw their add I thought that it looked worth exploring and e-mailed asking for someone to contact me with further details. It took them a couple of weeks but then someone did contact me and say that they could send a rep round. Generally this is comething I'm not keen on but I thought this time I'd say okay. They offered an appointment for Friday in the evening. They didn't say anything about wanting to take all night.

My concerns were raised when their sales manager "Giovanni" then rang me to give me a special promotion code to pass to the rep. I'm really not keen on this idea - give him the code and he'll give you a discount. As a consumer I want to be offered the best price straight away, not just if Giovanni thinks that it's a good idea.

On the Friday the rep came at 7.15 like we'd arranged. We had a chat and he began his sales patter. However when he was only 2 pages into his brochure after 30 minutes I asked him to speed it up a bit because we weer going out later. He say he couldn't so I suggested that we re-arrange, but instead he walked out in a huff. You know, even if I don't like someone I'm dealing with I always try and maintain good manners but this was obviously too much for them. What was even more surprising was when Giovanni the sales manager telephoned me at 9am on the Saturday morning wanting to know why we had terminated the appointment and being, frankly, unacceptably aggressive over the phone. Up until that point I would have been willing to re-arrange as the product looks quite good, but given his conduct I told him that we were no longer interested.

Maybe I just caught them at a bad time, but it seems to me that a firm which treats potential customers so badly is one that people should exercise great caution about dealing with.

The ironic thing is that I first saw their web site following a link from the Google ads that I carry to finance my own site. I'm now going to be contacting Google about having that advert removed from my site. I wouldn't want anyone to think that I was in any way endorsing this company.