Confessions of a bathroom retailer: Fleas, dirty trays and forklift fumbles

People are funny and in this regular series, our bathroom retailer proves it, recalling some of the craziest moments they’ve had dealing with customers.

Have you ever had one of those weeks? One of those weeks where everything gets thrown at you and you feel more like you need to go to work in full armour rather than your usual work gear? We have just come off the back of not one, but three, of those weeks – three whole weeks of… 

• A newly recommended fitter leaving two bathrooms unfinished and walking off site, the sheer number of alcoves and strip lighting tipped him over the edge.

• Another caught fleas, yes fleas, from a client’s home – it was like going back to the 1800s with the little black dots popping off all over the place. 

• A returning (or rather recurring) client on our case with a leak that we believe is from their roof, not the bathroom, but nevertheless we bore the brunt of it.

Our work is never done!

• We had a client with a black shower tray complain it’s hard to clean, so we went to check the issue and it had basically never been cleaned since fitting, so was caked in soap residue. The client then proceeded to ask us to clean it while we were there and, in a very British way where we can’t say no to anything, we obliged. 

• A builder changed a design without consulting us and just assumed that bespoke screens can be flipped the other way. A cardinal sin, if we do say so ourselves, and an expensive sin at that. 

• Baths unavailable due to stock showing incorrectly on the systems despite us calling ahead of time to check this. 

• Basins arriving looking as though the kiln was switched off halfway through.

•  Tiles being dropped by forklift drivers. 

• Companies just releasing, or not releasing, goods willy-flipping-nilly! 

When we get calls saying forklifts have dropped goods, our first response is to ask for photographic evidence to forward to the client. Have we ever received the photo evidence? Obviously not! 

We would much rather manufacturers give us a call and tell us the truth – we can handle the truth, and would respect them more if they did this. Or at least come up with some new, elaborate stories as to the whereabouts of our goods. Maybe something with more of a storyline would be better, at least that would be fun to relay to our clients. Maybe the stories could involve a dog, a superhero and a flying car? 

Anyway, we usually have a few weeks in the year that go like this… hopefully that’s our lot until next year. What did we learn these past few weeks? 

Always have some flea killer in your tool bag!

Home > Opinion > Confessions of a bathroom retailer: Fleas, dirty trays and forklift fumbles