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Published on 4/13/2022

Published by marketing@concretebroker.com.au

Tradies not rocking up and being forever late is making customers irate

Are tradies often late? Let's take a look

Cover photo courtesn of ninenews.com.au


Many thing can delay tradespeople from attending their next job. Delays on existing sites, bad weather or personal issues just to name a few. But let's admit it, they do have a reputation for not turning up, failing to contact customers and going missing in action.


When tradies don't plan ahead customers start to become frustrated. Lets hear from one now


"WHY is it common for tradies to NOT call people and let them know that you can't make it or running late???? it can't be cost of a call.. it can't be too time consuming-what 30 seconds in your day? aaarrggghhhh...

For example: after being reassured that my new inverter would be installed today -late afternoon- i call the company ceo at 5pm but he assures me it would still happen. Anyway. it is now 9.45pm here and guess what? no phone call. Dead inverter still clinging lifelessley to my wall. hey, maybe he's still on his way right?
His boss said he would come today so i'll just wait up for him. I haven't had a call to tell me any different so, yep. i'll wait.

I just don't get it!
Then the client gets disgruntled and things only get worse! for example: now I start wondering if i should ask for compensation for the almost MONTH that i haven't been making export income.. There has been beautiful solar weather in the last month and i'll be $50 – $100 out of pocket."


And another customer


"Yeah, sometimes it's very frustrating dealing with tradesmen.
I was given a date and time.Taking a day off. Waiting waiting, called him and was told he would come in 1 hour. Waiting..waiting, called him again but no answer.
1 day wasted. No courtesy call at all.

What can we do? We need them more than they need us."


And what about this customers take on the situation

"Not being a tradesman I'm going to take a guess here and say that its a combination of a couple of things

1) some people hate making phone calls especially ones when they know the person on the other end of the phone is probably not going to be a happy rabbit when they hear the news. So they don't make the call, then the delay gets bigger, they know that the person on the other end is going to be even madder so they now REALLY don't want to call ...

2) some tradesmen will deliberately over book in the knowledge that a percentage of the houses they arrive at will empty – the person having booked them having forgotten / never intended to be there in the first place / having had the job done already by someone who subsequently quoted cheaper/ got delayed getting home. See 1 for why the householder then didn't call the tradesman and tell them not to turn up!

3) some guys are just poor time managers. They look at their watch and go ... this is going to take me about another 10 mins – I'll only be 10 minutes late and no-one minds someone being 10 minutes late. Forgetting that they are still going to have to tidy up the job site, write the bill, wait while the owner of the house finds the handbag that she hid in case the tradesman knicked it while her back was turned, and then drive to the next job.

4) some people just don't give a s**t. They know we need them, that we probably are either desperate for their skills and haven't got other quotes or we got several quotes and they were the best deal so we will be reluctant to go through the whole horrendous process of getting quotes again.

That said ... I'm with the original poster it is totally frustrating to take a day off work or re-arrange activities only to sit at home. Often you daren't even go and do something on your to do list if it might mean that you will miss the doorbell. Couple of things the householder can do to minimise the problem seem to be

- go for the first appointment of the day if you can get it.
- ring the trademan the day before to confirm the appointment if it was made more than a day or so before. 
- Say when you make the appointment / make a follow up phone call that a) you will be there at the agreed time b) you would really appreciate being told if they find that they are running more than x minutes/hours behind time.
- if you also hate making unpleasant phone calls then, when you do get hold of the already late tradesman, tell them that YOUR boss wants to know when you'll be able to get back to work. This will hopefully result in a more accurate estimate of their arrival / finish time ( unless the tradesman has took an instant dislike to you and wants to drop you in it with the boss )."


Now lets hear from a tradesperson


"As a tradesperson, it's dumbass customers that waste my time when I call on their residence and THEY are not home! It seems customers have no quirms about wasting busy tradespeople's time by not meeting their appointment, but winge when the tradesperson doesn't show up for theirs! As for tradespeople being late, how on earth does a tradesperson know how long he will be on a job until he actually sees it, or starts working on it? A 2 hour job (given by the description of the un-informed customer) may take all day. Your job that day won't happen. The tradie will be in the zone to get the job done, making phone calls is just time the tradie hasn't got, especially when under pressure on the current job. If your not a tradie ( but an armchair expert) you will most likely never understand.


Whatever side of the coin you are on, lanning ahead, being organised and practising punctuality are good business skills which shall enable you to grow your reputation and wealth over time.

Tags: being organised business customer service plan ahead trades tradies

This article was written by marketing@concretebroker.com.au all rights reserved. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of concretebroker.com