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I am still carrying out house visits under limited circumstances. Full details explained
Last updated 11th January 2021.
Quick answer: Because often I get so many incoming calls I could otherwise spend all day on the phone and doing no work!
The longer answer is apart from the sheer volume of callers in the colder months, quite a few tend to be from people wanting advice only, rather than to employ me. I’m happy to help people out with advice when I can, but I still have to earn a living and often the calls wanting ‘advice only’ would take out too much of the day. Giving advice by text takes up far less of my time so I’m still able to give text advice, but I no longer offer telephone technical support. It is just too distracting from my main occupation of actually fixing boilers, hence the answerphone.
In addition, during busy periods there can be dozens of voice messages in a day. When I sit down for a morning to ring back some voicemails, there can even be more voicemails after a couple of hours on the phone than than when I started, as the voicemails are coming in faster than I can return them! This is, however, not the case for most of the year. At quieter times of year the call rate falls back to one or two a day, far easier to cope with.
I know this must be frustrating especially if you are a regular customer, or even if you aren’t, and especially if you have left a voicemail or two and had no response, so a bit of advice. Firstly, I do my best to prioritise who have left more than one message or who are previous customers of mine, so tell me if you are an old customer. Secondly, callers who don’t tell me their geographical location and boiler model (my outgoing message asks specifically for this information) go to the back of the queue. Thirdly, sending a text message to my mobile often short-cuts all this and gets a quicker response than leaving me a voicemail message. I can type out replies to four or five texts in the time a single phone conversation soaks up. Further, I can answer texts later at night than would seem appropriate to make a phone call, or earlier in the morning, so texting is always a good idea. Fourthly, sometimes my diary is full and I just have to ignore ALL the channels of communication and get out there and mend the boilers I’ve scheduled to mend. It may seem surprising but I spend a lot more time returning calls and answering texts than ever I spend actually mending boilers.
Email works pretty much like text but tends to be slower, as I won’t see your email until I go to my inbox and have a look.
Now a word about WhatsApp. WhatsApp is good for sending images and photos to me as images are sent free, unlike via text. Quite a few phone tariffs charge handsomely for sending pictures and videos by text message so beware. I sometimes get incoming WhatsApp calls too, which I don’t answer when busy for all the reasons listed above. Calling me via WhatsApp has a disadvantage though - there is no voicemail facility so you won’t get the chance to leave me a voice message. To do that you’ll need to make a conventional phone call. WhatsApp text messages arrive though, just like a text.
So there we are, I hope that gives you an insight into how I handle enquiries, and why it sometimes seems so haphazard. And with all these different channels it is very easy to miss people inadvertently, so feel free to contact me again if you didn’t get a reply. Sometimes I need nagging.
All the best,
Copyright Michael Bryant 2020
Site first published 16th January 2004
Last updated Monday 11th January 2021
Gas Safe Register 197499, CIPHE registration number 56207