While the sun shines I’m doing some house maintenance, namely fixing some guttering (note to my builder, water prefers to flow with gravity – not against it). In the course of my work I need to replace some parts. Some are made by Osma, some by Polypipe. Osma are by far the more expensive option (example – a gutter jointing bracket from Osma is almost £5, a similar Polypipe piece costs less than £2). There seems to be no discernible difference in the quality but I reckoned it was easier to replace like with like.
Osma – sold by Travis Perkins
I arrive at the shop and after a brief friendly chat with someone behind the desk another guy takes me into the yard. He points at where the Osma stuff is and then stands there while I fiddle about with stuff. The guy offers no advice, replies reluctantly to questions and is about as uninterested as he could possibly be. I pay for my (expensive) stuff and leave. To be fair, not a bad experience, but definitely underwhelming and not what I expect when I’m paying top dollar. Although as you’re about to read – the price ain’t what it’s all about.
Polypipe – sold by Plumbase
I arrive at the shop needing a replacement bracket. I have one with me as an example. A friendly guy asks to take the bracket from me and he takes a look. “yeah – we stock these, but this little fixer here” he points to a part of the bracket “it looks wrong.” “How long has it been installed?” the guy asks me. “Around 18 months” I reply. “Well I reckon that’s faulty then” says the helpful chap and quick as a flash he replaces the little piece at no charge and sends me on my way. What a difference. Hands on, interested, and positive. Friendly and fantastic!
I appreciate it can be more tricky when you distribute your brand through others, but in a couple of day’s time I’m going to need a whole load more bits and pieces to complete this project. I wonder where I’ll be returning to buy them?