A news story that caught the eye of the Cheap Van Insurance team last week created a lot of conversation at head office. The furore blew up after a woman called Evandra texted a carpet fitter at 12.15am, requesting a quote for his services.
Suffice to say, the carpet fitter in question was not best pleased and told her in no uncertain terms. Which leads to an interesting debate. If you are a tradesman or woman who advertises online and publishes their number, when is the right time to ignore the phone.
On the one hand, business is business, right? And on the other, everyone is entitled to some down time.
Many felt that had Evandra emailed her request, the time was immaterial, but that to text at that time considered an unreasonable breach of privacy and she was unreasonable to do so.
Others felt that a text was fair game and she shouldn’t have necessarily expected a reply at that time, but that she wasn’t unwarranted to send it.
We understand, those with kids or ageing family may not feel able to put their phone in flight mode or silent during the night, but many do, so who is to say what she did was inconsiderate? We are so used to living in a 24/7 society, many think nothing of firing out a few email before bed to chase thins up and make things happen.
The debate was a close-run thing, with a poll taken by those investing in the debate voting almost 60% to 40% that she was in the wrong for making her request by text at that time.
Our advice: if you’re a tradesman, invest in a work phone. Switch it off at a time that works for you and forget about it to the next day, if it’s out of hours. And if you’re a customer, just try to remember that sole traders, workmen and small businesses are entitled to a little down time too.