Six weeks ago, a man came out to repair our boiler. At first, it was going off every couple of days or so, and I'd have to go down to the basement to turn it back on. It was a bit of an annoyance, but I learned to live with it. Suddenly, it started shutting down every few hours, and it became a hassle. That's when I decided that I'd had enough, and I called the service company.
The service man came out and did a temporary fix. He told me that he needed to order a replacement part and that he would come back out to install it when he received it. He spoke English very well, so I know there was no misunderstanding.
A couple of weeks later, a lady called from the company and set up an appointment with me (in German) for the following week. The appointment was for a Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m., and when nobody had shown up by 10:00 a.m. I gave the company a call.
The lady (once again, in German) told me that she would have the man stop by our house that morning. I figured that I had misunderstood her German and that I had just gotten the day or time wrong. When the man showed up a couple of hours later, he told me that he didn't even have me down for an appointment that day. He told me that the wrong part had come in, and that he, himself, would call me himself after I returned from Chicago on November 20th. He also told me that the lady I had spoken with at the company speaks perfect English and is married to a man from England.
This past Monday (December 6th), I called the company and spoke with the lady. I told her that I understood that she spoke English, and she responded in German that she does but my German is completely understandable and that she was going to speak to me in German. So, I muddled through a conversation in Germ-lish (a combination of German and English), and understood that she was going to check with the repairman and call me back.
Yesterday (December 9th), I called her back and she basically told me that she hadn't forgotten about me, and that she will call me when the replacement part comes in. I told her that it had been about six weeks since the first service call. She said she realized that, and that she will call me when the replacement part comes in.
So, that's where we stand right now. I have no recourse because it's the repair company that the landlord uses.
These are the little frustrating episodes that really grate on me here in Switzerland. I told this story to one of my Swiss neighbors, and she told me that it's the same for her and that it's not just the foreigners who are treated this way. Whenever you need something here, it has to be ordered.
Who couldn't run a successful business if you didn't have to carry an inventory and you didn't have to worry about customer service. Mein Gott!!!!
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