In 2008 we placed a delivery policy that stated that our delivery people have the right to refuse delivery if they feel it is unsafe. How and why did this policy come about.
Today I am tackling a subject that is one of my pet peeves. People who ask Gun's E-Z Own to deliver a product to their home, but they don't shovel or spread ice melt on the path we would take for the delivery.
Let's go back in time when I was a mere regional manager.
One winter we had a rental furniture delivery to a gentleman from Texas. The day before the delivery there was an ice storm and this gentleman was not prepared for a Minnesota winter. He did not have ice melt or a shovel for that matter. While I was checking the path we were going to use for the delivery, I stepped on a patch of ice that cause my feet to slip right out from under me. Like you would see in a cartoon. I fell on my back and hit the back of my head hard on the concrete driveway. Fortunately I had a stocking cap on that was folded over and gave extra cushion. I came out okay, but still got a headache. Two days later, I heard on the news that some guy slipped on some ice like I did, He did not have extra cushioning on the back of his head and died from severe brain trauma from the fall.
During another winter after the previous paragraph, 2008 to be exact. I had slipped and fell three times. Once hurt my back, another hurt my hip and third one, well the third one I will tell you about.
The third time we were delivering a sofa and a recliner. The main side walk going to the customers sidewalk did not have ice melt on it and was slippery. The customer's sidewalk was not shoveled. Now some recliners, the backs come off for ease of delivery. I had the bottom part of the recliner and my assistant had the top half. Well I slipped and fell with the bottom part of the recliner landing on top of me. I was fine. We then carried the sofa, We both slipped a little and the sofa got a little snow on it from the piled up snow bank. We got the sofa into the town home.
The customer then started to complain that we got a little snow on the sofa. This was just a little bit towards the bottom. Like 3" wide by maybe 6" long. It was all I could do not to snap. I told the customer that if he was not happy with it, we will take it back and refund them their down payment.
Now for my tirade. Really, dude. You were too lazy and too inconsiderate to shovel the sidewalk for an appointed time for a delivery and then complain that we got a little snow on the product, that would not do any damage to the product. In which, from the fall, we could have done a law suit for improper maintenance of your sidewalk. That with us falling, could have done severe physical damage. Just dust the snow off and carry on.
That was the last straw. I had enough. I don't need any of my delivery people to get hurt. I got permission for a Delivery policy from the owner of the business and he agreed.
This policy reads:
Gun’s E-Z Own Staff Reserve the Right to REFUSE DELIVERY if they feel there are safety issues.
Customers are asked to:
1. Make sure the furniture purchased will fit down pathway and through doorways of their residence.
2. Keep possible delivery pathways clear of snow, ice, toys and any other items that may cause an E-Z Own staff member to slip or fall. During the winter make sure pathways are sanded and/or salted.
3. Stairs must be deemed as safe and not rickety.
4. Have vehicles moved out of the path if furniture may have to be lifted over head to clear vehicle.
Gun’s E-Z Own staff will inform the customer of the safety hazards. If the safety hazards can’t be cleared immediately the delivery will be cancelled until the safety hazards are cleared.
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So what is the moral of the story? Please be considerate of service people who are coming to your home. Have the sidewalk cleared off, have a path to where the service person is going cleared. Yes, They are being paid for their service but you may end up paying a lot more if that service person slips, falls and does severe damage or death because a path was not cleared.
But the business has workmen's Comp. Yes, True, but the workmen's comp will go after your insurance to get repaid if they find that it is the fault of the customer.
And to avoid this process, Gun's E-Z Own reserves the right to refuse delivery.
Phew, I said my peace. Now I will need to go zen and settle down.
Thank you for listening today.
Have a blessed and safe day.