Today was another flat viewing. It was also another opportunity to be let down when the agent didn’t turn up, leaving me and a friend on the doorstep at the time he had arranged. I like to think of myself as at least a partly reasonable man, and gave them ten minutes past the time agreed in order to make allowances for things like traffic jams, family incidents, general life snafus, etc.
While we waited, let me add, we discovered that the front door to the block of flats was left on the catch, so we were able to get into the building without any security checks at all. Mind you, that was a good thing, because it let me see the state of the communal area, which had tattered carpets, rubbish on the floor, and energy meters available for anyone to get hold of.
I took a stroll up the stairs and round a corner to the door of the flat that had been advertised – surprising me, as it had been originally advertised as a ground floor flat – and then struggled to find my way back due to the lack of any natural or artificial light. That’s not being overly picky, is it – to be able to find my way to the door and then back down the stairs without a flashlight?
So the ten minutes passed rather quickly, and then I rang the office. I was remarkably well-restrained, given my level of feeling-pissed-off, and spoke to a lady who promised that someone would give me a call back. I asked for a swift call back due to the fact we were waiting out in the cold.
Ten minutes after that, I’m beginning to think she’s not trying very hard. So I rang again as I walked away from the flat. Fortuitously, the man who booked my original visit answered the phone this time, which I was rather appreciative of, as you might imagine. I explained the situation again and, to my alarm, discovered that he didn’t remember booking it at first – until I reminded him of the specifics of our conversation earlier in the week. It was like a light bulb was then switched on, and I heard the riffling of paper as he clearly searched for something.
He told me then that “I don’t know what happened,” as he wasn’t the one who was due to turn up, and I explained – in increasingly annoyed terms – that I had waited patiently at the property at the time he had requested. There was no sense of apology – any sincere apology anyway – from him and no offer to come out and show me round the property himself. Not that I’m entirely sure I would have wanted to anyway.
So there’s another viewing down, and another failure; this week’s not been all that good for flat hunting. I’ve got a flat booked to see on Monday evening, so we’ll see how that goes, and I’ll be searching this weekend for more to view next week; watch this space. Next week can only get better … can’t it?
Oh, and by the way, I’ve been asked why I’m not naming the lettings agents who act so unprofessionally. Well, partly because I want to make sure that I don’t need any further relationship with these organisations before I do name them, and also because if I start down that road, I’ll be ranting about them for ever; blogs have a tendency to circle round the block for a long time, and if their reputation improves, I want them to be judged on their own merits.
Don’t think I haven’t thought about it though, and I’m still sorely tempted. Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you face-to-face instead.