Monday, 13 April 2015

No, my husband does not need to be there!

We have come a very long way since the 1960s when it was almost impossible for a woman to get a mortgage without a male guarantor but clearly not far enough.

Over thirty years ago our electricity supplier offered a free survey to see if any of the electrical points needed updating.  Someone came round and looked at a few and said that probably some of those in the older part of the house did.  I asked him for a quote and he said “I will come back when your husband is here”.  Number One Son was sitting in the living room and heard this and as the front door closed he said “I guess he’s not getting the business then....”

A decade or so later we put in a new kitchen. We received several quotes.  During one of the surveys, Number One Husband was wandering in and out during the process.  I asked the (male) designer to show me their cheapest range so that I could get a benchmark price. “Oooh you don’t need to go for the cheapest one – I’m sure he would want to buy you the best”.  I asked him politely to leave. 

Why should he assume (especially as the appointment had to be in the evening because I was AT WORK during the day) that I wasn’t paying for it?  When customer service phoned with a follow-up call the next day and I told the woman who called what had happened, there was a silence and then she said “I can understand why we are not getting the business”.

Here we go again!  Some of the kitchen cupboard doors are showing wear and I don’t want to replace the kitchen, just the doors. I called two companies – the first referred me to someone local who called to make an appointment (without any questions or requiring anything beyond my address).  The second put me through a dozen “marketing” questions including if I owned the property (fair enough), how long I have lived here, etc etc.  But then she insisted that both my husband and I had to be present.  Erm, no.  Short explanation of why this was neither appropriate nor required and end of conversation.

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