It's not often I add a post mid week. Just heard from a neighbour who has a Barry Hawkins boat and booked it in months ago for a hull black. She dutifully droipped the boat off and then went off to a caravan she owned in Wales. A few days later she recieved a phone call from the boat yard to say that they couldn't crane her boat over a boat they were building and so wouldn't be able to do the hull black. Judging by the full page glossy adverts in the waterways press lately, I would say this is another classic case of boat builders getting too big for the small custom - how long until no yard wants to take any interest in a hull black in favour of the 'big build'? In my opinion, canal based businesses should take a leaf out of the books of RCR. I take my hat off to any business who goes the extra mile, ('would you like groceries bought for you Mr. Edwards?') and then shows the kind of customer care they do, (the follow up phone call after every call-out checking the service was completed satisfactory.) Why do so many canal industries think they can get away with shoddy customer care - hasen't the wake up call of recent disasters such as Lee's Narrowboats and Anthony M demonstrated the increasing competitiveness in the modern climate?
On another theme seeing as I'm feeling political and controversial, when will the hire boat industry wake up and realise that unless training is improved considerably, the EU will impose their draconian measure on the UK and we will all suffer. Compulsory licences for all, radar style, speed trapping, on the spot breath testing, increased insurance premiums and an annual boat safety certificate are all realistic measures unless something is done and private boaters have a part to play here too. I say all this in the wake of the increase in fatalities or serious injuries over the past few years culminating in the tragic incident at Arlewas this year. See this link for the latest on that one! http://www.4shared.com/file/4015985/627b87be/fatal.html
And before private boaters nod in vehiment agreement, as someone once said, at least hire boaters get some training!
I know the picture above is somewhat old to many but it still raises a smile for me so I thought I'd post it anyway!