Moving On

“Can you hear what I’m saying?
Well I’m hoping, I’m dreamin’, I’m prayin'”

Hide In Your Shell, written by Richard Davies and Roger Hodgson,
and recorded by Supertramp

Time for an update: it’s been a while. Back in October 2016, we decided that we needed to resolve the ongoing communication problems that we had experienced with Schwoerer from the start. We got in touch with their UK salesman, Theo Possegga, and arranged a face to face meeting. Of course, he was too busy to visit us, so Cecilia and I each took a day off work and caught the train to London.

Not Feeling Valued

The meeting didn’t start well. After 10 minutes, there was no sign of Theo, so we started making calls. We called the Schwoerer UK office and Theo’s number, but to no avail. Finally, he arrived, 20 minutes late, no time for an apology. He then spent the next ten minutes fiddling with two mobile phones, effectively ignoring us. I think if we hadn’t spent £100 on train tickets, I would have walked out right then.

When we spoke, we explained our frustration with the communication (oh the irony!). One example was telephone calls. Calls to their office number would ring then, after a while, divert to another number and ultimately end up on Theo’s mobile voice mail. That’s really unprofessional, particularly when you consider that the value of the business to be discussed is multiple hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“Why don’t you get an answering service?” I suggested, “They don’t need to cost more than £1 per incoming call.” Theo told us that Schwoerer wouldn’t pay for that.

Next we turned to email, where we explained it took (literally) weeks to get an answer by email, if indeed one was ever received. Theo explained he was often too busy to reply to emails. We pointed out that that was unacceptable, and whilst we realised that he may not have time to give an in-depth response immediately, we would appreciated an acknowledgements – “just a one line email is enough” – to let us know he’d received it, and give us some idea of when he expected to be able to provide a fuller response. He agreed that he could provide an acknowledgement response within 24 hours of receiving a mail from us.

Last Try

On the trip home we discussed things, and, to be honest, we weren’t entirely happy with the meeting, but we decided that we would have one last attempt to buy a house through Schwoerer. The week after our meeting, we mailed Theo regarding some other issues (not with Schwoerer) that we had discussed at the meeting, and took him up on an offer he had made at the meeting.

That was 16 months ago as I write. Since then, we have had no contact from Schwoerer at all. No response to our mail; no “are you still interested?” enquiries; nothing.

Schwoerer in the UK

We still think Schwoerer houses are an amazing product. When we visited them in Germany, we came away even more convinced that we wanted one. We’ve tried – as this blog has detailed – to get one. Cecilia and I are pretty determined people: running our own business has taught us that.

But we have to admit defeat with Schwoerer.

Quite why they have treated us with such utter contempt we don’t know. But we feel that they have, and we no longer want anything to do with them.

Over the past year or so, three more people have been in touch with us, two of them about their experiences with Schwoerer and one asking what we thought of Schwoerer. It seems we are not alone in being treated this way.

What’s Next?

We have, we feel, wasted three years. By now, we could – we should – have been in our new Schwoerer house, proud to be living a modern, warm, high-tech home. Instead, we’re still in that bungalow at the top of the page with all its inherent problems. Maybe we should have quit sooner. For the whole of 2017, we did nothing about the house except put off making a decision. The way our relationship with Schwoerer has played out is demoralising.

But in October last year, as we do every year, Cecilia and I went away for our planning weekend during which we plan what we want to achieve the following year. The subject of house came up, and we decided that we still want to fix the problem. Since then, we’ve been in touch with someone whom we believe can help us. Ironically, having tried to give our money to a company based in Stuttgart, Germany, this person’s business is based in Monmouth, our local town.

It’s early days, but when we send this person emails, she replies. I’d never realised what a positive sign that is. Watch this space.

Song For Schwoerer

I like the quotes at the start of each post (maybe I’m the only one who does!). Just in case there’s anyone from Schwoerer reading, here’s one for you:

“Why do a single thing today. There’s tomorrow sure as I’m here. So the days they turn into years And still no tomorrow appears.”

Undertow, written by Tony Bank and recorded by Genesis