Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Problem with ‘Buffet’ Style Conveyancing

On my recent travels I stayed at a budget hotel (visiting firms across the country costs an arm and leg, you know!). I sat down for breakfast and, without wishing to sound like a snob, I was a bit disappointed with the sparse buffet. I soon berated myself as it dawned on me that the small amount the hotel charged included breakfast for free. Here's the thinking that leads just about every all-you-can-eat buffet to trend to mediocrity:
"Oh, don't worry about how fresh the scrambled eggs are, after all, they're free."
Indeed, from the point of view of the ‘chef’—I use the term more loosely than the eggs—each individual item on the buffet is 'free' in the sense that the customer didn't spend anything extra to get that item.
The analogy with conveyancing as, I tucked in to my breakfast, became obvious. Once you start resenting the low quote or you give something away for free (‘no sale, no fee’ does amount to ‘free’), then every single item on the ‘buffet’ gets pretty lousy, and the next thing you know, the customers (or should I say ‘clients’) you seek don't come.
So, the conveyancing firm that thinks, "With this sort of volume and pricing with free conveyancing on abortive cases ... we can not be proactive and give a personalised service," has completely failed to recognise that the client is expecting a high quality service and a personalised one as well. Not only does a client expect a certain level of service regardless of what they pay, the duty of care you owe takes no account of the fee or price of the property. 
I would have had so much more respect if the hotel site would have said to me when I booked on-line: "You are entitled to a free breakfast, but please don't expect Heston Blumenthal quality for the price you are paying."

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