The Gouda, the bad and the ugly: No 2nd chance for 'cheesy' customer
Published by Jarrod Williams for Bromford Group in Communities and also in Housing, Local Government
Housing manager Rebecca saw plenty of holes in the customer's story...
A would-be customer of Bromford, a leading Central England affordable housing provider, has been forced to put her plans of a new home to bed after sending a unique Christmas text message to a housing manager.
The customer, who cannot be named, gave Rebecca Clarke, a Bromford housing manager, an offer she could refuse, sending the message “a Christmas special offer – one eighth of cheese for £50”.
Knowing the price of cheddar wasn’t normally so high, Rebecca “smelt a rat”. She said, “The customer was in the process of moving into one of our new developments in Solihull, and I always give new tenants my work mobile number in case there are any issues. When I saw the customer’s inflated prices for cheese, I knew something was wrong.”
After a bit of digging, Rebecca found out that “cheese” was slang for cannabis, and that the customer was planning to use her new home to deal drugs. She added, “I immediately called the customer into our offices and had a very serious conversation explaining that Bromford wouldn’t accept her behaviour and reiterated the high standards we expect. As a result of this, we told the customer the best course of action was to terminate her tenancy and so she has now returned to her previous landlord”.
All new customers sign up to the Bromford Deal, a unique initiative which sees customers agree to be good tenants by paying rent and being upstanding community members, in exchange for a promise of exemplary customer service from Bromford.
Darrin Gamble, Bromford’s Head of Neighbourhood for the West Midlands, believes the cheesy escapade is a great example of how being clear about expectations from the outset of a tenancy can achieve the rightresults.
He said, “This was a great opportunity for this customer to move in to a new home and make a fresh start, but we do not tolerate customers who deal drugs. We are clear about what we expect of our customers and this customer fell short, hopefully they will see the error of their ways and what is has cost them and make some different choices about how to live their lives in the future.”
* Bromford has informed the customer’s current landlord the reasons for terminating her tenancy.