The first rule of business is...

Far be it from Smarta to go around kicking people when they’re down, but recent experiences with a certain beleaguered uber-chain of estate agents have revealed something of a pattern in the way it treats its valued customers.

Since we’ve been trying to move to a new flat, Smarta has spent two days trying to get through to its curiously elusive property manager, two days waiting for a return call from said property manager, at least two hours hunting through a contract for a clause we knew the property manager had said he was going to include in the contract but which never quite made it in, and a good hour and a half battling through rush-hour delays only to receive a phone call when we got home to say our valuation was cancelled – half an hour before it was due to take place.

Strange that a company which forms the figurehead for one of this recession’s most hard-hit industries continues to treat its customers like this – especially for a company which has reputedly seen its VC firm deny the swift bailout it needs to avoid bankruptcy.

Call us simplistic, but surely the best way to survive a recession is to garner trust from those who make the business what it is: the customers. Smarta looks forward to watching what happens to this particular company – we can’t help but think now the recession is here, it looks likely it will be the first against the wall.

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