On Sunday May 5th, we received a phone call from a very distraught woman in the Thousand Oaks region seeking to book a last minute pool party lifeguard. What made this call stand out is her reason for this last minute phone call and after hearing her reason really upset us. Her situation is not something that should ever happen but sadly this is an occurrence that is becoming more frequent.
The reason for her call was the result of a local Thousand Oaks swim school/lifeguard provider who failed to deliver the service they promised. Apparently the company promised a lifeguard for her pool party however on the day of the event, just hours before the start time they sent her an email cancelling the service agreement because they did not have an available lifeguard. They cancelled her event by email and did not even bother to pick up the phone to offer her a solution or an apology! What this company basically did was to abandon her, the parents and the swimmers that depended on having a lifeguard there. How unprofessional was that? In our book, that would be the worst offense imaginable and a death sentence for that company. Once that review gets out there on Yelp for example, that will cause some serious damage to their reputation. We wonder if the negative views was worth it for them.
We wish we could have done more to help this obviously distraught woman but as it was, we were completely booked for the day with all staff out on jobs all day long. We were furious, we were upset that a company would do this! Our lifeguard chief was, well…extremely pissed!! If we had a spare lifeguard, we would have been happy to assist her and to turn her situation from a negative to a positive! No pool party should be without a lifeguard. In fact this company by cancelling on her left themselves open to serious liability especially if something had happened at her pool party without the presence of a lifeguard. That of course would be our opinion and left up to the courts to decide.
Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident as this type of situation has become more common. Last summer we were able to help others who were promised lifeguards by other companies but failed to deliver.
Why is this happening? Why are companies engaging in unprofessional and unethical tactics? There are a few reasons and consumers need to be aware.
It is a common practice for companies to overbook or to book jobs without verifying staff availability. This would be the number one reason many people are being left in the dust due to this unprofessional and unethical practice. This is a practice we avoid and have never done. We know exactly how many available lifeguards we have for any given date and only book that number of jobs. We always have on-call staff in case of unexpected call-outs as well. We never make promises we can’t keep.
Another reason companies are cancelling their bookings is because for them it is a numbers game. What do we mean? It means they are staffing jobs based on money. Some are dropping bookings for example; a two hour job for a higher paying four hour job. Is that ethical? Hell no!
This is a problem we intend to focus on and to highlight going forward. We want to educate consumers to place a higher level of accountability on these companies. The last thing we want to hear is a person being screwed over because of these types of unprofessional and unethical practices.