Both agents treated me with contempt. When Ronke and I left the first property she showed me, I said I would tell her my thoughts in the car. As soon as we got in, she turned the radio on full volume. I was too shocked to say anything. She did not look at me or ask me anything. She then took me to a different property from the one I had asked to see and then claimed she had made a mistake, confusing it with another on the same road. I found this very hard to believe as the two properties were very different. It turned out she didn't have the keys to the one I wanted--so, clearly, she was trying to sell me the other, and thinking I was so stupid I wouldn't notice. I went back to her office to wait half an hour in the hope she could get the keys (she couldn't). I asked if I could have a cup of tea while I waited and she said that all the office cups were chipped, and she wouldn't like to offer me one of those, so I should go to the coffee shop over the road!
Ben sent me photos of a Victorian property that looked very enticing, but the windows seemed to be plastic ones. I asked him if they were and said that if they were I had no interest in seeing it. He said, What? Plastic windows? Oh, no, no. I made an hour-and-a-half journey there. The windows were plastic. I said, Why did you say there were no plastic windows? He said, what? oh? are they? Well, you see, when you asked if the windows were plastic I didn't know what you were talking about. I had never heard that term before.
Difficult (or hould I say impossible) as it was to believe an estate agent (or indeed anyone) had never heard of plastic windows, I explained that plastic windows were windows made of plastic, or UPVC, and that people of education and taste, who were interested in original or correctly restored older properties, were revolted by them. I then told him to immediately tell me if in future I used a term he did not understand, so there could be no misunderstanding.
About three minutes later, I wasn't intending to trap him, but, after I spoke a sentence I realised there was a term in it with which he might not be familiar. I waited a few seconds, then said, Do you know what I mean by ____? He said no. I said, Do you remember what I told you just a couple of minutes ago? He said, heh heh, well, you caught me out. He said it as if the matter were insignificant and boring.
And that sums it up. Why would anyone want to do business with anyone who said, "You caught me out"? If estate agents resent the way they are regarded, they need only look to clowns like these, who behave like inept parodies of the worst that we believe of estate agents.
From my experience with KFH, this attitude seems endemic to the organisation. I wasted more of my time responding to an advert by another branch which did not show photos of its two bedrooms or indicate on its floor plan that there was anything unusual about them. Nor did the agent say anything before we went there. Their ceilings turned out to be not much over six feet high.
In a third branch, an agent, perhaps because of my foreign accent, told me an outrageous lie about housing practices and regulations in London. I have lived here nearly thirty years, in several homes, and I read a lot about property.
These people are not only idiots, they are rude and dishonest idiots.