No power in Power Road…

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A large construction company down the road from the Fashionizer offices in Power Road, London have been working on a new hotel extension. Normally that would inspire a spark of interest for us – as hotel uniform designers we love new hotel openings, refurbs and rebranding. It’s all good for business.

But when the aforementioned company managed to cut off the electricity supply to our office (not once, but twice – yes, really!) by accidentally hitting the mains supply, it brought a whole new meaning to the phrase power struggle.  Courtesy of the construction firm HOC UK Ltd, Fashionizer was without electricity for a total of 10 working hours – and, with 12 of us working here, that was a loss of 120 working hours that we had to strive to make up.

Electricity is vital to all companies. It powers our servers, computers and our telephone systems. It regulates light and temperature in the office, and enables us to make a cup of tea. Fashionizer is no exception: without it we can’t sew or output patterns; we can’t respond to clients’ emails or take their calls, or honour our commitment to send out uniforms within our promised delivery time; we can’t do what everyone expects a good supplier to do: provide an efficient and timely response to their queries (our record on this is something we are especially proud of).

Well, there is always compensation, or at the very least neighbourly good will. You’d think, wouldn’t you? But it seems that there is only one important question here: does insurance cover this? In the dialogue between us and HOC, the company’s insurer gave us a useful bit of information. Apparently all this was sorted out in 1973. This was when a legal precedent determined that a business had to suffer actual physical damage for any compensation clause to kick in due to lack of electricity.

So, despite the fact that the world of work has changed somewhat dramatically in the past 40 years, it seems that in the world of insurance, time stands still. Hell, if we did everything according to the rules of 1973, we would still be tapping away on typewriters, listening to Donny Osmond on vinyl and standing in a queue outside a phone box to make a telephone call. Most of our staff weren’t even born then!

Good will is timeless, though and, you’d think that a company with a lot bigger turnover than all the affected SMEs in our street might have managed to make a gesture. So, with that in mind, the last word must go to HOC UK Ltd and the marketing blurb on their website: ‘We understand and care about how our work affects the environment and are determined to minimise any negative impacts…’

Having been on the receiving end of a very real negative impact (not to mention an unwelcome reminder of 1973, which we all know is the decade that style forgot), we look forward to reporting some positive redress in our next blog.  Over to you, HOC UK.

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