There’s always a risk when we open our homes to other people. Unfortunately, this can include opening our doors to repair persons.
One husband, Redditor “fenderscore,” wrote into the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit after a particularly trying incident between his wife and an A/C unit repairman.
The OP (Original Poster) wanted to know if he was wrong for leaving a bad review of the company after discovering the repairman had crossed necessary boundaries with his wife.
The OP asked the thread:
“AITA (Am I the A**hole) for leaving a repairman a bad review for flirting with my wife?”
The OP said his wife requested emergency maintenance after their A/C stopped working.
“The air conditioner broke last week while I was out of town and my wife had to call an emergency technician in the middle of the night.”
“A company we’d used before without issues sent a guy over. He fixed the air conditioner no problem, but once he’d left I woke up to a million missed texts and calls from my wife, who was hysterical.”
The repairman’s behavior was more than fun and flirty, let alone unprofessional.
“Apparently within minutes of showing up he made comments about her body and other suggestive statements. She made it clear she wasn’t interested without being outright rude because she didn’t want him to get mad and leave without fixing the air conditioner.”
“The tech kept trying to put moves on her, then after he’d fixed the A/C, he didn’t leave right away, trying to feed her some lines about how she seemed to be home alone and he could ‘spend the night to make sure she was safe.'”
“Eventually he realized he was driving down a dead end and left, but the whole thing just really freaked her out, having some guy in the house who didn’t leave when asked and everything.”
The OP was very upset with the technician’s behavior and left a bad review online.
“I was p**sed to hear about all this, and she was shaken up by the incident, so we left a review on their Google and Yelp pages saying what had happened.”
The owner of the company reached out after this and responded questionably.
“The company is pretty small so the owner called me to apologize a couple days later and said the tech had had a few drinks that night, not expecting to be called out to an emergency job, and that ‘his sense of humor had clearly been misinterpreted’ by my wife.”
“He asked me to take my review down because it called the tech out by first name and apparently a review saying he was coming onto a female customer could cause some personal problems for the guy.”
“The owner also reasoned that the business was an air conditioner repair business, not a bedside manner business, and that they did fix the air conditioner, so deserved a higher rating.”
The OP was conflicted about whether to leave the technician’s behavior out of the review.
“I told them our review stands, and they basically said we were a**holes for threatening the reputation of their business and the personal reputation of the tech over a single misunderstanding.”
“On the one hand, they did fix the air conditioner, and that’s what we called them to do. On the other hand, I feel like this is relevant information for people considering hiring them, even if it was a one time thing.”
Redditors were not having this situation and replied to the OP’s reaction, using the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some confessed to being skeptical upon reading the OP’s initial question, but they were quick to change their tune after reading the details.
“When I saw flirting in the title I was expecting something around the lines of a flirty gaze or something, not straight up intimidation” – babypton
“Tbh (To be honest), I assumed it was going to be a jealous husband over-reacting to a glance or a friendly ‘hello’. When it got to the part where he was away and the wife texted him a million times, I guess my brain didn’t want to let of the over-reaction bit, so it switched to the wife.”
“But this. This is so far beyond that. That tech’s behavior is disgusting.” – danni_shadow
“Yeah. It’s super frustrating they felt the need to mention alcohol. It seems like they’re trying to have it both ways. His behaviour was in no way inappropriate, but if it was, he’d been drinking so it wasn’t his fault?”
“I’m not a big fan of the whole ‘alcohol made me do it’ card at the best of times, but using it in the context of workplace is just next level stupid, especially when as you point out, he was driving. If he’s not sober enough to interact with customers, he’s probably not sober enough to drive.”
“I really wish the OP would take the word ‘flirting’ out of title. This is straight up sexual harassment. His wife was scared and home alone. People need to know about this. I also doubt this is the first time he’s done it either.”
“NTA. Leave the review up!” – SageF4
Others agreed, citing this as gaslighting and undoubtedly sexual harassment.
“He was in her house and commented that she was alone.”
“There is no way that’s flirting. That’s outright menacing. I would have been terrified and probably would have left the house for the night if possible.”
“I’ve have food delivery guys call my number after they’ve dropped off food–anyone who knows where you live and pulls this s**t knows how scary it is.”
“100% NTA.” – admiral_shuffle
“Even if it had started out as flirting (which it doesn’t sound like in this case, it sounds like the guy was being gross from the start), flirting stops being flirting and becomes harassment the moment you are asked to stop and don’t. If this is the type of guy the owner employes, and then defends, they deserve to go out of business.” – hecateswolf
“Seriously. They are straight gaslighting her” – babypton
A few also confirmed that the OP was right for posting the review, and also recommended leaving the review up and updating it with the business owner’s responses.
“They should write an updated review with what the owner said… Like it’s not bad enough that the wife was basically trapped in her home, with a man she does not know, who is suggesting things that should NEVER be suggested on a job. Then blames OPs wife?”
“Ya I’d definitely edit those reviews to outline how the owner isn’t taking any issue with what happened.” – Coco_Coa
“Yes, my first thought when reading about the repairman was that maybe calling the company would be more fair since a bad review will hurt their business and they deserve a chance to fix it. But no, the only problem they see is that the repairman is named in the review. They totally deserve it.” – dog_star_
“‘It might cause him personal problems’. So he’s in a relationship and doesn’t want his partner to know that he’s hitting on women who’s a/c he fixes, like he’s staring in a porn movie. Except it’s not a porn movie and he’s actually sexually harassing women.”
“The owner is just as bad as the guy for not only condoning his actions but also trying to excuse and cover them up.”
“NTA op. Update the review to add that the guy had been drinking (so presumably drove drunk), the owner tried to blame your wife for not having a sense of humour and the owner is only worried about the guy’s partner finding out he’s a cheating creep, rather than protecting clients.” – PaddyCow
“YES. And an answer blaming the wife for ‘misinterpreting his sense of humor’ is infuriating. They deserve an update to their review saying in addition to having an employee who sexually harasses their customers, they have an owner who blames the victims for it.” – Ukulele__Lady
Perhaps most importantly, one Redditor pointed out how the repair company could have responded.
“I had bed bugs a couple of years ago. First pest control company were incompetent so I ended up having to hire the market leaders at great expense as the problem had worsened and no one else could take the job.”
“The tech they sent found had to inspect the rest of my flat beyond the bedroom before the work started. I had bagged up stuff as requested and put it in the bath and the tech called to let me know they had had to go through that stuff. Company policy to inform customer.”
“What was not company policy was that he found my wand vibrator and started making comments about it and me and suggesting he stay on to meet me later or come round for a free check up some time in return.”
“I immediately called head office. I was safely at my BF’s house but freaked out that this guy knew my sex toys, my address and my phone number and that I lived alone. My call went through their call centre and I was told ‘we’ll handle it.’”
“Within two hours I had a personal phonecall from the regional head of operations letting me know that the female team leader had gone straight to my flat to take over the job. She then called me to ask some discreet and personal questions to see if anything else intimate had been touched or misused and to get background info from me.”
“The job was completed, bed bugs gone, follow up to check I was happy next day.”
“Following week letter from head office of big company detailing within HR grounds what they could tell me about disciplinary action and who at company to contact if the individual approached me again to provide ‘exact details for me to contact the authorities.’”
“In other words, we fired him but if he harasses you on unemployed time call X and he will give the cops all the info you need to pursue legal s**t but written HR style. They also apologised and thanked me for my handling of it (ie: thank you so much for not blowing up social media with this.)”
“Then about six months later just out of warranty I find a dead bed bug. I flip out and call the company because I will take creepy guys over bed bugs if I have to choose. I’m fully expecting to pay another large sum of money because of the expired warranty on the job.”
“Call centre handler informs me I have a note on my file that means I only have to pay the assessment fee. Describes it as a warranty waiver. We both know that company comped me 2k of work because of the sexual harassment but like anyone with class they just dealt and didn’t bring it up again with me and simply had a discreet non invasive well executed policy for an upsetting situation.”
“Result is they did not get a bad review. In fact I was so impressed that I have recommended them multiple times and I ended up writing to thank the female team lead for the company’s handling. They ended up 2k out of pocket theoretically but avoided the enormous damage to reputation they could have suffered.”
“They were smart, they showed excellent customer service and proved how this can be addressed if you aren’t an misogynistic a**hole instead of a professional.” – IFeelMoiGerbil
These Redditors clearly have no time for gaslighting or sexual harassment of any kind.
As more people prioritize holding people accountable for inappropriate behavior, we can hope to see fewer situations like this happening in the future.