Contractor refuses to give references?

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What do you think about a contractor who refuses to give you references until you sign the contract? I had the "Affordable Co." come out to give me a bid on replacement windows, and while she talked for about a half hour on how great they are, when asked if we could get some referrals and go look at their work, she refused saying that it's against their policy, and it's to protect their customers privacy, BUT if we sign the contract and become one of the "Affordable Co" family, they will provide us with referrals, we have 3 days to cancel. We said no thank you.
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You did good.
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On 11 Sep 2006 11:33:24 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:
: :What do you think about a contractor who refuses to give you references :until you sign the contract? I had the "Affordable Co." come out to :give me a bid on replacement windows, and while she talked for about a :half hour on how great they are, when asked if we could get some :referrals and go look at their work, she refused saying that it's :against their policy, and it's to protect their customers privacy, BUT :if we sign the contract and become one of the "Affordable Co" family, :they will provide us with referrals, we have 3 days to cancel. We said :no thank you.
I think you did the right thing. I know a woman who owns a window replacement company, and I discussed the whole thing with references. I told her that the company I was thinking of having do my roof wasn't giving me adequate references. They only provided me with any after I needled them a few times. The references they gave me weren't particularly current, and the ones I checked out didn't have the same kind of roof. Also, they wouldn't give me phone numbers, only addresses and just a handful. So, they were next to useless.
My friend told me she didn't like to give references, herself, and I can understand why. Customers generally probably don't want to be bothered with inquiries from a previously used contractor's prospective customers. However, it's considered essential for you, the shopping customer, so you are right to insist on it. You could get severely burned if you don't.
I went ahead and used that roofing contractor because my back was against the wall last fall with rains bearing down on me and I think it probably turned out OK. I had reasons to think they would, but I must say I would not have used that company knowing what I do now. I had to hound them for a month before they fixed all the bad work they did. Fortunately, they hadn't yet gotten their money!
Dan
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Oh nonsense... this is just laziness. Last contractor I hired (siding) came right out and offered his list of references. He had a spreadsheet with 100+ names, addresses, phone numbers, project descriptions, etc. We got to see and talk with people who had nearly the exact siding we wanted. When they finished the job (a good job too), they simply had a little postcard with a "Yes/No -- it is okay for us to put your information on our referral list" that we included with our last payment. Sure, we liked the contractor, they did a great job, very professional. Why wouldnt we be a referral for them?
-Kevin
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: :> My friend told me she didn't like to give references, herself, and I can :> understand why. Customers generally probably don't want to be bothered :> with inquiries from a previously used contractor's prospective :> customers.: :Oh nonsense... this is just laziness. Last contractor I hired (siding) :came right out and offered his list of references. He had a spreadsheet :with 100+ names, addresses, phone numbers, project descriptions, etc. :We got to see and talk with people who had nearly the exact siding we :wanted. When they finished the job (a good job too), they simply had a :little postcard with a "Yes/No -- it is okay for us to put your :information on our referral list" that we included with our last :payment. Sure, we liked the contractor, they did a great job, very :professional. Why wouldnt we be a referral for them? : :-Kevin I agree with you 100%. I've gotten some bids on my foundation and right now the low bid is from a guy who didn't provide me references, however her was refered by a local GC who evidently is quite reputable and experienced. He told me this guy could save me a lot of money. I got one bid from a guy who gave me so many references it was incredible. I think it was something like 14 type written pages of references! If a contractor is truly great he should be able to provide lots of great references without trying.
Dan
PS The company that did my roof told me they'd send me a questionaire after the job which asked me if I would want to be used as a reference. However, they never did. Probably because I had to tussle with them bigtime to get them to fix the problems before I paid them.
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kevin wrote:

The company that put replacement windows in our house advertises in the weekly shopper and lists "neighbors" and "neighbors" addresses who have done business with them. "Neighbors" in our town and in neighboring towns. We did business with them and about 4 months later, our name and address was on the list in the weekly shopper.
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NO!!!!!!
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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NEVER hire a contractor until you have got at least three references and you have had face to face contact with at least two of them.
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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On 11 Sep 2006 21:22:59 -0700, "jeffreydesign"

And have checked with your state licensing authority that the contractor's license is in order.

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A contractor that won't give references is almost certainly hiding something.
I've been on bth sides of this situation - as a customer and as a contractor. As a customer, I refuse to deal with a contractor that will not provide current (within the last year) references for jobs similar to the one I'm having done.
As a contractor (I build custom furniture), every customer I have has been asked if they are willing to be a reference. If they say no, I don't use them. If they say yes, they go on a list tht I provide to any potential (or current) customer that requests it. For new customers, I always let them know that I have refences if they want them. I provide a phone number, the name of the customer, and (if the reference agreed) a picture of the piece I made for them.
Of course, most contractors will not put a known bad reference on their references list, so keep that in mind when you are talking to the referenmces....
--JD

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Anyone who won't give references and who holds you hostage like that would pull other crap, too. You did the right thing.
Steve
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

"canned" references. I consider references pretty worthless unless I know the party and have seen the work that was done. After seeing quality work, then the reference "fills in the blanks" about how the work proceeded and conduct of the contractor.
Affordable's policy sounds goofy, and goofy contractors should be avoided.
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Yes, that's a good way of putting it, even if you give Affordable the benefit of the doubt.
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Hmmm, how convenient. No matter how you slice that, it doesn't really add up. One of 2 things. 1) It's a well meaning policy that doesn't quite work 2) They're scamming you
I can understand trying to protect customer's privacy, but then why give out their name after you sign a contract? How does that protect their privacy? You think the customers give a damn that you're "part of the family"? Either their privacy is important or it isn't.
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On Wed, 13 Sep 2006 01:20:17 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

Has anyone else here noticed that companies who choose catchy titles like "Affordable", "Accurate", "Budget", "Complete" and such NEVER live up to their titles? <sigh>
In my book, anyone who won't give a reference when asked should NOT be dealt with. I no longer deal with anyone who puts a fish symbol on their card, either. Of the 5 or 6 folks who have cheated me in my 15 years in business, 4 of them were self-professed Christians sporting fishes on their paperwork. Too many scammers out there will take advantage of folks under that very pretense.
--
"Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free
than Christianity has made them good." --H. L. Mencken
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On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 20:40:33 -0700, Larry Jaques

LOL! Many years ago, my dad bought some cabinets from an outfit with the adjective "Econo" in their name. The product was very good, but there was nothing "econo" about it!
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com ( snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com) said...

It is against my policy to consider a quote from a contractor who does not provide references.

Well done.
--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible"
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

What good are references after you sign a contract????
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uhhhh, shouldn't that be a BIG clue that something is wrong with the contractor?
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On 13 Sep 2006 12:43:53 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

In many, but not all, jurisdictions, contracts signed in a customer's home can be repudiated within ten days; a way to protect consumers against slick door to door types.
Ken
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