Customer Service Rant!

Page 1 of 2  
What the hell happened to it?
I'm a first-time homeowner and have started having problems around the house that I'm not sure how to fix. I assumed I could call someone to come out and fix at least some of them. Wrong!
I'm sure many of you read this in my previous post, but I called at least a half-dozen pool service people before I finally had one even take the time to return my call. This guy comes out the day before our scheduled appointment when I'm not at home and now, mysteriously, my pool is all jacked up and I still can't get someone out to fix it! Three weeks and the only way I can filter my f*cking pool is by running the spa! Since then, I've called two more people. One stood me up on Saturday that I haven't heard from and another one today I'm still waiting on for a call back. I'm not holding my breath.
I purchased a gas vented log set at Lowe's for almost 200 bucks only to get home and find out that it must be "professionally installed". This time I tried a website that boasted I would get several quotes for the service requested. I posted exactly what I needed and have had twelve plumbers review it without a single response. I did get several brochures, however, in case I had other problems they wouldn't respond to.
Screw it, except for the chimney cleaning, I'll do the fireplace myself. Neither chimney sweep in my area has returned my call.
I realize many businesses are busy and probably can't service my requests, but for God's sake, at least provide me the courtesy of a call back to tell me you can't do it right now and possibly recommend someone who can.
I'm done.
WEZ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 05:16:43 GMT, Warren Ezra
<snip tale of woe>

Nice rant!!!
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@nospam.tnx wrote:

Call a Handyman, a retired contractor. Those guys can just about do anything you need. They've forgotten more than most guys have learned.
Rich
--
"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can't make them THINK"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

AMEN!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Look back at the content and context of your messages or conversations you have had with these repair services..
If you come off anything like you do here, then it's no wonder none of them will call you back..
I know I'm a retired handy person and I wouldn't return your calls if you sound anything like you sound here..
--
My opinion and experience. FWIW

Steve



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve:
On the contrary, I'm quite polite on the telephone when I leave messages. That's probably why I'm still sitting here calling people as I hear about them instead of storming into their businesses and making a scene. I use forums such as this to vent, as I'm sure at least a few people reading this have felt the same way at times. Even the jerk who (I think) screwed my pool up got this from me:
Beeeep, "Yes, this is WEZ calling about my pool. I'm having some problems with my pool filter and was wondering if you may have made any adjustments to my pump. Can you please give me a call at your earliest convenience." My wife said I should have just told him to come back over and fix it, but I really have no way of knowing if he did something. Maybe it's just as simple as a blown fuse somewhere.
However, since I can't get anyone to look at it, I guess we'll never know...
WEZ

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

With all due respect Steve, I feel Warren's pain. I've had very little luck getting contractors to even come out and look at a job on my house, much less quote me an estimate or call me back. And some of these are pretty significantly sized jobs. I've had guys tell me they'll get me estimates and they never call back. I call and ask and they tell me they'll have it soon, and then I never hear from them again.
There are a seemingly huge number of contractors that are so loaded with work these days with the housing boom, that they can have the luxury of picking and choosing jobs. That's fine. I'd just like to get a phone call.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Touchy, are we? ;-)
It might sometimes be in order to vent of on those picky contractors. But no, we just call them, and _they_ are uncorteous, not customers. And even if they're patient enogth to hear your through, they'll still never call you back, you have to call them and bug them and plead and may be one out of five will show up eventually. Of course, not on time.
There was this WH installer who I made appointment with between 1:00p.m. and 5:00p.m. I'm rushing to the house to be there at 1:00, and I'm there, and waiting, and waiting... And then I realize I have a missed call on my cell. That's them! They've been there at 11:30. Why? Nobody knows why, the person with whom I spoke two days ago is nowhere to be found, my appointment shows in their schedule as 'between 11:00 and 2:00' and nobody was home so they're gone and cannot come today no more. So, I make another appointment 'between 11:00 and 2:00' next day. But this time I'm wise! I already know! I'm there since 9:00. And sure enough, at 9:45 I hear knock at the door...
--
Signature has been removed to save disk space.


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There should be plenty of low-cost Mexican labor, now that Bush has blessed them and opened the US-Mexican border. (Somehow that doesn't make any sense with all the terrorist threats going on today, but hey I didn't vote for the Shrub.) Most illegal aliens will work for a fraction of what Americans expect and provide service with a smile.
On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 05:16:43 GMT, Warren Ezra

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Phisherman wrote:

Just remember you get what you pay for! Cheap labor could mean cheap job and cut corners that could cause problems in the futrure.
Rich
--
"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can't make them THINK"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I feel your pain, I am trying to get estimates for a concrete driveway to line it up for spring. I have called every concrete contractor in the book and have had the same problem. I have called 8 places at this point, 3 people have came out and spend the time to review my property and what I needed, and only one has gave me an estimate and that was on the phone. I will most likely give him the job, even though his price may be high, but just because he is only business person to show some respect. I guess next time I see a concrete truck in the neighborhood I will just have to hijack it.
What at least happened to courtesy? At my job, when our potential customers called we always return their call, but of course I guess that's why we are the #1 printer in our region.
Oh yea, all of this reminds me I need to call the guy that came out 2 weeks ago. He told me I would get my estimate in a couple of days. It must have got lost in the mail, RIGHT?
--

This message was written on 100% recycled spam.

SAM >> samuelREMOVE snipped-for-privacy@myrealbox.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Samuel Warren wrote:

I live in an inner-ring suburb and still have a water well. Nowdays all the well contractors are situated out in the boonies since the metro areas are all city water, right? This means I'm at the well contractors' mercies, 'cause they don't want to be bothered to drive an hour or more into the metro area to look at one home well.
One time, after tons of calls that got me no replies and no service, I did have one guy actually show up. He went downstairs, took a look, and just walked out laughing. No explanation, but clearly he couldn't be bothered to do the job (replace the tank). By chance I found a well guy who lived just a couple blocks from me, and he came over immediately after work and looked at it. He was back the next day and fixed it, and after the struggle just to get someone to show up, I _so_ appreciated his service. Unfortunately he's now out of the well business, so when I had to replace my pipes and pump this year I paid way too much to the only contractor who'd agree to show up. I knew I was getting hosed, but I also knew I couldn't do the job myself, so I didn't have much choice.

I'd appreciate just being told, "Look, you're just a single homeowner with a small job, and it's not worth our time. Try somebody else." Then at least I wouldn't be waiting for a callback.

I had this with one electrician, and because of it I put off my planned job, which was a service upgrade and lots of rewiring and interior work. Then my home was hit by lightning several months later, which meant the insurance covered the upgrade and some of the rewiring I'd planned to have done. This time I found an electrician who showed up 20 minutes after my first call, and started the job as soon as the insurance adjuster had done his inspection.
Unfortunately, the electrician also spotted a problem with my well repair job, and told me it wasn't up to code and that well contractors aren't licensed to do electrical work anyhow. Idiot me, I'd just assumed it was kosher since it seemed obvious to me that replacing wiring and pumps is part of working on wells. After a nasty phone exchange with the well company, I elected to pay the electrician to take care of it rather than let the well company back into my house. I'm still wondering if I should file a complaint with the plumbers board to try to get that company's license pulled.
HellT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It seems, from your discription of the work you wanted done, an ordinary plumber could have done that. I was a plumber for a few years and we worked on just about any thing having to do with pipes, pressure tanks, water (and sewer) service.
It might be a different mater if the pump had to be pulled or serviced, but everything from the well head on is just piping, etc.
--
My opinion and experience. FWIW

Steve



"Hell Toupee" < snipped-for-privacy@notmine.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve wrote:

I'd called my regular plumber and one other in the area, and both told me they didn't work on wells. Considering the effort needed to pull pipe if you haven't got a winch truck to do it, I understand that decision from the labor perspective, and if they haven't got much experience diagnosing well issues they may not be inclined to bother with the oh-so-occasional well repair call.
For instance, when I needed the pipe and pump replaced, I wasn't sure what the problem was, and the well guy diagnosed it as a holed pipe, which turned out to be correct. I had him replace the pump while he was at it since it dated from 1969, so it was about due for replacement.
What the electrician got irate over was the rewiring the plumber did along with the pump replacement, and the fact that he didn't encase the wiring from the wellhead to where it joined a junction box. He lectured me: plumbers don't wire up pools or spas, nor should they be doing wiring on wells - they should do _only_ the plumbing and call the electrician for the electrical stuff. I should have thought that through, but instead assumed plumbers dba well contractors were licensed for both. When the company refused to come out and encase the 4 feet of wire as required by code unless I paid them still more money, I decided I'd rather not force the issue just to have a resentful guy show up and do a horseshit job. So I had the electrician do it, and learned my lesson. The lessons I pay for are the ones I learn the best.
HellT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 10:11:06 -0500, "Samuel Warren"

Here's the other side of your coin:
I'm a renovations contractor, basements, kitchens and baths.
I land two out of three jobs I estimate on, if the customer was referred to me by a previous client. But I land only one out of thirteen jobs with people who call off my ads.
I try to screen out as many timewasters as I can on the phone ... they can usually tell me enough about what they want that I can give them a ballpark number, a range over the phone. Then I tell them if that's a range they're comfortable with, I'd be happy to come out and give them a firm price.
Even so, I wind up visiting four homes, spending an hour or two with the people, anywhere from another hour to six hours working out a firm price, for every job I get. As to the other three, one I've discarded as someone I don't care to work for, and the other two -- who knows????
And that's the killer -- I find that when I follow up -- I like to know why the job either didn't go ahead or went to someone else, nine out of ten won't return my phone call. These people are happy to have me drive out to their home and spend a good part of a day working out a plan and a price, but they don't have the courtesy or the two minutes to tell me what's happened with their job.
One woman called for 15 estimates to develop her basement (neighbour told me as I was leaving), another wanted a detailed estimate so she'd know how much to pay her brother in law, and many, I suspect, were just looking for professional advice so they could DIY.
All this is, unfortunately, part of the financial and psychological cost of doing business. I don't like it, but I don't like the price of lumber and drywall either.
I like to think that I treat people well and fairly, but there are phone calls I don't return -- mostly those that start with "I'd like you to give me a bid ..." or "I'd like you to come out and quote us on ....".
And there are people whose homes I visit and do not give an estimate to -- usually because I've decided I don't want them as clients.
I don't do it often ... usually I do followup -- even with people I choose not to work for -- but there are times I treat people as badly as the contractors you complain about.
I hope there are no times when you treat contractors as badly as the people I complain about.
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well and frankly stated Ken..
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 14 Jan 2004 03:41:54 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.tnx wrote:

This is interesting. I would love to tell all the contractors who give me prices what my final decision was, but none have followed up to ask me, so you are unusual in my experience. I have considered calling a couple of contractors I liked very much, but who were too expensive just to let them know that they had priced themselves out of my budget. And no, I wouldn't be interested in negotiating the price if I'd already found another good contractor who had priced the job right in the first place, but I would be interested in letting the "rejected" contractor know what happened.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

First issue...plumbers dont run gas lines normally...at least not in the two states I have been licenced in as a contractor. Gas log installs are something that either a licenced gas fitter, or hvac company can and do run, and personally, its not a big deal..we run about 4 a week this time of year and they are normally pretty quick and simple, unless a permit has to be pulled for the gas line.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I can understand your frustration.
I've lived in the Baltimore area for ten years. Around here, combining incompetence with poor customer service seems to be an art form. About 25 years ago, I supported my family for a couple years as a jack-of-all-trades handyman, so I can understand that occasionally a job runs overtime and you have to cancel an appointment or something goes wrong and needs a second look, but I always kept my customer informed as to what was going on.
What amazes me around here is that it is a rare day when a service call is done right the first time. For example, my oil-fired water heater kept shutting off because of air in the pump. The repair experts from our oil supply company came out three times, each time trying something different; check valve, synchronizing switch with the oil furnace, etc. Each time, it failed again after a couple weeks. Finally, I checked the line myself and found a split compression fitting way back on the feed line; I replaced it and have had no problems since.
That's why I post here so frequently, asking about obscure appliance parts or repair techniques; it's much easier to fix it myself than waste time with the professional repairmen.
Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, Warren, here's a true story that may brighten your day a bit.
In the fall of 2002 I called a furnace sales/service shop to request fall maintenance on my oil burner. I got an answering machine and left a detailed message with call-back number. I never heard back, and my furnace seemed to hold up okay for the long winter.
In March 2003 I called the same shop and repeated my request, but with an edge. I mentioned I had called in October and was wondering if they planned on getting back to me before the turn of the next century. Approximately two weeks later they returned my call and whined about how busy they were, but promised to send someone out, which they did.
Their service-man spent SIX HOURS cleaning my furnace before he strolled upstairs and informed me that my furnace was "shot" and that I'd need a new one. I was quite skeptical, but I'm no expert, so I asked for a bid. He looked things over and said he'd submit a written bid (my request) in a couple days.
Well, here we are in February 2004, and I'm still waiting to hear back from him. No bid...not even an invoice for the six hours labor on my furnace.
I did, however, contact one of his competitors in April of 2003 and purchased and had installed not only a new furnace but central air.
If I ever DO receive an invoice from the other guy, I'll tell him I'll send payment "in a couple days."

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.