On 11 Sep 2006 11:33:24 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org 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!