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RwADesigner
09-26-2002, 04:57 PM
Hi...
Do any of you ever run into high stress/worry warts of customers?

I have always ran business in a manner where the customer receives the upmost of quality and respect. But i beleive there is a limit to how low they can go. We did a pavestone patio for an older couple. There main problem was that they wanted to eliminate drainage problems...from there patio and seeping into there house through the bricks..once it gathered beside there house. I originally showed a plan for a french drain. That would have eliminated the water from standing upside the house. They also wanted a paver walk... and to cover the existing concrete patio with pavers. I originally told them that i didnt like to cover there patio because it doesnt leave them much room for clearance beneath there door...onto the patio
they have like 2 inches of clearance.....
Originally they had water gathering onto there patio because...they dont have one half of it covered.......second problem is that the gutters are clogged and are way to small for the run off of the roof. So what does this do.....YEP..causes a waterfall..in those areas that are messed up. So they have tons of water being poured onto there patio because of this........

I told them that is why they have water problems on there patio and they said...ah..dont worry about that..we are gettin an over hang added....and new gutters......

The extension of the patio (the new part..we also added) is not on concrete base..so of course we got to control the slope.....We did a 1.5% slope and let me tell you that no water is standing there....:)....

So here is the problem......

1. They have been worried from day one about doin the patio....I have over and over told them...to not do it..if they werent sure about it. But yet they still insist on doing it...they have a wedding being there on october 12.

2. The work that was in the contract (patio...patio extension....and drainage system) the drainage system didnt include any type of grading wutsoever...just strictly drain pipe and catch basins to catch the downspout water...

3. The drainage problem goes deeper than a new patio and downspout drainage system. They have a little bit of slope towards there house in the back....and they have no over hang..and incorrect sized/blocked gutters...around patio..

4. We did probably 3 and 1/2 days of free labor which included moving lava rock from there beds....to help the termite lady spray..and moving of shrubs.........we did this only because....they are older..and it seemed like they were in dier need to do it in a rush..because of the lady to spray..... We normally dont do that...and it says that in contract..that extra work is extra charge.....so on...and we never charged them for that work

Well.....finally...

They left to go out of town..on friday and we busted our butt to get done over the weekend..because we had a hurricane comin in... so we didnt want stuff laying around...or our base material to get messed up.....it wasnt a rush job..but we needed to get done before it hit..because we were already 3/4 done...

Tuesday we get done..and everything looks great...it rained on us for 3 days straigt.....solid light rain...sometimes getting heavy....3 days continously..... Well they get in on Wensday and call us as soon as they get in.....im like....good grief....

Guess what ...to call and complain..about how the colors dont match (brick pavers)..and they have water standing on there patio...the existing coverd part.. Im like....Ma'am did you know that there is a hurricane coming a shore....and we have been gettin solid rain for 4 days now.....You should consider your self blessed because most of the cost and south louisian is underwater..and flooded....Said she was discusted..and i take great offense to that...because nothing i do..is bad...i take great pride in wut i do. Said she spent good money..and felt like she was gonna cry....cuz she has a wedding coming up and the colors dont match..and she has water standing on her patio during a hurricane.......Im like...ma'am my driveway has water in it now..there is nothing i can do..i can not control the weather......

The thing that pisses me off so bad..is that on friday...over 3/4 of the whole job was complete...other than some small cuts.....and she loved it...said she was wanting to put a sign of ours up and for us to bring new customers to show it off....and gave us our other 1/3 of our payment......

that is why im so confused....cuz one day she loves it....and another she hates it....but she has been out there everyday ..for the past 3 weeks....and hasnt said anything bad about it..thus far..and her husband kept tellin her over the 3 week period that she should be very pleased.

We havent gotten our last payment from them...and not too sure wut is gonna happen there. Do i have reason to be so mad about this....or is it just me...? I am just confused.......let me know what you guys think.....

RwADesigner
09-26-2002, 05:02 PM
Guess what ...to call and complain..about how the colors dont match (brick pavers)..and they have water standing on there patio...the existing coverd part.. Im like....Ma'am did you know that there is a hurricane coming a shore....and we have been gettin solid rain for 4 days now.....You should consider your self blessed because most of the coast and south louisiana is underwater..and flooded....

sorry mispelled coast and louisiana :)

hosejockey2002
09-27-2002, 12:11 AM
My .02..... Seems to me that maybe you are just the recipient of stress overload on her part. I have the utmost respect for the elders in our society, but as we age we tend to be a little less adaptable and flexible and our stress tolerance drops. I've seen it many times in my job as a firefighter. This lady has a wedding at her place coming up, probably has a million and one things to accomplish and not enough time. And then this hurricane comes along with tons of rain which puddles on the patio (duh), and she thinks it's because you didn't do the job right which is probably not true at all. Hopefully after the wedding she will decompress a bit and realize that everything went well on the job. I would bet the wedding guests will rant and rave about how great the patio and everything looks and who knows, maybe you will get a client or two out of the deal that will be a little easier to deal with. Good luck.

AGLA
09-27-2002, 06:25 AM
I think hosejockey nailed it. Best thing is to keep cool, which does not seem to be a problem for you. Give her a couple of days, especially if the rain will stop. Then walk the site with her and point out that the color is as close as it can match... Show her how you have made the effort and that you getting this job done right under the circumstances is much like her getting the whole wedding put together, so you understand her. Hopefully, she will relate what she is going through to what you are and be much more understandable.
Of course we know your not freaked over the wedding and you know the job is done right. But, she wants to talk herself into being a victim...you got to join her in her mind. She probably won't want to hurt you in her mind unless she talks herself into believing you victimized her. The elderly are not easy to deal with.

RwADesigner
09-27-2002, 11:32 PM
Thanks for the input guys...

Finally talked to her again today and she realized she blew up over nothing. In fact she actually had the gutter guy fixing the gutter problem

:) gonna do some repairs....though since hurricane came in