I apologize if I misunderstood the original post.
The first post sounded like you were going to get on the phone and call each competitor and fire these questions at them. If you have competitors that are friends, they'll likely be honest. If you don't know them, I don't think you could expect much information.
And this may be greedy on my part, but I'm going to protect what I have. I've had acquaintance competitors suggest that they could work with my guys for a week to learn how we install pavers. I've asked them 'why do you think I would want to teach you how I install pavers?'
(this of course calls into question why I give this information freely on this site. I haven't figured that one out yet. Not too bright, I guess.
) I did joke with one that for $10K he could spend a day with me on a project. He didn't bite.
I think it would be reasonable to expect that other business owners will not give you information that you could use to steal away some of their market share. I think O'BM was right - you can probably get it indirectly over time. I don't know you personally, and I couldn't tell from the first post if you were planning on trying to corner them to get info. My comment about 'bogus info' assumed that was the plan. I had a guy do that to me. Wouldn't stop asking questions. So, I did what I needed to in order to protect my interests.
[Edited by Stonehenge on 02-23-2001 at 12:02 PM]