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  #1  
Old 11-26-2001, 09:41 PM
Loosestrife Loosestrife is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: PA
Posts: 80
From a customers viewpoint...

This doesn't have to do with landscaping, but is relevant. I want to get my driveway paved with asphalt this coming spring. I want to get my estimates now, so that I know how much money to budjet for the project.

I had a very good idea of whom I want to award the job to, but wanted to get another price to make sure that his was inline.

I set out on the phone this morning, first calling the contractor that I am 90% sure I will have do the job.

His wife works the office. She was very cordial, and pre-qualified me, saying that they would not be able to do the job till spring. I explained my angle. She set up an appointment with her husband for later this week.

I wanted to get another quote. I called another asphault comany from our aera, out of the yellow pages. This person answered the phone with a simple hello. I asked for an appointment to get an estimate and was told that they were done for the year, and that they would not bother coming out for a quote till spring. The person was rude, and unhelpful. I told them I would call back in the spring. I will not.

The next call was to a Yellow pages ad, however, I reached a voice mail box that had not been activated???

The next call was to an 800 # for a contractor in out area. I got a message stating that the account was no longer active. There was no local number for this company.

The next call went unanswered.

The next call was answered by a simple hello. After asking if I had the right company, I asked for my estimate. The woman told me that her husband would call me back.

My next call was answered. The person told me that they may or may not do the quote right now. He said that he would have "the guy" call me.

My next call went to an answering service. They took my info, and said that someone would call me back.

So, I made 8 calls this morning. All were mid mornig on a Monday. I actually only made progress with the first, the one that I will most likely go with. It is now Monday night, and I have not heard back from any of the contractors that were to call back. I will give them a full 36 hours before scratching their name off the list.

All my messages were left with huimans, so there is no chance for an answering machine error.

I share this with you because some of you may see yourself as one of the calls I made today. Even if I had no previous preference, after this experience, I would probally go with #1 company.
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2001, 10:15 PM
kutnkru kutnkru is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: 93-04 (Zone5b) 05-now (Zone9a)
Posts: 2,662
I see how the chain of events can unfold from "their" eyes. Its frustrating to have this happen to us when we try so hard to avoid these very cuircumstances. I have only two comments.

My first is that when or if we do not intend to make the call-back we should not bs these people but let them know that we are not satisfied with how we have been treated and give them a brief reason why. Hopefully this will help them, but probably not.

The other is that I recommend when you are getting estimates from others you compare apples to apples. If Contractor A is going to install the base in 12" lifts compacted to 6" etc., that you have everyone on the same page.

As you probably already know many times a lump sum quote may contain more or less than the others bidding.

I hate being in your shoes!

Kris
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2001, 06:51 AM
HOMER HOMER is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Alabama the Beautiful
Posts: 3,183
I had a similar experience yesterday morning with a well drilling call/question. The first one I called, the wife answered the phone. My call was after 8:00am..........she said "hello", even though I got the name and number from the yellow pages. I told her I needed to speak with someone about a water problem and she said "hang on". I then get the "man/drunk" of the house, must have been the business "owner" . I explained to him what the problem was and asked he told me I needed a new tank. I asked him to give me a ballpark figure, he couldn't, said he had not dealt with the big tanks only the small. The man either just woke up and is not a morning person or he was drunk as cooter brown! I was gettin' a little pissed with him so I told him I'd call back. Made one more call, got somebody that knew what was what. He told me what I needed and that he would leave the part in a mailbox on the side of one of their buildings, just leave the check ($14.00) in the box.

5 minutes with the drunk.......................mass confusion and frustration.

5 minutes with the real deal..................problem solved, part in stock, good to go.

Didn't need a new tank either.
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