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Common Courtesy / Scheduling

This homeowner is starting to fume.
I don't know how the contractors on the wall handle scheduling and courtesy phone calls, but from my perspective here's what not to do.

I had scheduled a munchkin install for January 6th and was told when the job was sold to me that it was a one day job.

So, my day arrived and the guys were there for 4 hours. When they left I was told I needed to call the office and schedule time for them to come back. Problem number 1 - Why do I have to call? Why don't you call me and let me know when you will be back?

I call the next morning and I'm told that they would like to come in Saturday at 2:30 to finish up. I'm thinking great, just get it done!

So I sit around Saturday afternoon, and refuse to do our weekly family trip to the pool to wait for the plumbers. 3:30 rolls around nobody's called and I'm getting to wonder, so I call and leave a message with the answering service which isn't returned until 6:30 pm.
"Didn't they call you?" says the owner. "We had to cancel the 2:30 because of an emergency we've been working on since this morning." I'm understanding although annoyed and tell the guy "S--- happens. Don't worry about it but someone should have called."

I ended up getting rescheduled for the NEXT Saturday, since nothing was available during the week. The guys come in, do a little piping, run a gas line and pack it up after 2 hours. On the way out, the owner tells me that they will get back over on Monday or Tuesday to finish.

Monday morning the office tells me that, "oh he says he told you he would set up another apptment on Monday". BS!!!
I know what I was told.

So they call back in the afternoon and tell me that someone will be out at the house in the morning.
By 11:30 the next morning, I'm starting to get pissed so I call. I'm told that they are repairing a water main but YES they are coming, and the office agrees that they will call me back to let me know how soon. Well, of course they don't call back, but when I call at 1:30 they give me the 'I thought I told you they would call when their on their way' So my AM appointment is now SOMETIME in the PM. At 3:30 the office still insisted that they were coming, but it was BS.

Now it's been 3 full weeks, since the install was supposed to have been done. At 7:45am the owner told me he would be out this morning to get the wiring started. I later called back to schedule the rest of the completion since I know he won't finish it today, if he even shows up.

Of course I can't have an appointment for tomorrow because that would mean bumping whoever the F is on the schedule for tomorrow so I'm scheduled for next Thursday the 6th of February.

I know it's the worst time of year, and emergencies take priority, but the lack of common courtesy to call me and just say, "We're sorry, there's this emergency and we have to reschedule you" instead of stringing me along all day and never apologizing is not right.

The guy is reputable and recommended.
He has half my money (won't start without it)
I probably couldn't get someone else for a month even if i tried.

I'm sorry. I just had to get this frustration off my chest to let you guys know how not to treat customers.


  • Hal
    Hal Member Posts: 55

    Tom, have you been without heat while waiting for the job to be finished?
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
    This story...

    is a total disgrace! Are you sure it wasn't the cable company doing the work?
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    With this recent cold snap all hell has been breaking loose

    but they should be better about keeping you apprised of the situation. We've all been in the situation before. They didn't leave you without heat did they? Look, speak to the owner and tell him how you feel, I'm sure he'll make you feel better. BTW, 1/2 down is very fair , and you didn't say he was asking for more $$$ without finishing. Mad Dog

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • Tom Giedraitis
    Tom Giedraitis Member Posts: 44

    Thanks guys.
    No, I'm not living in the cold, except in the addition which is getting some heat from the rest of the house and existing steam system.

    They have not asked for another nickel, but the fact that they AGAIN did not show up yesterday prompted me to write the owner a letter explaining how I feel and why.

    Hopefully that will get me some results. The owner does alot of the work himself as well, so I can only hope he just doesn't realize that I've been stood up now 4 times.
  • Randy Tibbits
    Randy Tibbits Member Posts: 91

    In my company existing customers come first. When a customer gives me a down payment they become my customer. Their installation or warranty work is a priority. I will work in emergencies but only a day or two at the most delay. There are other companies in the phone book that can handle the emergencies that we cannot get to. It is very seldom that we cannot handle an emergency and a scheduled job. If I was put in that situation I would have been calling you daily keeping you informed. Most people are very understanding but three weeks is a little excessive especially with no or little communication. In addition when I schedule a job during the winter I communicate to my customer that there may be a an emergency that comes up. Everything probably would have been cool if he would have kept in constant contact. Maybe he falls to peices under pressure.
  • steve_26
    steve_26 Member Posts: 82
    cell phones

    I don't understand how a Co.can operate like that..Reputation gets tarnished..
    Thats why we have cell phones ect. We have all been slammed lately,but all it takes is a phone call.
    You need to call him and have a meeting about your project.

  • doug_13
    doug_13 Member Posts: 4
    My sympathies

    During the major renovations of my building, the only tradesmen that did what you describe was the Plumbing & Heating guys. No Show, late show, no call was the routine. We had to have a little "chat" to remind them that I did not feel like it was my job to manage them. Since that they have performed much better

    When my carpenter said he would be here a week from now, at seven am the morning he would be banging on the door with his crew. I even opened an account at the supply house so the carpenter could get whatever he needed at the time. Same for the electrician.

    In my building in Baltimore, you guessed it, the Plumbing & Heating guy. Left my new carpet in a mess, left the gas piping in a position where you have to bend the filter to install it, never did come back to finish.

    However in Baltimore I made a BIG mistake. I used a name given to me when I should have expanded the Find a Professional search to 30 miles which I did later. There were listings at 30 miles but here I thought that was too far away. Screw it, next time I will pay the travel time just to get a professional.

    Wayco Wayne is that you listed 30 miles from 21230?
  • steve_29
    steve_29 Member Posts: 185

    Low bidder???

    I'll bet, warrantee service on you system won't be any better.

    Good luck
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,676

    That does sound lame. HOWEVER, if your family was toasty, the contractor was perhaps taking liberty into his own hands and capturing higher dollar margins on other last minute emergency calls. It happens all the time.

    Just my personal speculation on the matter.


    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
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