Customer Expectations

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  #1  
Old 05-03-17, 02:01 PM
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Customer Expectations

Many here are contractors. Anyone run across difficult customers...?

I tore out over 100SF of counter yesterday, the top is going in today (big kitchen with full splash). The top will take all day and part of tomorrow.

The customer called and complained a temp sink was not installed last night or tonight???
It was understood no sink for two nights.
I could have rigged up a temp sink twice and disconnected it twice but with driving and labor, that's more than 10hrs.

Not that it matters, but this person lives in a very expensive part of town and probably has at least 4 baths, laundry, pool, you name it.

I just don't want to be unreasonable
 
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Old 05-03-17, 02:50 PM
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What, no temp. countertop so I'm not inconvenienced? I think that a couple of days of no sink is expected in a kitchen remodel. Heck, I did a bathroom remodel in a 1 bath occupied house. I at least made sure they had a toilet at the end of each day.
 
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Old 05-03-17, 03:22 PM
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I"m sure the countertop was solid surface or some exotic stone, right? I wouldn't even attempt to put in, OR TOUCH, the countertops with a temporary sink until the dust settled. You chip the edge of the sink opening and all bets are off.
 
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Old 05-03-17, 04:39 PM
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Unless it was specifically written into the contract that a temporary sink would be installed and operational at the end of each day of work your customer IS being unreasonable.

Something that many of us have observed over the years is that the more money a customer has, the more unreasonable they seem to be, having a tendency to wanting more and more accommodation for free.
 
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Old 05-03-17, 05:51 PM
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I agree with that statement, Furd. Irks me to no end. As far as installing odd sinks, I had a customer whose bathroom vanity top was damaged prior to delivery and it would be 3 weeks before a replacement could be found and cut. Now we're talking delaying CO time. I put a piece of 3/4" plywood over the cabinet, cut a hole in it and installed a rimmed sink. CO was on time, as the inspector didn't care what the sink was sitting on, as long as it was functional.
 
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Old 05-03-17, 07:22 PM
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I put a piece of 3/4" plywood over the cabinet, cut a hole in it and installed a rimmed sink. CO was on time
I don't mind putting in temp sinks, but overnight is crazy.... maybe some people look at it as easy.
 
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Old 05-04-17, 01:34 AM
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I'm not in the business, but often had to do followups when I worked at HD. I seriously could not believe the attitude of some people.

Some contractor installed replacement windows bought through us, and the manager sent me out to try and settle an issue we got sent from Atlanta. Woman watched over my shoulder constantly complaining about drafts. The contractor had removed the foam draft blockers in the channels saying they were just packing material. Woman expected US to make it right. Gave her the manufacturers number and said they would probably send them for free, but not HD's problem.

Another at a VERY high end home, husband was an attorney and she was a trophy wife. Opened the door in a bikini with a wrap on her lower end at least and showed me a custom Andersen arched window that was installed when the house was built 10 yrs prior and wanted to know what HD would do about the fogging. Uhhhh, nothing? Wasn't even purchased from us. Contact the builder or Andersen. She *****ed all the way to the front door and her husband was just getting home, so he joined in. Tryed my best to placate them but explained nothing we could do.

Another high end beach home, opener wasn't installed right (not by us). Failed due to the limit wires being caught in the trolley and bent the crap out of the top panel. Had to go to the local distributor, strap a 16 ft garage door panel to the side of my old truck, and install the damn thing because she purchased the door through us. Say what?

BTW, never accept drug samples from your doc. She was a drug rep and had stacks of boxes in her 90 degree garage. Somehow I don't think those are the required storage conditions.

These were with the old HD philosophy that one dissatisfied customer could cost you 10 more down the road. When Arthur and Bernie still had some sway, before Nardelli made all his stupid changes.

I must have gone on 50 service calls in my time there, because it got me out of the store and I got overtime quite often. Plus the materials were free and I had the tools. It was pretty obvious to me that those with money asked for more than those without. If I could make it look good even if not perfect, the lower income folks were satisfied. Not so with the people making good bucks. Very demanding people.

I do have to say though, there were some guys that were building $500K spec homes and they were extremely easy to get along with. Same with a few owner builders. Probably because I was honest and upfront with them. Likely that was one reason I went from minimum to $16 an hour in 4 yrs, that and selling $100K a month a couple of times. It's quite a thrill when someone tells you so and so came in and asked when you were working, because they only wanted to deal with you.
 
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Old 05-04-17, 02:46 AM
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I have occasionally drawn water for coffee or cooking from a nearby bathroom wash basin . . . . tasted about the same as that from the kitchen sink !
 
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Old 05-04-17, 02:59 AM
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I do love service calls on sagging doors. I get probably 1 or 2 a week. On the way home last evening, I got two from a property manager. Doors won't latch or lock. Scraping at top. Got out of the truck with my drill/driver, a phillips bit, a torx bit and two 3" torx screws. Popped the 3/4" screws out of the top hinge and replaced with the 3" screw and was back in the truck in 45 seconds. Good money when you know the score. Why door installers don't do it right is beyond me.
 
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Old 05-04-17, 03:28 AM
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Worst window install I ever saw was long before I ever did home repair. An acquaintance at work wanted to show off the new custom windows he'd paid big bucks to get installed in his house.

This was a frame house and as is standard here for frame houses the original windows were trimmed on the outside with 1x4s. The old windows were steel vertical "crank outs" and apparently had no flange because they were removed from the inside leaving the outside 1x4 trim in place. They fastened the new windows nailing flanges on top of the 1x4 trim with roofing nails. He was so proud that he had found a company to do the job for only a couple of hundred dollars per window I didn't have the heart to say anything. He thought the new aluminum trim (nailing flange) was a beautiful addition. (Price is late 1970's).
 
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Old 05-04-17, 03:39 AM
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Keeping the customer informed both before and during the job helps a lot. Most are more reasonable when they know ahead of what inconveniences they should expect. But then there are those that complain about any/everything

On new construction I almost always spray the primer without back rolling. It always amused me to hear some new homeowners complain that I was the worst painter ever [because primer coverage wasn't complete everywhere and I often cut in with the spray gun and not a brush] but then that same customer would brag that I was the best painter ever once the job was done.
 
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Old 05-04-17, 04:11 AM
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Just a few comments. The customer has every right to look over installer shoulders and ask questions. But should not offer assistance or try to tell installer what to do. All aspects of install needs to be put in writing! Customer has an obligation to fully inspect any work being done before, during and after the job.

Short storey. Friend had a sliding patio door installed via HD. Contactor put it in backwards. She did not watch install because she did not want to look over his shoulder. He refused to change it. She sued HD.
 
  #13  
Old 05-04-17, 04:20 AM
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A homeowner should always know [or know references] of those allowed to work on their home! I've worked with various contractors over the years that had done a little work under a big box store's installation program. Everyone of them told me that the pay was to little for the work expected to be done so they no longer did work thru those stores .... so that means most of those who do big box work are the ones unable to get work on their own. While there are probably a few good qualified and conscientious contractors in those programs - I suspect most are not.
 
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