no second chances

artmomApril 1, 2003

Living in a large metropolitan area has some worthwhile advantages and ways to save money. There are so many businesses here that,you would think,they would be willing to fight to get your business. If they do me wrong they don't get a second chance.We are replacing our old gutters. I looked in the phone book and there are about 25 companies. The one I called said they would be out yesterday for an estimate, no show. He called & said he would be out in an hour, so far, nothing. I will call as many as it takes to get the price I want and a reliable company. Let them fight for my business.

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I got 5 bids for my furnace, and 5 bids for the roof. Three bids for the flooring in our kitchen redo, and 4 bids for our recent window replacement.

And the results were amazing. Gives a great cross-section of professional sales jockeys (if you sign right now you'll get a discount but only if you sign today), amateurs (I think it'sll only take 4 hours to put the new furnace in, ma'am), and sad stories (my girlfriend's dad owns the company and that's the only reason I'm doing this job).

Among them, there were some consummate professionals, though, and it really helped to talk to a lot of people.

I did a lot of research on THS,, consumer reports and other resources, so that I would have good questions to ask when they came out to give the bids.

It's the only way to do it!

(NEVER EVER fall for the 'discount if you sign right now' game, because that's all it is).

    Bookmark   April 1, 2003 at 3:06PM
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We just had a horrible incident with my husband's 1992 Blazer. Basically, the place that we have been taking it for the last 4 years failed to diagnose a blown headgasket, and proceeded to lock up the engine. Then they said the best they could do was wholesale cost on the part and a reduced labor rate. About $4500. We said no, YOU failed to diagnose the problem, YOU locked up the engine, WE will pay for the original problem- a blown headgasket, about $1500 (being generous). They wouldn't do it. So we towed the truck down the road to an engine exchange place, they got us a factory rebuilt engine installed for $3500, and it has a 5 year/50k mile warranty on it, but you have to do the routine maintenance there. We were thinking about how much money the stupid dealer is losing by refusing to work with us- probably about $3000 in maintenance (would have recouped the loss just with that), not to mention the truck is old and other things are going to be breaking down. Their loss.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2003 at 6:12PM
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artmom, if you live in a large city that has a lot of building going on, like I do, what you're experiencing is how hard it is to get ANYONE to do a small residental job. All the contractors want to get the big contracts with the huge home builders.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2003 at 9:50PM
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I live in one of the largest cities in America, and I'm amazed how many companies and stores don't actually CARE whether they get your business or not. Someone else will walk in the door to replace you.

I think, actually, you get better service from a smaller city, where someone's reputation actually matters, and gets heard about.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2003 at 1:46PM
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Try to get a recommendation from a satisfied customer or customers. Someone you know or find. Or ask the contractor if you can see some of his/her work. Also, the lowest bid is not always the way to go. Sometimes it pays to spend a little more and use the contractor who comes recommended.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2003 at 2:18PM
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The guy finally showed up and gave me the middle price of three bids. He did my neighbors house and they are very happy with it. Guess I will be contacting them tomorrow. Last night I got a telemarketing call about gutters. I told her, after several annoying questions from her, that I thought I had contacted their company for a bid. She got flustered and annoyed that I didn't answer her questions and HUNG UP ON ME!!! So I called the company today, got an apology from the sales manager and got her in trouble. Yeah!!!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2003 at 7:25PM
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A comment:

I've suggested here (my "Christmas present" that cost me nothing) that you make a list of everyone you know, phone numbers, email addresses, etc., including what training, work experience, etc. they've had, hobbies, interests, etc.

If you had such, it would be easy to send out an email to everyone telling what you have in mind and asking what experiences people may have had with the companies offering the service that you are seeking.

Said it should save hundreds, possibly thousands in your lifetime.

This could be one example of where you might find an agency well recommended that would do a great job for you at a reasonable price with no hassles.

In which case, you should write back to the people that recommended them telling them how pleased you are with their recommendation (and telling them that you owe them a favour).

I hope that you have a good result at the end of your present project.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 5, 2003 at 7:57PM
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