Home > Umm, I don't think so (Thank You, BBB)

Umm, I don't think so (Thank You, BBB)

February 15th, 2011 at 12:20 am

So one of the contractors I'd talked to at last weekend's Home Show called me today wanting to come over and give me an estimate for vinyl siding. We scheduled an appointment for tomorrow, but not before he totally annoyed me by inquiring whether there was another homeowner, ie, a husband, and if so, could he be present when they arrive as well.

Why did this annoy me? 1. Becus i got the idea that if I happened to be a man, they would not be so insistent on finding out if I was married; in fact, they could probably care less, and 2. I got the idea that they didn't want a situation where they were trying to close the deal and then I say, oh, I need to talk to my husband about it. They want to close the deal on the spot.

Anyway, I argued the point with them and they finally gave up trying to find out whether or not I have a husband. My personal situation is none of their business,and men just don't seem to get it that asking anything having to do with your marital status makes me, as a single woman living alone, feel a little vulnerable dealing with people I don't know. So I prefer to reveal as little info as possible. I am the homeowner and I'll be paying the bill, I told them.

So anyway, after we set the appointment and I hung up from them, I decided to check them out on BBB. Turns out they have 84 complaints lodged against them by dissatisfied customers, and some of them were not resolved to the customers' satisfaction.

84 complaints? Ridiculous! Based on that alone, I decided to cancel the appointment I'd just made; there are tons of contractors out there. I don't need to take a chance with a company that apparently leaves customers hanging when the job is done. I got their answering machine, so I left a calm, but detailed message explaining why I was canceling.

The scary thing is that if a company like this realizes it's losing too much business due to the sheer number of BBB complaints, all they have to do to get around that is change their company name and re-register with the state. Unless you as a customer know the names of the principals, you'd never know it was the same outfit.

I dropped off some clothes and boots at my mothers' and she loved them all. I also spent quite a bit of time there trying to help her learn how to post photos of her art on a blog I helped her create....a year ago. My mother's been using email for years, but it amazes me how doing the simplest things online, like a cut-and-paste or just basic commands, gets her so frustrated.

Of course, she hadn't tried posting photos to her blog in the entire year since I set it up for her, so of course she forgot everything.

While I was out, I also stopped at Wal-Mart and did a call-in survey with Toluna while shopping for hand lotion. It was a 3-minute survey and netted me a lot of points, which I so laboriously work for doing tons of online surveys all month long. This was a different type of survey that doesn't come along often, but as I said, it was a chance to earn big points. I also participated in an online interactive survey at a scheduled time last week. It was 90 minutes long, and that one just by itself also netted me oodles of points, the equivalent of about $30.

In freelance news, I got a message today from a Realtor inquiring about my price for a press release. We haven't connected yet, but i hope to talk to her tomorrow. Last week, I had sent out my email flyer about my freelance services to several hundred agents at the one firm i know best (they have about 1500 agents mostly in CT)and when i didn't get much of any response (1 price inquiry, to be exact), I gave up and figured the market is too slow, there's no activity and hence no freelance work. But this call came from the marketing manager of a very prominent top producer in an elite, affluent town. Maybe the bread and butter Realtors aren't doing much business, but this tells me the top notch ones are.

So that will be a bit more work for me, although i already decided to lower my price for a press release from $135 to $99, just to ensure I get the business, becus business builds on itself; if they're happy with one thing you do, it's much more likely they'll call you again, plus refer you to others in the company. The $99 includes my interview of the new agent joining the team, where I ask them a little about their background. I write the draft press release, get both the agent and the group hiring me to sign off on it, and then i distribute it (via email) to their local papers. Pretty straightforward.

I think I'll maintain my $135 price for press releases when i do work for the corporate entity. With a Realtor, it's coming out of their pocket, meaning they have to pay me and they can't bill it to corporate, so the price really needs to be reasonable. Given this economy, especially.

In anticipation of a contractor showing up here tomorrow a.m., I was able to finish shoveling out my front stairs and front stoop, so he can actually get to the front door.

4 Responses to “Umm, I don't think so (Thank You, BBB)”

  1. WISEWOMAN Says:

    I think the reason they asked if you were married and for your spouse to be present is for legal reasons. If you agreed to the work, both would have to be present to sign the paperwork for a binding contract. I have friends who remodeled. They both had to be present when picking out tile and agree in writing to the choice. They probably don't want one or the other coming back later saying "I didn't agree to that".

    Anyway, just a thought......

  2. patientsaver Says:

    I don't think marriage prevents an individual from entering into a contract singly, not jointly.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    We haven't done a lot of work on our house, but I have NEVER been asked that and would react the same way. (I've been asked if I was the "home owner," not if I had a husband who should be present).

    If there is some legal reason to have all home owners agree, then they should just say so. They don't need to ask if you are married or if your husband will be there.

    Glad you checked BBB. I try to check any contractor as thoroughly as possible, but sometimes there isn't much to find unless they have a lot of complaints. But BBB is pretty useful.

  4. Savings Queen Says:

    It was pretty fishy for those guys to ask about the man of the house. I am SO glad you checked them out at he BBB...88 complaints!!! Give me a break! Also, I learned once when we used a TERRIBLE set of tile installers, always listen to what your gut is telling you. Your gut told you something wasn't right and it wasn't!

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