Thursday, September 14, 2006

This isn't the Way to Make a Profit...or a Good Name

It's been about ten weeks since the start of our siding job that they promised would be done and cleaned up in three. They still aren't done. The supervisor kept moving our workers to another job and making lame excuses to me about why they couldn't finish ours yet; one of the two good workers quit on him, since by all these maneuverings the supervisor somehow avoided having to pay him for the latest 8 days of his work; the other one is planning on quitting and going into real estate. The siding is up, but there's a lot of caulking to be done and a whole list of other items including a window that was broken. The downspouts had been destroyed by the first worker who had been fired, too, and when it rained it was very noisy and the surrounding areas where it splashed were dirty from stuff in the gutters.
When we were at the fair a couple of weeks ago, Katie entered various contests, including one for our siders' company (rhymes with plate and means something geographical). When they called (not to tell us we'd won the grand prize; they didn't even mention the contest), they asked whether we wanted them to come out and give a bid on a roofing job. Well, wouldn't you want that? No, I didn't think so.
Funny thing was that when they called, there was a woman out to our house to give us an "energy audit" which turned out to be a sales call to sell us some very nice but very expensive windows. She had worked for our siding company and knew many of the people there. She gave us some pointers regarding how to deal with them, and also pointed out the broken window, which we had not noticed and had not been told about by the siders. (Now don't read this wrong. We're not getting that window job any time soon.)
When we talked to the siders when they came out for one more day of work, they told us that their supervisor had been told about the window--and yet it seems he did nothing about it.
After our window saleswoman left, I typed up a two-page summary of our various frustrations, including the supervisor's many excuses, and called the man who had sold us the job. He forwarded it to his boss, who gave the matter over to a woman who called us and didn't have a copy of my summary in front of her; I e-mailed her another. They will be finishing the job sometime, I presume, and she did promise they would replace the window, which she said will take at least three weeks.
Yesterday a couple of men came out to put up the downspouts. They looked at me as if I were a dragon lady. I'm sure they were told that I was a complainer. Whatever. The downspouts are on and nice and shiny and new. Makes me glad in a way that the first ones were destroyed after all. Now just to get the job done otherwise. At least we don't have to pay them until the window is in. I don't know how they afford to do business this way, but whatever. It's made for a messy summer, but at least the house is looking somewhat better. We still need to paint the fascia boards, under the soffits and on the garage doors, so there's still quite a bit of grey clashing with the cream trim and pale yellow siding. I'm glad to think it will all come out right in the end. Probably.

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