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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why small businesses are losing to big businesses

Sketch a day #9  - 45 min.
This is a sketch of my upper window in my greatroom.  The room is two stories high, so there are upper and lower windows in the room.  You see a bannister in the foreground, because I am actually sitting in a room on the second floor to draw it.  The house is three stories high in the back, so in order for a ladder to be outside this window, it has got to be pretty tall.  Fire-fighter tall.  It is still not tall enough for the guy repairing the woodpecker holed trim to get where he needs to reach, so he is also propelling down from the roof to get to a certain area.

This job is driving me nuts! First, tomorrow will be two weeks since he quoted the job. Second he said it would be done by Tuesday... last Tuesday... It is now Thursday of the week after. Finally, as is true with most jobs, he didn't stick with the original quote.  As of right now, $400 to replace two pieces of trim 30-ish foot high from chimney top to ground has turned into $627.  In his defense, hubby added a small job of fixing some rotted wood on a door frame... but based on his quote for the big job, he charged an exorbitant amount for the smaller job comparatively.

My biggest problem is that I feel tied to the house for the duration of his "job".  While I may have said "OK" if he had quoted $500 or $600 dollars for the job, because it is a scary and difficult job, I would not have said OK to "I'm gonna come and go over the course of two weeks.  I will tell you I will be back tomorrow, but I'm going to leave this tall ladder leaning against your house for days on end, and when I feel like finishing, I will.  I would have said.. OK, I will call you... and then I would not call.  Seriously.

Appropriate book choice
I feel like too many people do bad business. They under-quote jobs and then raise the price because they want to make sure they get in... but I would have gladly paid the higher amount or a little more for a proper quote and the person sticking to it. If something unexpected had come up like termite damage, or a bees nest (which was my fear), then I would understand them telling me that they need to give me a secondary quote, of which I would have also gotten a second opinion, but this kind of bad business is stupid because it means you won't be called back.

And this is why mom and pop businesses are losing dollars to the big box businesses.  I have more work to do around the house.  I need to have my garage door repaired.  I also need the gutters repaired and have screens put in them, but chances are, I will now have Home Depot come do the work and not this guy.  Sure they will cost me more, with all the Home Depot overhead and all, but I want a quote that the contractor will stick by and I also want the work done in a timely manner, is that too much to ask?


2 comments:

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

We personally have had a bad experience with Home Depot tile installation. Everything chipped up of course just after their 30 days or whatever were up. It just wasn't the quality job we wanted and he did some of the same sort of things you're talking about here, "discovering" all kinds of problems after the job was halfway through!

We have only hired Lowe's for a small entryway job (vinyl flooring) but it's been a couple of years and we are happy with it.

Ahermitt said...

Great! So much for that Idea! We have a Lowe's too.