View Full Version : In today's economy, you would expect someone to call back?

Dan Mages
04-06-2010, 3:27 AM
SWMBO finally gave the blessing to have the garage door replaced with a nice, well insulated model from Wayne Dalton... after winter was over. The install went very smoothly except that there is a sizable dip in the middle of the driveway leaving a gap under the door. I called eight companies in the Yellow Pages for quotes. It has been over a week and not a single one has called back or left a quote as promised. You would think in our slow economy, companies would be glad to make bids on a job. :confused: I am not sure if I should start calling again, or get patch material from the BORG and try to smooth out the transition myself.

Sorry everyone, just frustrated and annoyed.


Mitchell Andrus
04-06-2010, 7:49 AM
I've owned commercial buildings for 30+ years. I'm STILL amazed at the lack of interest when I call a company for help.

I've learned a lot about all of the trades that keep buildings from falling to disrepair out of a need to get on with it already. I often just do the job myself... in less time than I'd spend in collecting a couple of way-too-high estimates.

Matt Meiser
04-06-2010, 8:27 AM
I hear you. Last month I needed a part for our hot tub. I called 4 places. Two said they'd call back and never did. You'd think a pool supply place would be happy for any sale they can get in March.

Now I'm in the process of getting quotes on propane to ng conversion. I called the company that put in our furnace last year. He came out right away. A few days later I got the quote and he completely forgot my shop. So he said he'd send a new one and I told him to call the water heater out separate because it has to be replaced and I might just do that myself. So he pulled just the water heater out, but nothing about the labor. The same company just did my parents' heating changes for their kitchen. In talking to my dad, they had trouble getting accurate quotes too, and then had billing issues.

So I called 3 other places last week. All did call me back which is actually surprising and two set up appointments today. It won't shock me in the least if there's a no-show. The third called back and said he'd call yesterday to set up a time. Of course he didn't. Edit: Both did show up today. One exactly on the time he made an appointment for and the other who we agreed would just come sometime in the afternoon had his office called me about a 1/2 hour before he came to let me know he was on the way. No call from the third--no point in them really bothering at this point since they can't keep their word.

I figure if I can't trust them to keep a promise of a phone call, how can I trust them with something bigger?

David G Baker
04-06-2010, 11:38 AM
I am like you Matt. I give them one chance then check for other options. My time is as important to me as theirs it to them. I am the one with the money to earn and if they aren't interested I will find someone that is. If I can't find anyone to do the work I go on line and try to get educated enough to do the repair myself, order the parts on line and fix or change what I need. I do most of my business through word of mouth and try to get several bids because the differences between bids can be hundreds of dollars.

Ben Franz
04-06-2010, 5:49 PM
When I was an active remodeling contractor, I experienced both sides of this situation. When prospective clients called me, I tried to return the call the same day and always within 24 hours. I got a lot of astonished responses from people that were amazed that I'd called back. I placed lots of calls to prospective subs or suppliers and never repeated a call. If someone can't be bothered to call me back, how good a job can I expect him to do if I hire him?

Ninety percent of life is just showing up (Who said that, originally?).

glenn bradley
04-06-2010, 8:27 PM
The same folks who won't call you back are cryin' in their beer over the lack of business.

Rob Fisher
04-06-2010, 9:20 PM
This is rather interesting because I have had 4 quotes, for various things, over the past two months and all of them came out very quickly (one only and hour after I called!!) and I got quotes from all of them within days, one gave me a quote within minutes from his truck.

I am astounded that companies would not return your phone calls. Their lose. Your gain. As others have said if they cannot even show up to give you a quote do you really want them to actually do the work?


Bonnie Campbell
04-06-2010, 11:26 PM
I've been checking on getting packing and movig quotes. You'd think anyplace would do right, come to the house to see the contents and give me a 'live' quote.... nope, they want ME to go through my house listing everything and then tell them on the phone! ONE company (out of at least 6) has bothered coming to my house. Guess they'll be the one getting my business....

Oh, and to top it off, the ones that WON'T come want me to give them the figures the one that came figured out. Chewed out one company today that THAT wasn't going to happen.

Mark Kosmowski
04-07-2010, 7:37 PM
The same folks who won't call you back are cryin' in their beer over the lack of business.

Maybe they're too busy crying in their beer to make the call back.

It is really sad when good workers fail due to poor business skills, but you really do need both.

Jim Becker
04-07-2010, 8:32 PM
See if there is a pre-vetted contractor referral service in your area. Around here, I've used HomeNet Solutions and have found the response from prospective contractors to be more "perky" than from cold-calling them out of the book or from advertisements.

Jon Knauft
04-07-2010, 8:37 PM
I've seen both sides as well. We had a spring break on our garage door 3 months ago and my wife called three different companies. All three called back in an hour and were within $50 of each other for the total bill. The company we decided on gave us a 2 hour window of when they would be on location and even called 30 minutes before they showed up to confirm that they were on the way. The guy was done in 45 minutes and even reset the garage door opener for my wife that I had disengaged. Best $200 I've spent!

On the other side I had called 4 different electrical contractors six months ago to finish off the 1600 square foot basement we have (2 bedrooms, family room, bath room, storage room). It was a good size job and none of them called back. I even called 2 of them multiple times and still didn't get a call back. Go figure.

Art Mulder
04-08-2010, 7:07 AM
The install went very smoothly except that there is a sizable dip in the middle of the driveway leaving a gap under the door.

:confused::confused: Doesn't your garage floor extend under the door? My driveway has nothing to do with the garage door. :confused:

Lee Schierer
04-08-2010, 8:55 AM
I've had the same problem at work. I've looked for several items for the company that were worth several thousand dollars and I can't get a quote and sometimes not even a call back after I call several times. I've had several jobs worth $20-40K and can't get a contractor to call me after a single call or email to them.

Dan Mages
04-08-2010, 9:07 AM
:confused::confused: Doesn't your garage floor extend under the door? My driveway has nothing to do with the garage door. :confused:

Its a strange setup. The garage slab ends a little bit inside the door. The garage door sits on the driveway. If you want, I can take a picture.

Two have called back yesterday, but I have not had a chance to return their calls.


Bob Borzelleri
04-10-2010, 10:26 AM
I had a propane furnace acting up and called the company who installed it 6 years ago and asked them to come out and do an annual type inspection. The office staff said someone would call me back. Three days later, no call so I called again. Office staff said someone would call me back. That was a week ago and no call back.

Then I saw a truck on the freeway with a sign saying, "We build rock walls" or words to that effect. Gave a call and the owner stopped by on his way home from a job. Now the 22 tons of rock that I have been staring at out back for 8 months is beginning to form themselves into quite nice walls.

The furnace seems to have self corrected.

Matt Meiser
04-10-2010, 10:43 AM
Well, my one guy never did call. He's out for sure. Of the two that came, I got the proposal from one, company J. He gave me a complete proposal--nothing I have to do myself or contact an outside supplier except they don't work on appliances so they won't do the dryer. It looks very straight forward so I'll probably just do it myself. I have the option to do the water heater myself and the price is clearly called out one way or the other. He also researched my code question about putting a low voltage conduit in the same trench (I can't, so he included a 2nd trench in the quote) and looked a the generator I'm looking at to see if we would have sufficient capacity on the gas co's standard service to run it without boosting the pressure (we will.) He gave me some advise on generators

Contrast to company S who came a few weeks back (the ones who put in our furnace last year) who forgot my shop on the original quote, wants me to call some guy's cell phone to get a quote on trenching to the shop, and when I asked him to split out doing the water heater as a separate line split out just the water heater, but not the labor.

I'm still waiting on company C's quote, but I know it won't include the trenching since he also asked me to contact someone myself on that--on a disconnected number. Still waiting for him to call back about that.

Not much point though--I've pretty much decided once I check references on J.

Oh, and company J also let me know about an alternate project we could do to cut our propane use significantly should the natural gas project get canceled. He gave me a completely separate proposal on that as well so as to not muddy the water.

Dan Mages
04-10-2010, 6:00 PM
I spoke to one company yesterday. The sales rep informed me that it was too small for his union shop. His workers are the best union tradesman in town and have a minimum $2500 half day or $5000 full date rate.

I guess only union tradesman do good jobs and small jobs are not worthy of their master skills :rolleyes:


George Sanders
04-11-2010, 7:12 AM
I tried to get two different electricians to call back on installing 220 in my garage. This went on for six months. I finally found an electrician who actually didn't mind doing a small job and got it done pretty cheap.