Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Recession ? Really ?

You would never know there is a recession around here. The frustration I'm having with contractors.

Two weeks ago I had a guy come around to give me an estimate for a new walkway and stairs for the front of my house. He had done work on a place down the street and I really liked it. OK, so he comes over, is very polite, shows me the brochures, and discusses what should be done. I'm impressed and tell him to go ahead with the job.
He says he will be back the following week with an invoice and pick up a deposit.
Great! Wonderful! We shake hands on it and chat for awhile.
A week goes by I don't hear from him . I call to ask what's going on. He says he will be around on Friday. They are so busy because everyone wants to take advantage of the government tax rebate for home renovations. Friday he's a no show. The weekend goes by and I don't hear anything. I call him Monday morning and leave a message. Here it is Tuesday and still nothing.

Now the company that is doing my new windows( been in business 35 years) calls and says that they can't do them till December, because mine is a custom order and takes longer. December !! This Canada man. They tell me not to worry they will replace them one at a time and compensate me for any extra heating bill. Sorry but they are so busy because of the tax rebate. Ah yes so busy, but not too busy to take my deposit, which if I had known I would have kept and use it to do my Christmas shopping. I guess new windows are what Santa is bringing this year, so to heck with my plans.

Don't even get me started talking about the cable company, who when I tell them that my cable doesn't work properly when it's raining, they don't believe me and insist I need a new digital box. They too are Oh So Busy, and threaten me with a $100 billing if the cable problem is my fault !! Then there's the plumber and the guy who is supposed to do my flooring and painting. They are so busy too.

Now I'm wondering if this entire tax rebate thing is such a good idea. Yeah OK, it's supposed to be good for the economy. However when I read about local governments not being able to met their budgets and cut backs( you just wait and see they haven't even begun) maybe our tax dollars shouldn't go to prop up business.

Build lousy cars that nobody wants? Hey don't worry the government will bail you out. Run a dodgy bank? No problem, there's lots of tax money for you. Home sales are down and business is bad? Well here's this nifty tax rebate that will encourage people to get their old house fixed. And don't worry, because even if there's no money they will just make more of it and sink us all into debt.

End result? Nobody has to try, nobody has to compete, nobody has to give customer service or even provide a simple courtesy like a phone call. Big Brother is out their and no matter how much you screw up he will help you. And the suckers?, well they just have to keep paying. What a sweet deal. Just wait till the real bill comes due and their aren't enough people to pay it.

I read an article in The Independent, that California may become the first of many failed states. California! The richest state in the richest country in the world.
As I write this, on the radio news, the buzz is that Australia is raising interests rates and the stock markets love it. Whoopee ! The recovery is here !!

Yeah but for who ?


K*OS! (Keep On S'myelin!) said...

Gah, I'm frustrated for you! One of my pet peeves is bad customer service.

Rachael said...

I haven't had much dealing with contractors, but my parents have and I remember the nightmares they went through while remodeling portions of our house. They are some of the most crooked bastards on this planet...

As for the government bailouts, I agree. Nobody is allowed to fail anymore, everyone just wants a handout. I really would have liked to have seen the American auto industry crumble... But no, Uncle Sam bailed them out.

Patrick@Caregivingly Yours said...

Sounds frustrating! Odd that contractors are so busy. I guess in any market what's good for one person is tough for another. Universal good would be nice, :)

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

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Paul said...

Okay, Carole...this advice is coming too late, but hopefully it will help you in the future and anyone else that reads it. Never give a contractor a deposit. I will repeat it because sometimes this advice is disregarded or just plain not listened to. Never give a contractor a deposit. If you want to know more please email me and I will be glad to give you some lessons on dealing with contractors. Maybe we can salvage this situation.

Taxingwoman said...

Paul I have straighten things out When people find out your are a tax auditor it's amazing how they change their tune!

Diane J Standiford said...

For the rich of course. The US stock market is rising too---companies making big bucks in profit since they closed so many plants, are selling old inventory---who wins? The rich.PS--WHEN was cust serv good??? hahahaha
(Contractors? A money pit. Let us know if you EVER find an honest one.)