The most recent, and the reason for this blog, was an electrician. We used to have an elderly gentleman who was retired from the Navy as our electrician. Honest guy, FANTASTIC rates. One bill from him was $12 ~ and that was for installing a new fan we had bought!! But, we haven't been able to contact him, and we've heard he's moved to be closer to the grandkids. So .. we've been searching for a new electrician.
Our current guys recommended someone. They called him up and he came out the same day, on a Friday evening. Well .. he was supposed to be here at 4pm on Friday. He didn't show up until 5:30. This did throw a hink in my schedule, as it had caused me to rush and be harried with the kids to be home by 4, but hey, the guy was willing to come out on a Friday afternoon!! He couldn't fix the problem that night but said that his guys would be here first thing Monday morning. Between 9am and 9:30. The rate was $95.50 for 2 guys for 1hr.
I'm the type of person who believes in your word & the power of a good handshake. You know .. honest. On time. Apologetic if I happen to not be on time. But, I'm learning that although I detest punching a clock, if you're going to have your house worked on, you practically need a time clock for people to punch in & out on!
Here's how it went down:
*Monday morning, they're supposed to be here between 9am & 9:30am.
* ..... The wait begins .... You do know being up and ready for something on a Monday morning is torture, right?
*10am ~ I call the head boss honcho. They're on their way, they just called him for directions & the address. ---- mmhmm & OK --- At this point I'm wise enough to know that when they get here I will keep a written time chart of who arrives when & who leaves when & everything else in between.
*10:30 ~ still no electricians. I've now decided that if they're not here by 11am, they're fired.
*A couple minutes before 11am ~ I call the head honcho boss to tell him to not bother sending his guys. He doesn't let me get that far and asks if he can call me right back. I agree and he does. He says they're at my front door, knocking to get in. .... Um .. no they aren't. Apparently they've gotten lost. -- Dude, we live in a BLUE house!! It's nearly impossible to NOT find this place!! That is unless you can't read street signs properly, ignore house numbers, and are on the wrong road. Which is apparently what happened.
*11am ~ Knock on the door. ONE guy is here. But he's a cutie pie with long, wavy hair, so I don't fire him. I ask about the second guy (remember above mentioned rate), and am told he should be along shortly.
*11:20 ~ Second guy arrives.
*11:40 ~ They announce they're going to leave for lunch
*12:30 ~ They get back from lunch
*1pm ~ They're done and one they're way. The bill will be mailed to me.
Work done by the way? Fix the doorbell and replace outlets in the kitchen, bringing them up to code.
I got the bill today. $62.79 for materials. Ok, not thrilled, but this is how things go, so ok. $334.25 for 3.5 hours of labor. Ummm .. EXCUSE ME!??!
Let's look above again. First guy was here working for a total of 70 minutes. Second guy was here for a total of 50 minutes. EVEN IF I was willing to pay for the time that they took to go to lunch, they were only "here" for 2 hours. By the way, I'm NOT willing to pay them to go to lunch. Not at $95.50 an hour. Not when they haven't even been here an hour. No, I don't think so.
I called Head Honcho Boss immediately. He handed me off to Billing Guy. Billing Guy asked how long I thought they had been here. I began reading time list for them to him. He began backing off. Excuses began tumbling out of his mouth like pearls of nutcaseness. "They'll sometimes clock it from the time they leave here until the time they get back." And "they sometimes count running out for materials." -- Again, did you see the work we had done?? Not a lot of materials that needed to be run out for there!
So ... I recount my times I had their guys here for. Billing Guy says "Ok, so 2 hours then?" I reply "Uh, No. ONE hour." He agrees, kissing some customer butt in the process and stating that he hopes we'll them back for future needs.
Ok, they were nice enough to go ahead and correct it. Told me to just send in the amount that was correct. Which is good, because they would've had to take me to court before I paid that bill.
Will I be hiring them again? Are you kidding me?? NO!!!