Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Is honesty a thing of the past?.....

I feel as if I have walked down a long dark alley full of mysterious and dangerous people who would slit your throat for promise of a cigarette. I'm not out of that alley yet, but I can see light at the end and I know my journey is close to its end.

Journey you say? Why yes.....yes a journey of devious lies and charming salesmen all in the name of making a buck. The best prey......a lone and vulnerable woman. Ah....but some might do well to remember you can't always judge a book by its cover.

I am alone. yes.  I am quite vulnerable, yes. I know a little about a lot of things but not very much at all about construction. Therein lies my vulnerability.

My problem is not unique. I have a damaged roof and since I live in a heavily wooded area, raccoons took advantage and also took up residency. Not being very considerate freeloaders, they did some damage. I simply needed a company to fix the damage and I also needed a new roof before it started springing leaks like a sieve. 

I went to the yellow pages.....the entrance to the dark alley......and researched. I picked companies that were located in my area. At first I picked large companies but only found out that the larger the company, the larger the quote.  (SOMEONE has to pay for all those TV ads and yellow pages referrals, not to mention all those employees).  Never in my life had I expected such a HUGE difference in prices. They ranged from $16,000. to $5,800. In the case of the $16,000 quote, it was for metal shingles that last 100 years, so basically I shouldn't even count that one. The next quote down for just regular shingles was $10,400.....then another company gave me $7,850.....then another $7,000 and finally $5,800.  These quotes are for exactly the same repairs and work to be performed.  Amazing.

I hate being humiliated by these salesmen trying to get me to sign a contract for triple the amount of money I can comfortably spend. I did sign a contract with one company to do only the repair work the insurance company would pay for. That amount ended up being $4,000, which I thought was very generous of my homeowner's. Now THAT company is trying to say it's going to cost double that amount to do the job and they want ME to pay the extra. This is only for replacing some insulation and repairing the damaged ceiling in my bathroom.....nothing to the actual roof itself. I wish I would have never signed that piece of paper......I would get someone else to do the job if I hadn't. I'm glad, however, that I did make him put on the contract that it was only for work paid for by the insurance company.  I called my insurance adjuster and even she agreed that he was high pressure and had acted the same way with her. Does anyone know how long you have to cancel a contract? It's been 8 days since I signed it, counting weekends.  I feel this company is trying to take advantage of my situation.

I may be old.....but I'm NOT stupid and I've been around the block enough times to realize when someone is taking advantage of a bad situation.  Shame on them.  Stay tuned.


Mary said...

This really burns me up! I hate that you have to go through this. I would actively contact your attorney General. It is their job to protect us from slimy wallet grabbing creeps like that. Or even your local TV station. Make noise, even before you might be scammed, maybe they will think twice. Other than that, I think the norm for contracts is in the area of 3 days. Check the buyers remorse laws in your area, I think there are protections for you but it's up to you to do the work, unfortunately.

lotta joy said...

The ONE THING I do and always have, is go with whoever belongs to the BBB and has NO unresolved issues with any customers.

$4,000 to fix the hole in your bathroom ceiling? That should have been addressed at the time they were looking at your roof and included in the contract, as well as a date of completion.

BUT, can't you tell them that your "loan" didn't go through?

I'm so sorry. I had no idea you'd "found" someone you trusted.

You need ME there with you. I don't trust anyone.

We still get "taken", but it's ONLY due to Joe believing everything he's told.

Cynthia said...

Staying tuned. I think they picked the wrong person to mess with.

Leann said...

I'm sorry you're having the run around. It is difficult to find reputable firms anymore. My thought when you mentioned the yellow pages was Angie's List. Don't know if you could find anything better there.

I sure hope this turns out well tho. Yay for the correct verbiage in the contract :-)

Peruby said...

What was the dollar amount on the paper you signed?

I believe (in Ohio) they cannot go above 5 or 10 % of a written contract, same for verbal.

Here is a place to start (forgive the "dummies" series - not meant to insult you):

Pearl said...

Oh, I'm so sorry.

I think you have three days. :-(,4534,7-164-17337_20942-44718--,00.html

That's from Michigan's official web site.

I do not envy you having to deal with workmen, contracts, and construction issues. It's awful.


Carol said...

I understand. Due to a horrific hail storm I have to have my roof replaced. Hope all turns out well for you. Betsy

Maria said...

Unfortunately, it is who you know. We are lucky in that Bing knows an incredibly diverse set of people. And she is a teacher, so she just puts out her need (we need our picture window replaced) and asks if anyone knows a good company/person to recommend. We have never had a bad deal unless Bing decides that she can do the work herself...and then the results are a bit disastrous at times! Do you have a network at your job or church? Our office manager, Betsy, recently had her whole house remodeled by someone who was recommended by a fellow church member. It is who you know.

Jamie said...

somewhat caught up with you now --- I have missed you, missed reading here and writing on mine, but damn--- I am not doing well. Still alive, but some days I think just barely. Love you old friend. J.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could give a word of advice but I have no idea about the legal side of this. They sure don't sound like a reputable company though. Scam artists!