Thursday, June 19, 2008

Don't Fence Me In

Well, the contractor who was here to do our fence called DH yesterday, and basically his every answer to DH's comments and questions was that he's been doing this for 35 years and that's how he does it. Gee, thanks. DH said that he was careful to compliment the guy on his installation of the posts, since three of them were put into concrete and the patch work on the areas was really nice, but the guy was just plain defensive and so he couldn't get anywhere.

So, I ended up calling anyway, to talk to the salesman who initially came to the house, thinking that it would be more likely that I would get somewhere with a person who a) wasn't emotionally connected to the work and b) whose income probably relies on customer referrals for new business. I explained to him our concerns (and also praised the good parts of the installation). Get this - when I told him that the pickets were raised six inches off the ground on one end of the fence, he ACTUALLY SAID, 'but that would have required custom cutting of the pickets'. HELLO, isn't that their JOB?! I said, 'yes, it would have, and I have never had a fence installed that wasn't level on both top bottom.' He didn't say anything in response to that. I also explained that we're unhappy that the method of mounting the pickets - on a rail that doesn't go between the pickets but is rather on the inside of them, backwards, for heaven's sake - and he said that they don't do the kind of installation I was describing, so I reminded him that he said when he was here that the new section would match the existing fence, which IS installed that way, and which allows for the pickets to be installed facing OUTWARD rather than inward. Duh. I was also sure to tell him of the reception my DH received from the installer when he tried to call.

However, I was correct in assuming that he would be much more interested in working with us, and he asked what he could do to make things right for us. I said that DH isn't really interested in having them come to the house again, since he doesn't trust them to do what we ask anymore, but that we would like to have part of our money back. He said that he's not sure they can do that, but that he'll look into it and get back with us. Frankly, I don't really want them here again, either, since the last thing I want to deal with is surly contractors who are probably going to be cursing me behind my back out in my own yard. We at least have the materials, and can probably deal with fixing the situation ourselves with a lot less grief in an afternoon.

I am so, so sorry that I didn't go with the person who did the fence at our old place. It was very pretty, and was well-made. If I hadn't been such an emotional basket-case at the time, I probably would have. I just couldn't stand the idea of explaining the situation even ONE MORE TIME, especially to an old man whose nearly brand-new work was going to be replaced with highway. I'm an idiot, I know. D'oh.

(What's up with the spellcheck function?! It's highlighting almost every word I write!!!)

6 comments:

Kristin.... said...

Complain, complain and complain some more. File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Call the local tv station that does features on companies that don't provide good customer service. Explain what happened. See if they want to show it on air. Then see if the company doesn't jump to give you your money back. If they didn't give you what you paid for, then they need to refund your money.
Sorry, I'm cranky.

desperate housewife said...

What a jackass! "That would require custom cutting..." ?! Um, heLLO, that's why we hired YOU instead of doing it ourselves? Gosh.
Also, catching up on your recent posts, and just wanted to tell you I said a prayer for your SIL's babies. What an exciting/scary thing...

Swistle said...

Oh, this is so sucky. And I know how after a certain point, the thought of dealing with it ANY MORE is Too Much.

Susiewearsthepants said...

I swear nowadays spending your hard earned money gets you NO RESPECT. This makes me so angry for you. I agree with Kristin. I would even mention to the salesman that you are contacting the BBB. What a bunch of jerks!

Marie Green said...

We are installing a fence this summer too, OURSELVES... so I'll let you know all of the nightmares THAT entails, and then we can lounge around and sigh loud sighs together.

Creative Kerfuffle said...

ugh. this falls under horrible customer service and workmanship and it drives me crazy. when you pay hard earned money you should get what you paid for. gah!