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!!!)
2 months ago