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They'll Never Tell You They Don't Care
By: Suzie

No one cares more about your money, your home or your life than you do! You are the only one who has your best interest in mind, knows how you want things done and knows what is most important to you. Honor what you want by doing your homework before choosing contractors for your project.

Decide in advance what is the most important part of your project to you- is it getting the lowest price? Is it getting the best work? Is it getting the project done in the shortest amount of time? Is it having a great, hassle-free experience even though your life is being disrupted by your project? Knowing what part of your project is most important to you helps you find and hire contractors whose project-values match your own. Checking out a contractor’s marketing material like pamphlets, brochures and their website will help you decide if their project-values match yours, but the real scoop comes from talking to the contractor’s past clients.

Don’t listen to what the contractor, sales person or marketing materials say about a business- they’ll never tell you they do a poor job! They all will always tell you how great the company is or how great their products are and how you can’t live without them. The marketing material will throw the word ‘quality’ around like it’s the magic, make-them-buy-now word- whether or not it’s actually the truth. Your contractor’s marketing materials will never say ‘contractor does not show up on time’ or 'workers spend more time on their phones than they do actual work for you' or ‘workers take 3 hour lunches’ or ‘beware: you’ll have to listen to music you hate being blasted at painful levels while workers are present.’

6 steps to great customer
                      service

You owe it to yourself to do some investigating and find out what it would really be like to have that specific contractor in your home. Do an internet search for the specific contractor or business and see what is being said about them. Do an internet search for horror stories about your particular project to find out ways other contractors have done a horrible job or scammed their clients- knowing where the potholes are in the road to your completed project is the first step to avoiding them.

Do NOT believe that Angie’s List- or other referral sites- are a blanket list of good, reputable businesses just because you pay for the information and past clients write the reviews. My clients have told me about other contractors they’ve hired giving discounts for good reviews on Angie’s List and even trading deep discounts (even though the contractor did a horrible job) for a good review instead of a bad one. Some of our clients were even unwilling to write bad reviews (even though the contractor did a horrible job) because they didn't want to say anything bad about someone. In this modern era, we NEED people to write accurate reviews of contractors so the good ones can stay in business and the bad ones fade away or find another trade they actually enjoy! Several of my clients have learned the hard way there is no substitute for talking to actual people who have used the contractor directly instead of believing glittery marketing promises.

Always ask the contractor for a reference list and then use it! But look for other people to ask as well, contractors don't put people they do a bad job for on their reference lists. If you don’t talk to people on the list how do you know the contractor didn’t put down a bunch of phony info just to look good? Remember earlier where you chose what part of your project is most important to you? Use that what’s-most-important-to-you part to have specific questions you want to ask the references and write down their answers. Later you can compare different answers to the same question and remember who said what about the contractor. If your internet search turns up any unhappy customers, try and contact them for a more detailed report on what really happened with the contractor. Sometimes the contractor is horrible and sometimes the client is just plain unreasonable; you’ll have to make that decision for yourself.

We have our own vacuum and we use it!
We have our own vacuum and we USE it!

There are a lot of contractors out there for you to wade through, but if you know what’s important to you and do your homework accordingly you should be able to end up with a happily-completed project and hopefully the name of some great contractors you can refer to your friends and family.
©August 2010-2015. Suzie Enterprises. All images, text and sub-pages unless otherwise noted.