The Problem with Contractors

Guard Dad

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I've heard this for years and years. One multi-national company that's used us for over 25 years tells me all the time that we're the best they have for two reasons; 1) When they give me a job, I handle it and all the problems that go with it (inspectors, fire marshals, etc). and 2) We do what we say we're gonna do and get the job done. What we mainly do for this company is to install parts of McDonald's stores, and they don't take kindly to not being able to open when they planned to.

Communication goes a long way. If you've ran into delays or whatever, a contractor should let the customer know, and explain why. Customers are usually far more understanding if you communicate with them. I've been trying to beat this into my guy's heads for years; some get it and some don't. Sadly, I find that a lot of the people in skilled building trades are not very organized and their people skills are sometimes lacking. Not to mention their communication skills.

What's bad is, I hear about this kind of stuff even in recessionary times. I still remember a few years ago when the economy tanked; I was beating to bushes to get whatever work we could get. One would think contractors would be smooching customer's butts during times like that, but many didn't seem to care.

Some of the commercial contracts we enter into have a set date of substantial completion, and liquidated damages if we don't meet the deadline. I see no reason you can't do that for residential contracts, but you're probably right that some of the smaller contractors / handyman companies might not agree to it. Might be worth a try though. If you recall, when I did the grading and retaining walls out back I had to call the two contractors in and have a come to Jesus meeting. The original plan was that one of the contractors I hired wanted to run the job and use his sub for the other portion of it. But they were not communicating very well and mistaked happened. I reminded them that I AM a contractor who runs jobs every day, and if they couldn't get it done on their own I would take the job over and become the superintendent. They kinda got on the stick then.
 

Boss 302

Pursuit Driver
#3
My work location has two issues needing to be fixed. No air is coming out of the duct in our office, so it's 86 degrees in there. The other is a light switch not working that turns off all the lights in the building. Both of these issues have existed for over a month now. The HVAC company has been out three times now, and each time we get a different reason why it's so hot in our office. The first was the unit on the roof that supplies heat and air to the office is not working and needs repair, but didn't fix it. The next guy that came out said it was the thermostat for that unit, but didn't replace it. The last guy who came out said the duct was blocked and they would be back the next night to fix it after the store closed. None of them came back, but yet we have been billed for three service calls.

An electrician came out about the light switch and looked at our circuit panel and left without explanation. Another guy came a few days later and said it was a bad light switch that needed to be replaced and he didn't have one with him. He said he had to go to another call, but would be back later that afternoon and if not, the next morning. A few days later, they send another guy. This one said it was not the light switch; that it was an issue with the air duct coming into the office and he would have to come back. This issue is costing us money as the lights covering more than 20,000 sq ft are on 24/7.

What the hell is wrong with companies today?
 

Guard Dad

Administrator
Staff member
#4
My work location has two issues needing to be fixed. No air is coming out of the duct in our office, so it's 86 degrees in there. The other is a light switch not working that turns off all the lights in the building. Both of these issues have existed for over a month now. The HVAC company has been out three times now, and each time we get a different reason why it's so hot in our office. The first was the unit on the roof that supplies heat and air to the office is not working and needs repair, but didn't fix it. The next guy that came out said it was the thermostat for that unit, but didn't replace it. The last guy who came out said the duct was blocked and they would be back the next night to fix it after the store closed. None of them came back, but yet we have been billed for three service calls.

An electrician came out about the light switch and looked at our circuit panel and left without explanation. Another guy came a few days later and said it was a bad light switch that needed to be replaced and he didn't have one with him. He said he had to go to another call, but would be back later that afternoon and if not, the next morning. A few days later, they send another guy. This one said it was not the light switch; that it was an issue with the air duct coming into the office and he would have to come back. This issue is costing us money as the lights covering more than 20,000 sq ft are on 24/7.

What the hell is wrong with companies today?
There are other options, ya know :whistle::whistle:
 

Stonewall

Stunt Driver
#7
Boss you get what you pay for cheaper is rarely better. These guys are incompetent. Call Mr. Effing Electric or cousin Billy Bob and that's what you get. There are pretty much two possibilities on the lights, bad switch or bad contactor. It is a simple fix but it cost money there are no magic wands. PM me and I can hook you up. I imagine GD can help you out too.
 

Boss 302

Pursuit Driver
#8
Boss you get what you pay for cheaper is rarely better. These guys are incompetent. Call Mr. Effing Electric or cousin Billy Bob and that's what you get. There are pretty much two possibilities on the lights, bad switch or bad contactor. It is a simple fix but it cost money there are no magic wands. PM me and I can hook you up. I imagine GD can help you out too.
The decision isn't mine on who fixes the problems. Corporate makes those decisions.
 

JawJa

Driving Instructor
#10
We do not do commercial work...
Because the folks at the buildings put endless restrictions on what and when we can do things...

And given the issues with identity theft...
There is NO WAY I am gonna leave my DL (drivers license) with some clerk while I work...

Google: Facilities maintenance contractor problems... read up on it from the perspective of the contractor doing the work...
It is a nightmare... and in the trades, most of us will not do work for them... because they do not pay well... IF you ever get paid!
 

Boss 302

Pursuit Driver
#11
We do not do commercial work...
Because the folks at the buildings put endless restrictions on what and when we can do things...

And given the issues with identity theft...
There is NO WAY I am gonna leave my DL (drivers license) with some clerk while I work...

Google: Facilities maintenance contractor problems... read up on it from the perspective of the contractor doing the work...
It is a nightmare... and in the trades, most of us will not do work for them... because they do not pay well... IF you ever get paid!
We do not do commercial work...
Because the folks at the buildings put endless restrictions on what and when we can do things...

And given the issues with identity theft...
There is NO WAY I am gonna leave my DL (drivers license) with some clerk while I work...

Google: Facilities maintenance contractor problems... read up on it from the perspective of the contractor doing the work...
It is a nightmare... and in the trades, most of us will not do work for them... because they do not pay well... IF you ever get paid!
We don't hold their drivers license while they are there. We just have them sign in and out of our vendors book.
 

JawJa

Driving Instructor
#12
Many places do...

I read regularly of shopping malls...
Where the service guy has to surrender his entire wallet...
Then a few hours later, he cannot find anyone at the service desk to get his wallet back...

NOT kidding!

There is NO WAY...
I would put up with that treatment!
 

Guard Dad

Administrator
Staff member
#13
The worst is working at correctional institutes. They search your tools going in and coming out, and you gotta walk through some rough areas.
 

JawJa

Driving Instructor
#14
Yeah... understand that...
Prisoners are good at making weapons from almost anything...

I think I will pass on doing service work at the prison...
Lots of other guys to do that work...
Grin
 

lotstodo

aka "The Jackal"
#15
A long time ago, Verizon was a customer of ours. It was the start of the cell phone era, and they were opening hundreds of stores a year so we really wanted the business. I had a cell phone through work at the time because lets face it, who could afford 30 cents a minute. When you went to see them up next to perimeter mall, they would take your cell phone and your license and put them in a pouch. Mine didn't even have a camera, but I guess some did. I must have gone in there a dozen times and got to where I would leave my phone in the car so I didn't have to go through that hassle, I just had to sign in and get a visitor's pass. I left one day and the guard came running after me to hand me my phone and my license. I don't know whose it was, but it was a brand new Nokia phone. It was tempting. :)
 

Boss 302

Pursuit Driver
#16
The electrician finally came back yesterday and replaced the switch and now we can turn off the lights at night. It's pretty sad I had to complain so much to my senior leadership to get this done. I can guarantee you that before this month is over, somebody at corporate will be complaining to us why our electrical bill is so high. I will have fun with that.
 
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