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View Full Version : OT: Poor economy or Poor business practice



squirrel
09-11-2010, 10:42 AM
This is really confusing, 5 heating and A/C contractors have been contacted for a quote on a new commercial installation and NO ONE has provided a quote. This is shocking since it's a 5 digit project, are they that busy or just stupid?

Called the local cement contractor to schedule a time to pour our patio slab at the house, guess what 2 weeks and no reply ( we did call twice).

So is the economy really poor or is it poor business practice?

sansbury
09-11-2010, 10:49 AM
Neither. Your phone is broken ;-)

RobbieKnobbie
09-11-2010, 10:53 AM
Were these all small-time independant contractors? I've had some really BAD experiences with that sort of business, mostly regarding reliability.

As sad as it may seem, the contractors that work through home depot have given me really good service. I'd assume because home depot does courtesy calls after the job to check up on their work.

Tony Ennis
09-11-2010, 11:01 AM
I have never found the types you mention to be reliable. Roofers are the worst.

Dr Stan
09-11-2010, 11:06 AM
I've had similar problems, especially when I had the slab & foundation poured for my shop. I've found word of mouth is the best way to locate a good contractor. Ask around and find someone who is a friend of a friend, that's how I found both my concrete man and my HVAC repairman.

Highpower
09-11-2010, 11:07 AM
I've had the same experience with Heating & A/C, Tree Service, Concrete & Tuckpointing, and Roof & Siding Contractors. All well before the economy tanked......

If I contact 5 different companies, only one (SOMETIMES two) ever show up to give a bid. And the ones that DO show up usually do a lousy job. So I guess the GOOD ones are all too busy. ;)

squirrel
09-11-2010, 11:21 AM
I've had similar problems, especially when I had the slab & foundation poured for my shop. I've found word of mouth is the best way to locate a good contractor. Ask around and find someone who is a friend of a friend, that's how I found both my concrete man and my HVAC repairman.
The cement guy poured our garage addition over a year ago and did a pretty decent job so I felt comfortable with him. It might be because the IDIOT cement truck driver did not have enough experience or brain power to lock the front drive axle and both drive axles on the truck and was buried axle deep in our yard AND tore up the neighbors yard. Needless to say I had to pay for the repairs to our yard and the neighbors!!!!!!!!

Weston Bye
09-11-2010, 11:24 AM
Money is tight. Some of these guys may not be able to get loans to purchase materials or cover labor until the job is done and you pay off. Have any asked for "up front" money?

KiddZimaHater
09-11-2010, 11:37 AM
I had the same experience with 2 different Armature shops.
The first one never called me back or answered my questions.
The second had my motor for 2 weeks, and I never heard a peep out of them.
Finally I had to call them, and Baldor service MYSELF, to get the warranty work done.

squirrel
09-11-2010, 11:44 AM
Money is tight. Some of these guys may not be able to get loans to purchase materials or cover labor until the job is done and you pay off. Have any asked for "up front" money?
No, they have not. I will not release funds until the air blows cold and the heat works.

BigMike782
09-11-2010, 09:10 PM
I needed service on an RV refrigerator.I called 2 shops,one I got a machine and no call back for almost a week.The second needed an appointment and upfront money and it would be at least three week wait......times must be better than the media leads us to believe.

wierdscience
09-11-2010, 09:28 PM
The AC guys might be busy,this time of year is worse than summer in that biz.Not only do you have hot sweaty customers with broke units,you also have folks wanting heaters cleaned and checked.The one we use here has a 3 week lead on quotes.

The concrete guys,well they may have trouble keeping a crew together right now.If they don't have enough work,they send people home.The hard workers will hit the ground running and find another gig.The lazier ones will lay back on UNEP,neither is available to work when the next job comes up.

squirrel
09-11-2010, 09:30 PM
I needed service on an RV refrigerator.I called 2 shops,one I got a machine and no call back for almost a week.The second needed an appointment and upfront money and it would be at least three week wait......times must be better than the media leads us to believe.
I tend to believe it is too, and the TV media is hurting for cash and every little thing is extremely dramatized. I feel the media is as much to blame as the Greedy BANKING industries and the current policy makers for dragging this out. Some of the the biggest investment firms have hedged on inflation increasing and they stand to make BILLIONS of dollars if inflation increases a couple points. So I am almost positive the spin machine will begin running full speed AFTER the election and you will here about the sky falling due to inflation.

mike4
09-11-2010, 09:44 PM
Were these all small-time independant contractors? I've had some really BAD experiences with that sort of business, mostly regarding reliability.

As sad as it may seem, the contractors that work through home depot have given me really good service. I'd assume because home depot does courtesy calls after the job to check up on their work.

I have had the opposite experience , the small independent businesses give better quality and get the work completed , may have to wait as these guys are often very busy.
The major contractors are often not interested in any work under $100k and basically give you the run around.

squirrel
09-11-2010, 10:42 PM
I have had the opposite experience , the small independent businesses give better quality and get the work completed , may have to wait as these guys are often very busy.
The major contractors are often not interested in any work under $100k and basically give you the run around.
You have a good point.

MichaelP
09-12-2010, 02:24 AM
I've just finished a new garage addition project that started last year. It was a nightmare: both choosing a general contractor and then dealing with one, his subcontractors and independent contractors. I could write a book about characters I met. Frankly, I started hating construction guys more than I hate lawyers. There is a trend: they schedule appointments and don't come, they promise to call and never do, they try to cheat you with contracts, they start working and disappear for a long time, they stop being interested as soon as they get money, they never return calls, they don't give a damn about your time, they don't honor their own warranties, they lie and invent the most ridiculous excuses. There is no loyalty, no pride, no gratefulness, no dignity, no shame.

All of them are whining about bad economy and no job, but all of them behave EXACTLY as they behaved when they had more job they could handle. They fully deserve losing their businesses. That's the only way to get rid of the ballast.

P.S. There were a few workers who knew what they were doing and did a quality work. But they were employees and couldn't influence the business pattern of their bosses.

Too_Many_Tools
09-12-2010, 03:42 AM
This is really confusing, 5 heating and A/C contractors have been contacted for a quote on a new commercial installation and NO ONE has provided a quote. This is shocking since it's a 5 digit project, are they that busy or just stupid?

Called the local cement contractor to schedule a time to pour our patio slab at the house, guess what 2 weeks and no reply ( we did call twice).

So is the economy really poor or is it poor business practice?

Depending on where you are, this could be the busiest time of the year.

With winter coming, the trades are trying to beat the snow that is coming.

As for 5 digit project, there is a big difference between 10,000 and 99,999.

TMT

TMT

Richard-TX
09-12-2010, 10:00 AM
I will not release funds until the air blows cold and the heat works. and preferably not at the same time.

jep24601
09-12-2010, 12:58 PM
I think you are all missing on what is happening here. He called FIVE contractors for bids. These guys are used to people shopping around and believe me they can tell it when they talk on the phone or the way they hear a message phrased. They will not respond if they think they will be wasting their time because you are going to pick the cheapast guy.

Ask around who is good. Go talk to a couple of them. They all know their competitors work and what they charge.

Paul Alciatore
09-12-2010, 07:25 PM
I tend to believe it is too, and the TV media is hurting for cash and every little thing is extremely dramatized. I feel the media is as much to blame as the Greedy BANKING industries and the current policy makers for dragging this out. Some of the the biggest investment firms have hedged on inflation increasing and they stand to make BILLIONS of dollars if inflation increases a couple points. So I am almost positive the spin machine will begin running full speed AFTER the election and you will here about the sky falling due to inflation.

How do you "hedge on inflation increasing"? Is this something that only the big guys can do or can anyone?

Paul Alciatore
09-12-2010, 07:28 PM
I don't know about all the trades, but I have never seen a HVAC person or company short of work. Most of them are backed up weeks if not months. And that has been the case almost everywhere I have lived. We Americans love our comfort.

squirrel
09-12-2010, 07:40 PM
How do you "hedge on inflation increasing"? Is this something that only the big guys can do or can anyone?
Really nice piece in the Wall Street Journal within the last 2 or 3 weeks I don't remember the exact issue. It will make you crap down both legs!!

Too_Many_Tools
09-12-2010, 10:59 PM
Really nice piece in the Wall Street Journal within the last 2 or 3 weeks I don't remember the exact issue. It will make you crap down both legs!!

It predicted that Obama would win a second term? ;<) b

Why don't you go to a library and locate the issue in question then post a link to the issue?

If the article was that good, it should be worth the effort to post the reference here.

TMT

Evan
09-13-2010, 12:14 AM
There are a lot of ways to hedge on increasing inflation. The simplest is to buy gold. Another is currency trading and another is base metal futures. Just about anything traded worldwide that has intrinsic value or directly reflects such value will increase in US dollar cost in direct proportion to the drop in value of the currency during periods of inflation.

SteveF
09-13-2010, 01:33 AM
I've just finished a new garage addition project that started last year. It was a nightmare: both choosing a general contractor and then dealing with one, his subcontractors and independent contractors. I could write a book about characters I met. Frankly, I started hating construction guys more than I hate lawyers. There is a trend: they schedule appointments and don't come, they promise to call and never do, they try to cheat you with contracts, they start working and disappear for a long time, they stop being interested as soon as they get money, they never return calls, they don't give a damn about your time, they don't honor their own warranties, they lie and invent the most ridiculous excuses. There is no loyalty, no pride, no gratefulness, no dignity, no shame.


And that is exactly normal for the construction trades. Which is why I act as my own GC and do much of the work myself. This week I'm shingling the roof of a new garage with the help of two folks from a temp labor agency that I regularly use. The two guys will probably be Mexicans and may even be in the country illegally but given the attitude of American construction workers I no longer care in the slightest.

Steve.

JanvanSaane
09-13-2010, 04:15 AM
I have a piece of property I would like to build on. I have a floor plan and took it to a local architect last year. He said he was busy with another project at the time. I was in no hurry so I left my number and told him to give me a call when it was convenient we could go over it. Never heard back from him. I guess housing is doing a lot better than I thought. Jan

oldtiffie
09-13-2010, 09:36 AM
Hedging:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_(finance)

http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&source=hp&q=hedging+definition&aq=8&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=hedging&gs_rfai=&fp=aa2ddf24bc56fe27

Too_Many_Tools
09-13-2010, 12:59 PM
I have a piece of property I would like to build on. I have a floor plan and took it to a local architect last year. He said he was busy with another project at the time. I was in no hurry so I left my number and told him to give me a call when it was convenient we could go over it. Never heard back from him. I guess housing is doing a lot better than I thought. Jan


Housing...no...remodeling...yes.

Guess which one has a bigger profit margin for the architect? ;<)

TMT

Too_Many_Tools
09-13-2010, 01:06 PM
Hedging:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_(finance)

http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&source=hp&q=hedging+definition&aq=8&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=hedging&gs_rfai=&fp=aa2ddf24bc56fe27


Hedging = Gambling.

Unregulated hedging is one of the major causes for the world wide recession we are now enjoying.

TMT