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Monday, September 10, 2012

Not Again OR Yes, Again OR Yes, I Said Again!

Recently I ranted about home improvement drama.  (That's pronounced dram-ah because it's not drama, it's dram-ah.)
I thought whilst I ranted I would educate the common folk
on what to expect when utilizing a contractor.
I have had my a/c unit fixed.  I should shout it out on the mountaintop because it nearly took an act of Congress and a secret deal with the devil.

What it actually took.  It took four contractors, 26 phone calls, and two bottles of Tums. (The big kind that you buy at Sam's Club.)  I had to swipe three of my husband's sleeping pills and I seriously considered taking some old Prozac.  Four freakin' contractors.  Each one told me a different story.  The first one said it would cost $350-500, er $700-$800, er, over $1000, er a whole NEW system for only $4500 or so.  (I might not have the numbers exactly right, but it's in the ball park.)  The second one said nothing was broken and flushed out the condensate lines.  The third one said the drain pan was broken and I would either need a new pan (if he could get the parts) OR I would need a whole new system, but don't forget that the vent work is separate on the warranty.  (He threw out a $600-ish number for me to digest.)  Then he wouldn't return phone calls.  The fourth one said it was a bad connection between some metal and some PVC pipes.  He fixed it in about twenty minutes.  He even had the parts in the truck.

26 phone calls.  26 phone calls.  26 phone calls.  26...phone...calls.

People wonder why I get so irate with customer service.  I think my sister deliberately walks behind me so people won't think we're together when we're at some such business or another.  (I'm like a booby trap.  You never know when I go off.)  (This stems back to a time when we ate at a restaurant that had all-you-can-eat-spaghetti, which my sister ordered.  The waitress never came back to see if she wanted more spaghetti, so I was displeased.  I didn't think the waitress should get tipped on account that the all-you-can-eat-spaghetti was really the one-plate-if-you're-lucky-spaghetti.  My sister said it was because we went on a Saturday night and they were busy.  My sister worked for many years as a waitress so I believe she's sympatico.  I disagreed with her compassion.  Anyway...)

There WAS a turning point in the a/c contractor story.  In actually definition the turning point is the part where I became dogged.  I mean that I was intent.  I was determined.  I wasn't going to let go.  When I called the warranty people to complain about contractor no. 1's lack of professionalism (Specifically I thought the price jumping technique employed to garner new business was fraudulent and made me want to throttle the woman on the phone) and the warranty person who ended up talking to me (Shawn) said he would call me back once he got all the details.  He did not call me back.

Right there.  Right the frick there.  That was the point where the fat camel broke the skinny little straw's back.  The camel said, "Yo, bee-otch, when you said you would call me back and you did not, my straw broke.  It did not feel good."

My husband, HIM, who is basically a good husband and a decent person, attempted to run interference.  He said, "I'll fix it.  I'll just take some silicone and bubble gum and possibly some instant weld, plus some an ancient voodoo ritual..."

I said, "No, they (the warranty people) are going to fix it or replace it.  I have pronounced it and thus it is so."  Whereupon HIM backed away because he heard the message in the tone.  Right there.  Dogged, thy name is Fat Woman.

"They WILL fix it because I have had enough of this bull sh**," I was later heard to say in a dogged fashion.  (Word for the day.  Dogged.  It does not mean that I chewed bones and chased sticks.  It means I became the bone.)

Anyhoo, 26 phone calls later, they have fixed it and you can be sure I didn't have to pay for the service visit from the 4th contractor.

I'm feeling vindicated...until the water heater breaks.

Also I swear I will not blog about home improvement for a full thirty days.  I am fore sworn.

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