Tonight I will write about the second bizarre experience I have had with tradespeople over the past few years. This one still gets me a little irritated, so I needed to be in just the right mood before I wrote about it :-)
Earlier this week I wrote about Russel, my boarder. We have made peace with each other, but this was not always the case. I spent many hours in the first year in this house trying to get rid of him. It got to the point where I wanted him out of there so much so that I contacted a "professional pest remover."
Mr. Professional confirmed in my phone call to him that what I described was most likely a bat. He assured me that he had vast experience in excluding bats and this would be no problem for him. In fact, he bragged to me that he offered a 5 yr guarantee. He told me he charged for estimates (which I normally will never agree to), but applied the cost to the work. He gave me a ballpark figure on the overall costs which seemed reasonable. I knew I was going to have the work done so it didn't seem to be an issue. After all - I was going to get a 5 yr. guarantee!
I checked his name on Angies List and he had quite a few good reviews (although there were a few not-so-satisfied reviews that I should have paid more attention to...). I made an appointment for him to come out and give me an estimate.
He arrived on time and I gave him a rundown on the situation. He seemed irritated that I presumed to know anything about "pests." After all, I was not a professional. I started to get an odd feeling. He walked around my property and then declared that I did not have a pest. I told him that even in my untrained, unprofessional state I could tell I *did* have a pest in the wall. He told me that if I insisted that there was a pest, even though he knew better (eyes rolling up into his head), he would do some "tightening up" of the roof, but there would be no warranty. I was in shock.
I explained to him the warranty was the reason why he was there. He stood there, clip board in hand and stared at me. Then he let out a long irritated sigh and told me that perhaps I should just pay him for the estimateand he could be on his way.
Unbelievable. I was so surprised by this whole little scam, I actually wrote him a check. He took it without batting an eye. He evidently made hisliving my charging for estimates and then decalring there was no problem to fix.
I wrote a scathing review for him in Anglies List. Then I promptly cancelled my subscription to Angies List (you will note the Stalking Plumber also came from them). This is one of those incidents that I wrote off to lesson learned.
Lessons learned: Do not pay for estimates. Get referrals from people you actually know.
I hope the next bat he encounters bites him :-)