Today was supposed to be round two of termite inspections. Get another quote, then another tomorrow and then pretty much pick the lowest bidder (after double checking the company ratings on Yelp and the BBB).
Am I playing off the companies against each other? Of course!
Do they know that? Of course!
I was honest from the start with all of them that I was shopping around, that I had someone loaning me the money for my half who would have some say in the process, and that I have a duplex partner who also has a say in the decision.
Company #1 I know because I have used them over the last 8 years for rat and ant control. They never missed an appointment, billing was always smooth and the treatments worked so I was happy with them. I found out later that I could have gotten better deals, but all I cared about in the end was that the pests were gone! So, I used them as bid #1 knowing that it probably be high, but also feeling like I could trust them.
He spent 45 minutes going around the building, thoroughly inspected everything and wrote up quotes as I wanted for both the tenting and the dry rot wood replacement on my side.
He came across as not overly pushy at all, very knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Yelp and BBB ratings are bad though – especially for termites. Ouch!
Company #3 is coming tomorrow and is connected through a friend who I know and he has already out bid Company #1 just on the specs I gave him. By a pretty nice margin too! But…he did that forgetting I had another company still to consider. Ooopsie on his part….but he still comes by tomorrow to do his inspection and his company has good reviews so he has the inside track for sure.
Meanwhile company #2 was scheduled for today between 3-5. I had to lend the car to 27 so he could renew his ID at the DMV before checking in at his new job Thursday…so I asked him to pick me up at 3. We live 10 minutes from work and NO company is ever EARLY on those two hour windows, right? Even if he called at 3, I would be there in 10 minutes. TEN.
Sales rep calls at 1:30 and says he will be there at 2:45-3. I tell him I can’t leave work until 3, but I will be there NO LATER than 3:15.
His response? “If you have an appointment between 3-5, then you are supposed to BE there from 3-5!”
Oh really? I mean, yes, I agree but….did you really just lecture me? Over 10 minutes?
So, I told him that he can get there at three and start walking around the right side of the building if he wants and I explained about the duplex and that there were other companies bidding, that I wasn’t the only one making the decision yadda yadda.
He asked who company #1 one was and I told him. “Well, I can’t outbid them…but..I’ll still write something up I guess”
Gee buddy, don’t sound too excited.
So we agreed I would meet him at 3:15, but he could get started at 3 on my side.
He calls back at 2:15 “Well, I just don’t know if this is worth my time since I know I cannot outbid the other company which is frustrating since they cheat and don’t use enough gas when they bid so low and then I have to go back and fix their mistakes…not that I am trying to get them in trouble or anything…..”
Uhh….so I asked him if wanted to cancel since he was (again) sounding like he didn’t want the job.
“No, No, I’ll meet you, just wanted to put that out there since you seem more concerned about price than quality.”
WTF? Honestly if this company had not been the one that the BF had recommended and he wasn’t paying for my half I would have told this guy to shove off right then and there!!
But no – I left work at 3…and passed his truck sitting on a side street at 3:15. I figured he would come up to meet me from there. I left the garage door open so he could see I was home…I went to get the mail…I saw my next door neighbor and talked to her about the process and she was fine with him going over to her side to measure….and he didn’t roll up.
I went inside and checked my cell phone – no call. I waited until 3:45 and then I called the company to find out where he was. He finally calls me at 4 – “Oh, I was there. I checked it out and left a quote on your front door” WHAT?
So basically – I didn’t need to leave work early to meet him. He spent a grand total of MAYBE 5-10 minutes doing…what I don’t know (16 reported that the truck was at the house at 3pm when he walked home from school but he never saw the guy)…he left a quote sheet (for almost DOUBLE what company #1 left) with NO details or analysis. He clearly didn’t test the wood or do anything like what the first guy did to inspect the extent of the infestation….in other words, he wasted my time and did the bare minimum and wrote up a crap quote and bad mouthed the other company I had contacted all to what end?
And the kicker? He says to me after telling me that he dropped off the quote already: “Well, once you choose Company #1 and then have to contact me to fix their mess we can talk about pricing on the dry rot wood replacement!”
I don’t think so.