Professional References

Discussion in 'Terry's Corner' started by Gouranga, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Gouranga

    Gouranga Software Engineer

    Gaston County, NC
    I had another thought. With the huge geographical area represented in this board and the impressive level of experience in dIYers and professionals, I was thinking you could maybe generate some type of message thread or maybe something broken down by area (closest major city), etc with a list of peer reviewed professionals in various areas.
    I think this is one of the biggest problems that I ever have in home repair. i isually have to get screwed by at least 2 or 3 guys before I find a decent person for Plumbing, Electrical, General Contractor, etc.
    It could as simple as a message thread where folks can ask "Who is decent to call for plumbing in Charlotte, NC". or something seperate from the Discussion board entirely. I know there are a few places they do this. but I think it would be an awesome way to augment what you already got. I would volunteer to write something for you but I notced your pages are php which is out of my skillset.
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    They have Angies List, out here (Cincinnati), for things like this.
  3. word of mouth is the best path

    yes they have angies list...

    but who monitors them??

    In our town, if you are willing to advertise heavily

    with them, the cost is three-five times higher than the yelow pages!

    and it only goes out to about 35,000 people that subscribe to them..

    I was told I would get preferential treatment over the

    non advertisers (cheap asses) and be "referred"

    to thier customers when their customers called for info....

    Also they tend to overlook astrominacally high

    charges you charge their angies list customers. (if you advertise)

    I found it all dis-tasteful and I wont give them a dime .

    I am one of those "cheap asses " that wont advertise.

    Though I think the actual term for it is a "shake-down"

    their is one company in town on Angies List that charges about 1400
    for a 40 gallon gas heater then takes off the

    "Angies list discount" of $150.00 --- aint that nice of them???
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2006
  4. I won't advertise with them because I'm proof I don't need to.

    I've won the Super Service Award 3 years in a row, all A reports. 48 and climbing. I'm actually the leader in A.L. as far as plumbers in northern kentucky. So when you see me spouting off in the forums exercising my opinion, I do hold some clout from where I stand in my community. I have a reputation of professionalism at the highest level. Funny how I offend others with my opinions about how I treat my customer base.

    If you go to a fine jeweler to buy diamonds, you expect professionalism, quality and a refined sense of precision in what you deal with.

    If you go to Walmart to buy your diamonds, you should expect cheap prices, untrained representatives, and a discount. I don't ever want to be put in this category, and I surely don't want to draw a customer base in like this. It has a reputation of dealing with the worst and you should only expect more strife in doing so.

    We as plumbers are in a profession where every customer has a personal situation that may or may not affect the relationship you have with him or her. I really appreciate my customers that respect this unspoken confidentiality agreement before I knock on the door. I don't care about their personal problems and I don't expect them to care about mine. I just want to do a top-notch job and execute the work in a timely fashion. All the story telling, all the cute gossip and endless chatter is for another time in the course of day, after work.

    I'm not a robot, I'm not mean, I just want to do my job without being the ear of Dr. Phil. My record speaks for itself in my community. I just recently put up a billboard in my area with Lamar, I'm one of 2 sponsors for the fireworks celebration in my community and I contribute to all school functions within reason when asked to participate in advertising. Granted, I'm name branding my company name to get myself some security for the future, but I'm doing it tactfully and making sure that I pump hard earned dollars into my community so that we all benefit from the experience.

    I'm talked about by other plumbers in my area. They know that if I come behind them and their workmanship doesn't follow industry standard and was down right inexcusable, they know what to expect. Short of a body slam on a hard mat at a wrestling match I make sure that they are held accountable for their actions. Most times I drive the issuance of public opinion to change their minds for the unkind deed towards what is now my customer. If you own a business and your help is either stealing or throwing out bad work, someone has to hold them accountable. Otherwise the pattern of deception continues.

    A great deal of my customers are drawn to me by my honesty. They might not like what I have to say about their plumbing.........some think I'm picking on their homes as soon as I hit the door. LOL! Oh well, the knowledge is what they are paying for when I arrive. You don't know how good it feels to have the years in this profession and get paid consulting fees for work I never touch. Not estimates, just being called because of my reputation of a really good troubleshooter. I found out that on the internet it is very hard to adapt to not being able to see what the "whole" situation is. Most information leaves out some crucial details that could make solving the problem a lot easier.

    I'm glad I took typing in high school. I can type lightning fast, I have to since I respond on so many forums. I have learned a great deal of knowledge on the www from hearing from others as well as the different methods of practice in this profession. It's nice to give back without pay sometimes to others. There are not a great deal of us plumbers that do that.

    We should be considered a rare breed. Charity in a such a beneficial way for all to see, years to come.

    Gotta go, time to eat and the race is on!

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2006
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    In Seattle a money publication rated plumbers in the area, a highly rated plumber was the one that charged $200 to $300 an hour. He would come out to your house 24/7

    The one that charged less than $100 was rated the worst.
    Which was funny, I know their plumbers, and they are some of the best.
    You do have to wait your turn the get them though.

    My plumbing shop wasn't rated, I guess my ad wasn't big enough.
    Most of my work comes off the Internet.
  6. that sounds fishey

    Terry--- if you are implying what I think you are implying

    the guy that got the good rateing probably paid BIG $$ for it...

    either through heavy advertiseing or whatever....

    and the little guy that did good work for 100 per hour would

    not paly ball and got the bad rateing...........


    Last edited: Jun 11, 2006
  7. There is politics in everything

    I think that is what Terry is implying. You either "spend like us or you won't rate like us"

    I must mention that service providers of AL cannot control what is said about them. You either act like a professional or it will bite you in the end. Those reports stay on there for years and even disputing them will not remove them.

    Something that the BBB allows; it's always a 3 year window in my area. A service provider could have 20 complaints and in 3 years....they are gone.:eek:
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    I think a 3 year window is O.K.

    Plumbers can go bad or get better based on how their buisness is running and who is working for them. Employees can ruin a buisness and by the time they get fired the damage is done.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    Terry...very interesting to hear how well the internet works for you. I had not thought that a local service-type business could work that way ( As opposed to a business that sells a product, and can ship it from anywhere, to anywhere).
  10. Gouranga

    Gouranga Software Engineer

    Gaston County, NC
    See Rugged...that is the stuff I am talking about. In my area I tried 3 plumbers and it cost me a lot of $$ to finally find a fella who is honest, priced fairly, and does a good job when he comes in. I have tried Angies list, but I was not always impressed with their choices. I have no problem paying for quality however, I have a big problem being overcharged.

    When I did consulting work for a large technology company you ran into the same things. You had some consultants from HIGHLY rate companies going at $250/hr. they were alright, but nothing special. I worked for a company that was one of the best in quality, hitting budget, and customer service and we would send our folks out to th esame type of gig for $150/hr. Over a 1.5 year project that adds up. Our customer NEVER would have known it except by word of mouth.
    Now the reason I think this list would be awesome for that is we have a great user base. From consumers with some knowledge of the work needing to be done, to professionals. I also despise the whole "star" rating system. I would expect a recommendation to include more meat. Like WHY are they worth recommending/not recommending. What makes them so special? You look at Rugged's post, he has put up some facts that are verifiable, so if you were curious about his posting you could check.
    Finding a pro in any area that is decent can be quite a challenge.

  11. This wouldn't bother me in the least bit. Only thing have to be a member of that system in order to see those reports. At one time I had made a ongoing copy of my reports viewable on my website and last year I was told to remove them immediately.

    Had everything to do with the contract I signed when I won the 2004 super service award. It's written by a lawyer and it's meant to keep the abuse of the system to a minimum. I don't agree with it but it proves that one bad apple spoils the bunch.

    I get some funny ass reports though. Some write a book about me and then some need hooked on phonics. All in all I'm grateful for any report I get. The majority do not give reports which tees me off.
  12. teed and piffed

    it dont happen often but some of those people
    that subscribe to A list KNOW that they can
    "shake you down".

    I had one last year that wrote a bad report on me...

    becasuse I had a long list of things to do and simply
    overlooked one of them --honest mistake -- easily fixed

    Instead of just calling me on the phone before the day was over ,
    he decided to call me a thief and con man on the A site.

    When I saw his insults, I called the fellow and asked him

    what the big secret was .... that he could not simply call me to
    tell me I had forgotten to do something...and I would have gladly come
    back out to his house.....

    He started screaming at me calling me a liar ect and that I
    would not have come back out to his house for free ect.....

    I saw that I had a nut case on my hands...

    We ended up agreeing that if he took the insults off A list
    that I would just send him back all his money......

    Then in a parting comment,
    I told the fellow
    that I would hold up my end of the agreement,
    even though I knew he would not keep his end of
    the deal once the check was cashed.....
    he was not fooling anyone.

    I told him he was a little weasel and not
    man enough to keep his word.
    That really pisssed him off....LOL

    I sent him his check on x-mas day gift a box.
    the fellow had to sign for it.

    I told him that he got something for nothing and
    I hoped he had a great x-mas.

    and of course he never really lived up his end of the bargain.

    my grade want from f to c but ths comments remained....

    I just had to let it go at that point.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2006
  13. Gouranga

    Gouranga Software Engineer

    Gaston County, NC
    Yeah people can suck. To me, it is when folks make those types of mistakes that you have the opportunity to see what type of person they really are. If you screw me, I can be pretty tough but I will always call a guy first and give him an opportunity to correct a mistake he may have made. If I get a guy who stands up admits he made a mistake and fixes it, well that guy will earn a lot of respect from me. On the other hand, you get a guy who makes up excuses, blames the moon, sun and stars, and then half-asses his way out of fixing his mistake well, then I can be a royal PITA.
    I do a lot of side work building/maintaining applications for various companies and i have gotten a couple folks who are like the one you mention. They suck, no other way of putting it.
    Maybe a discussion forum would work well then for references. In the scenario Master plumber mark puts up, he could at least post his point of view if I tried to slander him. Then folks could make an educated decision with all POVs. I think in most cases though it would be a "I just used _____ and he/she was ________ ". For folks like me it would be good to hear stuff. For the pros it is good to hear POV's of the other side. Would also be a good place for someone to ask "I live in __________ and i am needing a decent plumber/gutter guy/GC. Anyone know anyone?"
  14. letting it go....

    its funny, but when you are in business

    sometimes you just have to take the high road and

    give the guy the money back ----then let it go.....

    Their are people in this world that will mud wrestle
    with you over a penny.....

    it just depends on the circumstances and wether you are in the
    mood to tangle A-holes with someone over principles and ethics.

    (and my wife says I can be a pretty big a-hole if need be.)

    and just like the fellow I mentioned in the last post....

    because he got back all his money,
    I am sure he felt that he had gotten

    the better of me.........

    he is the one left holding the money... right???

    I look at it like "what goes around -- comes around"

    and its usually lots worse when it comes back around.....
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2006
  15. Gouranga

    Gouranga Software Engineer

    Gaston County, NC
    Yeah, I hear you. Although the mud wrestling for a penny leave me with a rather unpleasant visual. He may look at it as getting the better of you but it does come around. Something that you'd appreciate...There was a guy in my hometown that was pretty much just like the person you describe here. He was screwed every plumber in town. I mean anything and everything that may not have been perfect this guy just went apeshibbitz over, called the attorney general, BBB, etc. He got such a rep that when a line blew in his wall one day, No plumber, not one would accept the job to come over his house. He had to get one from 50 miles away who charged him a few bucks for the trip. By then, he had quite a large amount of water damage in his home.
    So, if I were yo uI would keep a list of such people, and make sure anyone who is taking calls for you, has access to it. If one of these folks calls, let them know why you won't do business with them. It is your right to refuse them. You may get in trouble if you do it because of their race, sex, ****** orientation, religion but if you refuse cause they are a-holes, well that is still perfectly legal.
  16. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Southern California
    That's a very geeky site-Angie's.

    chrissake..Get referrals from your local hardware store. I do it all the time. Works like a charm.
    My plumber works in my home as if it were his own-he's the best I've seen.
    We've become quite friendly and he also has an ego ala' Rugged. Consequently I have to tell him to STFU now and then. :D

    Never would have found him without hardware store referral.
    He's afraid of computers like a little school girl. lol
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2006
  17. Gouranga

    Gouranga Software Engineer

    Gaston County, NC
    "...your local hardware store..."
    Depot and Lowes have ingested just about all our local hardware stores. i hate to admit it but I have of course been part of the problem there as I have frquented both places. The more I do though, the less I go there. Depot USED to actually have a lot of pros in the stores that could intelligently answer questions, Lowes (at least locally) never did. Now the vast ,majority of people at our local stores don't know jack and in a lot of cases are dangerous cause the advice they would give you is either made up or completely wrong. I had a friend who they told him to just use hardibacker in his shower since it is "waterproof" already. Needless to say he figured out after he spent a bundle putting it together that he needed to tear it all out, waterproof the hardi-backer and retile. When he went back to Depot and had a "discussion" with the expert who told him that, the expert insisted he was right until my friend pulled out the documentation he got from the manufacturer. Which leads me to wonder, what does it take to be an "expert" at Depot?
  18. Gouranga

    Gouranga Software Engineer

    Gaston County, NC
    In terms of plumbers, mine is awesome and I found him by blind luck. He is missing half of 3 fingers on his left hand, he has about 3 teeth and has such a drawl that I can bearly understand him sometimes but he does VERY good work, is priced reasonably, and what was most surprising to me, even with his rough looks, he has some good people skills. So, if anyone near Gaston County, NC needs a referral I would be glad recommend him.
  19. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Southern California

    I DO NOT take advice from big box -or-hardware store clerks. period.
    You will find an earlier thread where I was advised to clean my windows with muriatic acid--which may have had disasterous implications for my 40 yo Joshua tree not to mention my exterior paint. I had some common sense talked into me from the experienced pros on this website.

    I always consult the manager of our store who keeps business cards behind the cash register
    of people that they get good feedback on. I'm in a small town now so it's pretty easy.

    Regretfully I shop at big box too. I try in earnest not to regularly. Last week I replaced 2 outdoor garden faucets. They were both purchased from the hardware store and the quality was far superior from both big boxes-same price.

    Real Horror stories are everywhere on the web about taking Gomer's advice from these stores. I would be in favor of a big red disclaimor at the front door. I really consider it a serious problem.

  20. Hey man, I'm trying to find me a wife and you're not doing me any favors disclosing my physical goodies all over da net.

    Please, I got fore taef.

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