Bad Business… follow-up

the wonders of geothermal heating

I put up a post about the geothermal heating system the other morning while I was waiting for the promised repairperson to appear. I thought I had posted it the week before but it had apparently only been saved as a draft rather than getting published. (Gettin’ a little forgetful these days, I guess.)

Anyway, that post featured the above picture but I forgot to include the “caption”: the picture above shows what a pleasant home can be had with a state-of-the-art geothermal heating system. Yes, just have the system running 24/7 and you will be quite comfortable… so long as you keep a roaring fire going and use those small and economical space-heaters in every room.

Damn!, but I am glad we spent the thousands of dollars necessary to get the bloody thing installed!

My wife was worried that they weren’t going to show because they have scheduled us on three previous occasions on a Friday afternoon but then never showed because “the Friday morning job ran longer than anticipated” and so they would have to reschedule us. Now, that’s real professional, isn’t it? They don’t even know how long the job is going to take.

And, of course, rather than inconvenience ALL their customers by shoving everyone’s job back the half-day or so – you know, that would really be a messy logistical nightmare – they only inconvenience us. So the office calls to set up a new scheduled appointment… “How does next Friday afternoon sound?” they ask.

Duh, guess!

I felt pretty sure they would be here this morning because the appointment was for the morning rather than the afternoon, so there could be no morning job that ran over. So, I took the day off from my work and waited.

When ten o’clock rolled around, I was getting a little concerned. At ten-thirty, I called the office… and left a message, of course. Then I called the owner… and left another message, of course.

No response.

Then I checked back through my phone history and found the number of Brandon, the guy they usually send. I gave him a call to see what was going on.

“Hello,” he said.

“Hi, there, I was wondering when you were going to be over here this morning.”

“Oh.” A dreadful pause. “Didn’t Mike call you?”

Well, of course, being the professional and a concerned businessman like Mike is of course he hadn’t call. I suppose he would rather someone else deliver his bad news. He had not called but I could certainly think of a few choice things I would like to call him.

“No,” I said, “Mike didn’t call. Does this mean you’re not coming over today?”

“Uh, well, let me talk to Mike and I’ll get back to you.”

That was just before noon. It is now two in the afternoon and I have received no responses. Attempts to call Mike again, Katie at the office again, and the repairman again have all resulted in more messages being left.

But the house is warming up… slowly. As the temperature outside rises, the temperature inside goes up as well. And the space heater and the roaring fire help too. Ah, but this evening… Yes, it is supposed to be a frightfully cold night tonight.

Then, somewhere out of the blue, Mike called and said – basically – that it was my fault. He said Brandon had refused the job for today because our electrical panel was so outdated and they had spoken to me about it before. He said he had the documentation that they had done so. Why no one had contacted me when Brandon had refused the job, I don’t know. Maybe it was on a “need-to-know” basis and they figured I didn’t… well, you know…

Yeah, I remember them saying it was old and it should be replaced but there was no mention that it was that big an issue, that it was the “deal breaker”. But why didn’t Brandon just tell me that instead of avoiding the issue, waiting for Mike to call me?

Years ago, when I was younger and had the energy of a twenty-five year-old… you know, back when I was twenty-five, I worked in the construction industry. When a job hit a snag that caused a cessation of work, the company owner would call the customer to tell them. But, he would also send a written letter (usually by certified mail to outline the exact details of what the stoppage was for and the exact steps that the customer had to take before the contract work would be resumed.

Most contracts stipulate such communications should be in writing because either the contractor or his worker might not get the point across well enough (and this is the case in point) to get the matter handled.

And so, I guess it is my fault after all. For choosing a contractor that does not seem to know how to do his job any better. Maybe they should have classes in college that teach this sort of thing or perhaps they should have it be a part of getting your contractor’s license.

Oh, wait! Those things are already in place!!

So with Thanksgiving upon us, I am thankful this project is almost complete and I won’t have to deal with him much longer. Next week we have a real contractor coming over to update the electrical panel and I can call Onsite Energy to get their job completed.

Mike said, “As soon as the panel is upgraded we can come right over and finish the job.”

His words exactly.

Yeah, right. I just wonder how many times I will have to call him, or Katie, or Brandon, to get a response.

It is amazing to me that in an age when technology has made such enormous leaps in our ability to communicate, instantly, and in so many fashions, that so many people are still unable to learn how to communicate.

Unless, of course, they simply try avoiding it altogether.

Which is, of course, bad business.


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