Posts Tagged ‘sorry excuses’

Yelp no Help

May 22, 2013


I had a comment for a company on Yelp (among other places) and recently found it had been removed by their “spam filter”.

So I read their fac on what the spam filter was and how it works. Apparently this brilliantly-engineered piece of work can determine which comments are real and which ones are phony. You know, those people (usually competitors) who post bad reviews to make the competition look bad or friends of the owner of the business who praise it to the skies, usually with five stars and gushing with adoration.

So their filter removes all those annoyingly misleading comments so you can get the “real” story on the business.

Only thing, my and the other four complaints were removed as spam and the newest post (posted yesterday) is credited with being the “First Review” of this business… ignoring the other four, two of which were posted three years ago.

And this current, “First Review” even states: “the company asked me to put something up here”.

Another poster commented that Yelp was not doing anyone any good by showing only the Five ***** Star rated comment and hiding all the negative comments (i.e. complaints).

So I looked around the site and noticed – sure enough – there is no place to register a complaint about Yelp!

That’s as bad as Angie’s list where they charge you to make a comment! Yes, not only do you have to buy a membership to find out the low-down on prospective services, you actually have to pay to even register a comment about a company or service.

Oh, well… I guess we’ll just all have to learn the hard way: through our own mistakes.

The big companies are all too busy looking out for each others’ interests.

Bad Business… Another Follow-Up

January 9, 2013

Well, the geothermal saga is over!!

In the week after Thanksgiving, we had an electrical contractor arrive to upgrade our electrical system.

After which, I contacted Mike Strasburg again, because he had promised to send someone “right over” as soon as the upgrade was completed.

The weekend before Christmas, Mr. Strasburg finally sent someone over to fix the system. Himself.

Apparently, all the different guys he had sent over during the month’s long process of installing our system he had fired because “they were incompetent”, he said. For the past several weeks he had been doing repair work on the faulty installations those idiots had done. Poor guy!

Then he proceeded to work for over an hour and headed for the front door. “Okay, that should do it.”

I felt near the register and felt an icy blast on my hand. “But it’s still cold.”

“Oh, it will take it a while to warm up.”

So, I told him he ought to at least wait a few minutes. My wife got even more adamant and told him to wait a few.

“But I have other service calls.” And he opened the door and fled.

And, of course, the house did not get any warmer because it still wasn’t working.

Fortunately, I had the foresight to order another cord of wood to be delivered or we would have frozen to death over the Christmas Break.

Calling him was useless as no one answered at the office and he wasn’t answering his personal cell. After a couple of days, I got the message that his cell’s voicemailbox was full.

Anyway, he finally called me back on the fourth of January and, after blaming me for his problems…

He even had the audacity to tell me that he had a technician in our neighborhood who refused to do our house because my wife had taken attitude with him!!

Funny, if I had an employee who refused to do a job, or follow a direct order… well, never mind.

Anyway, I hung up on him.

Then I got an email saying he would have a technician come over on Saturday and check to see if it was user error and was covered by the warranty. Otherwise he would have to charge us!

Yes, as if he was going to charge me for the trip. He said, we’re an installation company, not a service company.

Go figure.

Anyway, we left a short note for the tech explaining what Mike had said during the previous visit – you know, in case Mike didn’t tell them what he had already done – and took our pre-planned road trip.

To our delighted surprise, the house was nice and warm when we arrived back that evening.

And the tech left his card. He was not even an employee of OnSite Energy, he was a subcontractor… actually, as it turned out, a competitor.

This evening, the fellow called us to see if we were happy with his work and he explained the non-relationship with Strasburg. He had been hired to do several repair jobs for OnSite and found angry customers at every stop. He was starting to feel sorry for Strasburg.

That is, until he got to our house. He said the other houses were at least relatively warm. Our house was freezing. And he wondered what sort of businessman would schedule the situation with the highest priority dead last?

Well, Mike Strasburg, that’s who.

And the very worse part of the entire adventure, after Mike had already spent over an hour “trying to find the problem”, this tech said he opened the system and saw two wires had not been connected.

That’s it.

Total time to “fix” our system? Two minutes.

And Strasburg, the geothermal “engineer” couldn’t figure it out.

The geothermal system is wonderful and much more efficient that our previous fuel oil burner system.

And you would do well to look into such a thing. Just don’t bother calling OnSite Energy in Northern Virginia.

That Mike Strasburg is definitely bad business!

Bad Business… follow-up

November 24, 2012

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.