Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

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Topic Author
CobraKai
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Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:43 am

I signed a contract a few months back to have my roof and gutters replaced.

They came out the next month and replaced the roof. They asked for 40% down up front with the rest being due when the job is complete.

They did the roof in a day. It went well except one of the valleys is crooked and and it is clearly noticeable. I was called a couple days later and a rep from their office (let's call her "Ann") left a message asking for feedback on the job. I let her know they did a good job and politely informed her about the valley. I also sent her a pic and she agreed it should be fixed and would work on having it fixed ASAP.

A couple of days later, someone from the company (the scheduler I think) left a message in a somewhat rude tone of voice about scheduling the repair. I'll call her "Margaret". I called back 20 minutes later and was routed to the main line (secretary). I left her a message for Margaret and she did not return my call. I followed up a few days later and was told that Margaret was out of the office. I followed up again the following week after that and was told she was off that day. I left messages each time but no return call.

A week or so after that, I contacted Ann and she said she would find out from Margaret when it would be scheduled but Margaret "stepped out of the office". No follow up. I followed up the following week and had a similar response.

A week or so later (a month ago), a DIFFERENT person called to ask if the gutters were done. Apparently that job was outsourced to a subcontractor. I told her no and she said she would contact the company and work on getting it scheduled. I have not heard back.

There has been very little snow so I can't see bad weather being an excuse. That being said, I figured I'd let it go until after the holidays. I called the main office the other day and the secretary answered (really nice and polite lady) and I fill her in. She was empathetic and then brought up this "Margaret" again and said she'll let her know I called. Still no response.

I have not even heard from the billing department nor have I received a bill for the remaining amount so I assume they do not expect to be paid the remainder until the job is completed. In not one of these conversations was there any mention of money owed.

Is it unreasonable to expect some sort of communication on their end? I'd satisfied with a "we're really busy right now so it might be a month or two", but not even getting that. Not really sure what to do at this point. Should I contact the estimator who I signed the contract with initially? Is it time to figure out how to get in contact with the owner of the company? Or am I being impatient here? My concern is they will start charging interest for unpaid balance and then I get a larger bill down the line.

I am trying to figure out if I did something to upset somebody, or if they are swamped and/or just plain unorganized. I'm at the point where I'm ready to pay the cost of the roof minus the botched valley and gutters, and then find someone else do the repair and gutter replacement, but we did sign a contract.

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WWJBDo
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by WWJBDo » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:04 pm

I would first do a little research- check Google, Yelp and Home advisor reviews and find out if they are 'scammy' or disorganized. That would inform my approach.
Second, I would in writing notify them the work is not done to acceptable standards and the gutter work is not done. Ask that they redo the valley and complete the gutter. Tell them you'd be happy to subtract your cost of the repair and the gutter work from your contract and pay them the remainder, if any, should they decide not to finish the job. Finally, mention their reviews and that you would prefer to make a positive review on Yelp in which they resolved a problem. I think those measures give you the best chance of a positive outcome.
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BolderBoy
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by BolderBoy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:08 pm

Yes, time to contact the owner. Keep it very polite.

If you don't get satisfaction within a promised time, call the owner back and ask him directly, "Who receives 'service of process' for your company?" That should get his attention.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

koala2
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by koala2 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:15 pm

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Last edited by koala2 on Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mhc
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by mhc » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:22 pm

Stop trying to talk with Margaret. Find someone else to speak with. Don't give any more money until everything is complete to your satisfaction.

If nothing else, it sounds like you got a good deal on a new roof.

ponyboy
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by ponyboy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:28 pm

^agreed. Least you only put 40% down. Do not pay until all work is complete and fixed. Cheap roof.

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CobraKai
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:33 pm

WWJBDo wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:04 pm
I would first do a little research- check Google, Yelp and Home advisor reviews and find out if they are 'scammy' or disorganized. That would inform my approach.
Second, I would in writing notify them the work is not done to acceptable standards and the gutter work is not done. Ask that they redo the valley and complete the gutter. Tell them you'd be happy to subtract your cost of the repair and the gutter work from your contract and pay them the remainder, if any, should they decide not to finish the job. Finally, mention their reviews and that you would prefer to make a positive review on Yelp in which they resolved a problem. I think those measures give you the best chance of a positive outcome.
There are plenty of reviews and most of them are positive. That's one of the reasons I signed up with them to begin with. Funny thing is that the negative reviews had a response to call them at their main # (the same one I've called).

Should I find out the owner's name and put it in ATTN of the owner? Otherwise I wonder if it doesn't end up on someone's desk whom I've already spoken to.

Topic Author
CobraKai
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:34 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:08 pm
Yes, time to contact the owner. Keep it very polite.

If you don't get satisfaction within a promised time, call the owner back and ask him directly, "Who receives 'service of process' for your company?" That should get his attention.
I am guessing I will probably have to contact him in writing to get anywhere. If I try reaching him via phone, I am guessing I would get the same result as in trying to reach "Margaret".

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CobraKai
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:38 pm

mhc wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:22 pm
Stop trying to talk with Margaret. Find someone else to speak with. Don't give any more money until everything is complete to your satisfaction.
I stopped asking for Margaret after the first couple times she blew me off, but they keep mentioning the name. I have thought about offering to pay more (not the full amount of course), but you're probably right that it's best not to give them another penny until it's done right.
mhc wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:22 pm
If nothing else, it sounds like you got a good deal on a new roof.
Haha.
I don't know about that. My concern is they realize their error six months from now and then try charging me interest for "unpaid balance".

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:48 pm

READ YOUR CONTRACT!

I had a contractor break a window during unloading for installation. This required a re-order and several month wait. Of course the installers asked for a check as they're done with all the other windows. I read my contract which read "The balance is due once the work has been completed". Well, the work had not been completed and I pointed to the phrase on the contract. They drove away. 2 months later, they came back and installed the window and left with a check. That's how it's supposed to work.

If you have similar wording, then your payment isn't due until the work is complete. I would not worry about it. They'll pay more attention once the job is 6 months old and winter is over and they can actually do the job correctly.

I just got my roof done. I'm actually happy with it. Our last go around in 1999 involved hiring a lawyer and learning the internal workings of the BBB (which is nothing but a front for the businesses).
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rich126
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by rich126 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:09 pm

Sometimes companies are clueless. I had some hardwood floors refinished. They did about 90% of the job and claimed they would be back on a specific day but didn't come. When I called the guy had no clue what I was talking about. They set up another day and again no one should. At that point I stopped calling (hey, I can't keep taking time off from home and can't work from home) and never paid the bill. No one ever contacted me. I thought the whole thing was strange but if you deal with enough people and contractors you seem to encounter all kinds of "situations".

Topic Author
CobraKai
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:21 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:48 pm
READ YOUR CONTRACT!

I had a contractor break a window during unloading for installation. This required a re-order and several month wait. Of course the installers asked for a check as they're done with all the other windows. I read my contract which read "The balance is due once the work has been completed". Well, the work had not been completed and I pointed to the phrase on the contract. They drove away. 2 months later, they came back and installed the window and left with a check. That's how it's supposed to work.

If you have similar wording, then your payment isn't due until the work is complete. I would not worry about it. They'll pay more attention once the job is 6 months old and winter is over and they can actually do the job correctly.
According to the contract, if there are multiple projects, payment is due after each. However, they have not technically completed the first project. I don't have a problem waiting longer, would be nice if they would give me some feedback though. I don't have to worry about the roof leaking, would like to have the gutters done before spring tho.

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CobraKai
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by CobraKai » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:25 pm

rich126 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:09 pm
Sometimes companies are clueless. I had some hardwood floors refinished. They did about 90% of the job and claimed they would be back on a specific day but didn't come. When I called the guy had no clue what I was talking about. They set up another day and again no one should. At that point I stopped calling (hey, I can't keep taking time off from home and can't work from home) and never paid the bill. No one ever contacted me. I thought the whole thing was strange but if you deal with enough people and contractors you seem to encounter all kinds of "situations".
I guess I haven't dealt with enough contractors.
I have heard that when times are good, companies like these tend to be swamped. Perhaps they're clueless as well. I've dealt 8 or 9 different individuals (not including the people who actually did the work). There might be a lack of communication between them, who knows.

zxllxz
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by zxllxz » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:30 pm

Check their status with the Better Business Bureau. You can also leave a complaint there. Also check with the state business bureau to see who the owner/Principal actually is on the ownership paperwork. Do everything in writing from now on. Last resort would be hiring a lawyer.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:32 pm

CobraKai wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:25 pm
rich126 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:09 pm
Sometimes companies are clueless. I had some hardwood floors refinished. They did about 90% of the job and claimed they would be back on a specific day but didn't come. When I called the guy had no clue what I was talking about. They set up another day and again no one should. At that point I stopped calling (hey, I can't keep taking time off from home and can't work from home) and never paid the bill. No one ever contacted me. I thought the whole thing was strange but if you deal with enough people and contractors you seem to encounter all kinds of "situations".
I guess I haven't dealt with enough contractors.
I have heard that when times are good, companies like these tend to be swamped. Perhaps they're clueless as well. I've dealt 8 or 9 different individuals (not including the people who actually did the work). There might be a lack of communication between them, who knows.
Most contractors are awful at business. They may be good at their trade, but awful at business.

We contacted a firm regarding a project two years ago. He sent someone out, never sent an estimate. So, a year later, we contacted him again. He sent two different people out, and never sent an estimate. I've made sure that everyone I know knows that he did this, and did it twice, so that his reputation reflects reality.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Freetime76
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Re: Roofing contractor keeps giving me the runaround

Post by Freetime76 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:15 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:08 pm
Yes, time to contact the owner. Keep it very polite.

If you don't get satisfaction within a promised time, call the owner back and ask him directly, "Who receives 'service of process' for your company?" That should get his attention.
Whatever that means, sounds like a good idea. In writing also helps. If or when they want payment, you’ll probably hear something back.

Yes, don’t expect competence in business actions. My DH is in the trades. He was on day 2 of working at a new company. Homeowners were furious and frustrated at no less than 4 visits (he’s #5) that failed to fix the problem. He fixed it. Maybe he should ask for a raise ...:happy

Good luck! And keep your records and receipts, just in case you need to sell your house (on the off chance they slap a lien on it - not that it would be justified...please see above comment about competence).

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