I came home tonight to find that Junk Hero had dumped a load of dirt in the alley behind my house. They have blocked the laneway used by 20+ of my neighbours.
This is what they chose to do after we paid them over $2100 to remove dirt thus far.
I can write this now because my anger over their behaviour is slightly greater than the embarrassment I feel for having been taking for a ride by these seemingly well-intentioned folks.
I was wrong to trust them. Wrong to think we had built some sort of rapport and mutual agreement. Shame on me?
Here’s what happened...
June 4: They provided an estimate based on the material ready to be removed that day and the additional dirt that it was explained would be dug up in the coming days. After much measurement, discussion and consultation with their management, we all agreed to $1700 for the work. They took the first load and it was paid for before they left. $360.50.
June 5: They took two loads of dirt… $463.00 + $463.50.
June 9: They took a load of dirt… $464.37.
On each visit, they continued to affirm that we would be within the $1700 estimate. Meanwhile, we could see that there was more than they had expected, and began to consider that it would be fair to pay for one load more than their estimate. We were ok with that.
Proof? We had already willingly paid more than that.
June 10: I was not home for the discussion, but my partner was. When asked to pay for the next load, he asked explicitly if the next payment would still be within the original $1700 estimate. They said it was. That was very clear. And so, he trusted them. And he paid. $463.50.
Total to-date? $2214.87.
We let it go and decided to address it in person on their next visit. Or so we hoped.
In trying to book the final pick-up, Junk Hero could not come at any of our requested times -- Sunday afternoon or evening, Monday evening or anytime on Tuesday. We finally agreed that they could come during the day on Monday when we wouldn’t be home.
By this point, we have paid $514.87 more than the $1700 estimate. And to be clear, we paid most of this after they misrepresented the value paid to-date. I say “misrepresented” to give them the benefit of the doubt. To be clear, they were wrong. That information was false. Some would say they lied. But I am a trusting, reasonable individual. Usually that works in my favour, but clearly not this time.
So, they came again… when they knew we were at work and too busy to come home. They loaded half of our remaining pile and called for payment. I didn’t even know what time they were coming and was thus unfortunately unavailable to take their call. But I called them back as soon as I could.
In trying to settle our accounts and now anticipating another payment to come… and all of this while they knew there was more work planned for the near future… they insisted that we owed for another pick-up, bringing our total to almost $2700. Which was $1000 more than their estimate. And they said there was another full load left! So the total would be almost $3200. Yup. Your math is probably right. Over $1400 more than the estimate. That’s almost 90% more than their estimate.
When questioned, they denied their conversation on the previous pick-up went as it did. Further, they said that this was all the contractor’s error, and not theirs. We remained calm. We tried to prevail to the professionalism that seemed to have disappeared from each of our past encounters. But to no avail.
They hung up on us.
And then Junk Hero dumped our dirt in the alley to upset not only us, but also all of our neighbours?
The only saving grace here is that 1-800-GOT-JUNK will be here in 20 minutes. Oh - and I believe in kharma. So good luck, Junk Hero. And good luck to the team that we had seen on so many occasions. I feel sorry for you… and I’m sorry we ever met.