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Free Quotation??

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Posted by: from North York
2/26/2009 at 12:11:42 PM

I contacted a local contractor who advertised "Free no obligation quote" through this website.

I obtained an estimate from him then invited him for a quotation (e.g in writing). We did not chose him due to his poor behavior and somewhat abbusive sales tactics.

Further he freaked out and said that I owe him $500 for preparing the quotation and not going through with his services.

He has called me this morning to tell me that he has put a lein on my home.

Is this standard procedure?? Am I getting scammed??

thanks

REPLIES (21)
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Bill from Bill Carr Renovations in Baltimore
Date/Time2/26/2009 at 12:26:49 PM

Hi Garry- something smells bad to me. First of all- 'free, no obligation' should mean just that, as every good contractor knows and advises that people get comparative estimates for work they require. If they are going to charge for an estimate- and in some cases this is acceptable if there is a lot of prep time, research, sub-trade involvement, etc to consider. This is NOT standard procedure by any well meaning contractor, nor is this practice acceptable. It does not sound as much like a scam as it does harrassment- report this contractor to the site. It's crap like this that gives us all a bad name.

I hope this rather bleak experience has not tarnished your image of this site; there are a lot of qualified, NICE contractors that would be more than willing to help you. Good luck to you.

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Garry in North York
Date/Time2/26/2009 at 1:26:02 PM

Thanks for the info Bill.

Has anyone experienced anything similar to me on this?

Can I have some opinions from other contractors??

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Mr Odd Job in Aurora
Date/Time2/26/2009 at 8:01:06 PM

Garry

Bill is correct, if a contractor states free no obligation quotes, than this should be upheld. I don't see how this "contractor" could put a lien on your premises without having some sort of "contract" with you. A quote is not a contract and is not binding in any way shape or form. Unless there has been some sort of verbal or written agreement on your part in acceptance of the quote to do the work. Reputable and ligit contractors will always stand behind their word.

I would, as bill suggested, let this site, and everyone else, know about this contractor and the games he's playing.

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Garry in North York
Date/Time2/26/2009 at 8:55:32 PM

thanks for the info guys, I feel a lot better about my situation now. I did not sign or agree to any work I simply got a quote in writing. I have notified the website about my issue, I am unsure on how they are going to address it but it is definately documented.

I do not want to violate the rules of these forms and openly critisize a given company therefore I cannot disclose the company even though I really want to warn everyone about this unethical contractor who is listed on this site.

The only warning I should give to people is that there may be some contractors during these tough economic times who may be pushy. As a customer we are also facing tough economic times so make sure you make a good informed decision and don't be rushed into making a rash decision.

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Date/Time2/26/2009 at 9:45:16 PM

Hi Gary you are not the only one with this problem i have recieved a call from another customer on this same sittuation and he has gone to the municipality to complane about the practice of this contractor and by chance they got in touch with the police he is going to lat me know what the outcome is . Hopefully you do not think all contractors are like this .Will post what happens when i get a reply ,

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time2/27/2009 at 2:21:11 PM

Hi Garry,

Okay, lets put your mind at ease. He never did any work at your home so can not put a lein on your home period. A construction lein is protection for the contractor who has spent money on materials and labour to make improvements to a premises. If the contractor does not get paid within 45 days of completion, a construction lein is placed on the property. Furthermore, to initiate a lean costs in excess of $500.00 so there would be absolutely no point. This contractor is trying to scare you. If I were you I would instruct him to take you to court and I am confident he will back right down. I do think that you absolutely should name the contractor so that others can be protected from his unethical business practices. Many others have named names and I do beleive it helps weed out the bad ones both for you as the customer and for contractors who are honest and hard working.

Traci Kroft

Arrow Contracting

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time2/27/2009 at 2:32:08 PM

Just an additional note, this contractor is on this site. I would go into his profile and write a review of his company. Most people when using this site will look at customer reviews. If you can save someone else from a nightmare, you would be doing a great service.

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Garry in North York
Date/Time2/27/2009 at 3:41:18 PM

As much as I would want to warn people and tell people about this I can't because I don't want to get into an issue about slander/accusations etc. ...

In the event I actually do get sued or have a lien put on my home then I would be willing to make a further post based on the information I recieve... let's hope that doesn't happen.

Unfortunately I can't make a post on his page because I never hired him. It's part of the guidelines that you must have employed someone to make comments. And I obviously never employed him.

However, I have infact notified the administrators at this site about the situation. They have noted it on the file and will proceed according to their judgement. The site has advised me that if I actually do get sued or have a lien on my home then I should immediately let them know and they will go forth with their process.

Despite this horrible experience, I am still prepared to do my renovations and I have contacted a few contractors through this site. I realize that the actions of a small minority is not a reflection of this good community of contractors as a whole.

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time2/27/2009 at 4:26:25 PM

Hi Garry,

I hope you read my post of what a construction lein is and when they are applicable. He absolutely can not lein your home. He had to have invested materials, time and labour in your home which he did not. The most he could possibly do to you is take you to small claims court for the rediculous estimate fee. I would print out a copy of his profile that says they offer free estimates just as back up. You never signed anything so really he doesn't have a case at all. He hasn't lost anything financially and he has no contract or agreement of any kind.

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Stucco Contractor in Milton in Milton
Date/Time3/1/2009 at 3:32:09 PM

LET ME ASK YOU AGAIN////!!!! PLEASE RESPOND

WHY YOU SHOULD ASK THE CONTRACTOR FOR WRITTEN QUOTE OR ESTIMATE???? ON FIRST PLACE!!!. YOU HAD YOUR PRICE ALREADY.. HERE IS MY ANSWER TO YOUR PROBLEM

YOU WANT TO CLAIM MONEY FROM INSURANCE AND DO THE JOB BY YOURSELF

OR WANT TO MANIPULATE OTHER CONTRACTORS WITH THE WRITTEN QUOTE.. ANSWER ME PLEASE

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Stucco Contractor in Milton in Milton
Date/Time3/1/2009 at 4:12:15 PM

I forgot something important

for CONTRACTORS

see guys that you assume that any action of homeowners is right and contractors are bad!! WHY

Just lets change this for a minute LET SAY that in some ocasions HOMEOWNERS are PLAYING GAMES with contractors and manipulate them

How you are deciding who is right and who is wrong listening only to one side!!!, May be the thruth is on the side of contractor this time

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Stucco Contractor in Milton in Milton
Date/Time3/1/2009 at 4:12:15 PM

I forgot something important

for CONTRACTORS

see guys that you assume that any action of homeowners is right and contractors are bad!! WHY

Just lets change this for a minute LET SAY that in some ocasions HOMEOWNERS are PLAYING GAMES with contractors and manipulate them

How you are deciding who is right and who is wrong listening only to one side!!!, May be the thruth is on the side of contractor this time

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time3/9/2009 at 10:20:17 AM

You could be right and you could be wrong on this example is how many times have you given an estimate to customers are just browsing. In fact i give hundreds of estimates and don't even get a sniff sometimes because the way I price my jobs. in fact also i am thinking of charging for estimates just so i don't have to run around so much. It would at the very least cover my gas. Most customers that ask for a free quote are just shopping anyway. and a contractor should stand by his word. If I give a customer an estimate it is for a complete job! No adding after the job is started unless the customer changes his plan. If we all charged for estimates you can refund that money if they choose you to do the job! Something to think about. If the contractor say's free estimates then it should be free!

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Garry in North York
Date/Time3/9/2009 at 1:39:54 PM

As a customer, as long as I have the intention to actually get the work done I have a right to shop around for a contractor and compare quotes.

A written quotation itemizes the scope and clarifies how a contractor may do business. E.g some contractors say buy the materials yourself others say they will buy. Different business models.

When obtaining quotations, I specifically would get quotes from local businesses or are currently doing work in my area. I am not that inconsiderate to ask someone to go from east to west just to give me a free quotation at my home.

At the same time, if I get a quote which I will not pursue I will let the contractor know ASAP as it is inconsiderate to have an open quote for a prolonged period of time. I know how it is applying for jobs with companies, I don't appreciate treating people poorly either.

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time3/9/2009 at 7:48:04 PM

Hi Garry you seem like a nice guy and We all as contractors thank you for your comments. Not all of the contractors are bad and I do see you points. Most customers will not even pick up a phone and or even an email to tell contractors they went with someone else. I personally wish there where more like you out there and if you ever need something I would be happy to help. I do not know where you live but I do travel all over Ontario helping people. I guess it is my christian nature and kind heart sometimes. It even costs me sometimes. But that is ok! I hope your next experience with contractors is better and if you wish a quote by all means email me! even if you just want a price!

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Tradesmen in Georgetown
Date/Time3/21/2009 at 9:03:19 PM

Same here Michael,

Over a 12 month period, I give out what seems like tons of signed quotes and estimates. If you want the work then you have to go the mile, sometimes you never get a response either way but that is life. Just as there are good and evil, its a part of life.

A client or potential customer will always have the right to shop around and to ask questions. How else would they know where the better deal is, if I want to buy a new truck, you bet I visit all of the dealers and sometimes even twice. I am sure that when they see me coming they say " Oh No" but that only comes from the sales people that do not want to take the time to do their work, they wish everyone would just drop off money and be gone.

I make sure they give me all the detail and at the best possible price, I also let them know that out there is also Ford and Dodge so do your best because that's where I'm headed when I leave this dealership. What is the problem with free quotes, and signed ones at that, unless you are not going to stand by your word then whats the issue with the signature? Garry and everyone out there including myself has the right to a signature and work detail, it just makes sense!

Brad

Tradesmen

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Construction WORX Ontario ltd. in Kitchener
Date/Time7/7/2009 at 11:03:08 AM

Well if no one else will say it I will, All about Stucco are you the contractor trying to rip this guy off? Sound like it!!!!!!!!!! Where did the insurance job thing come from unless you saw the job? A wriiten quote protects you as much if not more then you think! A guy that doesn't want to write the quote has the agenda to RIP OFF the customer! Not good!!! If your the guy that's trying to rip this customer off, then your the reason people get like that with you and the rest of us, STOP TRYING RIPPING PEOPLE OFF, YOUR KILLING THE REST OF US!!!

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Construction WORX Ontario ltd. in Kitchener
Date/Time7/7/2009 at 11:16:15 AM

Michael, I agree with your comments to the customer above and likewise for me! I like your idea of charging for the estimate with the stipulation that it will be refunded before the job starts if the job is awarded to you. If that were accross the board then it would save having to meet with tire kickers! What do you think is a good rate lets say for 50km area and for 100 plus km area?

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Garry in North York
Date/Time7/7/2009 at 11:34:46 AM

I hate to defend "stucco" but he was not the bad contractor which I initially dealt with. But I am glad I don't have to deal with someone like him.

This is a few months after my initial posting. Thousands of dollars later, all my renovations in my home have been completed (basement, roof, furnace) and I am happy.

As far as quotations and customers go- let me re-iterate. As a customer I would NOT knowingly get a quote from a contractor who lives far away from my home. It is inconsiderate if I don't award them teh contract & it also is inconvenient upon the time when the work is done because they are not as accessible.

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Date/Time12/3/2009 at 9:10:41 PM

I WISH. If I got paid even $100 dollars just to bid on jobs I haven't closed a deal on I would be making decent money. That " contractor" should give his head a shake. no wonder home owners have to be so cautious

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Metro Ontario Contractors inc in Maple
Date/Time2/10/2011 at 6:56:04 PM

Hi bill as he advertised free quote. You are being scamed, you do not have to pay him. Tell him you will sue and see how fast he runs.

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