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Just need to vent a little

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  • #16
    I think you have a right to vent a lot.

    THAT would drive me INSANE. What a waste of YOUR time, and quite frankly that is a waste of time for MOST contractors. Depending on the amount of $ you are talking about, it is almost disrespectful. Everyone is yanking chain here, which makes EVERYONE miserable. It's kind of like pounding sand. WHY?

    To me, there are OBVIOUS things that HAVE to be bid out, as mentioned above (A/C units) -- that would be the general capital equipment/any repair or replacement over $1,000. Over the six years I've been here running things, we have a VERY good list of contractors that have been winnowed down by cost/performance/speed. I will say that the first two years of doing this were sometimes sheer hell/run-around in finding the contractors/suppliers. And, there have been a couple of contractors whose performance became less than optimal, and I found someone else to do the work. I also pay them right away, once they've established that they will return to fix any occurring/recurring issue on repairs. The minute that I get an invoice, I cut that check and give the vendor the option to pick that check up in person before I drop it in the mail. It has led to good/fair pricing, with usually excellent and always good work, done quickly. The cheapest (in my experience) rarely has lead to good quality or timely service that is backed up by a promise to make sure it all works/stays working.

    I am also in a major metro area, with a whole lot of options for pretty much everything needed to run/repair/operate our facilities. That may not be an option in more exurban or rural areas.

    I make the joke that ownership would pinch a nickel 'til the indian rides the buffalo, and that is true (and I usually make that joke with a whole LOT of respect for ownership in that regard for it is a good quality most of the time). They, too, believe in triaging the cost/quality/speed thing. They have also given me the freedom (within the bounds of reason) to make the sane choice on goods and services.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Somewhere in flyover country

    I happen to feel that the degree of a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting attitudes she can bring to bear on the same topic.

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    • #17
      The constant, "getting a bid process" comes from an owner that thinks ALL other businesses and employees are there for his/her bidding and theirs alone.
      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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      • #18
        I too once worked for an owner who was like that. Oh my, I feel your frustration. The worst, was insurance claims. He would file a big loss (say, gate damage) and get a check for $1000's of dollars. Then he would hire his regular cheap crew to come fix it and pay them pennies. It wasn't done right and he pocketed the money.

        People who are so paranoid of someone ripping them off are all too often those types of people.

        DId I say THAT out loud??
        Stephanie Tharpe
        Senior VP of Operations
        A+ Storage of Tennessee, LLC
        Nashville, TN
        http://www.aplustorage.com
        615.288.2162

        TNSSA Board of Directors
        www.tnssa.net

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        • #19
          I am going to NOT comment on the grounds that it just might incriminate me.

          (over here biting my tongue REALLY HARD!)

          Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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          • #20
            So, I just got off the phone with a guy at the door place. I called because I hadn't received the email quote and wanted to make sure he got the email address right. Apparently there's a whole process in doing that, but I did find out that the tech forgot a letter when typing in the email, so, yay? The guy I talked to was a little rude, but I get it. He commented on the door needing "tension adjustment" and it's about a 30-minute fix, why didn't I just have him do it then? Now we have to make a second trip over there. By the way, the door does not need tension adjustment. When the door was opened, it didn't stop at the top, but kept going and flipped right out of the tracks. It is actually hanging on the OTHER side of the mechanism the door is attached to and caught on parts of it. THIS is why I hate having to call multiple places. I told him that if it were up to me, I would have had him fix it, but it's not, and I'm just getting quotes. This place is really the ONLY place in the county to fix my doors and why can't I just have them fix it? Our other facility uses this company exclusively for their doors, and gate, why can't I??

            Other than this place actually showing up, NO ONE CALLED ME BACK yesterday. I sent an email this morning to prop mgmt about the cameras, saying that the cameras that are out are the ones that were recently installed and wired by one of the places I'm supposed to get a quote from...can I just have them come fix them...please. We'll see what happens. So. Over. It.
            Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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            • #21
              I can see both sides to this argument. We should be able to tackle time sensitive work as soon as possible. I'd rather be raked over the coals for making a call, than to have to answer to a sudden occupancy drop.

              On the less urgent stuff, like your trees, I think getting three quotes is due diligence. I would make sure that vendors are fully qualified to do the required work. If the vendors do not want to bid on jobs they feel they will not get, then they are probably over-priced to begin with, and will not serve your purpose.

              You would be surprised on how fast vendors get comfortable, and start over charging you for work. Many of them think they are owed work because you have used them consistently over the years. I know that when it comes to buying, or repairing something in my home, I always try inform myself as best as I can, find competent vendors, and get more than one quote. I don't see why I wouldn't do the same with someone else's money.

              My hot water tank tank at home started trickling water from underneath. I knew I had to get it replaced soon as I have sold my house, and the building inspection is tomorrow. My first quote from my usual guy was $1,100 plus tax. I ended up getting it replaced with something comparable for $800 plus tax from a reputable vendor. I saved $339 with the tax, for a couple of hours of work.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by mseguin View Post
                I can see both sides to this argument. We should be able to tackle time sensitive work as soon as possible. I'd rather be raked over the coals for making a call, than to have to answer to a sudden occupancy drop.

                On the less urgent stuff, like your trees, I think getting three quotes is due diligence. I would make sure that vendors are fully qualified to do the required work. If the vendors do not want to bid on jobs they feel they will not get, then they are probably over-priced to begin with, and will not serve your purpose.

                You would be surprised on how fast vendors get comfortable, and start over charging you for work. Many of them think they are owed work because you have used them consistently over the years. I know that when it comes to buying, or repairing something in my home, I always try inform myself as best as I can, find competent vendors, and get more than one quote. I don't see why I wouldn't do the same with someone else's money.

                My hot water tank tank at home started trickling water from underneath. I knew I had to get it replaced soon as I have sold my house, and the building inspection is tomorrow. My first quote from my usual guy was $1,100 plus tax. I ended up getting it replaced with something comparable for $800 plus tax from a reputable vendor. I saved $339 with the tax, for a couple of hours of work.
                Getting multiple quotes for certain things that are not time sensitive makes sense, I agree with that. Lately, though, it just feels like I'm doing it for everything, regardless of job size, cost, or urgency. My cameras are a better example. I was told I needed at least 2 quotes for getting them running again. One of them is to be from the company that actually installed the cameras and included all new wiring in that job. Why am I not able to just call them to come fix them? They did the work, from start to finish, on those 3 cameras so it only makes sense that they come fix them. Instead, I need a quote. So now I'm waiting for a "salesman" from the company to call me back. I don't think a salesman is going to be very helpful in this situation.

                All my frustration from yesterday has rolled over to today and I'm just tired of feeling this way.

                Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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                • #23
                  The only accurate quote is when the problem is "looked" at by the vendor. Can't see through the phone line. When I ran auto repair shops I would get calls for estimates/quotes over the phone. One lady told me I should be able to tell her exactly what a certain repair would cost. I was pissed at that point. I asked her what training she had to be able to tell me what I should be able to do over the phone. She was not happy with that. I then told her to hold the phone closer to the area of the vehicle so I could "see" the problem better. She actually said, "hang on a second" and then I hung up. Not once in over 30 years in the business did I ever bad mouth another shop and I said many many times that if you have had good luck with the repair shop and like their work, then stick with them. The owner should allow you to find a vendor you like and trust and stay with them.
                  "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                  • #24
                    So this is interesting. Second door company just left. According to that guy, we need a whole new door. Spring's broken, will cost almost as much to fix as a brand new door so you need a new door. First guy from yesterday...easy fix, put back on it's track and adjust the tension. These 2 quotes could not be further apart. It's like one auto repair shop saying I have a flat tire, and the other saying I blew the motor. May as well try to find a third company to look at it since these two are so different.
                    Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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                    • #25
                      DG, I can assure you that I never ever mixed up a tire with an engine. LOL! Your two scenarios are more like this: Fix the tire or needs a new tire. Fix the engine misfire or replace the engine. It would make more sense if the door guy, who says the whole door needs replaced, says WHY it needs replaced instead of repaired. I always had that answer for my customers at MY repair shops.
                      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by pacnwstorage View Post
                        DG, I can assure you that I never ever mixed up a tire with an engine. LOL! Your two scenarios are more like this: Fix the tire or needs a new tire. Fix the engine misfire or replace the engine. It would make more sense if the door guy, who says the whole door needs replaced, says WHY it needs replaced instead of repaired. I always had that answer for my customers at MY repair shops.
                        He said: 1: by the time you take the door down, roll it out, replace the spring, and put it back up (he said about a 3 hour job) it's about the same cost as a new door.
                        2: The spring is broken, and they don't replace the springs anymore, they replace the door. Is that a way to get more money? I don't know, but a broken spring doesn't sound so awful.
                        Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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                        • #27
                          DG, am I understanding right that you are talking about a broken spring at either one side or both sides at the top of the door that helps raise the door, with the tension of the spring, and also helps roll the door on itself as it goes up? If so, the retension of a spring(s) like that design is very straight forward. If the spring is broken it can be replaced without replacing the door. It can also be replaced without even removing the door from where it is mounted. When the spring breaks and the door is forced open it rolls out like a big tear drop on the inside of the unit. Also, there should be "stops" at each inner side of the rails to keep the door from going past the top of the door rails. I once called the local door company out to replace a spring and the 2 guys who showed said they had to remove the door and lay on the ground to replace the spring. I called the business shop and told them they had sent 2 rookies and the door did not have to be removed. The shop guy talked to the 2 guys and cued them in on how to do it without removing the door. All it takes is a mechanical mind and not a "parts replacement" mind.
                          "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                          • #28
                            Welcome to the party. I am in the process of developing a third phase on my property. I need grading, foundations, driveways, insulation etc. This is new construction. We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars for some trades.

                            I'm having trouble getting prices out of most anyone. They are just too busy and aren't interested in an independent developer who builds once every couple of years. They need to keep their big general contractors happy first.

                            So, you think you are going to find someone to wire two cameras? Fix a gate? If you get ONE semi-reasonable quote back, take it quick before they come to their senses and go work elsewhere. There is a massive shortage of construction labor across the board right now.

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                            • #29
                              I can't even imagine. I'm so sorry DairyGirl. Of course most owners are in business for one thing - to make money. And I'm sure they think that's why they pay you, to do your best to help the company make as much money as possible. So if that means having you collect three quotes for every job and going with the cheapest... and you dealing with any fallout... I'm sure they think that's what they pay you for.

                              Like Pac, I'm so fortunate in that we've been at our facility so long (*knocks on wood) our owner rarely butts into the business. If I tell him we need such-and-such done and it's going to cost this much he will almost always say, "OK. Get it done." On the rare occasion he doesn't say that, what he says is, "We can't do that right now. Let's wait until next month."

                              But boy do I understand how frustrating that must be for you.
                              In California.

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                              • #30
                                Pac - you are exactly right about the spring. It's on one side of the door and rolled out exactly like a tear drop. If it wasn't possible to fix them, you wouldn't be able to buy the springs to replace the broken ones.

                                I'm super jealous of you folks that have more freedom to get things done with vendors you know and trust that get the job done right the first time.
                                Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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