By Rita R. Robison
Which consumer happenings cheered you this week and which ones made you want to scream or weep?
Here are my best and worst consumer experiences this week:
My best: Getting my fence painted before the heavy rains started
I wanted the contractor who helps me with home repairs to stain my fence and paint the eves and the back of the house.
He said he’d get back to me with an estimate, but as the nice, hot days of August rolled by, he didn’t follow through.
Instead, I selected another firm. I wasn’t sure what kind of stain to use, so I had three painters come to the house to give me a bid. I had difficulty choosing among them. The company with one of the lowest bid couldn’t do the fence spring.
I remembered the name of a painting company I’d hired about six years ago to paint three sides of my house. The firm did a satisfactory job, so I hired them.
Luckily, the weather forecast indicated we’d have five days of sun. The fence dried out, and the workers were able to stain it. They did the eves and the back of the house, too.
I’m glad my fence was stained this fall. It was beginning to grow moss in places and had areas of mildew growth.
My worst: Dealing with young, inexperienced workers
Since paint fumes make me sick, I didn’t watch the workers as they cleaned my fence and stained it.
Since I had a meeting at 2 p.m., I couldn’t check the fence with them when they’d finished. When I looked at it, I found dirt on the bottom board of the backside of the fence in the backyard. And, there were two bricks sitting against the fence, indicating that the workers hadn’t stained the fence there. In addition, in two dozen places, stain streaks were running down the fence.
I left a message for the owner. He came the next day and cleaned the back of the fence and stained it. He also tried to fix some of the streaked areas, but said too much bleach caused a few of them.
The owner helped the young worker who painted the eves and the back of the house. The job was satisfactory.
I also had problems with young, inexperienced workers when my roof was installed. One of them broke a window when a ladder slipped. He also was rude to me when I told him to clean the grass and slugs off the metal panels before they were installed on my home. He told me to do it myself.
I’d like to be able to hire workers for jobs that I need to have done on my home that are experienced enough to do a good job.