Damn contractors!!!

My husband and I moved to San Jose in early December and lemme tell you, contractors SUCK!!!

We have had a hole in our ceiling for three months now because no one can seem to figure out why the shower is leaking. Three (THREE) plumbers, one representative of the builder, and two tile guys later, it’s still drip, drip, drip…

The guys that installed the surround sound put 18 (count 'em) holes in the wall trying to install 5 speakers. WTF?!! These people are supposed to be professional! They also installed a satellite dish in three different locations. Get this one, a company that installs satellite dishes for a living has to RENT a ladder to install it on a two story home. Fuck-ups.

Another contractor that we have been dealing with (for a variety of things) installed and wired our DSL, hasn’t come back, and won’t return our calls. Made an appointment once and was a no show. Left a very nice ladder here and still hasn’t billed us for work done 45 days ago. I assume they’re filing Chapter 11. We’d be willing to pay these people thousands of dollars if they’d just come here.

One of the things we want them to do is install an under-counter 30-bottle wine cooler, which they can easily do. Figuring we’re SOL with these guys (who came highly recommended BTW), we went to a local appliance center where we were told that they could get the fridge in three weeks, but it would take three MONTHS to get their contractor to install it.

Our backyard is a nightmare. The previous owners cemented all but the perimeter, and it’s awful. I got a recommendation for a landscape architect from the neighbors and called the guy. He came out, showed me his book gave me a video and told me to call him back. I called him back and we met again to go over what we wanted (extensive, but should be financially motivating to the guy). He spent 45 minutes measuring and mapping the backyard and left, telling me he’d have a plan back to us in 7-10 days. Three weeks later he calls and says it’s going to be another week. Today (another 2 weeks), he calls and says he’s just too booked to have a plan to us for another 4-6 weeks. Fucker.

I am going to lose my freakin mind!

Any contractors out there that want to come to California for awhile, bring some friends, do some work? :smiley:

I once had a contractor that installed a medicine chest in my bathroom THREE FEET too high off the floor.

You couldn’t see yourself in the mirror!

He claimed the worker had measured DOWN from the ceiling the right amount, but my ceiling was TOO HIGH.

He wanted to charge me again, even more than before, to lower it and seal over the bad hole.

Long story short, he caved and redid it free, but not until two months of back and forth.

Well Sue, You just might be in luck. Firstly, I work at a local Home Depot here in washington state. As such I work with contractors on a daily basis. I know, I know what has this got to do with you?

Well, one of my former co-workers just moved down to San Jose to work at a store down there. So, what I guess I’m saying is,

Go to your local home depot and ask for Joanne Marshal. If You’re lucky, you’ve got one of the best sources for references and help available. If, on the other hand, I’m wrong and she’s not in the area, then you should still talk to one of the assistant managers and see if they can give you a reference. Trust me, each of the stores will have a contractor whom they use to do some of their own displays and such. Generally speaking, the contractor that they use will be willing to take on a project like yours, and would do good work for a reasonable price.

I wish that your story was unique. I hear about these things on a distressingly regular basis.

Sue…Welcome to San Jose!!:smiley:

I think you’ll need to get used to the lack of composure, decency, qualifications, professionalism, intellect and competence that the service industry in this area has to offer!

Whether it’s fast food, department stores, hardware stores, construction contractors…just about anyone that provides a service, is running into this problem. Hi-tech has swallowed up all of the good ones, and they’re scrambling to scrape the bottom and keep afloat(as far as construction, contractors, Etc.–In their defense I will say that it’s the amount of work they’ve had in the last 2 years. I doubt if they can keep from going crazy, and I know they’re more than busy).

If you need anyone to do home automation, or retro home-theater work, I know lots of guys who are quite the opposite of your experience. If you need good workers, I also think I can get some names and references.

P.S.-- PVon-- we have 4 or 5 Home Depots in San Jose.

I have construction workers in the family, and I am in San Francisco. If you are seriously looking for recommendations, call and I will round up the work #'s for you.

Fonz, WTF? Were they total idiots or what? So sorry you’ve dealt with the same BS.

PVon, Thanks for the good intentions, but any contractors in SJ are well and booked. It’s an area-wide phenomenon and the only shot you have is if a friend is actually a contractor.

GaWd, Shit, I wish I had talked to you before we had Anderson’s install our stuff! They were nightmareish, it took them FIVE visits to install everything correctly. Hindsight is 20/20, thank for the input. I’ll let you know if we ever do it again!

Sassy, I LOVE you! I’m going to e-mail you. I’m gonna owe you, big time!

Thanks all!

Oh, yesyesyesyesyes.

Unfortunately, this isn’t isolated. My neighbors are having a new roof put on. The roofer came a month ago, put a huge dumpster in their driveway, got half of the shingles pulled off–and left.

Oh, but they also left pallets of shingles stacked in the yard. They show up every few days to load up some–and leave. Keep in mind the roof is half “covered” in tarps, which haven’t actually handled the storms, rain and high winds lately.

Kinda great; the neighbors did some research and informed the roofers that they are charging for warehouse storage rates and deducting it from the fee…oh, and talk to their attorney and the Better Busines Bureau. Oddly enough, today the place was swarming with buy roofers.

Don’t even get me started on the last construction project at work. Even for the Pit, my language would shock.

An honest, organized, businesslike contractor could make a FORTUNE.


Just out of curiosity, why did you have a contractor install your DSL? PacBell came out and did mine up right quick :slight_smile:

Andersens’s mauled your house? Oy Vey…I’m sorry about that. If you need any hometheater/automation upgrades, or maintenance…please E-mail me and I will provide you with the name of a very reputable automation company, as well as my friend(who works for them and also does side-jobs).

SOrry you went through all the trouble being fresh in the area.

I’m goint through some home theater upgrade work as well…except, if there’s a fuck-up, it’s all me :frowning:

PacBell did install our DSL, but they couldn’t figure out how to run both computers off of one line, so my Hubby ended up doing it himself. He ran line from his computer, down the stairs and through the hallway to mine.

I misspoke when I said that the contractors installed it, they actually just ran the cable through our walls.

Sorry I confused you.

Good luck with your own stuff!

That would be Mr. Ujest. We are hardly a dime ahead. But he’s never had any complaints ever in the houses he’s built.


I’m a San Jose-ite, too (actually Morgan Hill), and your stories fit right in with what we experienced. We bought a brand new home, and had no heat for a week because some smart-as-bait contractor somehow hooked up a water source to our gas lines, and we had to wait until someone from the gas company came with an air compressor to blow all the water out. This was in early December and it was freezing!

Other great stuff:

Stove was too big for the kitchen and wasn’t hooked up right. The first time I tried to bake in it, it almost exploded and burnt off all the electrical wiring behind it.

Yard was poorly graded, and no drains installed. We had an Okefenokee swamp back there all during the winter rains. We finally dug a huge trench out to the front street to drain it out.

Roof tiles are falling off.

The builder is continually promising to do something about these and other various mistakes, but never shows. AAARRRRRRRGHG!

GaWd is right. The business/population/housing explosion here makes it possible for contractors to hire completely inexperienced, incompetent workers, and to string you along forever on getting the job done. The Metro (our local alternative paper) has done a couple of articles about the problem recently, and you might be interested in reading them. Look for metroactive.com on the net if you are.

In the meantime, Sue, I sympathize with your troubles! Where did you move from?

Y’all should move to Jersey. We did a boatload of work on our house just after we moved in, and the contractors were great! And we weren’t at all experienced in dealing with them.

If any Jersey-ites need a contractor, a kitchen guy, an electrician, a plumber, a mover, or a real-estate agent, I can give you their names.