Price and Value

It is time for me to get a new fridge for the kitchen. There is only one problem. One of my wall cabinets hangs directly over my existing fridge. And the new ones I have been looking at are taller than my current fridge which barely fits. At fist I started limiting myself to smaller fridges. But then I realized that was crazy. I am about to spend a lot of money on my new fridge. I might as well get the one I want.

So I called up a handyman I found in the yellow pages. A guy came out and gave me an estimate of $250 to remove the cabinet and paint the wall behind it. That sounded like a reasonable price. In a few hours, another guy from the company came out to do the work. He complained that the wall had wallpaper under the paint. He said the wall would require "mud" to be applied before painting. Then he told me he did not do mud jobs. All I cared about was getting the job done.

Later this guy left me a message that somebody else would come do the mud and paint. And this would cost me an extra $50 to $75. Now I was not happy that a fixed price job was turning into a time and materials one. But as long as they got it done quickly I would not worry. Nobody came out that day. I called the original estimator. He said he would schedule his mud and paint person to come out the next morning. Nobody came. So I called back and asked what happened. Apparently there was some mix up and the person went somewhere else to work. I told the guy that I needed this work done immediately.

Miss mud and paint came by later that day. She seemed to know what she was doing. I was disappointed when she said her boss asked her to collect a $350 check from me for the work. By this time I just wanted to be done with these people. I did not even argue the second increase in price. I normally vote with my feet in these situations. That means I will not be using their services again in the future.

The only positive surprise was when there was some extra mud left over that was starting to harden. The handywoman asked if I needed any other things patched up. I showed her some holes in the wall that she proceeded to fill in, sand, and paint. She did this at no extra cost. She told me she was going to start her own business in about a year. I will not hire her company again. But perhaps I will swing some work her way. It is all about good customer service after all.