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Nasty Customer Complaint--Not My Fault--Or Anyone's

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by savatage1973, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,017
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    I got a really nasty call yesterday from a "customer"--not really even my customer--filled with threats and hate. Kind of ruined my day, but there is nothing I can do--or anyone for that matter. I don't know what they don't understand...

    They purchased a lot and picked out a home design in a new development from the developer of the community. I am the sub-contractor to the developer to do the build. They apparently put down a substantial deposit with the developer, and I did receive a deposit from the developer to start construction in June--the home is supposed to be ready for occupancy next month. We haven't even broken ground yet, and don't know if we even can this year.

    Mother Nature came along to destroy the best laid plans. The site is located just outside of Pittsburgh where rainfall this season is already 16+" above annual average and still raining. If I took a piece of heavy equipment onto their lot to dig a basement and lay a foundation, I'd have to rent a crane to get my equipment out and they would have an indoor pool for a basement--it is that wet. The entire city is riddled with landslides (over 50 at this point) and 100 year old neighborhoods are literally sliding down hillsides.

    Apparently, the developer is jerking them around about refunding their deposit and scrapping the whole project, so they called me to rant. Not my problem--nothing I can do (and the developer knows that), and they are not my customer--the developer is, but they are pissed, and I can understand that, but no one can really do anything about the weather.

    The other contractor responsible for completing the access roads, storm sewers/drainage basin and sidewalks can't even get in to complete those.

    Sorry about the rant--just needed to vent, I guess. I feel bad for those folks, but there is nothing I can do for them, and I don't need this sh*t to ruin my day.
     
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  2. Scout2015

    Scout2015 Active Member

    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I can understand their frustration but them being downright nasty to you isn't going to change the facts. I see this at times in my line of work too and, while I feel for them, I never understand what magic they think I can perform just because they don't like what I had to tell them.

    I'm sorry you had to be at the receiving end of it. Just focus on what you can control and let the chips fall where they may.

    May the rest of your weekend be a bit brighter. :)
     
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  3. wlhd1610

    wlhd1610 Penny and her new friend Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,461
    Location:
    Catskill NY
    Been there,done that.
    One complaint can totally ruin your day even after 50 atta-boys.

    Hopefully the developer had an "escape" or contingency clause in the contract taking into account possible acts of God like this.

    Just be polite and carry on!

    Bob
     
  4. zebra03

    zebra03 All Audio - NO BS

    Messages:
    14,538
    Location:
    West of Weedville
    The weather in Western Pa has been WETWETWET !!! We had another down pour again yesterday after just getting the basement dried form Thursdays rain . I cut grass on Wed. and I think I saw waves behind me . We hired a guy to put a french drain in and he can't even get there to do it . The farmers can't get to their crops or get the second crop of hay .
     
  5. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,017
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    I have no idea what the contract between the developer and buyer looks like, but I'm sure it has some sort of "escape clause", but it may still result in some sort of loss to someone. I know that my contract with the developer states that if he cancels the job with me (for any reason other than gross negligence on my part), that he forfeits his deposit with me..

    Tell me about it. I have two residences in Western PA--one just south of Erie, and one just outside of Pittsburgh. I am actually down in Pittsburgh right now to go to the game and pick up a new car tomorrow. I got nailed with 3 rounds of downpours yesterday afternoon and evening, and we may get nailed again today.

    Yep--and in all honesty, you are better off not disturbing any soil when it is this wet, especially as close to the foundation that you have to work to properly install a french drain, for both stability and water retention/pooling issues--having a ditch full of water right next to the house is just asking for trouble.
     
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  6. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    16,599
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    The wife and I are trying to buy a new home in a nearby town the is in the process of being built. Everything was going along fine until all of those rampant wildfires burned thousands of homes up in northern CA. There aren't enough laborers around to keep up with the demand, so the house is taking longer than we had hoped. Luckily when we sold this place, the new owner allowed us to stay here for a year (it's industrial property with a home on it.)

    Definitely not the builder's fault.
     

     

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  7. 2526

    2526 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,497
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Here in Pittsburgh I advise anyone I know who is looking at homes to buy on top of a hill.
     
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  8. RichPA

    RichPA Don't drive angry Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    It's been extremely wet here in central PA, too, and a lot of construction projects have been delayed. I feel sorry for the contractors, because I assume that if the work's not getting done, they're not getting paid.
     
  9. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    18,460
    I'm thinking buyer's remorse. The lot sure sounds like it does not drain, which can only lead to problems later on. He wants out.
     
  10. BigElCat

    BigElCat Mmm Hmm Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,711
    Location:
    South of Kansas City
    It's going to rain here, again, today.

    If I ever see this gal in person, I'm going to go Andy Kaufman...wrassle 'er down.

     
  11. Kim G

    Kim G Super Member

    Messages:
    1,251
    I sure hope you post pictures of that new car, most of us can only dream of ordering a new car like that. It should make for a good start on the week.
     

     

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  12. SA-708

    SA-708 Appalachian-American Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,897
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    You'll have to take on the Reid brothers too.

     
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  13. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff" Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,791
    Location:
    Brooksville, Fl.
    I have never understood what makes people not look for the correct entity to complain to.
     
  14. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,017
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    Not really any safer at the top or bottom. They just demolished an entire row of homes built on top of a hill--first the backyards slid down the hill and the houses were well on their way, so you either lose your house down the hill or get hit by one coming down the hill if you are on the bottom.

    Actually, other than the rather extreme weather--and as I said, we are 16+" of rainfall ahead of the annual average--I think the developer kind of got ahead of himself, selling lots and building homes before the entire storm sewer system and catch basins were fully completed. The area is not typically prone to this kind of problem, but development creates its own set of issues. The buyers don't want out because they don't want the home or location--they just want it when it was supposed to have been completed, and I don't blame them. For all I know, they may have already sold their previous home and are now in a hotel or apartment waiting on completion of their new home. This is not the kind of development where people are struggling buying "starter" homes--unless you just won the lottery. The home that is supposed to go on this lot is just a hair under 4800 sq ft--not counting the 3 and 1/2 car garage with a second story in-law suite/apartment and pool house--with the lot, just barely under the 7 figure mark.

    EDIT/ADDITION--for those that don't know real estate markets--Pittsburgh is cheap--it's not LA or NYC where a 2 bdrm condo is well into the 7 figures. 7 figures in Pittsburgh is getting near the very top of the market.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  15. restorer-john

    restorer-john Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,275
    Location:
    Australia
    I'm sorry he had to vent his extreme frustration at you. Clearly, you don't deserve it and don't take it to heart.

    Clearly the rain affects your income stream too, so he's not the only one suffering at the hands of mother nature.
     
  16. roger2

    roger2 . Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,192
    Location:
    indiana
    Or they could buy one as it is sliding down a hill, perhaps at a significant discount. Then tow it to a more stable, and drier, location.
     

     

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  17. BigElCat

    BigElCat Mmm Hmm Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,711
    Location:
    South of Kansas City
    They do not understand. Everything is ruined by the rain.

     
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  18. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    16,599
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
  19. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,506
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA

    I do Technical Support for a Global Company that bought us up. We write and support software for Regulatory Submissions to the FDA or any other agency in the world. We are supposed to support our software, but end up supporting the Network, the Servers, the 3rd Party software involved. When customers are not happy with the Product Roadmap, or communication from the higher ups, we get the calls from the Angry Customers.

    So it does not matter what the issue is, or who owns the issue or responsibility, Tech Support is what faces the customers so we are The Single Throat to Choke.

    I try not to take it personally because angry customers just need to vent. Unfortunately it is usually to the wrong parties.
     
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  20. quaddriver

    quaddriver 120 What's per channel Subscriber

    this development is not across the line in westmoreland cty off of rt30 is it?

    rains was so bad that part of rt 30, yes, the Lincoln highway, slid into the turtle creek valley in the spring. lot of clay down here before you hit rock-20-30ft as we were once deep under water. up north at my other place, the sandstone cap is 2-5 ft down - the last ice age (geologically only a few years ago) scoured the soil down to rock.

    ever since I got my backhoe about 20 years ago, I have been grading my own properties and routing water away. this summer I got all the rest of my gutters tied in to the storm water path
     

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