Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Write A Letter. I'll Feel Better.

 On April 12 of 2016, there was a hailstorm of epic proportions in San Antonio and the surrounding areas.  And when I say epic, I mean downright frightening.  Every thud on the roof sounded as if it would break right through the attic and right into our bedroom.  After about 20 minutes or so, the hail stopped, and we went to bed. Our roof, to my eyes, looked okay, but we called in an insurance claim, just the same.  The insurance guy climbed up on our roof and just went nuts with the chalk, circling here, muttering there.  He did not fall through the roof into our bedroom, as I had feared, so yay for that. His verdict was that our roof needed to be replaced.  Yikes.

We went with a particular builder to replace our roof.  One of the guys came by one Saturday and we signed a contract.  Then we heard not a thing.  We didn't expect to hear anything, because over half of the city had been slammed by this particular hailstorm.  My parent's home had holes in the siding, a demolished cable and phone box, broken windows, etc.  Roofing companies were swamped.  We were told late October.  

We still do not have a new roof. 

I decided to write an email, since I had a tendency to forget things while speaking on the phone. My friend Andrea over at Maybe It's Just Me had a successful letter writing series a couple of years ago, which inspired my thinking.  My letter wouldn't be humorous, because I'm not really all that funny. But Something had to be done, before the next big storm struck.

I needed to be polite, but firm, I told myself.  I sat down and started typing:

We specifically chose your company to replace our roof after the hail storm because your company was highly recommended by my parents.  We expected to wait for some time, as we understood the magnitude of the hailstorm damage to the area.  

We were contacted by phone on November 11th by Kevin.  He informed us that your company was going to be working on our roof.  At the time, Kevin told us that he would be contacting us on Monday to ask us what color we wanted the roof to be and whether we were going to want the 30 year roof over the 25 year roof(We had asked questions about impact resistant roofing).   Kevin made it seem as though work would be starting on our roof within two to three weeks.  We waited to get a phone call on Monday, November 14th.  It did not happen.  I called later in the week, and was told by a receptionist/answering service that everyone was in a meeting and could not be disturbed.  I left a message and asked to be contacted. 

This did not happen. 

Now, if any other business 1)agreed to complete a task, 2)called and asked for money "to buy supplies", 3)specifically stated they would contact the customer, 4)failed to contact that customer when they said they would, and 5)did not respond to a specific request for contact from the customer?  The average person might think twice about that.

I understand that there are quite a few roofs needing repair, but phone calls?   A phone call is not considered a hardship, and it is an integral part of good customer service.  It is ridiculous that I've had to wait more than a month without hearing a word.  I expect better from your company.  The only thing we know is that the check was deposited.  That is not the reputation that your company should be cultivating.

I hit 'send', figuring that I'd hear from someone the next day.  It was five minutes, which I consider to be really good turnaround time for an email. It was Kevin on the phone, profusely apologizing for forgetting about us.  He had asked someone named Tyler to contact us, etc., and the rest of the excuse went on for several more minutes.  I ignored all that, because it had zero bearing on when we would be getting our roof.  

After several more phone calls and apologies, we seem to be third on the list.  So we should be getting our new roof in the next two weeks, almost a year after the original incident.  Theoretically. If I don't hear from them in that time, I'll ask for our money back and find a new roofer to complete the job.  But I'm glad that I spoke up.   One of my postcancer resolutions is to be more assertive, and to speak up when I think something is wrong.  This is a good start.  

1 comment:

I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!