I hate to leave negative reviews, but sometimes, it's warranted.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

I hate to leave negative reviews, but sometimes, it's warranted. I have an elevator in my office building. We've been pretty consistent in having it maintained throughout the years. Recently, the company that maintains it blew apart and formed two companies. The owner of the new company immediately came to my office and made an appeal for us to use them.

We decided to give them a chance and they set an appointment for maintenance. It was going to be the same techs who had been maintaining the elevator for the past 15 years, so we assumed we were in good hands. Three and a half hours later, they were done. I couldn't figure why it took 3.5 hours to put two covers on and to check a back-up battery, but they assured me it took 3.5 hours. They also told me they did a lot of other things. So, I asked for a list. 

The list included things like making sure the elevator was leveling correctly, re-installing the bottom door switch, replacing the covers and discovering that I didn't really need a battery. A wire had just come off. Nine hundred dollars later, the elevator is not leveling and this past weekend, the tenant in that area said it won't move at all. 

The photo shows that the bottom of the door switch was not even touching the door. That's critical for the elevator to move. This time, I fixed it myself. When the tech was here, I asked about their hourly rates. They seemed awfully high to me. I told him that if my contracting company charged half of what they charged, we'd be out of business in six months. He laughed and said, since they were a niche' contractor, they could gouge people. When I received their bill, I wasn't laughing. What they quoted and what they billed were radically different, and the elevator wasn't working properly. 

This time, I sat on my frustration for a few weeks, and finally with the call over the weekend, and after seeing what the problem was, I had to post a review. I don't like to post negative reviews, and I probably haven't posted over three in my lifetime, but this warranted a review. 

Friends, if you promise quality work, give quality work. If you do a lessor job than promised, own up to it, correct it and adjust the bill. Make your clients feel like they are important to your business. When clients ask me for recommendations for whatever kind of work they need, I have two criteria. One, the contractor must be talented. Two, the contractor must be honest. I won't use an excellent contractor if he/she isn't honest. And, I won't use an honest contractor that is not skillful. Deliver more than you promise and treat your clients with dignity and respect, and you will have a faithful following. 


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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Sometimes a negative review is a favor...to lots of people and it should be to the new company as well !

Aug 19, 2019 09:24 AM #1
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Mike. You are right on point with this and I agree completely. Now I have a review for the landscaper who fell off the earth without even a call.

Aug 19, 2019 09:30 AM #2
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I hand out referral, Mike, much that way you do. I always say I don't hand out anyone's name if I haven't experienced that person's work personally or if my pickiest clients haven't experienced the work.

Aug 19, 2019 09:32 AM #3
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Mike Cooper, GRI - oh yes that is it.  Always exceed your clients' expectations.

Aug 19, 2019 12:01 PM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Mike- what is inexcusable to me is when he said that they could gouge people because they are a niche business. 

Aug 19, 2019 06:56 PM #5
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

He laughed and said, since they were a niche' contractor, they could gouge people.

I wouldn't have laughed either, Mike!

Aug 19, 2019 08:29 PM #6
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Mike.

I can assure you my tail wouldn't be wagging.  The only difference is, I would post the name of the company

Aug 20, 2019 03:02 AM #7
Graziella Bruner
NCS Premier Real Estate - Detroit, MI
Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County

Good morning Mike;

Just from that comment alone laughed and said, since they were a niche' contractor, they could gouge people. He just showed his true demeanor. He really doesn't care about the service or the people, it's all about the money to him.  

I don't like posting negative reviews either, but when people do others wrong, then the truth needs to be told. Thanks for sharing.  Have an awesome rest of the week.

Aug 22, 2019 05:13 AM #8
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Good for you. I don't like giving negative reviews either but if they are warranted, they should be done. In this case, a negative review was definitely needed!

Aug 22, 2019 05:57 AM #9
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Mike, I agree, I hate to leave them, but if there is a consistent issue that is not being remedied, yet you continue to be charged, well, others need to be warned about them. I am sorry this is happening to you. Is the other company still available? Are you in a contract with this bad company? Can it be broken?

Aug 22, 2019 06:31 AM #10
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Honesty is not always pretty but it is usually correct.  Honesty is at the top of any list I have regarding someone I use.  Almost exactly with it are punctuality and fairness.    The old Irish saying:  "Fool me once shame on you...fool me twice shame on me"....appears to be in play here...just don't fall for the 2nd round.

Aug 22, 2019 06:45 AM #11
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Mike,

Sometimes you have to do a negative review. I am sure you gave it a lot of thought and wanted a good outcome from your review.  

My beef is with the reviewers who really don't understand the product or haven't really communicated properly with the company and just go online to give a negative review because they are upset and it is a way of blowing off steam. In many cases, you can trace their behavior back to 90% negative reviews.  

Aug 22, 2019 07:52 AM #12
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

On such a life-critical machine for public use, getting qualified people to do the work is important.

Unfortunately, for other related reviews, you may be tracked down on a negative response.

I also have a difficult time recommending many tradespeople because if they do not perform well I will also be blamed!!


Aug 22, 2019 08:09 AM #13
Dusty Rhoton SRS, MRES, ABR, SRES, GRI
RE/MAX Fine Properties - Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff Real Estate

So many things in your post were so disheartning to hear darn it.   Good for you for taking the time to fill out a review, with photos I assume, which is timely, necessary, and will be appreciated by many!!

Aug 22, 2019 09:03 AM #14
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I know exactly what you mean. We hate to do it, but sometimes, the work is just so awful there are no options left.

Aug 22, 2019 12:08 PM #15
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Glad you asked about the hourly rates. I feel like certain electricians and plumbers and handyman quote a figure--like $600--and when I ask, how long will the job take, it's usually maybe two hours.  I'm all for paying the usual hourly wage for this type of work but don't BS me and pad the time.  I'm watching you.

Aug 22, 2019 01:41 PM #16
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Indeed. This is funny as I put in a bad review of an optometrist on Yelp & he answered back. But it was the way it was done! No customer service there. I don't even think he likes his clients.

BTW what the hell is a 'niche' contractor?

Aug 22, 2019 02:54 PM #17
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh, I'm SO with you on this, Mike! I told my boys before they went to college to learn a trade - plumbing, electrical, etc. IF they became skilled at the trade, provided white-glove customer service - as you say, deliver MORE than you promise, you'll never have to market. Word of mouth will help you build your business exponentially! 

I don't understand why more people don't 'get' this philosophy, Mike!

I hope you and Buffy had a fabulous weekend... 

Aug 23, 2019 12:19 AM #18
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

It's so strange that the same technicians couldn't fix the problem. In any case, they were not off to a good start with the new owner - and neither were you!

Aug 23, 2019 12:17 PM #19
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Mike - hmm...a license to gouge?  Walking away.  Voting with your feet.  Sometimes a negative review is necessary.  

Aug 24, 2019 09:58 AM #20
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