So the guy who was going to charge me the "special price" of $125 per window ("special" since according to him, "the average is $200 per window") for lead removal, and also around $200 more for each window than the other company I was leaning to, calls me up yesterday afternoon and says, "Bad news." I figured his price was going to be out of the ballpark, and had already decided I wouldn't be using him since I didn't get a "good vibe." Frankly, I didn't trust him and believed he was being less than truthful to me when he said I would have all the windows in place by Thanksgiving, but I wanted to hear the price anyway.
Well, he didn't quote a price. Instead he said, "We can't do your job." Rejected! Wow. That was a shocker. I was shattered I tell ya, shattered!
Not really, but I would have thought in this economy any company would have jumped to replace 19 windows on a ranch house. The funny thing is I had told my husband, "This guy doesn't want the job" after he left. When my husband asked why, I told him a) I got a weird vibe, b) he had odd body language, c) he told us he had 11 clients waiting for the EPA rule to be repealed so they were waiting until next year, d) he said it would take 2 - 3 weeks to install, and e) he threw out such high numbers without even checking off the top of his head, that they sounded like they came out of his ass.
Anyhow I asked the salesman why he couldn't do the job and he proceeded with this in-depth cock and bull story about how his boss decided they would no longer work on any house built prior to 1978 until this lead rule was repealed. Ummm, houses built prior to 1978 are the ones that probably need the windows the most. If it's true what he said I would imagine their business is going to really suffer. "My boss said 'Goddam EPA and stomped his foot.'" I believe someone is lying when their story is so "detailed." He then went on to say the EPA just came out with a "new" rule -- the homeowner had to stay in a hotel for two days when the windows were being replaced. Oh really? I hadn't heard that. "Oh, sure, check it out. And if we don't comply to the tee with their regulations we will get fined $37,000 per instance." Now that number I did read, but didn't read anything about having to stay in a hotel for two days...and why would I have to stay in a hotel for only two days when he had said it would take 2 - 3 weeks to install all the windows??? It was getting embarrassing, not for me, but for him, so I let him off easy by saying thank you anyway even after he suggested I wait until next year and then give him a call. Ummm, yeah, no.
So I have a couple of theories on why my money was no good -- They couldn't finish the job by the deadline I set and didn't want to admit it. (When we walked into the showroom the day before yesterday and I spoke to someone else and mentioned my Thanksgiving date, he laughed and asked "next year's?")
After entering my daughter's messy bedroom he thought he might get swallowed up in there and no one would know he was missing.
He saw the stained basement ceiling, which we can't fix until we fix the windows and find the leak from wherever, didn't think we could afford them, and/or we would be deadbeats.
We were too Yankee for him. Don't laugh. It's happened before, a couple of times in fact, especially when we're dealing with Salemites.
My husband was pissed when I told him since he had to close up the shop to come home and meet with the guy and watch him take measurements. "He knew our house was built before 1978 so he's full of shit and just wasted our time." It is getting to be a pain in the neck everytime someone comes over. It's all cool though. I wouldn't want to have someone do a job this size that I didn't have a good vibe about. We work hard for the money he might think is no good. Better I know beforehand. I don't want to wait out the EPA so I've decided to go with the first people I met with. They're not the cheapest, but I got a good feeling and their lead removal price is fair -- way under the "special $125 price" -- $40 a window. C'mon, you just know this house is going to have lead. I'll let you know how we make out. Fingers crossed.
Oh, and the worst part of the entire thing was the salesman who rejected us came to my house hacking away, coughed into his hand and then shook our hands. I asked him if he would like a drink of water because I thought he had a tickle and he says, "No it's just bronchitis." Ack! With my weakened immune system that's the last thing I need. The moment he left I scrubbed my hands, told my husband to do the same, Lysoled everything down and then called the EPA to come over with a Hazmat team to sterilize my house.