Be Wary of Making Recommendations

by Tax Guy - Burlington Accountant on November 16, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post

Back in August we discovered our basement was leaking and after taking down an interior wall, discovered a previous owner had attempted to install their own wood burning fireplace. Our insurance company covered the damage to the interior but not the cause of the leak itself.

The outside work began last month. The chimney was removed, the foundation was repaired and sealed, and a new roof had to be installed. The total bill was $19,000 and most of it was covered by our emergency fund.

Our Old Carpet & The Recommended Installer

The leak had damaged the carpet we had installed when we moved in three years ago. We purchased the original carpet from a national carpet chain. This company only sold carpet but didn’t do installations. Instead, they had a list of recommended carpet installers in the area and gave us the name of a company to call. We did.

Not long after the carpet was installed we began to notice problems with the installation: The corners had not been stapled down properly and were lifting, seams were coming apart, and we could feel bumps under the carpet because the floor had not been cleaned of debris.

We called the installer and asked him to fix the work. But as far as the installer was concerned, the job was done and we’d have to pay for a service call.

We called the carpet company to complain but they were indifferent: After all they didn’t do the installation the installer did.

We eventually fixed the problems ourselves, but the experience left us unimpressed with both the installer and the carpet company.

Fast Forward 3 Years

We were in the process of finding a replacement carpet and what is the first thing we decide? We decide not to buy carpet from the carpet company because of their recommended installers. We had associated our experience with the installer with the carpet company itself.

Final Thoughts

If you run a business and are asked by your clients to recommend other businesses, be aware that you may be associated with the service provided by the company you recommend.

You should ensure companies you recommend provide your clients with the same level of service they expect from you. If you don’t have someone you can personally vouch for, then be up front with your clients and say so.

About The Tax Guy...

Dean Paley CGA CFP is a Burlington accountant and financial planner who services individuals and business owners locally, nationally and internationally. Dean has appeared in the National Post, Toronto Star and Metro News.

To find out more, visit Dean's website Dean Paley CGA CFP or connect via Twitter @DeanPaleyCGACFP.

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Catherine November 23, 2009 at 10:47 am

Wow, it’s sad that some businesses don’t recognize the value of a customer’s trust! I wouldn’t even recommend businesses to friends unless I have confidence that they would provide great service.

Tax Guy November 23, 2009 at 11:02 am

@ Catherine:
I think this is a real problem in the building/renovation industry. A sub-contractor is suggested without knowing if the work is any good.

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