Not Laid!!

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I had what I thought was a simple house remodel project. Eight years
ago when I got divorced I painted every wall and ceiling and got
carpeting, among other investments. I also tried to erase every shred
of my ex from the place. Having bright colors and clean surfaces was
great, but I made a mistake with the carpeting. Six years in it looked
lousy and this year I decided to bite the bullet and replace everything
except the guest room. Insert research, shopping, cost comparisons,
and incredibly precise planning about timing the installation.


Now that I live alone I am extra careful about lifting and carrying heavy things,
and planned the carpet install when my neighbor’s son would be home
to help move a lifetime of books and other heavy things from where to
there and back again. The evening before it was to happen I got a call:
the installer hurt his back. Push back one day. Fortunately my bed was
still in place. The next day the replacement installer picked up the
carpet and pad but never showed up. He later said he thought it was
for next day. Eventually a different replacement came and did part of
the work but I was told it would be another two days before someone
could come back and finish. I’ve paid for half. I want the work done.
What discount seems reasonable to you for my lost time and found

Not Laid!!

Dear Not Laid:

Has a remodel or house project ever gone right, where right is on
time, on budget, and to the satisfaction of the home-dweller? I’m
talking the history of time, not just your personal reality. I’d bet good
money that even when our ancestors lived in caves that there was lots
of kvetching and handwringing over drippy messes and drafty smoky
rooms. That’s neither excuse nor explanation for your shoddy service,
but it might help with perspective.

Focus on getting the work done correctly. Live with the chaos as well
as you can until the work is complete. When you are asked for the
remaining payment ask what discount has been applied for all the
aggravation. Whatever they offer you (unless it’s zero :-), ask for
double. Aim for 10% of the bid. Some of what happened was not in
the control of the company. But enough was their fault that you should
get some kind of break. BTW, if they balk, remind them that bad
reviews spread quickly in our modern age. Yelp, yelp!