Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 9 seconds
If you only knew what could go “Rong” (I think wrong should be spelled r o n g, don’t you?) in a remodeling project. Anyone who says this sort of thing doesn’t happen on their projects is either lying, hasn’t been remodeling long enough, or has been fired by a client and never got the chance to fix their mistake.
This is a tale of dismal results that spiraled sideways nearly impacting the ground before we finally pull it out at the last second.
I recently had the misfortune of dealing with the fallout of a very bad paint job.
We were this close to finishing our project and the painting was basic stuff, it was only going to take an afternoon to complete.
The next thing I get is a 5:50PM phone call from my client reporting that the painter had just left but “the paint job didn’t look very good”. I suggested we wait till morning and look at it together.
Next morning I showed up bright and early expecting to see a single fixable flaw. It turns out that “not looking good” was the understatement of the year. There were runs, streaks and rough spots throughout the project.
My gut reaction was to have the painter return and fix it immediately. My client was willing and I showed the painter the deficiencies. ” No problem he said” ” I’ll fix it up right now” That triggered my second visit to check up on how the fix went, still shabby. The pattern continued. The painter was not happy with his results either but I’ll be darned if he could fix it.
This next time he assured me, it is under control, “Joe don’t worry I will come back and make it great, I’m not happy until you’re happy”.
The third time out, I brought my new Project Manager, Josh with me. “Rip it out, we need to start over” he whispered to me.
Being one to give the benefit of the doubt to the professional painter, I allowed him one last time to fix his problem. That is when the client called and said she had had it with the painter. She went as far as to prohibit him from returning.
This could have easily been the end of the project for me. Thankfully, our client gave me one last chance to take care of the problem.
Bottom line is, Levco decided to rip it out and replaced the finish work. We employed a different painter to do the job and it all looks great now. Turns out, there were some valuable pearls of wisdom to be learned.
- Even professionals make mistakes they can’t fix.
- I could have saved time, and money, had my tolerance been lower.
- We eventually found a great painter.
- I got to see what kind of finish carpenter Josh is. (great and fast!)
- Josh has the personality trait I lack and is not bashful about telling it like it is and getting results.
I have always said, “the highest level of customer service can not be achieved unless there is a problem”. I am especially proud that we eventually turned this catastrophic failure into a happy ending. In other words, “we always win” We also got to “show that we care” to our client who is very happy with the results of our problem resolution.