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AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation sent a Senior Inspector, at least that’s what it said on his business card (see above), to assess what needed to be done. I trusted his judgement and paid the price. Later I would learn he was, as AquaGuard’s General Manager stated, a salesman with a fancy title. Furthermore he wasn’t salaried but worked solely on commission. Valuable information BEFORE signing the contract, as we would have been on guard for more of a sales pitch than professional opinions on the causes of the water seepage and viable options. I was naive to assume we’d get an unbiased assessment, but at the time I thought AquaGuard was “The Trusted Name in Waterproofing”. A more appropriate slogan would be “Buyer Beware”. I wouldn’t call it deception but it certainly feels like something well short of total candor. Or maybe I was hopelessly naive.
What was I thinking? In context note that we had contracted to have our roof replaced several months before. The guy who showed up made no pretense to be anything but a salesman. Indeed he told us that there would be inspectors coming out to make sure his assessment was accurate and, if not, there might have to be adjustments made. Just like we didn’t find out about AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation subcontracting out our entire job till the damage was done (more on this in a future post), we had no clue that AquaGuard Senior Inspector was really a salesman working on commission. We didn’t find this out till the arbitration hearing forced them to disclose his true relationship to AquaGuard as provided in the testimony of AquaGuard General Manager which follows:
Q. And is Dave Collins one of those service inspectors, or is he a salesman?
A. He has a fancy name for a salesman. He’s a salesman.
Q. And senior inspector is his tile?
A. Yes, he’s a senior salesman.
Confused? Regardless of his exact title, this AquaGuard employee was not a salaried but worked on commission. Nothing wrong with that so long as he is technically competent and makes a good faith effort to assess a potential customer’s needs and offer sensible, cost-effective solutions. The flip side, or concern, is that the pressures to make the sale may lead to deception, non-disclosure of material facts, misrepresentation of the goods and services to be provided, etc. In our case I will simply state that a little more candor would have been greatly appreciated and might have avoided the disaster that struck our basement.
In a future posting I will go into the details of his “inspection” of our property and the fact that he totally miss-diagnosed the cause of the water seepage in our basement. I don’t think this was purposeful deception. After all, the AquaGuard General Manager testified that this particular salesman was “a pretty honest fellow”. Exactly why he would qualify this assessment is an interesting question and one I’ll explore in a future posting. I’ll also examine General Manger’s sworn deposition in which, among other things, he states of his sales representatives: “… every week, they go out and lie “.
So if you like qualified honesty, in the spirit of “My spouse is pretty faithful”, and if it doesn’t bother you to deal with sales representatives that lie, then I recommend to you AquaGuard Waterproofing Corporation: “The Pretty Trusted Name in Waterproofing.”