Select Reputable Contractor
Waterproof your basement? Beware of AquaGuard! Do not trust the proposal AquaGuard Basement Waterproofing gives you. As AquaGuard’s General Manager said under oath: “The contract is the only thing I look at. That’s the binding thing.” The General Manager also stated, under oath, that the form used was misleading. Finally, when asked if he ever sought to ascertain whether or not the statements his salespeople make to the customers are accurate or not he stated with breathtaking audacity: “Every week, we go over that, and every week, they go out and lie“.
Let us look at a few examples.
Instead of the 1/2 horsepower sump pumps written in their proposal and described by their so-called Senior Inspector, they gave me a cheaper, smaller pump and declare it “sufficient”. Tough luck if you trusted their sales representations, because the size of the pump isn’t in the contract, merely in the proposal! Get the difference? Or you might be naive like me and expect to get that plastic vapor barrier in the drainage path because: 1) that’s what was described by the salesman, 2) is written in the proposal, and 3) is standard practice in the industry. Sorry friend, it ain’t in the contract so you’re not getting it. Better yet the AquaGuard Basement Corp General Manager, after the fact of course, declared flat-out that they never install a vapor barrier. So why, you might ask, is it in the proposal? The following is a direct quote from the General Manager’s sworn testimony at the hearing. (Questions by my side. Answers by the General Manager of AquaGuard)
Q. But all of these proposals, this proposal would be obviously misleading since it was a mistaken old form, correct?
Q. What methodology did you — what business model do you have to verify the things you’re telling people are true or not?
A. Well, they were left over from the old regime. And when I came in, we changed the contract and we didn’t change the proposal.
By “the old regime” he is likely referring to the previous, possibly the original, owners who may have run a reputable business that was bought out back around 2006.
Those are pretty old forms.
The list of things promised by not delivered goes on and on. You are basically at the mercy of whoever shows up to do the work and as previous noted, that could literally be anyone.
Three things to keep in mind or, if you will, lessons I’ve learned the hard way that you might profit from:
First, if there’s something in the proposal that you really want, get the salesman to write it into the contract form itself, dated and signed, otherwise you are out of luck. You might not get it even then, see example below, but at least it is on the record.
Second, nowhere in the proposal, or the contract for that matter, do they mention their reliance on subcontractors. This compounds an already bad situation brought on by outdated, misleading proposals. Not only can’t you depend on them to deliver what’s in their proposal, but you have no idea who will do the work. See previous posting on what happened in my basement when I got stuck with their unlicensed subcontractor.
Third, business names are for sale. It’s who currently owns and runs the business that matters, not how long the name has been around. If a reputable company sells out to some organization intent on making a quick buck, customers be damned, how would you know? If friends recommend a company based on experience before they sold out, you are left clueless about how well the current management is running things. With respect to AquaGuard, for example, they brag about being in business since 1990. They are really talking about how long the company name has been around. Most, if not all, of the current ownership and management came on board around 2006.
Regardless of the name, pedigree of the owners and management, etc, what does it matter when they give your job to some guy with a pickup truck that you, and apparently they, know nothing about? And when disaster strikes as it did with us, what good is that name and their slogans when the business model they follow can be summed up as “The subcontractor must pay for his mistakes”. And what about AquaGuard?
Final thought for today’s post. With AquaGuard Waterproofing Corp even things written in the contract are no guarantee of performance as witnessed by their failure to provide the promised backup pump. Instead I got a cheaper, smaller model.
Sense a theme here?
AquaGuard – “The Trusted Name in Waterproofing”??
AquaGuard – Buyer Beware!