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Contractor's estimate
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8/16/2011 12:51 PM (PST)

What should a contractor's quote include? I was called earlier this week by a company offering a free estimate for exterior painting, good for one year. The company insisted that my husband and I both be home when the estimator came. After sitting through a long sales pitch, the salesman measured our house and wrote up an estimate, offering a 25% discount if we signed a contract today. When we said no, he took back all the paperwork. He refused to leave it with us unless we signed a contract with the company on the spot. He also did not give us a business card or a brochure, claiming he had just run out of business cards. When we insisted on a written estimate, he tore a scrap of yellow paper off a legal pad, wrote the company name on it, and the price, and nothing else. No date, no description of the services, no signature, no contact information for the company. Is it a fraud to persuade people to make appointments promising to give an estimate good for one year, and then refuse to give one?

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8/17/2011 10:31 AM (PST)

Thank you for the response. I felt they got the appointment on false pretenses because on the phone they promised an estimate that would be good for one year. My husband even told them we would not be signing any contracts on the spot, and he was assured we would get an estimate. If they had told us over the phone that their company policy was not to leave an estimate with us unless we signed a contract, we would not have made the appointment. Lesson learned, I guess.

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8/23/2011 4:23 AM (PST)

Getting a 'written estimate' is my only experience with contractors. I've always been left with complete paperwork giving All pertinent details with further information added during the preliminary discussion and those the occur while the work is being performed. While that contractor might be acting inside the edge of the law, he certainly doesn't sound very trustworthy to me. I wouldn't hire him.

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10/3/2011 8:08 AM (PST)

I'm a former contractor and what they were doing in my opinion was a high pressure tactic to sign before you had a chance to received another quote that may be lower.Sounds to me they gave you a high estimate so withdrew their offer in knowledge of other capable contractors doing the same work for less money.Some contractors are willing to underbid other contractors and some rather stick to their price.This contractor was the one price fits all.Find another and be up front about wanting to compare estimates to save everyones time.A good contractor will show up but still check references.Just ask for past work they have done and do your homework.In regards to being to being legal,Well in my opinion he just lack professionalism.

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