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Is not responding to calls and emails a southern thing?

thickey

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My family and I are relatively new to the South. We moved last year from Indianapolis to Knoxville. We love the area and the wonderful people here.

Since we have moved, we have noticed that there seems to be a slower pace 'round here. Time and time again, when we call or email people about something, etc., we hardly ever get a response! I am not sure if it a southern thing or what...

I have many, many examples, but just recently we called around and emailed more than 15 contractors for having some remodeling work done (many were recommended by people we know). We received two phone calls back, and one email. Once guy called back, came by before Christmas and did some measurements, etc. He has not contacted me with an estimate yet! Another guy called me back, we scheduled an appointment, but he never showed.

What is up with that? Has anyone else experienced this?

Maybe they are so busy that they can turn away business in this economy. I hope that's it. I would still expect at least an acknowlegement of some sort.

I am beginning to think that it is just the way it is.

Any opinions?

Tim and family in Knoxville
 

ronparise

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I thought it was a florida thing

When I moved to Florida 15 years ago we has a similar experience with landscaping...the place was somewhat overgrown, so we had some trimming, some clearing and somenew planting we wanted done and I wanted someone to cut the grass every week

Several guys showed up to give an estimate, but 5 out of 6 never returned
 

wackymother

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I'm in NJ and I get the same thing from contractors. In fact, I've used a plumber for several largish jobs, and I had him come in a few weeks back to look at another project. He came, he looked, he said he would get back to me with an estimate...no estimate.
 

jme

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not a southern thing..........you just found someone who either isn't courteous or just doesn't care.... most southerners are the opposite, as you will discover. I'm surprised they didn't return the call AND bring over some brownies.
 

Luanne

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not a southern thing..........you just found someone who either isn't courteous or just doesn't care.... most southerners are the opposite, as you will discover. I'm surprised they didn't return the call AND bring over some brownies.

They are probably a transplant from somewhere else. ;)
 

thickey

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There is definitely something to be said about southern hospitality. People here are friendly, and like to converse.

I just cannot imagine not acknowleging calls and emails, etc. Makes you wonder what their service might be like, if they cannot make a quick and easy call, or write a 15 second email. I'll save my money for someone who is responsive.

Nevertheless, we are very happy about our move, and don' t want to give the impression that we are not. We have just noticed this "trait" since we moved. Maybe we have just been lucky before that... :)
 

Talent312

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I think it has more to do with the hectic nature of our modern society.
Peep seem only to pay attention to the most pressing issue at hand.

I've sent two emails to a customer rep processing a loan app... not a peep.
I may need to go to the bank in person just to see was's up with that.

As the adage goes: "Its the creaky wheel that gets the grease."
 
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Beefnot

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I have had similar experiences with contractors in California. Contractors are really peculiar. I don't understand how they process. I've noticed that the profession attracts alcoholics/druggies and garden variety half-a$$es, as well as some of the bigger outfits who won't take jobs they deem too small. All things considered, there is a lot of unprofessionalism in that field.
 

Ken555

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I have had similar experiences with contractors in California. Contractors are really peculiar. I don't understand how they process. I've noticed that the profession attracts alcoholics/druggies and garden variety half-a$$es, as well as some of the bigger outfits who won't take jobs they deem too small. All things considered, there is a lot of unprofessionalism in that field.

I think this is an applicable statement to many industries (at least, in LA).
 

kwilson

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They don't want to do bids and/or estimates. They want you to hire them, let them do the work, then tell you how much you owe them.
 

pjrose

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It's a decline in courtesy everywhere, as well as people being overloaded with emails and voicemails, and not checking them regularly.

It's not just businesses; it's students, relatives, etc etc. Grrrrr.
 

ada903

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I noticed this about young people. I hired my nephew to do my website - takes a few weeks to respond to an email, and sometimes multiple followups before we get an answer. My daughter needs to be reminded multiple times of things she needs to do, which are in her own interest, and she procrastinated all the time. It's the younger generation - they lack spirit and motivation. Maybe because they had it so easy compared to us?
 

Beefnot

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Maybe that's true for the young folks, but it is also true in entrepreneurial professions with low barriers to entry for alcoholics and knuckleheads. I've seen it young to old with contractors.
 

klpca

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I noticed this about young people. I hired my nephew to do my website - takes a few weeks to respond to an email, and sometimes multiple followups before we get an answer. My daughter needs to be reminded multiple times of things she needs to do, which are in her own interest, and she procrastinated all the time. It's the younger generation - they lack spirit and motivation. Maybe because they had it so easy compared to us?

My 75 yo father has perfected the art of procrastination - to his own detriment. He started young and has kept it up! I think it's just a generally lazy type person who behaves this way.
 
L

laurac260

We lived in Florida for 3 1/2 years and that was a constant experience. It seemed the work ethic was much lower than what we were used to in Ohio. Either that or you just need to get yourself a 'round tuit.

Once we got back to Oh things got back to what we were used to, people who did the job when they said they would , and we were re-reminded of how nice Midwesterners are. Too many rude folks in Florida. Course most folks aren't from 'round thar no how .
 

Passepartout

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We have also had trouble finding people (particularly workmen) who will follow through with a contact. I doubt it's regional. Just bad manners. Or laziness.

Jim
 

dumbydee

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I think it has to do with the people that are addicted to one thing or another getting into the contracting business.

And do not forget NEVER pay a contractor till the work is completed. Around here is you do they will not show back up till they sober up.

Another thing is many contractors work from home or their vehicle and do not check e-mails often or voice mail. Some are just not computer savvy and are doing the best they can.
 

Talent312

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Too many rude folks in Florida.

As one of those rude Floridians (born+raised, as they say)...

We don't take kindly to folks who dis our state, so you're welcome
to git yor pasty, fat behinds back to wherever they came from.
-----------------------
Now most of the people who retire in Florida
are wrinkled and they lean on a crutch.
And mobile homes are smotherin' my keys;
Well I hate those bastards so much.
I wish a summer squall would blow them
all the way up to fantasy land.
They're ugly and square, they don't belong here.
They look a lot better as beer cans.
-- Jimmy Buffett, Migration ("A1A")
 
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easyrider

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A major reason for many contractors to not give an estimate is that unless a contractor has complied with the EPA Lead rules they can not bid on homes built before 1978. If caught it is a $37,000 fine. Lawyers have started advertising to the public to call them for relief if a contractor didn't follow this rediculous legislation.

This law affects every trade working on pre-78 built structures. AND- when a contractor does comply with this law, there are other regulations to consider, such as containment, resperator use and disposal. A worker can only use a reperator for 20 minutes each hour. All work on these type homes has to be documented. Everything. Even if the building has no lead there is still a bunch of paperwork.

This is just another job killing rule and I expect to see more. What might happen is that foreclosed homes that test positive for lead might be considerd to toxic to repair. Then you know who pays, right.
 
L

laurac260

I noticed this about young people. I hired my nephew to do my website - takes a few weeks to respond to an email, and sometimes multiple followups before we get an answer. My daughter needs to be reminded multiple times of things she needs to do, which are in her own interest, and she procrastinated all the time. It's the younger generation - they lack spirit and motivation. Maybe because they had it so easy compared to us?

Just curious, how "young" is this "younger generation" from which you speak?

...and how "old" is "us"?

Just wondering, because if the "older" generation only has a few lazy men, I'm guessing my mom in her lifetime managed to find and marry all three of them.:rolleyes:
 
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Paumavista

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Also Southern Transplant

WOW....we found the exact same thing moving from California to SC.

We've been here 6 years and found the exact same attitude when trying to get contractor's to follow through. My parents found it when they moved to GA from NY (20 years ago).

I'm afraid I do think it's a little more common down here than any of us experienced up North or out West......no put down, just a personal observation/experience.

We're in the country....we've actually had someone tell us it would depend on the cows.(?????) - - I guess whether he'd have time after dealing with them????? THEY didn't think it was a problem and they were very polite but they just don't follow through (at least not on the time table we expect).

ps.....when I just told my husband about your post he laughed - this is a subject we've talked about alot!

Judy
 

Don

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I thought it was a florida thing

When I moved to Florida 15 years ago we has a similar experience with landscaping...the place was somewhat overgrown, so we had some trimming, some clearing and somenew planting we wanted done and I wanted someone to cut the grass every week

Several guys showed up to give an estimate, but 5 out of 6 never returned
Before Christmas, we called six painting contractors for estimates on painting the exterior of our house. Only one called back and then he never kept the appt. We ended up painting it ourselves (still doing the finishing up).
 

Ridewithme38

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This is one of the VERY FEW good things about living on Long Island, everyone, everyone is so hungry for money they'll climb over each other to get an estimate out...We just had our downstairs bathroom redone and were able to get same day estimates from a half dozen companies...a couple others couldn't come out till the previous week...
 

Ken555

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This is one of the VERY FEW good things about living on Long Island, everyone, everyone is so hungry for money they'll climb over each other to get an estimate out...We just had our downstairs bathroom redone and were able to get same day estimates from a half dozen companies...a couple others couldn't come out till the previous week...

If the others came out the previous week, this job should have been done before you obtained the first quote!
 
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