TW is a friend and loyal reader of "MORE GLIB ThAN PROFOUND." He has read nearly all my short stories and was a great inspirational force behind me writing my novel.
He read my January 4th blog, "A FIDDLER ON MY ROOF" and didn't make his usual comments. That is until he was surprised by an unsolicited "from the street" estimate to redo his roof. TW contacted me and we compared notes. Our homes seemed to be comparable in size and this firm (from North Jersey) quoted him a price that was less than the local company I had engaged to do mine. My first reaction to a drive-by roofing estimate from out-of-towners was high-grade-skepticism.
If you missed my January 4th blog, I indicated that in October 2008, I reached a roofing agreement with a company whose owner/representative had a dull personality and bad breath. I wanted to have the work done before Thanksgiving but this gentleman mysteriously stopped returning my calls. I guessed back then that he had under-bid himself...I still feel that way, (for the full details...please use my archives to refer back to that installment). Then when I gave up all hope, between Christmas and the New Year, he called...GAME ON ! Right?
My twenty-year old roof looked like hell. Every windy day my front yard and all around my house became a graveyard of debris as more flakes, pieces and chunks of dried-out shingles blew off my roof. Still I felt no emergency because I saw no leaks. Plus, inwardly I wanted the first guy with his BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU stamp of approval to do the job. Still, at some point...reality will over take even the most stubborn person.
It was hard to decide whether or not to ditch the first guy. I knew despite my cynicism and fear of being victimized by scam-artists, it couldn't hurt to have ANYONE else give me an estimate. This notion is intensified by being a casino worker. I see the multi-levels of hustlers bilk innocent players on a daily basis. So much so that the subject of "casino hustlers" is a sub-plot in my novel, "IF IT AIN'T NAILED DOWN." Therefore, I wanted to be certain that I wasn't setting myself up to take the fall.
It was on February 11th, that I phoned TW's outfit. I spoke with a receptionist and in a professional manner, she said the owner would call me right back. And he did. The whole time I spoke to him, I tried to read between the lines but I came up empty. I found him to be likable, sincere, thorough and a go-getter.
When he came to give me the estimate, I liked him so well that after he gave me his proposal, I was tempted to just say, "Do it." (His estimate was $500.00 more than the local guy but laced with upgrades plus a manufacturer's guarantee from GAF...even if I sold the house).
Before he left, I explained my being in limbo with the first guy. He suggested I send by registered mail, a notice that I felt our agreement wasn't valid and his service was no longer necessary. I did that...plus I asked TW to telephone guy-one to see if he would return another person's call...and TW's call WAS returned. That knowledge made me feel stronger that the man's bid on my job was not profitable (enough). When I got the post office receipt that my letter was received, I called back guy two on Tuesday February 24th. He wanted to do the job the next day...but we settled for Thursday.
The friendly and courteous workers arrived exactly on time and the job was done almost to the minute without a hitch. They provided a dumpster and used a magnified tool to retrieve the scattered nails. They also spruced-up my place so well that it looked better than before they started. They even removed (temporarily), my gutter-guards and blew-out the leaves before re-installing them. A separate agency removed the dumpster early the next morning.
I am completely satisfied with my new roof and I intend (after I receive my guarantee from the manufacture and see how the roof does after a soaking rain) to write the owner Larry Ferrari (609) 441-1200, a testimonial letter of appreciation. Who knows, maybe he'll write my employer a testimonial because, he recognized that I recently dealt roulette to him and that I made it fun...even though he lost.
I would recommend "THE GREAT AMERICAN ROOFING COMPANY" to anyone in the new roof market...even if I wasn't offered a $100.00 for everyone I sent his way.
In the mean time as TW weighs-out who he will hire to do his roofing job...he keeps calling the first guy (three times) and makes appointments for an estimate, does not respond to confirmation calls and breaks the appointment at the last minute. I salute you TW, that's what I call support !