Buyer beware!


HARO

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Got an urgent phone call from the garden center a few days ago..... seems a customer had taken posession of a house two months ago, with a GORGEOUS pond in the back yard. 10,000 gallons, ten feet deep! Anyway, they had to shut one pump off because there was water all over the filter shed, and they had no idea what was wrong or what to do about it. I headed right over (half-hour drive), and found that the OASE filter was plugged solid, with the water coming over the sides! Showed them how to take everything apart, clean and re-assemble it. Figured out what all the electrical plugs were for (2 pumps, 2 UV units, several lights), made a few suggestions to improve ease of upkeep, and admired their koi, most of which were show quality. They had already figured out that the pond was overstocked, and offered me free koi, but I wisely declined. :( Did get a garbage bag full of water hyacinths, though, as the vegetative filter needed thinning.
The point of this lengthy diatribe? I charged them $50. for my time, and got $60. They had already gotten three estimates by phone. The cheapest was $4,000. The highest, TEN TIMES that amount!!! This mental midget was ready to tear out the pond and build a new one TO CORRECT A PLUGGED FILTER!!!
John
 
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HARO

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Actually, they bought the house because they loved the pond. I wish mine was as beautiful as theirs! :( I also got the OK to go back and take pictures. Will post them if this darn computer will let me!
John
 

Meyer Jordan

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Haro, you and I both know that there is no shortage of 'Trunk Slammers'. Does wonders in promoting the industry's image......NOT!
 
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Glad you helped them out (y)

I hate to hear such high prices, for some people it is just out of reach. I feel like it is taking advantage of someone who doesn't know any better.
 
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HARO

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The sad thing is, this couple had just purchased the place, using most of their savings as a down payment, and couldn't afford the "professional" solution. That pond was on the verge of being filled in, and another budding enthusiastic ponder would have been lost. I've had five of these calls this year, but how many others simply called in a truck-load of topsoil?
John
 

HARO

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Same sort of stuff happens in the equestrian world too. Lot's of novice folks being ripped off.
And in home renovation, landscaping, and probably every line you care to mention. I know of one case where a "professional" tree removal service dropped a huge old pine tree across the roof of a cottage. Do your homework before you put down your money!
John
 

Meyer Jordan

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The real problem is the individuals quoting these unnecessary high prices don't know any better either. In many cases the client is more knowledgeable
 
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sissy

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That reminds me I have to go get some of my flavored coffee and flavored creamer before they move to there new location .I will have to travel an hour to get it but it is worth it .
 

HARO

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That reminds me I have to go get some of my flavored coffee and flavored creamer before they move to there new location .I will have to travel an hour to get it but it is worth it .
Don't go out of your way, I take my coffee BLACK! :LOL:
John
 

cas

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10,000 gallons, ten feet deep
Wow, quite a pond. Yes, please post pictures when you go back. Thank goodness the garden center knew to call you. Probably the best $60 those people spent!
 

HARO

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I work at the GC part-time, running the pond section. Have been doing it for ten or eleven years now. Have a VERY loyal group of customers, so I must be doing SOMETHING right! ;)
It seems I have developed a bit of a reputation, as several other businesses will send customers to ME (after selling them equipment they know nothing about), telling them that our business has someone on staff that is better informed! My season pretty well ends with June, but if anyone comes in with questions, the staff usually calls me. My wife is the nursery manager, or as I like to call her, the "Plant" manager. :rolleyes:
John
 
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Mmathis

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Wow! Were those other estimates by phone or was that AFTER they came out and looked at it? That reminds me of the spots they do on the TODAY show as "fraud alerts." They'll stage a house [or car, or whatever the topic is] and get repair people to come out and give estimates. Of course, they video all of this and it's just amazing what goes on if you are an unsuspecting consumer. One hilarious story [and I don't recall what the "problem" was supposed to be....] was when a group of 2 or 3 folks came into the house, said it was possed by evil spirits and were casting all kind of spells, burning incense, etc. While all of this "voodoo" stuff was going on, one of the group members was recorded going back to the kitchen and helping himself to a stash of cash!
 

HARO

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Apparently all three estimates were given after the problem was described over the phone.
John
 
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