First of all the second opinion has been determined to be a FREE service by the consumer gods and always comes with the promise of “it won’t take up to much of your time.” And ‘B’ it’s never convenient because now the closing date is approaching and they need this cleared up asap.Thirdly it pits my company against another and that almost always produces one thing, two losers. It gets me flustered! (Good that there’s not a 4th thing cause forthly is not a word)
In the last year I have had 4 or 5 of these calls; one customer cancelled his regular service with me, 2 other households stiffed me when it was agreed that if I put my findings on the state form there would be a charge and the last one called everyone involved liars and threatened physical violence. I could have taken her without her cane. 😉
The problem with second opinions is the same phenomenon that happens when you get too many estimates. Every bodies head is swimming in facts that he said and quotes from what she said and nothing is kept straight. I don’t tent homes but when I show up for a job from one of these situations and they say, “where is your tent?” then I know I’m in second opinion hell.
I completely understand the need for second opinions and I’ve used them myself to make sure I wasn’t getting taken advantage of. What most often happens in the wdo/wdi scenario is that there is big money on the line and if I say you have wood rot and company X say’s it’s termites, good things don’t usually follow. Of course they don’t want to spend the money for termite work but now the buyers are baulking unless a job is done and you’re left defending your call which really needs no defense at all.
It’s at these times you’d think you could get a state inspector to come out and be the deciding factor. Unfortunately this rarely happens. Unless the gun is still smoking and the body is still warm it’s usually just another opinion that is 2 weeks to late and watered down. Don’t get me wrong, our inspectors are fine but they have huge back logs and being ‘Johnny on the spot’ is usually impossible. They also need to try and determine what was present AT THE TIME of the inspection and that too is unlikely. Still when they are done that’s usually the final say but no one usually walks away very happy.
I’m not one to cause waves and I never say much about the competition, good or bad in my town. I just do what I do and try to get along. Unfortunately for me I always seem to get at least 4 or 5 second opinion calls per year and if I decide to take any more this is how I’m handling them from now on.
Anything other than a quick look at the problem area is billable;
Any work that needs to be done is quoted and I leave as soon as possible biting my lip to say as little as possible ;
I’m sure I sound bitter but I work hard and my reputation means a lot to me. I don’t need it to be sullied by a squabble created by someone who’ll never use me again even after they have begged me to come and help.
If you’re in need of a second opinion that’s fine but at least consider what you are asking this pest professional to do. It can be a traumatic time and emotions run high as fear of losing a sale fill your head. He or she is there to help and only making the call based on the evidence seen. It’s completely in your rights as a consumer to call your state agency that handles pest control situation like these. I’d say, in most cases it may be your best shot at a second opinion that everyone will accept.