Our Competition Makes Us Look Good

I just received two calls today from potential clients. The first client was trying to sell their house and had one of our competitors install their radon system. A re-test was performed and the radon levels were still not passing. Also, the buyer’s inspection company said that the system was installed wrong and therefore the deal was on hold until the radon issues were resolved. The other contractor was not willing to fix their system, causing the sale of the home to be in jeopardy. I will never have a conversation with our client where I tell the customer “I will not return to fix the system” or “I’m too busy to return to fix the radon system”. Our goal is to assist home sellers in any way possible to help sell their home. Our clients will not have to the bear the additional stress or additional carrying costs because of a delay in the sale (taxes, insurance and operating expenses). In the end, the cheaper solution can cost the client more money and headaches.

The second call was a client that needed Home Owners Association approval in order to install the radon system. The other mitigation company was not willing to take the time to fill out the HOA forms, speak to HOA management or do anything to help the client with this process. I will never have a conversation where I tell the client, “You fill out all of the HOA forms and speak to the HOA about radon requirements” and not assist in getting HOA approval.

It all comes down to premier customer service, which a cheaper company is not willing to provide to make their client’s life easier.

Cheap of the Cheap

I recently got a call from homeowner who had a radon mitigation system that was installed by a another radon mitigation company that was put out of business by the Illinois State Attorney General.  This contractor is known as one of the “CHEAP OF THE CHEAP” contractors and we knew that the price they were charging was too good to be true. We predicted that they would go out of business, leaving all of their customers with no warranty.  Hundreds of owners fell for their cheap prices. The homeowner informed me that  the system was approximately five years old;  had already failed, and the radon levels were just as high when the home did not have radon mitigation system.

If a contractor’s price is too good to be true, that means they are not doing something: not caulking properly, improper electric work, not inspecting the sump pump, shoddy workmanship. All of these shortcuts can lead to higher cost of ownership, risk of flooding, and mold growth potential. All of these risks could cause thousands of dollars of damage.

Another issue with CHEAP OF THE CHEAP contractors is customer service. Some contractors don’t have the resources to return phone calls at all, or in a timely manner should a problem arise. This is especially true during the busy summer months . We receive a steady stream of calls from our competitors’ customers who need their radon system serviced so they can get to their closing, service their sump, replace their fan or just answer a simple question. We employ several full-time office staff and have maintained a detailed database of all of our installations since 1995.

The lesson to be learned: when making a buying decision, base your decision on who provides the lowest cost of ownership (best value) and provides the safest radon levels, not who is the cheapest.