|On 11/5/10, I found "Mark Johnson" on Craig's List and he said he was part of Chicago Painting Services with labor teams who do snow removal during the winter months. His ad stated: |
CHICAGOLAND SNOW REMOVAL TEAM 312 437 2030 (CHICAGO AND
LICENSED, BONDED AND INSURED SATISFACTION IS GUARANTEED
WE OFFER THE LOWEST PRICES ON RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL
PLEASE CALL TODAY FOR
YOUR FREE ESTIMATE
When I spoke with "Mark", it was afterhours and he said he was trying to finish a painting project and would call back. When he did, his name was John and said that he works with Mark. (The voices may have been the same or different--I don't remember because I was calling a number of potential snow removal vendors.) He was smooth and said he would take a look at the properties (my home plus a two-flat building that is a few minutes away from my home by car) and get back to me with an estimate. He did so within two days and his estimate was right in the ball park with other quotes.
After pursuing a number of other potential vendors, I returned to John on 11/22/10 and asked for a references and a contract. Two of his three references were stellar and the third was satisfied with the contracting process but had not used him yet. This was a much larger building with a condominium board, and I felt that he listed them as a reference because they were extremely picky about references and legal wording; in retrospect, this should have been a red flag--a reference without prior snow removal service experience.
When I met John, he seemed professional enough and claimed he would provide evidence of liability insurance. Unfortunately, snow was anticipated the next day, so I prepaid him for 7 visits (most of the season) for both properties--a guarantee of his availability and prompt service throughout the winter. That was my bad.
After no snow accumulating above the 2" requirement until 12/26/10, at which date, John Buroe failed to show up to remove the snow and failed to return either phone call, text message, or email message.
My last voice message I left for him threatened legal action, but I still have no heard back from him.