Report: #35324

Complaint Review: Erie Construction, Mid-West - Lansing Michigan

  • Submitted:
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  • Reported By: Vernon MI
  • Erie Construction, Mid-West 6810 S. Cedar, Suite 10 Lansing, Michigan U.S.A.

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- Expense of their product FAR exceeded the end-result!

It must be safe to assume that many of Erie Construction's customers are not internet connected, therefore explaining the lack of complaints about this company - I can't believe that WE are the only ones with this problem!!!

This is a horrible, if not long, story. However, I feel compelled to warn others about Erie Construction - a company that I once had confidence in when it came to home improvement. I am going to skip much of the story because it will be irrelevant in the long run - but let's suffice it to say that we (my husband and I) screwed up but were willing to swallow a HUGE, bitter pill. With that said, here it is:

In mid-August, we signed a contract with Erie Construction to install new siding, soffit and fascia to our home. Because a few years prior, we had our windows replaced by Erie, we were offered a significant discount on the price of our siding (50%) The ENTIRE deal with the windows was awesome - from contract to installation to current - so we trusted Erie with the siding under this pretense.

Initially, we had been contacted by Erie's marketers for the siding because they were having a 30% fiscal year discount on their siding product (sell the old at discount to make room for the new). It is apparent that we got neither of these because I find it difficult to believe that our 1700 sq foot, ranch-style (living space) house, plus 2 car garage, would cost nearly $40k to $60k to side at full price (the price we got is supposedly a 30% savings. Unfortunately, the "savings" is not quoted ANYWHERE on the contract and we didn't look for that when we signed)! Not only that, but we are not getting ANY of the front siding replaced - including the front of the garage (this is the BIG pill I was talking about). Ok - with that, we can accept that we were stupid to sign the contract in the first place, but realize that this was a reputable company who had done such a fantastic job with our windows - the money would be WELL worth spending for siding of similar quality.

On Sept 30, the work began - with two older gentleman - one of which (I'll call him "J") was admittedly retired and the father of the owner/operator of the sub-contracting company. The work began slowly and "J" informed me it was slow-going because they didn't have and weren't provided with all the materials and equipment needed by Erie to do some of the work. Ok - no big deal at this point - they are only a week into it, after all. So, the siding was begun first - before the soffit and fascia (It is my understanding *now* that this is back-asswards procedure???).

Anyway, early in the 2nd week into it, I noticed a couple of problems and pointed them out. They were fixed, but not without a bit of himming and hawing of why the problems existed. I pointed out that none of the surrounding areas looked similar to the problems so if the rest could be done right, so could the problem areas.

"J" asked me to sign the Certificate of Satisfaction on Wednesday, that 2nd week, but they weren't even NEAR being done. Having already experienced the consequences a hasty and ignorant signature on a binding contract, I declined to do this again and "J" stated that he understood my position and accepted my response. He also asked that I put sticky notes up whenever I noticed something wrong - I did agree to do this, however, not knowing anything about the process of siding installation, I wasn't aware that those things I was seeing were their idea of the FINISHED product. I thought that the problems were so blatantly obvious that they were just there until the finishing touches could be applied at the end of the job. (I would LOVE to post the photos!!!).

The 3rd week into the installation, and the near finished product, I was notified that they were almost done and that they would be out the next day to put the last of the caulking around the front bay window. After "J's" departure that evening, I walked around the house and couldn't believe my eyes, so I grabbed a video camera and walked completely around my house with it. My husband took still photos with a 35mm at the same time. I called Erie Construction after I was finished and left a message for someone... ANYONE... to call me first thing in the morning at work.

To make a very long story just a little shorter, "R", a Rep from Erie, came out that next day and has been telling us all along that he will make every effort to get our satisfaction with their product since he also noticed that the job just wasn't right. He even told us that he had set up an appointment for a 3rd party inspector to come out and survey the situation at Erie's expense - that never happened. I found out today, when I called to make an appointment myself that "R" had, in fact, called and set up the appointment twice but both times, cancelled. The 1st time, the inspector cancelled because he could not reach "R" to establish a time for the inspection. The 2nd time, "R" cancelled, for unknown reasons. *I* am willing to spend the extra $60 for the regional inspector to come out and give me a report on his findings. If for nothing else to prove that I am not crazy (or too picky).

The next "crew" to come out, mid-October, was the owner of the sub-contracting company... yes: the son! He really wasn't helpful at all. After about a week of piddle-fartin' around, he had hardly touched any of the problem areas. When he got tired of piddle-fartin' he requested that we sign the Cert of Completion and hand over the final check. We again declined. However, he wasn't as cordial as his father and was pretty huffy with us (I am being rather generous with the commentary here, because I would just as soon slap this guy than to look at him! He became quite an a**hole when we refused signature and payment). When "R" returned and pointed out the problems that still existed, "J, Jr." stood in our driveway and stated (this is an EXACT quote), "Well, that'll be a lot of work." He also says, "Can I get a list, because every time I come out here, it is something different." I thought my husband would come unglued at that remark! It wasn't that it was something different each time, it was the repeated indications of those things that needed fixed but weren't getting fixed each and every time "J, Jr." showed up! He even admitted that he over-looked or "miss-repaired" those things he had *attempted* as we all walked around the house with "R", pointing the problems out YET AGAIN!

Now, we are 6 weeks and the 3rd crew (different company, since "J, Jr." *couldn't* come back) into this project. The holidays are quickly approaching and my new siding looks worse than the old siding it is replacing! I really can't blame the 3rd crew too much... their attempts have been honest and *some* of the problems have been fixed - however, much more of it looks like patch work! For brand new siding, patch work is completely unacceptable!!! BUT, the 3rd crew has their hands tied as to what they can do and are limited by what Erie will allow in materials for the repairs/replacement. One of the 3rd crew even told us that to REALLY fix the WHOLE job properly, it would all need to be torn down and started over from the very beginning because that is where most of the problems began in the first place (starting with the siding going up before the soffit and fascia).

I have also had a couple of gentlemen whom have had experience in siding installation check out the work and they were completely appalled. I can't WAIT for what the regional inspector will report!!! I am certain it will be well-worth the money I am paying for it!!!

I contacted an attorney today who told me to call Erie and continue to request that they (Erie) repair their "breech of contract" and if they don't, then I am to contact him again and he will get futher involved. If Erie continues with their lame attempts, he will file a lawsuit. The attorney did advise me that as long as they are willing to repair, in earnest, we must let them. The moment they are no longer willing to offer to provide us the product that we paid for, we have a court case.

I have attempted to research Erie Construction, but there isn't much about them anywhere. I checked out the BBB (which I have since learned is a farce in itself) that shows that they have only had a couple of complaints over the past few years, but those were "resolved" and Erie has a satisfactory rating with the BBB. I just hope that we can come out of this with at least a little bit of our dignity still intact - and the siding we expected!!!

My posting here is to simply make others aware to READ your contract before you sign!!! If you can't understand what it says, spend $35 or $40 to have an attorney look it over first (trust me, it's worth it!)! Don't let high-pressure tactics influence your gut instinct! If they tell you that you must sign NOW or you will lose out on the "special offer," let the scheming rip-off bastards walk with their blank forms in hand! Show them to the door QUICKLY!

If you DO sign a contract, be sure it contains EVERYTHING (in specific detail) that was offered to you verbally!!! Make sure you know who the sub-contractors doing the work will be in advance and ask to see some of their prior work! Make sure that what you see is what THAT SPECIFIC WORKER(s) did! Just because the installer works for a reputable company doesn't mean their work is as good as their co-workers'!!! Be certain that the installers you were expecting to do your work are the ones sent to your home!!!! Ask for a company sign to be place in front of your house advertising the company doing the job (there hasn't been a sign in our yard yet - but I will put one of my own out and see how the Erie Rep reacts). Get business cards with names and phone numbers (these will accumulate quickly, but keep ALL of them!)! Get copies of licenses! You can NEVER have too much information!

If you're in the same boat I am in right now, and have already dug a hole and are not sure what to do next to climb out, RESEARCH! Ask TONS of questions from various folks - you never know who may have the answer you need! There is a solution to EVERY problem, you just have to look for it! Keep looking until you find your answer... a lot of these companies rely on your giving up, succumbing to their B.S. and just accepting what they give you, regardless of what it is. We are consumers and do have rights, though not many it seems. Persistence and consistency are the key!

I will post as things progress... and I am sure they will, one way or the other!

Best regards, my fellow consumers!

Vernon, Michigan

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/15/2002 06:54 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/erie-construction-mid-west/lansing-michigan-48911/erie-construction-mid-west-ripoff-shoddy-workmanship-by-their-sub-contractors-took-our-mo-35324. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#17 Author of original report

In response

AUTHOR: Kathy - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Saturday, August 21, 2004
Every now and then, I come back to this report... not sure why. Curiosity, maybe.

I want to respond to the gentleman who made comment about how much we paid for this siding - Thanks for stating the obvious. I am aware that we paid too much - I mentioned in my first posting that we paid way more than we should have - Our stupidity was signing a contract we didn't thoroughly review first - I admitted that from the very start.

I don't believe we got the "discounts" we were promised verbally by the salesmen who visited us, who told us that if we "didn't sign now, we wouldn't be eligible for the special discounts." (Looking back, it didn't really matter, did it?) We signed that night without completely reading what we signed. The contract we signed had some blank fields in it that the salesmen told us would be completed at the office the next day and would include our discounts. It was our foolish mistake to believe this and we accept full responsibility for the contract we signed.

My complaint really wasn't about the money. We agreed to honor our portion of the contract - pay them what we signed to pay for the siding; fairly priced or not. My complaint was about them honoring THEIR portion of the contract. Giving us what THEY promised in that contract, under the terms of that agreement.

We could have had a local contractor come out and put up new siding for somewhere around $8,500.00. However, we could not afford that much out of pocket and we were able to finance our siding by going through Erie Construction - more expensive in the long-run but easier to make payments that come up with a lump sum all at once.

In any case - both sides of the contract are now fullfilled. We got finally got our new siding = They finally got their money.

If all you got from my posts was how much we paid for our siding, you missed the entire point.
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#16 Consumer Comment

One terrific lady.

AUTHOR: Bill - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Tuesday, July 27, 2004
You have no idea how proud I and many like me are of you. No one believes you would have won if you had paid everything, and I have doubts about the outcome if it had not been posted at this site.
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#15 Consumer Comment

You paid too much!

AUTHOR: Jack - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, July 26, 2004
I read the report and it sounds like a nightmare alright! I'm glad that you did finally get it done to your satisfaction. You paid way to much in the first place...A house that size, w/ the best product available, should of run in the neighborhood of 8-10K
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#14 Author of original report

The Final Outcome...

AUTHOR: Kathy J. Mitchell - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Here is my final report on this issue:

First I must sincerely apologize to Erie Construction, the General Public and to ALL potential Erie Construction clients for the delay in this update: a couple of major, life-altering events have occurred since my last update and those took precedence over everything else in my life. Therefore, I completely forgot about my agreement with Erie to finalize this report until I received a phone call from Larry, a regional manager with Erie Construction, a couple of days ago to remind me of that agreement - without the intevention of their corporate attorney.

On the last day (unrecalled date in late January) that Charlie and his crew were to finish up our siding and all of the repairs from the previous installers' mistakes, I was to meet with the regional manager, Larry, and the original installation manager, Rod, at my home.

The three of us sat at my dining room table and discussed the recent work and how I thought things were progressing. I told them that I was very satisfied with the work that Charlie and his crew were performing and that the job was finally looking professional - I was satisfied with the way the siding, soffets and fascia looked with the efforts of the new crew.

Larry asked me about this [Rip-Off] report (he had a copy of this entire report with him) and I told him that I had done this because I was getting nowhere with the conventional methods of consumer complaints with his company and thought that the public should know of the business practices that had made me so unhappy. He asked me if I could have this report removed because it was damaging to their company's reputation. I told him that I didn't own this website, so having the report removed was probably not possible. I did tell him that I would submit a final report informing the public, and all who read this report, of the final outcome of this issue. He was agreeable to that and asked that I do so in order to not have negative impact on their future business prospects.

Within a week of that day in my dining room, my husband was called to active duty in Iraq. Soon thereafter, I lost my job - as you can expect, these events created priorities exceding this final update, thus my apologies. (For those who care, I have since found a new job).

So, here I sit, typing this final report as follows:

The siding work and all repairs were finished in January. Overall, I am satisfied with the end result of the work itself. Charlie and his crew not only did a wonderful job, but they endured some really ugly winter weather to accomplish the tasks they were given. Erie's compensation for the inconveniences that we suffered was $2000 off of the total cost of the work AND they had new gutters and downspouts installed around the entire house for no additional cost to us.

My special thanks to Charlie and his crew for knowing what to do and how to fix everything - they did an outstanding job! Thanks to the Erie Construction Representatives for their efforts and I appreciate that they offered and delivered to us some compensation for our frustration. I thank Larry for stepping up to the plate and taking control so efficiently.

Thanks for listening/reading this report and my Very Best wishes to ALL consumers!

Most sincerely,
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#13 Consumer Comment

THANK YOU for sharing your experience!

AUTHOR: Bob - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Erie Construction was scheduled to come to MY HOME today of all days. Before they arrived, I read this very interesting saga. Needless to say, I cancelled the appointment. Thanks! I don't need this kind of hassle in my life!
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#12 Consumer Comment

THANK YOU for sharing your experience!

AUTHOR: Bob - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Erie Construction was scheduled to come to MY HOME today of all days. Before they arrived, I read this very interesting saga. Needless to say, I cancelled the appointment. Thanks! I don't need this kind of hassle in my life!
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#11 Consumer Comment

THANK YOU for sharing your experience!

AUTHOR: Bob - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Erie Construction was scheduled to come to MY HOME today of all days. Before they arrived, I read this very interesting saga. Needless to say, I cancelled the appointment. Thanks! I don't need this kind of hassle in my life!
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#10 Consumer Comment

THANK YOU for sharing your experience!

AUTHOR: Bob - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Erie Construction was scheduled to come to MY HOME today of all days. Before they arrived, I read this very interesting saga. Needless to say, I cancelled the appointment. Thanks! I don't need this kind of hassle in my life!
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#9 Author of original report

The "Miracle Worker"

AUTHOR: Kathy - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Sunday, January 19, 2003
Ryan: Thanks so much for your offer. I would gladly take you up on your offer. However, we can't seek contractors on our own for this job; we must let Erie contract for the work and allow them the opportunity to correct the mistakes, otherwise, my husband and I will be in breach of contract and will lose any recourse we have in the entire matter. Nonetheless, I truly appreciate your offer and thank you for it.

As for the "remodeling industry" I don't think that I will contract for home improvement projects again for a VERY LONG time. I find that we can be pretty handy ourselves (I was raised by my father who knew everything from plumbing to roofing and allowed me to participate/assist in his work). That, with the aid of a plethera of self-help and "do-it-yourself" resources, I believe that any more home-improvement projects can be accomplished "in-house". It may be a bit more time-consuming, but it will be less expensive and I KNOW I will get what I desire in the end! I will not be at the mercy of a contract again, thus decreasing the frustration level and the expense.

The only reason we contracted for the siding in the first place was because we didn't want deal with the hassle (I laugh when I think of this now) of doing it ourselves. WE didn't want to spend the time I would take to install the siding on our own.

We believed, back then, that having been so satisfied with the work Erie Construction had done on our windows a few years ago, we were going to be just as pleased with the service they would provide for our siding. Now I realize that we are just one on a list of conquests on their conveyor belt of "contracts". The satisfaction of service they provide is limited to and by the skills of their sub-contractors.

I envision the sales representatives from Erie, who presented us with the contract that late night in August, snickering as they drove back to Lansing, wringing their greedy hands in thought of the commission they had just made. I cringe every time I think of this! What suckers we were... how stupid could we be?! We have been kicking ourselves ever since. In hindsight, we refuse to ever put ourselves in this position again. We have learned a hard but valuable lesson.

Fred: Unfortunately, every word I have written in this report is true. There have been many sleepless nights (worrying about how badly we are being ripped off and if we could ever recoup any of it), anger, and tears spent over this whole mess. What makes matters worse is that we have been limited in what control we have over it all and, in that, we have felt so much helplessness. I believe that money has been the key in all of this and so long as we hold on to that key (the final 2/3 of the payment) we can get what we contracted for, regardless of how long it takes. We had been told by Rod, the original Erie Construction installation manager, that the contract was our key for recourse, not the money. I beg to differ with that. I speculate that if we HAD given him the money when he asked for it (several times over) so long ago, we would not have had ANY controlling factor in the progress or workmaship of our siding. Our contract stipulated that we were to hand over the final payment only when we were satisfied with the final job. If we had given payment back then, the contract would have been fullfilled, we would have indicated our satisfaction and Erie wouldn't have given us the time of day from that point on! This, of course, is just speculation (and gut instinct) on my part.

In all of this writing, I never expected a solution to our problem - maybe some advice, but never a patent solution. I really just wanted for SOMEONE/ANYONE reading this, who may be in a similar situation, know that they have a sliver of hope if they ask questions, seek help, get advice - be persistant and consistant in their efforts to get what they contracted for and regain their dignity in the process. There are solutions to every problem, but you have to LOOK for them - they will not fall into your lap.

Now, for the UPDATE.

4th crew: Charlie is a Miracle Worker (apparently, Charlie and his crew of 2 others, work for Sears out of the Detroit area but contracted out of Erie Construction in Lansing to get through the winter season and have been cleaning up the "messes" that other Erie Construction contractors have made of customers' homes [this, in itself, is a familiar story]).

This 4th crew has stepped up to the plate and so far has been batting a thousand! The work Charlie and his crew has been doing so far is superb.

We had to opt for a different color (white) of soffit and fascia (the original color we picked in our contract is on backorder), but white seems to look nicer. I am not sure if it is because of the color or if it is because Charlie actually knows how to install the material - I think it is just a combination of both. The white soffit is vinyl and not aluminum like the tan material was before. Charlie says this is easier to work with and will be more durable in the long-run. The fascia is still aluminum, but he seems to handle it with ease and perfection.

Charlie and his crew have done exactly what they promised: They tore down every bit of soffit and fascia and about 1/2 of the siding and replaced it all. The corners ("bird boxes") are finally square and level. I am not seeing warps and twists in the soffit where it runs in long spans. There are no unsightly seams. The gaps are gone because they cut the replacement siding long enough to fit into the channel. The replaced channel is cut long enough now to meet at corners and peaks. In a nutshell, it is all finally starting to come together.

I have to add that Charlie and his crew have been working in extreme conditions in the last week. The temps here have been below 20 degrees since he started work on our home. Some days, the windchill has been below 5 degrees. I am not sure if this is solely because of their work ethic or if it is Erie Construction insisting that they get the work completed in a certain time frame. Regardless, I commend Charlie and his crew for their efforts and resilience under such adverse conditions.

Charlie frequently asks questions about how we want things done. He never assumes that we will just accept what he installs. This has been helpful since we can determine together what would be more beneficial to the appearance and the functionality of new material.

There is still much work to be done, but my hopes are improved that it will be done right this time. Our hats are off to Charlie and his crew. However, I don't know how much credit I can give to the folks at Erie Construction. I have not heard from anyone there since mid-December. I assume that I won't until it is time to pay up.
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#8 Consumer Comment

A Real Service

AUTHOR: Fred - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Saturday, January 18, 2003
If only a fraction of what you say is accurate, then you are experiencing an unnecessary hell-on-earth created by Erie. Providing us with details
will encourage others to try harder to not let themselves be put through a grinder.

The bottom line is that it takes courage to do what you are doing, and it give others courage to also stand up and be counted.

Please continue to give follow-ups as this is one of the most inspiring cases I've read.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Bad Siding Installation

AUTHOR: Ryan - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Friday, January 17, 2003
Dear KJM,

I would like to apologize on the behalf of the remodeling industry.This kind of unprofessionalism
has really given the remodling industry a bad name.The sad thing is that most of the time homeowners have little or no recourse.I would like to help anyway I can.

My name is Ryan McMorris. I am a Sears Home Improvement Representative.I have been following your story and would like too offer a helping hand at no cost. If there is anything I can do you please post your questions, and I will respond.
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#6 0

Short update for corrections:

AUTHOR: - ()

POSTED: Saturday, January 04, 2003
I wanted to post a couple of corrections and an addition to my last update. They are as follows:

6th paragraph in last update: "As it is, the eavestrough was put up without our knowledge..." I should have indicated and must add that we had not been contacted prior to the gutter installers showing up (we didn't even know that it had been arranged for the eavestroughs to be installed since we knew, as did Erie, that the fascia had not been repaired yet).

They crew was here performing the installation when my son came home from school, so he called me at work to inform me. I had my son give the phone to one of the installers. We discussed what they were doing and even HE admitted that he didn't understand why they were putting up the gutters over unfinished work and added that they were just doing what they were contracted to do, when they were contracted to do it. He did tell me that they were not driving the hangers in all the way so the gutters could be removed more easily for the fascia repair.

Nonetheless, my husband needed to be here with the gutter installers to let them know that the gutters needed to be put up in a manner that would allow the downspouts to align with the "T's" for the underground drain tile. We also didn't want any of the existing PVC gutters and downspouts to leave our house since my husband spent over $300 on them in August 2002 - they were brand new!! We didn't want the troughs and downspouts over the front deck replaced at all! However, the installers COULDN'T have known this - but WOULD HAVE, had my husband been contacted and informed that they were scheduled to come out here! Erie doesn't seem to understand that communication would prevent a LOT of problems!

10th paragraph in last update: "He was curious as to how all the drip edge got tore up since there was no *siding* on the house before..." I mistakenly said "siding" - I meant fascia. We had siding on the house, but there has never been soffit or fascia prior to this new installation - our eaves have always been painted/stained wood all around the house and garage. I also want to note that all of the drip edge around the house was brand new in July 2002, with the new roof, and only a little more than a year old on the garage, with its new roof July 2001, and that the damage to the drip edges occurred with the INITIAL installation of the fascia - it has just gotten progressively more damaged with "repairs" as the fascia was torn down, put back up, torn down, put back up, etc...

Additional to the last update, during my walk-around with this 4th crew, on more than just a few occasions, I didn't need to point out problems - they actually recognized/mentioned some of them without my having to point them out! What's so unusal about this, you may ask? Well, it has never happened before with ANY of the prior workers/Erie Reps during this entire fiasco! My guess is that before now, the workers/Reps just wanted to see what WE recognized and only fix THOSE things at which WE were pointing. I say this only because I cannot believe that they actually couldn't see ANY of the problems themselves; they INSISTED that WE point them out! In light of this latest revelation (that my husband and I are not the only ones who are noticing what's wrong) I hope that we are done with the kindergarten type of 'construction paper/scissors/paste' work for which this siding job has been notorious!
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#5 0

4th Crew, 3rd Month

AUTHOR: - ()

POSTED: Friday, January 03, 2003
Adolph, I wanted to respond to you first before I update. I think the threat of the 15% charge for not remitting final payment was just a pressure tactic. You are completely correct in your statement/rebuttal. My belief is that Erie was hoping we would be intimidated enough to just give them the final check. I think they know better now that we are not going to succumb to threats and they will just have to resolve our problems if they want their money. I just wanted to mention the charge in the report because it was stupid of Erie to even think we would fall for it, giving that it violates our contract. They are no longer demanding the final check before the work is finished/fixed and the 15% fee has never been mentioned again.


Our attorney said that we are correct in keeping final payment until we are satisfied with the work. He sent Erie a letter telling them that they have until the end of the year to get out here and make arrangements for our home to be finished. We got a copy of the letter, however, have not heard any response from Erie about it - I don't expect to.

New Years Eve the fourth crew (3 men) came out to look at what needed to be done. No phone calls to let us know that there was anyone coming, they just showed up (this is not unusual, no matter how many times we tell them we want to know when anyone is coming so we can meet with them since it's rarely the same crew each given time).

Erie sent them out with a couple of rolls of metal (what they use for the fascia) and that's it. The lead-man of the 4th crew told me that he saw the pics that we submitted to the new installation manager at Erie and didn't understand why this was all the material he was being sent out to our home with, but Joel told him to come out and assess what materials are going to be needed for the work to be done anyway.

We all walked around and looked at the disaster together. I have to admit, it was difficult to contain my anger and it gets worse everytime I have to walk around and point out the problems to each and every person that is sent here by Erie. I even asked Charlie (the lead-man on this crew) if he was forewarned of our anger and he said he had been. I explained to him that we are not upset with him, he had nothing to do with what HAS happened, but I did give him a heads up on how I will react to him if I see any more *crap* on my house! I also told him that I want a phone call EACH and EVERY time they are preparing to come out here. I explained to him that I am the exclusive contact now and my husband is not to be called. I gave him all three of my phone numbers (home, cell and work). I also told him to not bother calling at the house during the workweek because we both work during the day - Erie is notorious for calling our home instead of my cell and work.

As it is, the eavestrough was put up without our knowledge and it is WRONG!~ I can't blame the installers because they didn't know that we had a specific way that the trough and downspouts needed to be installed (due to the underground drain tile around the house). Not only that, but it was all put up and will now have to be pulled back down for the soffit and fascia to be fixed! THEN it will all have to be re-installed! (Isn't all of this costing Erie more money than necessary???)

Since the walk-around with Joel (Erie installation manager) and a gentleman named Wendle (sp?) on December 13, even more of the soffit and fascia has pulled away from the house. Almost all of it on the North side of the house is now hanging loosely. The piece of siding on the South side that was loose has now been swept completely off by the wind since the 13th.

When Charlie asked me what I thought needed to be done, I told him that I think the whole d**n mess should be torn down and started over, from scratch, and done RIGHT this time! I don't foresee that happening, so I will be happy if they just repair what looks really awful, including the gaps, dents, falling material, caulking smudges & glops, etc.

Charlie told me that ALL of the soffit and fascia will be re-done because it will never be right the way it is now, no matter how much they try to fix what already exists. He also told me that the short-cut siding will all be re-done and the short-cut channel will be replaced. He told me that he was told to do "whatever it takes" to fix the entire job. Hmmmm, I have heard this one before!

He was curious as to how all the drip edge got tore up since there was no siding on the house before this work began. He says the damage he was seeing is usually the result of old fascia being pulled off - but if there was never fascia up there before now, there was no reason for the drip edge to be damaged at all.

To wrap up this update, the crew ended up leaving the few rolls of metal in the back and left because there was nothing they could do without getting the rest of the materials they are going to need - that material won't arrive to Erie until 2 weeks from now. Can we say "4th Month?"

Until next time...


Vernon, Michigan
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#4 Consumer Comment

Keep at 'em!

AUTHOR: Adolph - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, January 02, 2003
Quote: "that they demand final payment immediately or we will be assessed a 15% fee (on the total cost of the siding)".

15% penalty, huh? I hardly think they can make that happen unless it's in the terms of the original contract, which would seem unlikely.

It would seem reasonable that the customer would have some input as to "when the job is completed", anyway. If that were not the case, a work crew could declare the "job completed" by a criterion of when they simply had no desire to continue.

Keep the forum updated on the outcome of this siding issue!
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#3 0

NOW every trip to our house is a "service call"

AUTHOR: - ()

POSTED: Saturday, December 07, 2002
My husband finally got a response to all of the messages he left with Erie Construction.

On Friday, 12/6, Joel was supposed to come out to our house to assess what still needed to be done, but instead, called and asked what was needed. (I honestly think that for him to get a real "grip" on our situation, he should come here and PERSONALLY survey it for himself, but apparently, THIS is not how they do business at Erie). My husband, standing naked, in the bathroom, right out of the shower, was not able to get right outside and give a detailed assessment of unfinished work, so just gave a brief run-down right there from the bathroom.

Without knowing the exact details of their conversation, it was relayed to me by my husband that Joel is considering any further trips to our home to finish our siding as "service calls" and they will send someone out when they have someone available - not necessarily the same crew at any given time.

Joel also told my husband, in a profession and well-mannered way, that they demand final payment immediately or we will be assessed a 15% fee (on the total cost of the siding). They are demanding final payment, even though the work is incomplete.

I guess my only recourse at this point is to finally get our attorney involved in a more active role. Up to now, he has been waiting in the wings awaiting their "next step". Apparently, the "service call" status is the next step. There hasn't been anyone out to our house at all to deal with the siding in just under 2 weeks.

Some of the "fixes" are taken care of - HOWEVER, there are MANY more that haven't been dealt with at all. We still have bare wood on the back of the house where fascia has yet to be placed. 85% of our eavestroughs are gone, the downspouts are held only by a single strap near the bottom and are leaning off the side of the house (there are no eavestroughs to attach them to). We had a warm day today and the snow that fell last week is melting all over the place without direction. The eavestroughs that were put back up were put up incorrectly - may as well not have been put back up at all for all the good they are doing in their current state.

The soffit, in a couple of places, is pulling out from under the fascia and is now sagging, showing the underside of the surfaces they were meant to cover and concele. (Hard to believe this could happen with BRAND NEW installation, huh?).

This whole situation just gets uglier and uglier. I was wrong to hope that a new work crew and a new front man at Erie would do us any good or give us any hope. Maybe our attorney can.
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#2 0

Erie to make good on contract obligations - Thompson's Home Improvement is OUTTA THERE!

AUTHOR: - ()

POSTED: Tuesday, November 19, 2002
I made 4 attempts to contact Rod at Erie between Thursday (11/14) and Monday (11/18), but received no call back. I ended up finding the phone number for the current sub-contractor, Paul Bevins (3rd crew), and spoke with him briefly on Monday evening. He told me that he would be into the office at Erie today and would call me back when he got information from them about what they would permit him to do to help us.

He called me back this evening and, apparently, the reason I didn't get a phone call back from Rod at Erie is because he now heads up a different department there and we are dealing with another siding installation manager at Erie, Joel.

The reason for Paul's phone call to me is that he did, in fact, go to the new installation manager at Erie to discuss our situation and explained that our new siding was a disaster and needed more than patch-work applied to it. Joel gave Paul and his associate the go-ahead to do "whatever it takes" to get our new siding *looking* like new siding.

He also informed me that Thompson's Home Improvement lost their position with Erie and will no longer be sub-contracted to do any work for Erie Construction - apparently, we are not the only customers with a problem!

If this comes to fruition, then kudos to Paul and to Joel at Erie Construction. If we do eventually get what we paid for, I will retract any and all negative comments I made in my original post about Erie Construction, Mid-West.

However, I will NEVER retract my statements about THOMPSON'S HOME IMPROVEMENT of Holt, Michigan. Their workmanship and their service sucks! It shows in what they did (or didn't do, depending on how and when you look at it) to our new siding! I think Jeff Thompson's attitude towards us, as consumers, regarding the repair of the poor workmanship of our siding by HIS employees (his father included) was deplorable and there is absolutely NO excuse for his behavior upon request that we have those things corrected. Jeff and his company will have their own Rip-Off Report under a seperate heading!

Paul Bevins is an independant contractor through Erie Construction but is an upstanding guy and I have faith that he will have our siding, soffit and fascia looking as it should without a hassle!

What happens at this point remains to be seen... I hope that it is good! If it isn't, I will post it!

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#1 0

Update - Revealing the name of the the Sub-Contractors & Company

AUTHOR: - ()

POSTED: Sunday, November 17, 2002
After some consideration, I have decided to reveal the name of the Sub-contracting company and the employees/owner in order to protect/warn future clients from obtaining their services.

I have delivered photos to The Rip-Off Report to be included with my original report and once they have been posted, you can see for yourself that Thompson's Home Improvement (owned and operated by Jeff Thompson) is NOT the company you want to employ to have new siding installed. His father, Jack Thompson and Tom (unknown last name) are the original installers and have no business using a tape measure since they obviously do not know how to use it!

Not only do Jack and Tom have NO CLUE on how to install siding, soffit and fascia, but neither they nor Jeff have any idea on how to recognize faulty/shoddy workmanship! ...make a list??? Get REAL! Even the most uneducated layman could see the gaps, warps, dents, uneven edges, protruding nails, exposed insulation, and a host of other problems without having to look very closely!

Erie Construction folks, please stop using Thompson Home Improvement as your sub-contractor! They are going to destroy your name and business in this area! Rod - DO SOMETHING ABOUT MY SIDING!!! Stop trying to put bandaids on this sucking chest wound!!!

There is now snow on the gound here... not a lot, but enough to worry me that this job will be a long time before completion. I could just cry everytime I look outside at my home and see how God-awful it looks. The "pucker factor" is at a peak. I wish we had just kept the old siding now.
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