The Advantages (and Disadvantages) of Being Honest and Ethical

First a quick hello to Joe Alo and the boys, Mike, Jordie, and Alex. Mike has recently returned to us after a long hiatus, and we welcome him back as he is a great addition. Recently we’ve been struggling to keep up with the last minute demands placed on us, but Joe and the crew have been out to Southborough, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Sudbury as well as towns more locally (Acton, Concord, Goton, Ayer, Harvard, etc). We’ve had a lot of great installation of both new aluminum seamless gutters and downspouts, as well as some “fancy” elbow work and downspout work – something we call a “marriage”. See the following picture:Downspout Marriage
This is a great way to solve some difficult downspout drainage issues sometimes, and something that we do very professionally and extremely well. Actually, Joe performs the more intricate and specialty work himself whenever possible, and as I’ve mentioned before, he’s a very very fussy man. So that’s just a taste of something different that we do, but I’ll get on to the topic at hand.
When we get contacted either by phone or e-mail for a quote request, yours truly sets up an appointment to meet with the homeowner and discuss their needs and also get good and accurate information to translate into a fair and understandable estimate. Unfortunately, and especially with removals, not everything can be known until any old systems are physically removed first. They may cover a multitude of sins. Witness the picture below. The original install was recently painted and the fascia looked great at the time we did an estimate, but take a good look at what the underlying fascia looked like after getting the old gutters off:
Fascia Damage Under Old Gutters
Unfortunately, this added considerable costs to the original job as quoted because this was an unknown and unforeseen situation. However, we could have just put the new gutters up covering as much of the damage as we could and then re-painted the wood, but we don’t operate like that. Joe and crew have instilled in them (myself as well) that the customer’s needs come first, and if we are going to address those needs properly, then we will do it honestly and fairly and we won’t do a half-ass or unprofessional job. Now, this customer understood about the whole process, but we recently had one that was, shall we say, a little less than understanding that her old system just plain couldn’t be repaired and if she wanted the proper job, then the entire mis-hung system needs to be replace. She was outraged that the estimator (me) hadn’t caught that in the first place, and that we were just basically trying to pick her pockets. Joe explained that it had him fooled as well until he actually got up onto a ladder and had to figure out the poor and improper system that was used to hang it in the first place. Now, mind you, we could have done the original repairs that were proposed but she would have not been happy with any of the results. So we re-proposed the entire project for a properly hung system that would last a lifetime. However, we haven’t heard back from her and there’s the disadvantage to being honest and professional. We may well lose some jobs because we run into unforeseen underlying issues that need to be addressed and the customer is not happy with the extra expenses involved, but we’d rather lose those jobs than do a job that is neither professional nor functionally long lasting. Joe Alo and Alo Seamless Gutters are dedicated to providing the highest quality rain control services and materials available, and we just won’t cut corners or hide anything. We strive to be as upfront and honest as we can, providing a high level of professional service, and we simply won’t compromise our ethics or principles. Estimates are just that, based upon my years of experience and my ever-expanding experiences (no 2 homes are the same), but sometimes what is proposed is not always the entire work required due to unforeseen issues, and sometimes, Joe and his storehouse of daily practical experience may need to make changes as necessary to ensure the best possible job. We don’t do this without consultation with the homeowner, but what we do is always in the homeowner’s best interests. This is what sets us apart, and also is indicative of the quality and care that is put into all of our gutter and downspout products.
Keep up the great work Joe and the boys. I think Joe is going to be taking some during and after pictures of current jobs for me to post here soon, so keep your eyes peeled for the next edition.

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