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open letter

Dear Doug,

We chose you as our builder because you have a great reputation in this city. Everyone told us that you build great homes and that you’re real easy to work with.

Why did you make them all liars?

We signed our contract with you in September. The sales rep said that the house would probably be ready on the first of the year. We were excited because he also said that since you already had the permits, construction would begin in one or two weeks.

It didn’t.

We were ready for that. Nothing happens that quickly in this city. But we did think it was kind of weird that your sales rep wouldn’t return our phone calls or give us any new information on the delay. Especially since you were real quick to deposit our “earnest money”.

The end of September rolled around. In October, the rep finally called us back to say that construction couldn’t begin before we met with the designer to choose colors and finalize our floor plan. We could meet with him in a week or two.

Three weeks passed. No meeting with the designer. “It’ll be any day now,” said the rep.

It wasn’t.

We filled the rep’s voicemail with messages to no avail. I got tired of that and tried to call you. And let me say, you’ve built up some firewall. Did you know that there’s no way to call you directly? You must have had this problem before.

Finally, in November [two whole months later, in case you’ve lost track], we got another returned call from the rep. I guess you got tired of me leaving all those angry messages with your secretary. He said that you two were very sorry for the delay, but that you’d been tied up in court because one of your employees had embezzled money from you. No homes were being built because you didn’t have any money. And you didn’t want to tell us that when we signed the contract because you thought the whole mess would be over soon.

It wasn’t.

Well, that sucks for you. Really, I hate not having any money. There have been a few times in my life when I’ve had less than zero money. And it’s no picnic. But I never tried to sell somebody something that I didn’t have.

I mean, honestly. You knew that you had no way to build the house we signed a contract on. But you accepted the contract and you took our money. I guess you needed it to pay your employees or something. But still.

Now, I understand that you’re giving us a great deal. A ten grand markdown is nothing to shake a fist at. But I’m becoming a little frustrated. We were told that construction would finally begin two weeks ago since you had found someone to lend you the money you needed and the permits for our lots had been renewed. When we drove by the lot on Saturday, we found it unchanged. Unless burning all the weeds on the lot counts as groundbreaking.

The construction deadline set forth in our contract is February 28th. That gives you sixty-three days to finish our house, if you can convince the guys to work weekends and holidays. You probably can’t. And in case you’re wondering, it’s thirty-nine working days until the deadline.

Thankfully, our awesome lawyer made sure to add a litigation clause to our contract. That means we can sue you if you’re late. I think you will be. And I think we will.

An honest mistake is one thing, especially when you’re cutting someone a break. But this was not an honest mistake. We were misled when we signed the contract.

I’m sure that the discrepancies between your local reputation and the realities are a little unsettling for you, but don’t worry: I’m doing my part to correct the misconceptions.



p.s. I borrowed the brick this letter was wrapped around from one of your worksites. You didn’t seem to be using it anyway.
p.p.s. Sorry about the window. You can probably get a replacement from one of the homes you’re busy not building.

3 Responses to “open letter”

  1. # Anonymous anne arkham

    This is all normal. Once you sign the contract, they go on vacation. It's the same everywhere you go, whether you're building a hundred thousand dollar house or a million dollar house.

    Too bad you don't know any lawyers. . .  

  2. # Blogger Katey Schultz

    god i hope this gets better. serously, how could it get any worse?
    would you consider giving him the letter? don't throw a brick through his window though. you're alread one up on him. :-)

  3. # Blogger Joe Fuel

    I have a knife.... It can do some damage.  

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