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Waiting for people that don't show up

February 11, 2019

Add this to my list of Pet Peeves . I've wasted many hours of my life waiting ....waiting for people that say they're coming and then don't show up. I've sat at my son's house twice while he was at work and the fridge repairman was supposed to come. Nope.Never came. I'm one of those people that when I say I'll be there -- I WILL be there AND on time !!! Now I'm waiting on the construction workers that are remodeling my bathroom to show up ---- again. I overheard them talking and it seems this job is a "side job" for a few guys. UGH !!! Someone is going to get an earful from me ...... :(

Comments (36)

  • tackykat

    That's a pain. Are these people who were recommended to you or people that were picked out of phone book?

  • Toomuchglass

    Phone book ...... *sigh*

  • pudgeder

    I feel your pain. We did a remodel/addition to our home almost 2 years ago. I cannot tell you the number of times we were stood up by sub-contractors. It was so annoying.

  • tackykat

    It's hard if you don't have good recommendations from friends/neighbors. I don't call people "cold" from the phone book/ ads left on our front door knob, etc. Even recommendations from a tile store/hardware store employee/manager would carry some weight with me.

  • Susie .
    I have all sorts of stories like that. Have you called them to ask “where the heck are you?!” Once hired someone to clean my gutters via Angie’s List - had great reviews. After he was an hour late, I called his number and woke him up. “I’ll be right there!” Two hours later...called again. “We got stuck in the mud, and had to call a tow truck.” Finally showed up with his mom and dad. The three of them took forever to clean the gutters. Had to borrow a ladder from me, and proceeded to run water from the hose into the gutters, until they had made an awful mess. He kept calling me back for weeks asking me to leave him a good review on Angie’s List!
  • Elmer J Fudd

    Yeah, that's a drag and inexcusable.

    My experiences lately have been the opposite and I think sites like Yelp have had a positive effect.

    When looking for home tradesmen of a particular type, I've found a careful assessment of Yelp information has been generally better than referrals from friends and neighbors. Many businesses depend on their Yelp info for business.

    My plumber (found through Yelp) sends text messages to confirm appointments, further text messages when delayed or "enroute and on time".

    Just this morning, a service person located via Yelp was scheduled to come to my place. He called 30 minutes in advance to confirm he was coming. 15 minutes past the appointed time, he called me again to let me know he'd been rear-ended on the freeway and would be another 20 minutes before arriving. He arrived at the revised time.

    Another recent experience - I made an appointment for another service person. He called to confirm the day before. Called me 30 minutes in advance, and arrived 10 minutes early. I asked what his major source of business was and he said "50 percent Yelp, 50 percent repeat customers and customer referrals."

    With Yelp, you have to be careful about businesses that pad their comments with phony ones. Those that have disproportionately more comments than others are suspect. Ones with moderate numbers but positive ratings that I've used have never been other than the comments would lead you to expect. Yes, customers can get their noses twisted, sometimes with justification and sometimes through misunderstanding, so I expect some number of poor reviews for even the best rated businesses. But ones that have a majority of poor comments, I stay away.

  • lukkiirish

    That’s so unprofessional and it shouldn’t matter if it’s a side job.

  • nicole___

    I can totally relate! I recently told someone what I do for a living. She said, "I bet you run into aaaaall kinds of problems!" I said...only when we involve someone else. :0)

    A lady in my crafts club wants a gas line hooked up for her little decorative stove. She's gotton one place to show up for a quote, then they won't schedule an install.

  • chisue

    It could be worse. It could be a family member! (Don't ask.)

  • quasifish

    Sorry they have been keeping you waiting. There's nothing worse than feeling like your time is disrespected. You know they would complain if you kept them waiting :^(

    I'm also one who's had good luck with tradesmen and delivery people showing up on time. Knock on wood, that's not always been the case.

    Like Chisue, I've got the undependable family member who will never show up anywhere on time. Dr. Phil once said of people who are always late, "If it's really an accident, one of those time you would have shown up early." Ha! It gets especially old when you can depend on a family member to be that way...

  • rob333 (zone 7a)

    I thought we were talking about friend/family member. I give them 15 minutes before I start to worry, and 30 before I leave. And then I leave. They know where/how to find me. I'll even come back, but I won't wait around.

    Guess where that doesn't work? With tradesmen! Ugh. I have no idea what to do when I'm at their mercy. I'm so sorry!

  • maifleur01

    I have had very poor success using places and people that have been recommended by someone. For businesses that hire more than one person the person that completed a service very well may no longer be there.

    I treat recommendations like I treat warrantees. I have never had a warrantee that was useful. Either the part needed is never available or a whole system has been discontinued.

    If a company states that they will be there at a certain time and they are not it will depend on the reason. If the reason is beyond their control like the ice storm of a day ago will reschedule. If something they did or did not do I cancel.

  • Fun2BHere

    I just had that experience with a tile installer. He texted before the first appointment to say that he hadn't gotten the samples yet and rescheduled. He texted before the second appointment to say he had gotten held up at a job site and rescheduled. He didn't communicate at all when he missed the third appointment. I told the contractor who recommended him that the tile guy was off my list after three missed appointments. I'll be reasonable, but not a doormat.

  • joyfulguy

    Re: Frig repair

    Call their office. If you're lucky enough to get a human on the line ...

    Day 1 "You were to repair a frig at ... address on ... Feb. How come no one showed?"

    Day 2 son calls, same story, plus he's embarrassed, he begged his mom to be there; she was - they weren't: how come?

    Day 3 mom: same story, more or less, plus, "my time is valuable: you kept me waiting for many hours; no repair person, plus no call. I think you treated me badly, as I gave up some important business".

    Day 4 mom tells same story, they may hang up. If so, send email, story as before, plus "I think I should send you a bill for at least part of that time that your company stole from me".

    Day 5, as they'll refuse to recompense you ...

    ....... picket their establishment.

    If you get an answering machine, send a doozen (or two) calls, to work toward filling it to blockage.


    Re: family member, friend, etc.

    As the person approaches, look at your device, watch, and, after initial greetings, say, "You've kept me waiting for (seven) minutes, so I want you to look me in the eye, saying nothing, for (seven) minutes, then we can carry on with our plan(s)".

    I'll bet you (a modest amount) (1) that you won't need to repeat that treatment (more than ... once).

    ole joyfuelled

    1. This old fart, with no home available to liquidate, has been on pension for 25 years.

  • Raye Smith

    All the service people/contractors call at twenty minutes before arriving here. My contractor has phone lojacs on his employees.

    Missed appointments is one of the many reasons I won't do business with A*&*.

  • DavidR

    My experiences with Angie's List and Yelp have been nearly the opposite of Elmer's.

    Internet review services were great back in the 1990s when only geeks used the internet. Today they're polluted by positive reviews from the businesses themselves, and negative reviews from their competitors. You don't know what to believe any more.

    I was an Angie's List member back in the early 2000s when you still had to pay. I thought that since I was paying them, they'd be a Consumer Reports for tradespeople. It didn't turn out quite that way. Even back then they were already accepting advertising in their monthly digest format magazine from the very people they were supposedly reviewing.

    After some of my negative reviews vanished from their site, I found out that tradespeople who bought their advertising got the right to tweak their own reviews.

    AL was never really all that helpful anyway. I got some great tradespeople that way, and some real class A clinkers. In the end,, the good:bad ratio was about the same as I get now, picking people from our local tabloid newspaper and verifying them on BBB.

    So I called them up and asked for, and received, a partial dues refund. I haven't returned since, and don't plan to.

    Yelp is pretty much the same deal. I think they all are. If you get bad reviews Yelp's sales people will call you up and tell you that they can make the mean nasty reviews go away if you cross their palms with silver.

    So how do you find good people to work on your house? The old fashioned ways. Ask friends, family, coworkers, social contacts. Read the newspaper ads (remember newspapers?). Or do what I do.

    IMO online reviews of tradespeople are a waste of time.

    PS - nearly as bad as the folks who never show up are the ones who DO show up, look at what needs to be done, promise to mail or email you an estimate, and then vanish forever.

  • PRO
    Lars/J. Robert Scott

    A friend once asked me to meet him in a popular pick-up bar in San Francisco. Within 30 minutes, I had already met someone else and had left. I'm pretty much always on time or a bit early. The Spa repairman who came to my house on Saturday was half an hour late, but I had planned to be home anyway.

    In Sweden, when you are invited to a dinner party, you are expected to drive up a few minutes early and wait in the car until the precise time. When I read about that, it reminded me of Hyacinth Bucket. Germans expect you to be punctual for dinner, but Italians think it is rude to arrive on time - I think they invented "fashionably late". I found out about this when I gave a party for the Italian department at my university. I put 4:00 PM on the invitation, expected people to arrive at 5:00PM, but some people actually arrived on time, and I was not quite ready with all the food, and so I put some of them to work. The people who were supposed to arrive early to help arrived at 5:00 PM and most of the Italian arrived no earlier than 6:00 PM, and some guests had already come and gone by then. Those who left early missed out on the door prizes.

  • Martha Scott

    I got a laugh out of an ATT call center person when they told me that they would come between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. I said, for God's sake, you're a telephone company, give your employees a telephone and have them call so a person doesn't have to stay at home for 12 hours! He laughed, recovered, and believe it or not, the next morning at 8 a.m. I DID get a call from the tech who came right away!!!

    We have that problem as well and it is frustrating and in this day and age with cell phones there really isn't any reason that service people can't stay in touch. As they're logging in their last job, they call their next one.

    I've fired more than one service person who hasn't showed up when they were supposed to. I'll let them get by once but the second time, they're toast! (Obviously, this was before they STARTED the job -- LOL)

    But the problem is that they try to do too much or as sometimes happens on my job -- hey that's neat, now can we redo the cabinet in the bathroom since you're here and so they do, which means that Mrs. Jones doesn't get them that day because they spend another day at my house . . . but they could call Mrs. Jones and let her know but the problem is that they don't communicate.

    I think that's just part of being a service person or a contractor/plumber/electrician -- you forget how to communicate with your customers as is their time frame. I've learned that 8:30 service man time really means 9 or 9:15. Rarely have I had one come at the time they say.

  • seagrass_gw

    I have a cousin who is notoriously late for every single family event. We joke she'll be late for her own funeral. When I'm home visiting my mother we have learned to tell her we'll meet her at such and such a place and what time. Then, after we're done with what we wanted to do (eat, shop, explore) and she hasn't made it, we move on.. Better than waiting for her to show up at my mother's house for hours and hours before going out. It is such rude behavior. She once asked me at a family potluck why I never ask her for a ride to the airport. There was a lot of coughing in napkins at that one.

  • joyfulguy

    "Will the airline delay departure by, say, about (an hour) ... if they get a call from you?"

    (I assume that she has a general level of awareness of her reputation in this matter?)

    (If not ... isn't it about time?)

    o j

  • Olychick

    I have had very good luck with recommendations from people via Next Door.

    I quit using Yelp for any king of recommendation years ago, including restaurants, because of the padding of reviews. Just looking at it for restaurant recommendations in my area and seeing all the high marks for mediocre establishments convinced me that they couldn't be genuine user review.

  • joyfulguy

    Looks like quite a few reviewers on some agencies operate on pretty undemanding standards.

    o j

  • seagrass_gw

    joyfulguy - she is aware of her reputation for being late and can be unpleasantly defensive about it. So we've learned ways around her.

  • joyfulguy

    Hi seagrass,

    I've been thinking some on your reply since reading it.

    None of my business, so consider ... and/or reply ... only as you feel so inclined.

    I'm wondering how well your cousin feels about herself: does she feel insecure, or inferior? Sometimes such can be obscured by bravado and aggressive or defensive behaviour. How comfortable does she feel in her own skin?

    And how comfortable does she feel with family? Is she defensive because she is constantly expecting criticism or even ridicule?

    Does she feel certain that you guys are on her side?

    How aware is she, or assured, of their love, underneath it all? As the constant that's always there - like long-time furniture in her home?

    Might it help some if you were to compliment her on some of her good qualities, to help her build up her self-esteem, to emphasize your love for her as being far deeper than the occasional criticism?

    Maybe I'm way off base here: feel free to drop these ideas into the trash can if you feel that's the place for them.

    Good wishes to all of you as you consider your dilemma.

    ole joyful

  • Elizabeth

    I only had one experience with a family member who was always late. Deliberately. She would often be one or two hours late for a dinner invitation. She would show up all a flutter, giggling and laughing about how busy busy she is. And tried to catch everyone's eye with her stories of how BUSY she was and loved being the center of attention. It was repulsive. She improved somewhat when folks no longer held dinner for her and coolly offered her a cup of coffee only when she arrived. Took the fun out of it I guess.

  • tackykat

    I agree with ^^ that attention/the need to feel important has something to do with it. It can also be the feeling that one's time is more important than those who are waiting.

    I am consistently early (but I dont expect others to be ready - I just dont like to keep other people waiting) and have been teased/borderline criticized about it by a friend of mine who is the opposite.

    When DH and I were dating he was usually 5 minutes early or right on time for dates. I knew at that point he was a keeper! I think part of being an adult is being where you say you are going to be at the time you say you will be there (barring emergencies and reasonable delays of course).

    I have a friend (we were roommates for 2 years right out of college) who was, and I think, still is consistently late. She had an awful childhood and I think it was her way of having control. It did not affect my life that much. She was a great person in other respects.

  • Martha Scott

    My mother was that way -- she was always late. So much so that Dad's family always told her 1/2 hour earlier! Someone told me it is an attention getting thing -- no one remembers the ones that come on time but the one that enters last . . . needless to say, always having been late to everything growing up, I'm always there a half hour early! LOL! . . . I've got a guest coming for lunch today that is notorious for being late . . . and I will give her 10 minutes -- if she doesn't come by that time we'll start without her. I time my meal to be ready at a certain time, everyone else is here by that time . . . And with her I think it is a "look at me" thing as well.

  • maifleur01

    I will be one of those late for my own funeral ones. It is not because I want attention but because my father insisted on being early for everything. Have an appointment get there two hours before as being there only an hour before was too late. I may leave the house to get there a few minutes early but almost always I am late.

  • Raye Smith

    I make an effort to be on time or early.

    Glad this came up, I have a drama-queen relative that would be 2-6 hours late and that explains why. Every holiday, every get-together had to be solely focused on her.

  • matthias_lang

    I think arrival time is a "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" situation. That said, I think I would do just fine going to parties in Sweden. Arriving on the premises a bit early so as to be able to ring the doorbell at the named time is exactly what I do.

    Interesting, tackycat, that you know a late arriver who had a horrible childhood. The two chronically late arrivers I have known both also had horrible childhoods. To me, it seemed the one's lateness was a slightly angry control + energy-sapping depression thing. The other one also suffered, but it seemed like her lateness was meant to test the question, "Do you love me anyway? Will you stick with me anyway?"

  • Nicole R Dsp
    My mom is doing a high quality Reno and has issues with this ALL the time with subs in our community. The lack of respect for people’s time is infuriating.
  • Nicole R Dsp
    On the side - for this reason I will never travel with certain friends again.

    Anyone know about chronically EARLY people? I have a friend who has been at least one hour early for each event at my house for 25 years. Drives me nuts. I'm not ready yet! Geesh. She had a wonderful childhood (only child if that matters) and claims to not have learned how to walk until over 2 years old because her feet never touched the ground she likes to say, as the entire family had to hold her all the time. She does not arrive early to help with set up, but just hangs around and talks the whole time. While backwards from this topic, I am curious if anyone has any insight into this. She's quite proud of her early arrivals--even shows up to work an hour early each day and chastises the rest of the staff (to me) for arriving at work at their designated start time.

    As to chronically late contractors, yes, I've dealt with this and it makes me fume. I've heard every excuse imaginable. One contractor was so lazy, late, otherwise discombobulated it took him 1 1/2 years to build a small bathroom 120 sq ft onto the rear of my house. His most used excuses for being late or not showing up were: I pooped my pants on the way to your house (then would not show up for work), or my boat sank and I have to scuba to get it up off the floor of the lake. Right.

  • Raye Smith

    Sea, those are some wild excuses, like I said, my contractor has his employees lojacked so he knows exactly where they are. He can see their vehicles on a map, it was helpful when one actually had a flat in the middle of nowhere.

    I'm usually five-ten minutes early and offer to help if possible. As for an hour, early send them on a one hour errand?


    That's a responsible contractor Raye! I like your one hour errand idea. Wish I had thought of that 25 years ago : )

  • maifleur01

    Yesterday I had a thought about contractors/service people being late after almost being sideswiped by a service truck who was weaving in and out of traffic as if their life depended on it. I wondered at that time if the company scheduled their people so that there was little or no drive time between. I have been told that someone was on their way and would be here is less time that it takes to drive that distance on a good day.

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