Report Filed: STRAUSS HOMES LLC – LONG POND PA NO NO NO NO – BEWARE Owners Amy and Chet Excavation Work to clear our back yard resulted in extensive damages. Work not functional. Soil not graded properly and sloped toward the house, window wells buried. During rain, water came through Long Pond, Pennsylvania!!
Amy, John and I didn’t have any positive expectations from you and Chet. We know that you could not afford to compensate us in any monetary way, but having you in our home, after all that’s happened, was unacceptable, particularly given the fact that we know about what you’ve done to others and public records that we acquired, which include questionalble financial transactions, moral and business ethics. We knew you were going to offer what you refer to as FREE work and not adhere to the blacks and whites of the contract. As per Chet’s voicemail messages to John, it was clear that we were dealing with prejudice, hostile and ignorant people. Your poor workmanship, unethical practices, use of the ‘n’ word in our home, and negative remarks about New Yorkers were a clear sign of your poor ethics. As you well know, you never made us aware that you had taken corrective action regarding your lack of insurance nor did you even offer that as information or documentation to regain our trust. I wonder what the effective date of this new insurance policy is? Was it already in effect when you attempted to push other illegal contracts to us? You continued emailing us poor written contracts that were unacceptable to us for its unclear verbage and mostly because the terms were in clear violation of the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act ( www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/Consumers/HIC/Act_132_Home_Improvement.pdf I was analyzing the timeline of another consumer that Strauss Homes LLC ripped-off and noticed that your inability to comply with the contract matched the timelines of the public records we have. Their situation lasted over 2 years of unsuccessful attempts to have you comply with contracts. Meanwhile, you had been promising to have Chet come to their home and complete the work. Once Chet was available (as per public records), you contacted the consumer and promised to have Chet return to the site and do what you claimed as work that was above and beyond the contract and not charge them for the work (THIS SOUNDS AS YOUR CUSTOMARY BUSINESS DYNAMICS AND PROVES THE REMARKS CHET LEFT ON JOHN’S VOICEMAIL MESSAGES). The deception and losses these people suffered were way worse than the ones we suffered. The work was never completed, damages caused never corrected and these people were never compensated in any form or shape. Also, the gentleman that started the excavation project to clear our back yard said to us that he was not completing the work because he had not received wages for over a month. This gentleman did not show the following day and both Chet and a younger worker were working the machinery and caused some damage to the home that we did not even address. My daughter witnessed this and was frightened by the loud impact of the machine hitting the side of the house. Other workers at the site had also made very concerning comments about Strauss Homes’ rip-off dynamics and that a lot of people had been victims of your poor ethics. Other very serious concerns were shared with us. John and I, as well as others who have been hurt by your company, will join our efforts to make sure that we do everything that’s within the legal means so that other homeowners do not experience what we have. I hope that our efforts, John’s and mine, have at least resulted in better screening of contractors promoted by ServiceMagic and pray to God that your conscience and heart change and that you both at least understand that an apology and taking responsibility for wrongs is a business skill and like any other skill, it can be improved with reflection and practice. As owners of a company that serves homeowners, you should understand that apolegetic and corrective behavior makes your business more effective. Keep in mind that apologizing and making amends are more than just good public relations. Something deeper is at work. Companies are edging toward a higher standard of accountabilityforced in part by a deterioration of public trust and wider availability of information in the age of the Internet. Indeed, the revolution in communications pushes companies to greater transparency. You could have saved yourselves and spared your company’s reputation with a straightforward and appropriate action. Instead you denied, misled, minimized, obfuscated, and deceived us. Instead of contrition and remorse, you offered indignation and arrogance. Instead of admitting wrongdoing and offering restitution, you backpedaled and offered cover-up. Your company and you as individuals would have come out measurably better had you taken a few concrete steps in the direction of apology and corrective action. Your apology and corrective action could have been less damaging and costly than denial. It is evident that when ocompanies and individuals that own them screw up, by doing the right thing, you could have regained your reputation. However, your denial is counter-productive. Moving forward–we trust that given this experience, you enhance your business ethics and that the Ethics Program of ServiceMagic becomes more effective as one that properly investigates, deters and detects unethical behavior as well as violations of the law to gain competitive advantages through improved relationships with cunsumers and other home improvement contractors and its human resources, including their top executives, managers and contractor relations personnel. As you previously mentioned via a telephone conversation and as per telephone conference/mediation with Nicole Taylor of ServiceMagic on Friday, November 12, 2010, at 1:00pm EST, please forward your attorney’s contact information to us. My suggestion to you is that you at least be completely honest with your attorney in relation to what you’ve done to others. Keep in mind that there’s a lot more information that we have and it might enhance your case if you’re at least honest with him or her. Doing business with you was of great disappointment to us, particularly when we entrusted our home and family to you, but we are counting our blessings and this one, as a life experience, we will use to our advantage. Sincerely, Damaris Rodriguez John Phillips