Hall of Shame
As you might gather from the title this page is dedicated to a very different mission than is customary to this site. Normally I am introducing readers to new materials and suppliers whose products and services are exemplary hence will make your home or life in general better in whatever aspect. However during my time here I have, to say the least, ran into the good, the bad and the ugly!!! One of my latest posts was about an ugly experience when dealing with a Customs Broker. Yes a broker and thanks to dealing with this clown I do now know what “broker” really means! I am much broker as a result of this horrific experience. It is obviously both a function of my time here and the fact that I am much more active in business than any typical ex-pat retiree would be hence that inevitably leads me to having much more probability of both good and bad experiences. No new comer or non-resident could possibly have this kind of experience to help them make good decisions on who they deal with hence I provide this as a warning as to who to avoid in the first place hence lower anyone’s risk of making inadvertently bad decisions from simple lack of experience.
Well this page is dedicated to the bad and ugly experiences that I encounter in my travels and events that I simply describe as shameful. One might say that is not very optimistic but then we could instead deal in the world of reality hence if I don’t report those bad individuals and companies they get much more opportunity to continue their typical habits with more new meat or victims to their follies. I have warehoused a number of such occurrences over the past year but today I am speared on in creating this page and video all around what is most likely the worst experience I have ever had with any provider to the construction industry just two weeks ago. Hence due to my fresh outrage I felt it time I started such a page to begin with and no doubt will have lots of opportunity to add to it over the history of my career.
#1 Suplidora Huacas, Guanacaste + Head office in San Jose
My typing on this will be brief since I have created the following video since this rip off begged for a video to prove the basis of what I am saying as well as to demonstrate what horrible customer service is all about. The astoundingly unbelievable point behind all this is why a company would rip off a builder and loose all future business. Especially after I promised them prior to their final decision that this would be war if they did not do the right thing, hence this article and video is making good on that promise. Does it not make one wonder why would a company enter into such a pissing match? I mean really they are in the cable business would they not have an opportunity to sell the short cable to another customer at worst within a few months? The following is a link to the video showing exactly what they did.
This is a perfect example of the old saying that states , “the fish always stinks from the head.” I categorically believe this company is owned by arrogant morons who think all that they have to do is make up some BULLSHIT policy then fall back on that to supposedly appease the customer after they have blatantly ripped them off. Well idiots it does not appease me in fact it only makes me more furious as my policy is if you rip me off I will extract my revenge one way or another. Once I get time it will see what Consumer affairs or the weights and measures office of the country would say about this chain of events. As clearly shown my tape measure does not lie nor the entire crew of ten all certainly knew what was going on and what was not.
Something as an observer that I found very perplexing as all get out was that the local manager had to phone San Jose over a $250 screw up. Is that what defines a manager? Or is that what defines a brain dead manager from a company that does not give the so called manager or is that peone that does not have the power to make such decisions on their own. Certainly a sign of what I would call a terminally ill company. At any rate you have been forewarned about just what this company is about so govern yourself accordingly. I personally never believe in a one of occurrence as the way you do one thing is the way you do everything hence my contention would be this company will find any way humanly possible to victimize their customers certainly not to serve their customers. As the saying goes “there ain’t one ant in your house.“ That you can take to the bank.
You most likely are not aware of this company but it is a local company that makes mortars, grouts and cements. I was certainly aware of them and had from time to time bought their products which had generally been of good quality but often more expensive than serious global competitors like Laticrete who I had found to be better yet cheaper.
However during the build for Larry Smith I had gone to them as the only supplier of what is referred to as an uncoupler system for laying tile floor down on light weight sheets. This amounted to a heavy membrane that was laid into a glue/impermeable base then thin set mortar went on top of that. The point of this method is that it is internationally recognized as the only way to warrantee tile floors laid in this way. I did also find the Schluter system that was far superior but not available anywhere in Costa Rica. This purchase of Intaco products amounted to roughly $2,000 as they also insisted to have the warrantee we had to use their most expensive of all mortars.
Well we are well into this and after buying 54 bags of this mortar as we got down in the pile we found 15 sacks of this expensive crap was hard as rock = old inventory useless to anyone. I was irritated as this meant a good 2+ hours to take it back to Boston in Perez Zeledon to do what I thought should be a simple exchange. Well when I get there two of the bags had small tears in them the size of a little finger. Well as expected in normal circumstances these are not returnable as they cannot be reused. First off the reason they have tears is from the excessive handling in the first place with a double trip that would not have been necessary had I not been sold inferior crap. So as an apology for all the aggravation I am told by the dealer they cannot credit these two bags because of the tears. I insist they call Intaco who in turn does refuse to take them back.
Lets see the score card thus far:
- They have wasted a significant amount of my time by selling me junk.
- Their apology is to worry about the state of the junk that is being returned to them.
- I have spent $2,000 so not exactly an incidental purchase.
- These two bags were worth $40.
- So the provider is willing to piss off a sizable customer who has been inconvenienced for the sake of $40.
The question I had was this, is this how you become a big company by not giving a shit that you were caught selling crap and then worrying about the state of crap being returned to you.
This would be a different story if I was exchanging for what ever other reason but I am returning unsalable crap that cannot be resold to anyone. Hence what relevance is the state of the bag to anyone since it simply cannot be resold.
I don’t blame the dealer Boston here as they were following the orders of the extremely brain dead Intaco who was solely the origin of such blatant arrogance and stupidity.
Not being one to just let things lie especially since I smelled that Intaco was actually a bad company with a horrible attitude. IN essence that this was not a one of situation. Instead the attitude no doubt floated down from the board and owner level who think they are above recourse of any lowly customer who would or could dare to challenge their stupid policies. To prove my belief the next time I ran into my local and favorite Feraterria in Escazu I asked Pablo what he thought of Intaco. In short, lo and behold surprise surprise, he informed me in less than subtle terms, “they absolutely suck” hence he had pretty much stopped buying any product from them and replaced them with other providers that actually have a brain. One thing he said was they typically did not have enough delivery capacity yet when he was forced to send one of his trucks out to Santa Ana, a 20 minute drive, to pick up product his truck would be gone for 5 hours whether that be for one pallet or a truck load. So he the customer is tying up a valuable truck and employee time for hours because a provider just does not give a shit about service! Now I ask you if a company will crap on its dealers that bring their product to the broad market what do you think the odds are that they will give a crap about the end user??? I would submit that is a snowball’s chance in hell.
It was nice to confirm that what I had suspected was indeed fact not just my suspicion as to Intaco being a highly undesirable supplier. At any rate the final result as may not surprise you, Intaco products will never ever get on one of my jobsites not in this lifetime or the next! You just cannot fix a corporate culture once it goes off track! What I read into these experiences is that the owners themselves are nothing more that just common ASSHOLES hence they project exactly that into their companies. I spend a great deal of my time vetting out companies that are the complete opposite of this. Providers can make my life a living hell or a heaven and that invariable flows downhill to all of our clients and their end results.
#3 Rodrigo Rodriguez Reyes & Agencia Aduanal Cafersa & Central de Contenedores Caldera CCC S.A.
This is the agent and his Customs Agency as well as the bonded warehouse where our containers were held ransom. You can find the whole article here entitled How I Got, Got. The story goes on for 5 pages describing what happened over the 7 month nightmare which was in of itself no small story.
To read the full story you can view the post here: http://casasenescazu.com/?p=2172
The short of this story is this group of clowns cost us at least $22,000 in extra cost and damages not to mention immeasurable grief to put it mildly. I still do not know what the real reason for this was but I cannot help but suspect it was a method to extract extraordinary fees. It is hard to believe that anyone can actually be this stupid hence I tend to lean towards more nefarious motives. At the very least I can only conclude the agent was in cahoots with a bonded warehouse that carried a ridiculous price tag of $900 per month per container sitting in this Mariot warehouse hence I suspect he was getting a kickback to keep the two containers there as long as was possible. What I do know for a fact is the one container was moved by our Prince David (a real logistics marvel) from this warehouse to another at less than a third of the charges. That in of itself is really fishy as in any free market prices have to stay within a rather narrow band considering all competitors in the same market have very similar fixed costs. Hence how or why could there be a triple up price difference? Also the fact that no one ever told us or submitted a bill proving just how ridiculous the storage fees were until we were nearing in on escaping the insanity. Who in their right mind would create a fight with the government over $2,500 of taxes with an $1,800 a month storage bill racking up. Obviously in a mere 5 weeks your fees will exceed the disputed tax amount. This actually went on for over six months of pure unadulterated bullshit!
To put it mildly one should avoid any of the above named at all cost.
That is all for this edition but sadly I know as time goes on there will be a need for others.