I have learned through my year of blogging, that I have an amazing resource right at my fingertips.
Oftentimes, I have confided in you on an individual basis regarding some sticky situations, and have sought out your advice on how to handle them.
From family, to business, to friendships gone awry, you always know how to navigate me through those less than comfortable situations. Instead of confiding in you all individually, I decided to lay it all out there for everyone, so I can receive a consensus on how to handle this bit of a pickle.
Let me tell you a little story*.
There are many things in life that Roon is better at than me. Yardwork, is one of those things. Even though Roon is completely capable of mowing, edging, and landscaping our yard, he doesn't always have the time or desire to do so.
One day, when I realized that our yard looked particularly sad, I suggested that Roon do something about it once winter was officially over. He thought about it for a day or so, and then came to me with a suggestion. Why not hire a professional? I had a little bit of money of my own, and I could use that to pay someone to make my yard look EXACTLY how I wanted it, and things wouldn't get ugly between the two of us.
I thought he was brilliant!
I soon found a small landscape company to do the work, and as luck would have it, he was running a bit of a special. If I paid the full estimated amount in advance, (Before lawn mowing season began) I would be added to the mowing schedule from day one, and Roon wouldn't have to push the mower even once. Not to mention the fact that I could "bundle" my landscape requests together for a discounted rate.
I was all over it!
I received an estimate, and paid it in full within 24 hours. I could hardly wait for spring to come, so I could see some improvement in my yard!
Normally, the idea of paying in full for work yet to be performed makes me very uneasy, but he came VERY highly recommened by neighbors and friends, so I went with it.
At the first signs of spring, I would see him in my neighbor's yards, sprucing things up a bit. Planting a tree, adding some flowers here and there. The anticipation was killing me!
Along the way, Roon and I decided to add some things to our plan. You know, a fruit tree in the backyard, a tulip border, and some rose bushes on the side of the house...that kind of thing. Each time, he would bill us, we would pay, and then we would wait.
When the grass began to grow and look unruly, I called our landscaper to find out what was going on.
He was very nice, and explained that some things had come up, but that he would be out very soon to take care of it.
A week later, with the threat of an HOA fine looming, Roon went out and cut the grass when our guy couldn't be reached in time.
Through the course of several months, our guy never came once. We were handled with kid gloves, reassured that we were on his schedule, but no concrete dates were ever offered.
Towards the end of the summer, we heard rumblings that the landscaper was experiencing some personal hardships. His wife was ill, money was tight, and he was doing his best to handle it all. This was all speculation, though, as we hadn't actually heard the information from HIM.
We took pity on the guy, and made do the best we could. Eventually, we contacted the guy, and asked for a refund. Our contract was terminated, he apologized, and we were promised a full refund.
We found, and hired a replacement landscaper, who has done an amazing job! We love him, and are so glad to have found him in our time of need.
So where's the problem?
Our original landscaper has yet to reimburse us. I've contacted him a few times, offering to make arrangements with him to pay in installments, and the offers have been embraced and appreciated by him, but no arrangement is ever made. At the close of every conversation, he offers the possibility of paying me back with his services, or gift certificates for friends.
If I wasn't happy with the service I was given in the first place, why on EARTH would I want more service in lieu of money?
To add insult to injury, our landscaper has officially started publicly announcing his hardships to the community. How am I supposed to request a refund when he's standing at a pulpit telling everyone his woes?!
Is it so unreasonable of me to want what I was promised?
If you have any suggestions for me, I would greatly appreciate them.
*Certain details have been altered or deleted to protect the guilty.