Hundreds of Contractors, None Available

This time, I just have to unload my frustration at Singapore’s renovation contractors. For three weeks I have been trying to get a renovation contractor to come by my apartment to discuss my renovation needs and come up with a quotation.

I have called more than 10 contractors … most of them saying something like, “Sorry hah, we have a lot of work to do already. Call again in August can???”

[I need the work done by end of July ….]

Last week I managed to get 2 contractors to finally come by to do a quotation. The first contractor … they hardly speak any English and I hardly speak Mandarin. And for some reasons, they kept on declining my request for an itemized written quotation, asking instead for me to write down what they say it’s going to cost. Weird …. I was just not comfortable with them so I decided to look around.

The second contractor came, with good English (thank God!) and did a thorough measurement of everything I wanted to do. I was rather impressed with the professionalism of the guy who did this, and said to myself, “I think I’ve found my contractor ..” only to discover than 7 days later, I still haven’t received any quotations which he promised to arrive in 1-2 days.

When asked, he said, “I will send you quotation tonight. Sorry for the delay … have a lot of handovers to do lately…” and still, two days later, no quotation.

My patience is running thin …. I come from a country where customers are absolute kings, where companies hire extra freelance workers to handle increasing clientele and business opportunities. Never will they say no to a money-making opportunity, and never have I been made waiting more than 2 days for a one-page quotation!

And I thought Singapore is a kiasu society, where everyone is striving to grab every opportunity that comes their way…. not in this case, obviously ….

So here I am again now, flipping through The Straits Times and the Yellow Pages, starting to cold call just about any contractors / carpenters willing to take up some immediate work. I need to do quite some carpentry work (custom cabinet, shelves etc.) plus some simple plumbing and tiling, and they need to happen asap.

So if you are in Singapore and know a good and reasonable contractor who is particularly good at carpentry, plus speak reasonably good English, please share me their numbers and I will be grateful🙂

Thank you

~ by elinski on June 27, 2008.

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