Unable To Engineer A Virgin Solution

, , , , , | Right | May 4, 2020

I work for a civil engineering company in the DC area; we service both DC and Maryland. We do work in Virginia but it is very limited due to the traveling time and access to the records. We also state on our website that we only work there during the winter months as work normally is slow during that time.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule as we have done some extremely large jobs that we can work on our own time in the past. This is why we still advertise in Virginia.

I get this call during the summer, which is our busiest time of the year.

Caller: “Hi. I would like for you all to give me an estimate on a piece of property.”

Me: “Okay, can I have your address?”

Caller: “It’s [address in Virginia]. I would like to know if you can—”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we do not currently work in the Virginia area at this time. We only do limited work during the wintertime as it is typically our slow season.”

The caller now starts yelling on the phone, so loud that I have to pull my ear away from the phone to make sure I don’t hurt my hearing.

Caller: “What do you mean, you don’t do work in Virginia? Why do you even advertise that you do?”

Me: “Ma’am, while it is true that we can do work in Virginia, it clearly states on our website that we do not work in Virginia except during the winter months and in extreme cases.”

Caller: “Well, I have an extreme case.”

She goes on to explain about her “case” and it turns out this is a very typical job we do. However, I explain to her that extreme cases are large acres that range around 200 acres and more. I also tell her that if she wanted a quote from us it would be four times greater than a local engineer and we couldn’t give her a time frame on it as it could take a couple of weeks to get out to the site. This, of course, doesn’t help.

Caller: “Then why do you advertise that you work in Virginia?! That is false advertising!”

Me: “Ma’am, please calm down. I have explained already that we do work and are licensed to work in the area but it is very limited and would cost you a lot more than looking up someone local.”

Caller: “Then give me a local engineer!”

Me: “Ma’am, I am sorry, but we don’t know anyone in that area that we can recommend as we don’t work often enough in the area to give you a name.”

She hung up on me after cussing me out. A week later, on one of our advertising sites, she left a poor review on the website saying that we don’t work and we lie about everything. We still haven’t been able to remove that review. Lucky for us, most of our clients who read it said that she was most likely a nutcase.

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