≡ Menu

Two Men and a Brush - A study in Customer Service

This summer was a doozy for strange weather up in our part of Colorado. First, we didn't really have summer since it rained almost every day from May through August. Second, we had a hail storm that lasted fifteen minutes and dumped quarter-sized hail on everything. Third, we had the "We'll never have a tornado near our house because of the elevation / terrain / weather patterns" tornado a few miles from our home.

The hail storm destroyed our roof, all the windows on one side of the house and the tops of both of our vans.

USAA appraised the damage to our van and was very generous with the payment (they gave us enough to have the roof cut off the vehicle and replaced). The agent also noticed that the driver-side door had wind damage so he filed a separate claim for the bent panel. Think about that. I had noticed the crease in the door but had assumed we did something. I didn't mention it to the agent. He saw the crease and started looking at the door seams and hinges and offered to file the claim. That meant a) more work for him b) more money given out by the insurer. It also meant a much happier customer.

The van we had coverage for was repaired by MAACO and they did a great job not only with the roof but with the door and another dent in the vehicle at a far lower price than what our insurance company had given us.

Our roofers, Timberline Roofing, were great. They are a family run business (two brothers) who were polite, professional and our new green roof goes very well with our yellow house. My dad has used Timberline Roofing twice in the past and we went with them on that recommendation alone. Never underestimate the value of customer testimonies.

The window company, Champion Windows, did a professional job from the initial "Here's how great our windows are"  to the installation.

The other rep we got an estimate from, Anderson Windows, never gave me the impression that he really wanted our business. He didn't even come into the house to look at the windows. He also told me that Champion didn't have a lifetime warranty, which they do on everything including the screens.

Our insurance company, Allstate, sent us an initial check for the damages but when I sent them estimates and explained what their first agent had missed, they apologized, said the first agent didn't do a good job and sent out another rep to reassess the damage. They also sent us another check. Great service all around.

For the trim on our garage we got estimates from Handyman Connection which was 4x the estimate from Two Men and a Brush. From past dealings with Handyman Connection, they are ALWAYS far more expensive than anyone else.

The initial meeting with the Two Men and a Brush rep went fine so they sent out their paint crew.

We had agreed that they would scrape the old paint, hammer in loose trim, prime and paint the trim, vents and the undersides of the roof overhang. My wife called me after they said they were finished to tell me that they hadn't painted the sides of the trim, only the fronts. Since the trim had taken a beating from the storm and hadn't been painted in at least four years, it didn't even have paint in places on the sides. The painters told us that we hadn't requested "box trim" and not to sign the project off if we weren't happy. Have any of you heard of "box trim" or do you just assume that when someone says they will paint your trim they will paint all of it and not just the face?

When I saw the finished product I was less than pleased. It was clear that they had only scraped paint over the garage door and not touched the rest of the trim with a scraper. There were several loose trim tacks  that they had painted over instead of hammering in. They also hadn't painted the underside of the roof overhang. I was able to peel off strips of paint where they had painted over the loose paint.

I called their office and the secretary offered all kinds of excuses and told me that the painters had told her we had signed off on the work. We scheduled the boss to come back out to look at the work the following week.

When he got back out to our house he claimed to have explained the difference between standard trim painting and box trim painting and that I had chosen to go with the standard because of cost considerations. There isn't any reason there would have been cost considerations because the insurance company was covering the repairs. Further, the trim around the window was completely paint-free so I certainly wouldn't have wanted to leave it that way.

When I explained that it was obvious that his crew hadn't scraped the old paint, he said that it must have blown away. To illustrate the absurdity of this claim, let me describe the area around our garage. We mow the grass along one side of the garage so it is short there. The driveway is gravel and the other two sides we leave "natural" i.e. three-foot tall prairie grass. Somehow there were paint shavings on the driveway but not a single bit of old paint anywhere else around the garage. Somehow, a magical wind storm had swept away all the paint from the three foot high grass but left it on the driveway. Hmm.

Apart from the obvious lying between him and his paint crew, he had the audacity to hope that I would buy his "I've been painting for twenty years and I know a good paint job when I see it" line. He also never got around to explaining why his paint crew said we had signed off on their work when it was clear on the papers that we hadn't.

A few tips to business owners who like to be in business:

  1. Don't assume that your customer wants the cheaper option without asking.
  2. Don't pull the "I'm the expert so I know what 'good' is" line when someone who never has touched a paint brush can see that you are lying.
  3. When your paint crew lies about what they did, don't double down with an even bigger lie to cover for them.
  4. Don't assume that your lousy customer service and work won't be aired out to the general public.

{ 5 comments… add one }

5 comments
Ricardo
Ricardo

Please be careful. TWO MEN AND A BRUSH AND COLORADO PAINTING THEY DO NOT HAVE INSURANCE THEY ARE NOT BONDED. YOU WILL BE LIABLE.... DO NOT HIRE ANY OFF THEM. ASK FOR A (COI) certificate of insurance.. IF you have one i will love to see it..

Majda
Majda

I hire them to do some paint in my basement but they sent me people that don't even know, they are a subcontractor company who hire persons that they don't even know please be careful!!!!

Katrina Bynes
Katrina Bynes

I had to file a complaint with the Southern BBB against Two Men and a Brush. Take a look at the history of this complaint and judge for yourself: COMPLAINT ACTIVITY REPORT Case # 37022005 Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado Consumer Info: Bynes, Katrina Business Info: Two Men and a Brush Inc 719 633-3937 Location Involved: (Same as above) Consumer's Original Complaint : Two Men and a Brush has not complied with the terms of our contract. Although they have promised to complete the contracted work, to date there are many unresolved issues. DesiredSettlementID: Other (requires explanation) Product_Or_Service: Exterior painting on my home Purchase_Price: 2763.00 Consumer's Desired Resolution: Compliance with the contract terms BBB Processing 07/08/2011 web BBB Case Received by BBB 07/08/2011 aw BBB Case Reviewed by BBB - Member 07/08/2011 Otto EMAIL Send Acknowledgement to Consumer 07/08/2011 Otto MAIL Notify Business of Dispute - Member 07/11/2011 rml BBB MORE INFO RECEIVED FROM THE CONSUMER : There were specific items in the contract I have with Two Men and a Brush that were not completed. This is a letter I sent to the owner of Two Men and a Brush: Mr. Murdock, Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to assess the poor paint job and repairs performed on my home. I contracted with your company because I believed Two Men and a Brush was a reputable company that would stand by its work. And given the 5-year warranty on work done by your company, I thought I would have no trouble with getting issues resolved. However, I was mistaken. Based on our conversation today, you assured me that my entire home was primed in an oil based primer, including the trim boards that were replaced, to prevent any further wax bleeding from my masonite siding. In addition, you assured me that the occasional white stains that I see in the black paint used on the trim of my house is normal. Although I expressed to you I don't believe that my entire home was primed, as per the contract, and that the occasional white stains on the trim was normal, you assured me that in fact it was. As we walked around my home today, I pointed out numerous items that were to be completed based on our contract - but was not done. For example, there are rotten trim boards that were not replaced, boards that had been replaced but poorly primed and painted, paint on exterior doors that were sloppy, windows that were not chalked, and loose nails and trim boards. Our contract specifically states that these items would be repaired or corrected; however, to date your company has not complied with the terms of the contract. At this time I am very disappointed in the response by your company. Your painter, Jose (719-217-0112), as well as your office administrator, Kim (719-633-3937), assured me on several occasions that these issues would be corrected. In fact, Jose has returned to my home and promised to correct these issues, but nothing has been done. And today, you assured me you would have these issues corrected. Although I appreciate your response that you would correct the issues as a favor to me, I simply would like you to make every effort to comply with the terms our contract. If you have any questions, feel free to call me. Thank you, Katrina Bynes 07/13/2011 aw MAIL Forward additional information to business 07/14/2011 WEB BBB RECEIVE BUSINESS RESPONSE : Here is the letter I sent to Katrina July 11tt after receiving the letter she sent to you July 11th, 2011 Dear Katrina, Thank you for your follow up letter/response to our July 08, 2011 meeting. As I conveyed to you, I believe the paint and prep work was done correctly. I do however believe that the approximately 3-4 locations need to be touched up. This is a regular process for paint jobs. I do believe that the painter and the homeowner should have caught these during the final walk around, none the less they are easy fixes. Our contract says "some trim repair", it does not specify certain boards and areas. We did in fact replace trim during the original paint job. In an effort to keep a good relationship with you I am willing to go outside our contract and replace the boards you want replaced (that were not part of the original contract). My office will contact you in the next week to schedule the touch ups. Thank You Kevin Murdock I walked the house with her July 8th and had intended to send out a crew. The work was outside our contract but I was going to do it to provide good faith and give satisfaction to the customer. At this point we will not do anything additional to the customers house. The paint job and trim replacement were completed to her satisfaction per the sign off sheet dated 02/24/2011. Thank you so much for your continued help Kevin Murdock President 07/19/2011 aw EMAIL Forward Member Verification Response to Consumer 07/20/2011 WEB BBB BBB REVIEWS CONSUMER REBUTTAL TO BUSINESS RESPONSE : (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) The contract I have with Two Men and a Brush specifically outlined the work to be performed. In addition, Two Men and a Brush provided me a five-year warranty on its work. Two Men and a Brush did not complete the work as they indicated and has failed to acknowledge its warranty. When I noticed that the work had not been done as agreed, I contacted this company. They have agreed several times to adhere to the contracted work, but failed to show up. 07/21/2011 aw MAIL Forward Consumer Rebuttal to Business 07/25/2011 WEB BBB RECEIVED BUSINESS' REBUTTAL RESPONSE : With consideration for our reputation in the community we will replace the 2 to 3 boards she deems need to be replaced. This is outside the scope of our contract, as professionals and respected role models in the community we know what is a rotten board and what needs to be replaced. She feels she knows more about this than we do. We will secure 2 to 3 warped boards around her front picture window. We will pound the 4 to 6 nails missed in the original walk through. We will clean up the tape line around lower walk out door. All of this was agreed upon when we met last time. After we met I told her we would send out a crew in 2 or 3 days. Then she filed a complaint with you the BBB, the next day. I don't understand that. After careful consideration and setting my agitation aside, I still will go outside our contract in an attempt to make Ms. Bynes happy. I had agreed to do this in the first place. We will send out a crew of our choice in the next week to complete the touch ups. I am primarily doing this to keep a good relationship with the community at large. I doubt that any repairs done by any contractor will be to her satisfaction. Once again we appreciate the role the BBB plays in our community and we value our relationship with the BBB. Thank you Kevin Murdock President 07/26/2011 aw EMAIL Send Business' Rebuttal Response to Consumer 07/27/2011 WEB BBB CONSUMER REJECTS BUSINESS' FINAL OFFER : (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I am very satisfied with companies I contract with who adhere to our agreements and perform quality work. It's those companies who try to get over on customers and demonstrate unprofessionalism and poor workmanship that I am not satisfied with. My dissatisfaction with Two Men and a Brush is why I filed a complaint on them with the Southern Colorado BBB. Since February 2011, I have made several attempts to get Two Men and a Brush to comply with our contracted agreement. They have consistently promised to correct the issues, but never showed up to my home to do the work. Mr. Murdock demonstrated the unprofessionalism of his company, when he once again promised on July 8, 2011 to schedule a time to complete the work but to this date I have not heard from Mr. Murdock. There are many more issues that need to be addressed than what Mr. Murdock outlined in his response. The irony of this situation is that Mr. Murdock is agitated with me asking him to comply with the terms of our contracted agreement - just imagine how agitated I am after 5 months of trying to get this company to do what they agreed to. I think it's the BBB's obligation to report the unscrupulous business practices Two Men and a Brush has demonstrated so that no other Southern Colorado consumer is subjected to the nonsense I have experienced. 07/28/2011 aw MAIL Forward Consumer Rebuttal to Business 07/30/2011 WEB BBB RECEIVED BUSINESS' REBUTTAL RESPONSE : On Friday at 9 am we had an appointment with Ms. Bynes. We were there to do the touch ups and we were going to replace the few boards she wanted (outside the contract but to satisfy her). I took my painting crew and we were ready to go. She was not there. No one answered the door and we were not comfortable working on her property without her present. We have gone out of our way to satisfy this customer. Please advise us what to do. Thank You Kevin Murdock 08/05/2011 rml EMAIL Send Business' Rebuttal Response to Consumer 08/08/2011 WEB BBB CONSUMER REJECTS BUSINESS' FINAL OFFER : (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I have not heard from Mr. Murdock. He never contacted to inform me he would attempt to complete the work on Friday Aug 5th. If he had, I would have told him I would not be home because I was on vacation. Again, here's another example of the unprofessionalism of this company. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paula
Paula

I have bit of advice for customers of companies like Two Men and a Brush: If you are not satisfied with the job, don't hand over the check until they do it right.

Fran
Fran

You have given clear contrasting stories of customer service and customer "disservice." We have had our share of both and you can be sure, we let people know of our experiences, good and bad. Word of mouth is probably the most powerful recommendation one can use--for better or worse.

Leave a Comment

Read previous post:
Pre-Paid Legal - Fail!

Our family has had a legal coverage plan through Pre-Paid legal. This basically is like legal insurance. For a monthly...

Close