The RC Jones Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality

The RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina Destroyed Part of My YardHas anyone seen the construction company hired to build my home expansion? Anyone?

The RC Jones Company has cut communication with me aside from sending an invoice for roughly $25,000. This, it seems, is my penalty for blogging my life and allowing others to see. Silly me, I guess I should have read that clause in the contract that says my first amendment rights shall henceforth be permanently terminated upon signing. Damn, how could I have missed that?

What about my construction permit, does anyone know if it’s been canceled? Anyone? I’ve been told that it has. Although I haven’t given such permission to do so. After all, I am the one who paid something like $800 for it.

I called the City of Greenville building permits department on the day that Jim Hale, president of the RC Jones Company and the JD Hale Company, informed me that he was sending the proper paperwork to cancel the permit. It seems funny to me why a permit would be canceled before the work preformed has been inspected to assure code adherence. We had no deal at that time to do anything with our contract, or did we? Ya see, it’s as if Mr. Hale is simply doing and saying whatever he pleases in order to purposely confuse my wife and me. Why, I don’t know. I think you’ll be able to form your own ideas if you read on.

Now, I don’t know anything about building walls-to-nowhere, but I can only assume that mine does not meet proper code. Then again, maybe it does. Don’tcha think that should be left to an inspector of some type before the permit is canceled or before a company simply abandons a project?

It could be that a company president feels like being a Richard because he had his IP address blocked. I wonder this has anything to do with my blog recently receiving multiple, non-referring hits from attorney’s offices and Internet security firms? PingPingPing….Ping….Ping…Ping….PingPingPing

Taking these circumstances into account, I can only assume a few different scenarios that might (or might not, I don’t really know) be happening:

A) My project has been abandoned by the RC Jones Company…or maybe it’s the JD Hale Co, who knows;
B) RC Jones Co. is delaying the inspection because the wall-to-nowhere doesn’t meet proper code;
C) El Presidente Jim Hale is trying to do whatever is necessary to obtain money without actually having to work for it;
D) I’m being taught a lesson to keep my blogging out of the realm of truth;
E) All of the above; and/or
F) None of the above because this is the standard by which all contractors operate, subsequently labeling me a fool for thinking ethical conduct plays into the world of the construction business

I’m seeking advice from anyone who has an idea of how to proceed. Below is an exchange of emails over the last two weeks. In all fairness, I feel it’s necessary to publish the emails in their entirety. I do apologize for the length. However, the details within will allow you to make your own decision about the personality, integrity, and ethical conduct of the two parties involved. These, as well as all of the previous editions of the RC Jones Chronicles should give you a pretty good picture as to what is happening. Zip me a comment or send me some advice. Comments can be anonymous at your discretion.

I’ll pick up from the end of the last post. Only email communication has occurred since that time.

To: Jamie Decker – Aug 27, 2008
CC: Jim Hale

Jamie, The big blue dumpster has been at [my address] Overbrook since approximately August 12, 2008. It’s been used three times since then. The first time was to clear the RC Jones construction debris from my yard, debris that has been in my yard and killing my grass since the middle of June. As hardened concrete, a wooden pallet, and an unused bag of concrete remain killing another portion of my yard, RC Jones had neglected for the past two months to clean up the mess left behind by your subcontractors. The second time the dumpster was used was when you had your crew make good on your mistake of throwing away my 2x6x16 pressure treated lumber that I had stacked neatly under my carport. Had you spoken with John Riley, you would have known that the lumber in question was to remain in place. The third time the dumpster was used was this past weekend when I personally continued the cleanup responsibilities that RC Jones should have taken care of from the beginning of the project but has neglected to do so. I’m specifically talking about the two 10′ metal posts and a metal plate spanning the two posts that were formerly used to support my deck. Until this past weekend when I moved them, these concrete-laden items had been laying in my yard since the middle of June. After two months and repeated requests for cleanup to you and to Mr. Hale, it is apparent to me that RC Jones has no intention of cleaning the remaining debris for which they are responsible. Please remove the dumpster from my property immediately.

From: Jim Hale – Aug 27
Mr. [Me],
In our meeting last Thursday you had indicated your intent to terminate our agreement. I ask if we needed or could do any thing further. You stated that we could not and you did not want us on you property again. We order the dumpster to be removed as of last Friday and today they indicated that it will be removed this afternoon. We will be more than happy to remove any other debris as needed. I have also attached a copy of the form mailed to you to terminate the agreement. If you would sign the form and return it for our records, I would be most appreciated.

The RC Jones Company of Greer South Carolina Left Three Inches Of Mud On My Driveway For Me To Clean Up
The Attachment:
Re: Construction Project at [my address]
Dear Mr. & Mrs. XXXXXX

I am writing this letter in response to our last meeting and conversation on August 21, 2008. You expressed your desire and request that the construction agreement between the two of you and R.C. Jones, Co. be terminated and cancelled immediately.

I have contacted the city building department and a representative will or has inspected our work up to current to include the block foundation. They will insure our work meets current building codes and cancel our building permit on the project. You must assume all responsibility and liability from this point.

Please sign below to confirm you intention to immediately terminate and cancel the contract for the new maser bedroom, kitchen, laundry room, bathroom and deck remodel project as well as all other aspects of the contract dated April 10, 2008 and signed and executed on May 29, 2008. Please also confirm that R.C. Jones, Co is entitled to recover all material, labor, proportionate overhead and any other fees that apply to the project to include those permit fees charged by the City of Greenville. Upon returned receipt of this letter with signatures, I will sign on behalf of R.C. Jones, Co and return a copy for your records.

How I Wish I Would Have Responded:
Jim, Thank you for such a fabulous contracting experience. I have signed and returned the attached document, subsequently giving up all of my rights and allowing you to charge me for whatever you wish. In addition, I’ve enclosed a signed blank check. Go ahead and just make it out to yourself for any amount you feel is fair. You’ve done such a good job handling this situation that and I can’t wait until I can tell all of my friends and relatives about your tremendous efforts to keep me satisfied. Should you have a grandson similar in age to my daughter, I would be more than happy to discuss a betrothal at this time. Sincerely, Your Bestest Buddy

How I Actually Responded: – Aug 27
Mr. Hale, Thank you for your quick response to both my previous email and the recognition of the fact that the blue dumpster is no longer necessary at [my address] As it pertains to the agreement attached in your last email, I believe that it’s prudent to examine any additional costs that RC Jones believes are outstanding before signing. In an effort to expedite the situation, I would ask that you provides for me a detailed line-item invoice for any additional costs that the RC Jones Company believes are outstanding. If applicable, please include a copy of the original invoice from the party of origin for any work subcontracted by RC Jones as it pertains to the project at [my address]

From : Jim Hale: Aug 28
Mr. [Me] The amount of the bank check was pretty close to the past expenses.
Job materials/Labor – $6,032.91

Payroll expenses – $ 85.79

Postage and Delivery – $ 4.90

Disposal – $ 335.00

Permits/Fees – $ 823.14

Profit/Overhead – $3,000.00

__________

$10,281.00

At this point I need to receive the termination letter to clear my license and liability.

To: Jim Hale – Aug 29
Mr. Hale, Thank you again for your prompt response. I will be in touch soon. If you would, please let me know when the building inspector reports back to you on the wall.

From: Jim Hale – Aug 29
Mr. [Me], I have spoken with the city of Greenville today and they will cancel the permit today when they receive a letter from me with the request to cancel. I will deliver the letter this afternoon and we will be complete. You may also disregard the $281.00 overage in expenses. Good luck with the project in the future and if we may be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Last thing – If any unsecured door or opening from the main level is open to the ground area below due to the removal of deck structure, please secure it at once due to the danger of someone getting hurt if they fall. I you need assistance in securing the doorway we will be glad to help at no expense to you.

To: Jim Hale – Aug 29
Hey Jim, I assume that you still need the signed document that you sent to me the other day, correct?

From Jim Hale: Aug 31
[Me], Yep! I need that notice to cancel everything out. The city did cancel the permit and we are free from the city stand point. Again If I may be of further assistance in any way – please do not hesitate to call.

To Jim Hale: – Aug 31
Hey Jim, I’d like to add a little language to our mutually agreed upon contract cancellation form. Nothing major, just some standard language to protect from liens against my home, etc. My lawyer is writing it up for me. I’ll have it sent to you when he’s finished with it. If you approve, we’ll start the signing phase. Also, I noticed that you sent me a registered letter. Unfortunately, the post office from which it came, Laurens Rd at Pleasantburg, is only open until 5pm M-F. Neither [my wife] nor I get home until at least 5:30pm every day. They have Saturday hourse, and I tried to pick it up yesterday but the office was closed for the holiday. Therefore, I won’t be able to pick it up until this coming Saturday. If the content of the package is time-sensetive and you can email it to me, I would appreciate it if you did so. If you can’t email, can you at least tell me what it is? I can guararentee that my lawyer will advise me not to sign anything until we have an idea of what the package contains. Otherwise, I’ll pick it up in about six days. One last thing: I called the Gvl City permits/inspections on Friday afternoon approx. 4:30pm. I was told that the permit was still valid. I’ll call again on Tuesday to see if there has been any further progress.

From Jim Hale – Sept 2
Mr. [Me],
I have been willing to do what ever it takes to make you happy. I have told you that we are willing to complete the agreement as it states or make the changes of those things you wish to add. I simply can not give you over $20,000.00 worth of work for no additional charge. I understand this upsets you and we have apologized for any inconvenience we may have caused you. You have ask to terminate the agreement and we are doing so. I ask you to remove the negative story about the situation(blog). Yesterday a couple of friends of ours came over and one of them showed me the stories on the internet. At this point I would like to know what your intent is with this story?

To Jim Hale – Sept 3
Mr. Hale, I do apologize if my last email upset you. Please allow me to assure you that I in no way want you to give me $20,000 in any form or fashion. I mean no harm to you and/or RC Jones with my actions of consulting legal assistance. I’m simply consulting with someone more qualified than I am as it pertains to contracts and agreements for the purpose of protecting my family and my home. Per statements in a previous email, you took the same actions of consulting legal advice as well as consulting the SC Department of LLR pertaining to your liability of releasing the [our] family from contract.

I would hope that you recognize that the [our] family dwelling is the only home that we have; it’s the home for our children and it’s our largest investment. It is my job to protect my family and our investments as I believe is necessary. As there is a document sent to me via registered letter by RC Jones awaiting pickup at the post office on Laurens Rd., I can only assume that this is important information that needs to be considered when consulting legal advice.

I do apologize that picking up the letter is taking longer than you expected, but this is out of my control due to the standard business hours of the post office as well as the Labor Day holiday. I ask that you trust me when I say that I, too, am eager to bring our business to an end as quickly as possible so that we may both continue with our personal lives and professional livelihoods.

To answer your question regarding my future intent of my blog, I will tell you that I will most likely continue to blog for the rest of my life. Your question leads me to believe that you have some unsettled issues with my views of my personal life events. Those issues remain unstated to me aside from a blanket request to take my blog offline. My blog is a personal collection of my thoughts, creative writing, statements, comments, expressions, opinions, ideas, creative works, et al. The intent of my blog is nothing more than a chronicle of my life, much like a photograph or a personal home video. It is a portion of my history and the history of my family. The contents within are protected for me by the 1st amendment of the US Constitution. As such, my blog plays no part in our business negotiations. There is no legal, moral or ethical basis for removing my blog or any of the posts within.

In a good faith effort to move forward with your offer to let us out of the contract without paying a 25% penalty, and also in an effort to keep our business negotiations separate from my personal life, I will give you my word as a Christian man that once our business negotiations come to a complete close, I will be more than happy to speak with you about the aspects of my blog with which you are troubled.

From: Jim Hale – Sept 3
Mr. [Me]
The registered letter is a copy of the pre-attached letter of release. It is exactly the same. No need to wait to finalize the process as you may sign the copy you have.
As for the blog – I understand now that a blog is like a virtual diary or journal if that is the way you are using it. I was asking about your intent as far as all comments about the relationship and experience with us. I am asking if you intend to keep the posting relating to R.C. Jones, Co and J.D. Hale, Co.?

From: Gail Craig, the RC Jones Administrative Assistant – Sept 5
Dear [my wife and I] :
Your invoice is attached. Payment is due upon receipt of this invoice. Payments not received within 10 days a late fee of 12% monthly interest will be added.

(editor note: total amount of the invoice is $24,340.00 This does not take into consideration the $10,000 already paid for work provided)

To: Jim Hale – Sept 5
Jim,
What is this all about? Have you changed your mind from our previous agreement that we’ve been discussing for the last week over email?

From: Jim Hale – Sept 8
Mr. [Me], From our first meeting to our last communication I have been trying to work with you. I have been more than willing to complete the project as outlined in the agreement. You have indicated that you are a journalist – meaning you read and write for a living. With that I am sure with that you must be able to comprehend what you read. Yet, you tell me that you did not understand the provisions of the agreement. I find that very hard to believe. Not one thing in our easy to understand detailed agreement did it say anything about a new total house HVAC system, larger and relocated deck with cover for parking or totally finished basement which would double the square foot addition. Just the contrary, it states directly the size and location of the deck, that we would connect the ductwork to the existing unit and we were to install garage doors on the basement area with a partial concrete pad. The bank understood this and made your loan based on it. When Jamie and I reviewed the agreement with you and you brought this up, you ask us for the price to change the agreement to include these items. At that point we walked through the house and went outside and you told us the size and location of the deck you wanted as we also discussed the details of the finished basement and options on the HVAC unit. We arranged to get the HVAC contractor in to look at your system and we gathered the additional information needed for the change. When we returned and told you the additional cost for the changes, you made us feel as if I did not GIVE you the changes you wanted to terminate the agreement. I told you I could not and you did terminate the agreement. I felt bad for you and your family. At this point you have not returned the form I sent you and you continue to attack me, my workers and my company. I have experienced and continue to experience cost associated with this project. I have been advised to exercise my legal right and collect the termination fee.

I subsequently followed up with this email with an amended termination-of-contract agreement with language that protects my family from liens against my home should RC Jones decide not to pay his subcontractors. Pretty standard stuff. I also pointed out in the email the numerous deceptive tactics that RC Jones has used for monetary gain. The biggest of which is spelled out in the emails above if you can read between the lines a bit. As soon as I stated in writing: “Please allow me to assure you that I in no way want you to give me $20,000 in any form or fashion.”, Jim Hale promptly slapped me with an invoice for $24,340.00. Do you think this gave him assurance that I wasn’t going to proceed with legal action? If he had intended to not charge me a termination fee, why would he have stated above, You may also disregard the $281.00 overage in expenses.”

So tell me, what should I do?

(Editor’s Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.

The RC Jones Company Chronicles
Part I – The RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience
Part II – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo
Part III – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week
Part IV – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow
Part V – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager
Part VI –
The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy
Part VII – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

The RC Jones Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy

Imagine the emotional turmoil one might experience if you were on the roof of your house. Below you see the water rising. Your house, neighborhood and friends were all being destroyed.

Personally, I would pray, as I’m sure did this one gentleman.

An inexhaustible emotional range filled the man’s head as he sat strangely assured on his roof. The water was now rising past the eves. Seemingly out of nowhere a man in a rubber dingy came paddling past. He offered the man rescue. “My God will save me,” said the man. Two hours later the national guard comes by in a outboard metal Johnboat and offered rescue. Again, “My God will save me,” shouted the man on the roof. Another hour lapsed. The flood waters were up to the man’s chin by this time. Finally the U.S. Coast Guard hovered above with basket. “My God will save me,” screamed the man who was by now standing tiptoe and struggling to breathe.

God didn’t save him.

Once in heaven, the man had a bone to pick with God. He screamed about his family. And he screamed about how young he was. “Why? WHY! Why didn’t you rescue me? I have faith. I believe. I read your word. Why did you take my life, Lord?” God looked at the man and said, “Son, I sent you a dingy, a motorboat, and a helicopter. When was the bell going to go off?”

Two days ago the bell went off for wifey and me. There have been too many excuses, too many mistakes, and too much deceit.

The boys from RC Jones construction, Jim Hale, President, and Jamie Decker, project manager #2, came by yesterday to explain the additional contract changes. These encompassed the things that we were promised by John Riley, project manager #1, versus what we are actually getting. Long story short, there is an additional price tag of approximately $20,000.

My brain quickly ran the calculations of events past:

  • Contract signed April 9th–check
  • September 20th, I have one wall-to-nowhere–check
  • Too many/too much list–check
  • All things listed in the previous blogs–check
  • Two-and-a-half months without any progress aside from Ernie’s big blue house–check
And with that, I signed all three contract changes, whipped out my walkin’-round money, paid in cash, and gave both of them a big ole kum-by-ya kiss on the lips. Signed and sealed daddy-o. Let the games begin.

The reality of the situation is that I made my case to Mr. Hale and Mr. Decker. It’s the same story that I’ve written about in blogs previous. I then offered Mr. Hale the option to back out of the contract.

There were points made here and points made there–a back-and-forth of yes, but, and, uh, but, point, point, counterpoint continued for about 20 minutes. It was everything that we had talked about. Everything that has been written in this blog sans the mild sarcasm. It was all said again, sometimes twice. However, the bottom line was this. We paid RC Jones $10,000 down payment. RC Jones, according to the BB&T-hired appraiser, has facilitated just shy of $10,000 worth of work. Shy about $250 or something close to that.

I’m sure Ernie’s big blue house is costing something to rent. After all, RC Jones was kind enough to clean up construction debris strewn throughout my yard after only two short months. No big deal, though. What kind of summertime fun could a six-year-old have in the back yard unless he or she was forced to endure repeated tales of lockjaw.

Although I’m certain that all initial costs such as dumpster rent, building permits, etc. associated with beginning a construction project are factored into the first bank draw appraisal, Mr. Hale heavily suggested that RC Jones has much more wrapped up into my wall-to-nowhere than I could possibly imagine. He of course didn’t have a figure. I’m sure he’ll find one.

Regardless, I’m willing to take the $250 bite so that my family doesn’t have to endure this struggle any longer than necessary.

“No, I’m sorry honey, we can’t take our 10th anniversary trip to Rome. But c’mon down here and throw some of these dirt clods against our wall. It’s funner than standing in any ole Roman Apocalypse.”

Two more quick points before you learn the end of this tale. (shhh….it’s going to end with more uncertainty. don’t tell anyone.)

The emotional turmoil clearly came through as wifey preached her testimony of do-you-know-how-we-feel to those in attendance. To keep it brief, I’ll described it as akin to a roller coaster that tops the hill and leads to an increasingly faster dive of disappointment and sorrow.

After her well-deserved vent, I looked at Jim Hale and said, “Do you understand how we feel?” Yes was his answers. I then said, “If you know how we feel, then you’ll do the right thing and allow us to part company, evenly.” The room was silent. Mr. Hale was looking down at the table. Everyone in the room now understood what our family has been going through.

That’s when the meeting should have come to an end. It didn’t.

Within in five minutes it seemed like the other two in the room were completely absent of their previous emotion.

The conversation following made it pretty apparent to me that Mr. Hale and Mr. Decker were struggling with some bruised egos. Subsequently, they seemed on the defensive when the meeting came to a close. It didn’t end like I wish it would have, with a handshake and money paid for services rendered. Mr. Hale said he would have to now consult with his lawyer (…and here we go) and the State of SC Department of LLR about his liability of leaving the project unfinished. I think that seems fair enough, and it sounds reasonable. However, the tone of the departure was not one of fair enough.

As Jim and Jamie walked out the door, Jim turned to me and said, “I want you to take the blog down.”
(ppssstt…wrong words to say to a journalist, dude…just sayin’, that’s all.)

Now, I made my case during our meeting on the assumption that everyone knew about my blog. C’mon, Hoffa called me last week about it. I could only assume that everyone involved knew. Regardless, Jim made it a point to acknowledge the fact that I have written about my life in my blog. He also seemed to alluded to my blog posts as being in some fashion a bargaining chip in further discussion. This is the read-between-the-lines interpretation that I gleaned from his fairly aggressive final words. He made no such overt claims.

So on top of everything else that has happened with this fiasco, I get the feeling that my honest emotional journey through one of life’s mile points, as well as my first amendment rights, are going to factored in to how this all shakes out. The RC Jones Company could try to enforce making us pay a 25% fee for breaking the contract, in this case the fee amounts to the cost of a year-old SUV. I guess it’s reparations for all the pain and suffering I caused them.

Jim Hale could try to enforce the contract and make us abide by the full amount. Or, the RC Jones Company and my family could to part ways on an equal $10,000 fair payment for fair services deal. No harm, no foul. Have a nice day. There is also the possibility that such an agreement is dependant upon me pulling the RC Jones Chronicles as a “courtesy” for providing my family the opportunity for a fair split.

Why do my first amendment rights have to play a part of any of this? Is it fear of truth?

Mr. Hale informed me as he was leaving that he hadn’t read the blogs yet, he just knew about them. “It was your banker who told me.” He paused, looked up again and said, “Always have an exit strategy.” He then turned and walked to his truck.

I don’t know what that means. Is it a threat of some kind? Is he trying to teach me a lesson or something? Maybe he thought we were talking about presidential war politics, I don’t know. I’ll keep you posted.

As a quick side note, I’ve put together a time-lapse video of the construction project. Have a look.

Oh, wait. One last thing: It occurs to me that my blog entries are now of some value. Laughable I know, but seemingly true. Therefore, rights to the RC Jones Chronicles are now for sale. Please feel free to inquire with your best offer.

(Editor’s Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.

The RC Jones Company Chronicles
Part I – The RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience
Part II – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo
Part III – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week
Part IV – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow
Part V – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager
Part VI –
The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy
Part VII – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager

RC Jones provides home and commercial improvement, repair and restoration. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.

Original posted on August 15, 2008. Accidentally reposted on August 23, 2008.

Hoffa Not Dead
Former project manager and R.C. Jones Company salesman Jimmy Hoffa has reappeared from the shadows of courteous communication with questions of how things are going.

Nice.

So glad you care enough to call. P.S. You forgot the reach-around.

It seems that Hoffa’s associates tend to google the R.C. Jones Company name on occasion. Hence this response when I answered the phone, “Hey [me], it’s John…AKA Jimmy Hoffa.”

I wanted to snicker. I couldn’t. It’s just not funny any longer. More on Hoffa later.

Comprehending Incentive
A payment plan discrepancy, otherwise known as a draw, is the latest in the Cirque du Jonesleil festival of incompetence. A standard construction loan works thusly: A loan is obtained, a construction contract is signed, and a portion of loan–about 10 % of the loan value–is given to the contractor so that he can start purchasing materials, etc. The contractor begins working. The bank then allows the loanee to pay for services rendered. The one exception is that first 10 %. In return, the contractor must provide more than 10 % of the work in order to collect the next draw. An example might be that the contractor finishes 20 % of the work. The contractor then fills out the appropriate bank draw form and submits to the bank. The bank sends an appraiser to the construction site. If the appraiser agrees that 20% of the work is complete, the contractor would then get paid another 10% draw. What this does is protects the bank’s investment and the people who are investing in their home. Easy enough. Good. We move on.

The boys at R.C. Jones construction don’t have the same policy. They want 25% down, 25% very soon after the project starts and so on. The outstanding point is that they get all of the cash before the work is complete. The argument, if you will, is that the construction company isn’t a bank and that they shouldn’t have to put forth cash in advance. However, this leaves the loanee without recourse–aside from a lawsuit–if the contractor decides not to finish the work.

HUH?
Hoffa had no problem with the bank’s concept of incentive draw. We amended the contract and signed. After Hoffa disappeared and Jamie Decker took over as the project manager, RC Jones balked at this idea.

“Imagine that RC Jones takes all of the door knobs off of the doors before they are installed.” This is how I began my explanation to Jamie about the draw incentive. I continued: “RC Jones does this because they want the doors to be painted before the door knobs are installed, painting (and then installing the door knobs) being the last part of the project. If RC Jones has all of the money before the door knobs are installed, what is the incentive to return to install said knobs? Someone certainly isn’t going to go to court for door knobs.”

Now, to me this seems like a relatively simple verbal illustration of the incentive draw. Jamie’s response: “Umm, we don’t do that with our doors.”

Huh?

 The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company.  JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.  My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.

Progress….kinda (Keep in mind while reading this section that the contract was signed on April 9, 2008.)
Maybe progress is a bit too honest of a word to describe what has happened in the last two weeks. The stress on my family has certainly increased. My blood pressure has increased. The non-effective progress of RC Jones has increased. However, we do have movement. You’ll notice in the photos that we now have a whale of a trash can sitting in our driveway. You’ll also see an RC Jones….wait….strike that…..a J.D. Hale, Co. company sign in our yard. Why Mr. Hale decided to put the sign of an RC Jones wholly-owned subsidiary in my yard instead of a RC Jones sign is still a mystery to me. I have some speculation but nothing more.

Also, my brother and sister-in-law have graciously offered to allow us to move in with them. I love my family.

The project manager did send his guys to get rid of some of the trash in my yard. He also instructed his men to toss approx. 15-20 2x6x16 pieces of pressure treated lumber that were neatly stacked beside my lawnmower. I purposely removed these from my deck before any construction started. I guess I should have simply tossed my lumber into a littered pile. To his credit, two days later the pieces of lumber were stacked neatly back where I had them. The hardened concrete remains on my lawn.

Okay, that pretty much wraps up the progress report.

The Worst Kind of News
I’ll say it in every post; it’s my fault for not allowing a complete comprehension of the contract to seep into my brain. I guess I got a little too excited. I do however, share the same amount of blame–if not more so–on the afore mentioned Hoffa. He knew exactly what we wanted. He repeated it to me on the phone yesterday. I completely believe that he didn’t even read the contract. If he would have, he would have caught the errors.

I explained to Hoffa how the contract actually reads. He explained how exasperated he was with RC Jones and how this is all turning out. We spoke for a good long time, most of which was him trying to explain to me why he is no longer in the employ of RC Jones. Cue violin concerto.

The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.

I wonder if he thinks that I believe him? Actually I do, slightly. Maybe it’s that I can’t get over the fact that he seems to be such a nice guy. Regardless, my faith in anyone within the realm of RC Jones is lackluster–to put it mildly.

So on with the meat of the bad news. Here is what Hoffa understood and promised us that we would get, which so happens to be exactly what we wanted. Keep in mind I’m only covering the stuff that we expected but are not actually getting.

We wanted a finished basement. The contract reads that we will have half of the downstairs area covered with a concrete slab, the other half dirt. If you’re planning on spending as much money as we are, what the f*ck would anyone want a frickin’ dirt floor room?

We wanted new HVAC, or at least an extension of our HVAC system to cover the new addition. Nada.
We wanted a 22′ x 12′ deck that would double as a car port. Nada.
We wanted our basement finished, with a concrete slap, drywall and electric. Nada.
We were promised that we could stay in our house with our two daughters, one of which is a baby. Uh, nada.

But wait, it gets worse. The bank informed us that we can decrease our loan amount but not increase it. If we need more, we’ll have to apply for another loan and then pay all the closing costs and additional fees yet again. This means that we’re going to have to come up with somewhere between $10,000 – $15,000 out-of-pocket to pay for what Hoffa said we were getting. Ah, trust. How wonderful.

The Wrap
Hoffa lives, and called because someone pointed out that he is mentioned in my blog. RC Jones became angry because they wanted to be paid for work not yet complete. The project manager can’t grasp the idea of concept. Progress on the project is nothing more than frivolous phone conversations. My lumber was tossed and then untossed. We have a place to say if necessary. We now have to come up with an additional $15,000 to actually get what we were promised. RC Jones wants us to sign another contract with them to do those things that we were promised. The wall to nowhere now has a trashy, whale-sized blue friend.

C’mon now, make me smile. I need it. Pontificate on what you believe will happen next. The winner gets his or her choice of one of the 700 bricks stacked on the side of my house.

(Editor’s Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.

The RC Jones Company Chronicles
Part I – The RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience
Part II – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo
Part III – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week
Part IV – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow
Part V – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager
Part VI –
The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy
Part VII – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality

 

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The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week

Getting Hit

On the Attack

Kicking Something

Damn it….damn it..damn it..damn it… Damn-it.


(Editor’s Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.

The RC Jones Company Chronicles
Part I – The RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience
Part II – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo
Part III – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week
Part IV – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow
Part V – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager
Part VI –
The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy
Part VII – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality

 

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RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow

RC Jones provides home and commercial improvement, repair and restoration. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.

I ended the last post with a riddle. The answer as far as I’m concerned is that the new project manager, Jamie, had already been in my house without permission. I questioned him. He denies it. I have no proof except for his statement on the phone. Whatever.
I’m going to say right now that I hope these reviews get better. I pray that they do. The reason is simple. I want my house finished yesterday. Good reviews means good progress. However, the truth will be told good or bad. So there.

Today was the meeting with Jamie and the company owner, Jim. The short story is that the wifey and I decided that the project will continue.

When we started discussing the finer details of “the plan” we discovered that Mr. Hoffa (AKA, the MIA former project manager, John Riley), had some issues with understanding the plan. Maybe he has issues with integrity. Who knows?

The short story is that Hoffa must have been using some hard-core smack while formulating a plan in his head that allowed us to stay in the house. I’ve gone from liking this man to despising him for lying to us. I should have trusted my instinct. Further deviations from what was drawn and promised reveal that he’s right on par with Scott Peterson’s definition of truth. These are the plans I repeatedly made him recite back to me on numerous occasions. #@!$%@#!

I guess I should again mention, I signed the contract. It’s my fault for not scrutinizing the 9-page scripture that contained enough detail to make China’s new Olympic bird nest look like a lucky drop of the Pickup Sticks.

Back to the meeting. I was actually surprised that I managed to regain the slightest in bit of trust with ole Jonesie during meeting. I can only imagine what they were thinking when they heard the complete detail of Mr. Hoffa. The good part was that they recognized several things that were omitted from the contract. That story comes later.

The bad part came when Jamie realized what I wanted versus what I’m getting. About the wall to nowhere he said, “Now why did he do that? You don’t need that 8′ wall. We could have poured the foundation, put two rows of block and then started framing from there. It would have saved you a good piece of money.”

Baah. Money shmoney. (replace with what I really said)

As for the thought of staying in my house during construction, well… On a positive note, I now completely understand that Jamie is correct. With one bathroom, two kids, one wife and a irritated daddy, things would have gotten a bit rough when we had to use the construction workers’ port-o-let. What hacks me off is that I bought into Hoffa’s charm.

Baah. Trust Shmust.

So now we have to move out until November! NO-FREAKIN’-VEMBER. At least that’s what the RC Jonesers are saying. My prediction: weather and incompetence lead to a fighting-to-get-detail-work-completed mid December move in. Merry Christmas. Goonie Goo Goo.

Coming Up: Family steps in to rescue the homeless. Confusion ensues with the project manager when I describe the concept of incentive by using doorknobs and painting as a example. The high road of trust in the form of an email. The local bank explains a loan protection policy that doesn’t sit well with the hardhat boys. And the wall to nowhere stands lonely stalwart.

(Editor’s Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.

The RC Jones Company Chronicles
Part I – The RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience
Part II – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo
Part III – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week
Part IV – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow
Part V – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager
Part VI –
The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy
Part VII – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality

 

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The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo

RC Jones provides home and commercial improvement, repair and restoration. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.

We liked our salesman from the RC Jones Company, we really did. He answered our questions. He said the right things. John Riley promised that he, specifically, would be our project manager and that we wouldn’t have to move out of our home. We do have a new baby, ya know. Moving out is a big deal. Bing, bam, boom, we signed a home improvement contact that will cost us more than the actual price we paid for the house ten years earlier. Then John disappeared.

This project isn’t so much of an improvement as it is an expansion, a massive expansion. Factor in a huge increase in property values and the service guarantees by Jimmy Hoffa and the choice was simple.
He said the job would be completed within three months of the contract being signed. “More like two-and-a-half” followed in a hush tone. No one else was in the room.

We signed the contract on April 9, 2008. This Friday will be August 1.

He promised that we would be able to stay in our home during the entire construction project. This was huge—HUGE—factor in going with RC Jones. We have a newborn baby girl and a six-year-old. We need a potty and a bath. We RC Jones provides home and commercial improvement, repair and restoration. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.don’t need a hotel for who knows how long. It was a Go / No Go variable that seemed to swing in our favor.

While discussing the interior décor and appliances, Hoffa had the deal. He told us to go to Home Depot, pick what we want and get a quote. Take that quote to Jeff Lynch Appliances, which is a local Greenville, SC electronic and appliance store. Lynch has a policy to beat the competition by 10%. We give the Lynch quote to Hoffa who take it to his buddy at Loews and gets a competitive price break plus the contractor (en mass) discount. I would guess that RC Jones probably marks up their cost by 15-20%.

It was probably a 5%-10% discount for us, but when one is furnishing a huge new master bed/bath/walkin suite, a new kitchen and another new bathroom, at least a couple thousand would be saved. The biggest perk was that we make one shopping trip, one phone call and then turn in the quote. Hoffa would handle the rest.

The last verbal agreement involved simple changes to the plan as stated in the contract. Numerous contractors charge big cash for RC Jones provides home and commercial improvement, repair and restoration. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.changes even if the changes come before a hole is cut or a nail is hammered. If the change varies from the contract, it’s an up-charge. Hoffa explained that he didn’t roll that way. As long as the work hasn’t been started, he said, change fees are ridiculous. Fair enough. …and on we go.

The first thing that we’d see was a big dumpster. He asked us where we’d like it. The first thing I actually saw was an expression of disbelief on my wife’s face after several weeks of unreturned phone calls. This is discussed in RC Jones Company: A Woeful $100,000 mistake?

The masons showed up about two months later and built me a wall to nowhere.

Two-and-a half weeks go by with no additional construction and three unreturned phone calls. The wife calls RC Jones and asks to speak with the owner, Mr. Jim Hale. Confusion is on the other end, and the call is forwarded to Jamie. Who the heck is Jamie? Where’s Hoffa. I want Hoffa.

It seems good ole Hoffa is no longer in the employ of RC Jones. Now we have Jamie Decker as our project manager. I called Mr. Decker the next day, furious. He answered the phone with “Uh…hello?”

I managed a three-minute conversation. His diction sucked life from my soul.

RC Jones provides home and commercial improvement, repair and restoration. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.I now have one wall to nowhere, one large portion of my yard covered with an ass-load of hardened concrete and another portion destroyed by a bobcat, and I have the splinters of my demolished deck being carefully protected from the weather by my carport. I also have a meeting with Mr. Decker and Mr. Hale this coming Friday.

My Go / No Go agreements with Hoffa are now nothing more than verbal vapor. I still have no dumpster.

Coming next: My email to stop all construction on my home as well as ceasing all visitation from RC Jones to my premises until our issues are resolved during the meeting. Three days later I get a call from Mr. Decker saying that he’s at my home with his framers. He’s asking for permission to enter and take some measurements. “Yeah, uh, this back door seems open. Can we just go in that way?” Here’s what I want to know. How does a door that is unlocked seem open if it’s shut?

(Editor’s Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.

 

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