Best and worst contractors of 2007 | Tampa
In addition to our nationwide list of Best and Worst, we selected a few the exemplary – and not-so-exemplary – service contractors just from in the Tampa area.*
Absolute Electric of Tampa Bay | Tampa, Fla.
Kellie Riell of Tampa says Absolute Electric provided excellent service in a timely manner. "I'm very happy with the quality and timeliness of Absolute Electric's work. Bernard [Planas, the owner] installed two outdoor outlets and a motion-sensing light, adjusted the sensor on another light that had been installed upside down and gave me an estimate on another repair," Riell says.
"Lizanne [Quinn, the operations manager] did an amazing job squeezing me into their busy schedule, and I really appreciate her efforts. When they had a cancellation, Lizanne called and had Bernard come out earlier than originally scheduled. He's an absolute professional and truly an expert in his field."
Several Angie's List members also acknowledged Quinn, who's been with the business since it started in 2003, in their Angie's List reports.
"We're a family business, and Bernard and I have been partners since the beginning," Quinn says. "We both really care about the success of the company and the safety of our clients, and I think that's why people are happy with Absolute."
Michael Kohler Plumbing Inc. | St. Petersburg, Fla.
Ilsa Herzfeld of St. Petersburg learned the value of a quality plumber after failing to repair leak herself. "I had tried to stop a leak in a toilet myself. Two trips to a home improvement store and six hours later, the leak was worse than when I started, and there were a lot of unused parts all over the place," Herzfeld says.
"Michael Kohler fixed all the problems with my home-project-gone-bad in less than an hour. He took the whole toilet apart and put it back together. There were no more leaks! He also installed a shut-off valve on my showerhead. Michael came on time, went right to work, didn't laugh at my botched job and explained where I probably went wrong. He's efficient, straightforward and does great work. What more could you want?"
Home Improvement Source | Pinellas Park, Fla.
Pat Geisler of Lutz explains that delays were only part of the problem when he hired Home Improvement Source to remodel his kitchen and bathroom. "I hired this company to completely gut and remodel my kitchen and bathroom. Five months later, I still didn't have a working bathroom or kitchen, although I was told the job would take four to six weeks," Geisler says.
"The most serious problem was the fact that no permits were pulled before the work began. I made numerous requests to see the permits, and at first they tried to tell me permits weren't required for this type of job! After much insisting on my part, they finally pulled a permit for the cabinets - not electrical, structural or plumbing.
"Much of the plumbing wasn't done to code, and the tile and walls will have to be torn out and redone. Most days workers never showed or one guy came for a couple of hours, and the owner, Bruce Hovland, has been very rude. I've requested a $29,000 refund, but the company didn't respond."
Discount Moving | Clearwater
For a move from Sarasota, Fla. to Houston, Texas, James Wygand hired Discount Moving and says that the experience was nothing less than horrible. "The company divided the load into two trucks. They broke many of the items in the first truck, including an antique desk, dresser and a breakfast table. They also bent a stroller and broke a kitchen scale," Wygand says.
"They packed things without protecting them - they just stacked everything up. The second truck never arrived, and they're not answering my calls anymore. When I questioned them, they didn't care - they acted like they thought it was funny."
We required that The Best local companies be highly rated on Angie's List and nominated by members. The Worst had to be poorly rated and in the Penalty Box.