Memphis area's best and worst contractors of 2008

Memphis area's best and worst contractors of 2008

by Valerie Christopher

In addition to our nationwide list, here are the Memphis contractors who have earned the distinction of being the best or worst in the Memphis area.

The Best

Sanders Tree & Debris Removal

One of the reasons Ryan Swah says he’s a member of Angie’s List is based on the service he received from Sanders Tree & Debris Removal owners Michael and Sharon Sanders. “Michael’s a great advocate of Angie’s List. In fact, he’s one of the reasons why I joined,” says Swah, who was pleased by the job the Sanders did. After seven years of tree removal, Sharon and Michael say customer satisfaction and Angie’s List “A”-rated reviews are something they take pride in. One Angie’s List member report mentioned how the company went above and beyond by cutting a dead limb off a neighbor’s tree to make it safer for the children’s swing. Another member gave them kudos for fixing a dog-run damaged by a fallen tree. “Our motto is to treat [customers] like family,” Sharon says. “Do them the way we do our own.”

The Lockman

After 20 years of marriage, Tara and Tony Scott have spent the last five years unlocking the lives of others. As owners of The Lockman, they spend countless hours researching new locksmith technology and honing their skills. They do it all to ensure their customers are getting the best service. And sometimes, they do it for free. “We do charity work for St. Jude,” Tara says. “If somebody needs something, we try to take care of them.” Their dedication on the job earned them the 2008 AAA Auto Club South Service Award and the respect of member Mitch Major. “Their responsiveness, timeliness and quality of work is exemplary,” Major says.

The Worst


Angie’s List member Brent Buhler had no idea what kind of service he was getting when he bought the Digital Double Play, a high-speed Internet plus basic cable package from Comcast. After struggling to get the company to follow-through with installation appointments, Buhler says he finally got his Digital Double Package. Three days later, he says, he lost the signal and waited another three days to get it hooked up again. “It was the worst service experience of my life,” Buhler says. “I had [Comcast] in Seattle and had no major problems. Unfortunately, I have to use their service for work and school, but I am very displeased.”

According to the Better Business Bureau in Memphis, Comcast in Memphis has racked up 327 complaints in 36 months. Two hundred and ninety-eight were resolved and 29 were administratively closed by the BBB when Comcast or the customer couldn’t reach a resolution. The cable company also made Tennessee’s Consumer Affairs Buyer Beware List in 2008 for failure to respond to complaints. “We processed 129 complaints against Comcast over the last three years,” says E. White Ross, assistant director of consumer affairs, adding that each company is given a chance to respond before their name goes on the list.

Many of the complaints are relatively new, says Otha Brandon, director of Comcast’s government affairs office in Memphis. “In terms of transitioning from Time Warner to Comcast back in 2006 to putting a new billing system in place in 2007, numerous problems may arise,” he says. “We try to make every effort to resolve problems, whether they are billing issues or technical difficulties. It may not be to all customers’ satisfaction, but we try to keep them happy.” Brandon cited confidentiality concerns in not speaking about Buhler’s account but says he’s looking into this complaint and others after speaking with Angie’s List Magazine.

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