A month ago, I spoke to a representative with SM regarding a local contractor stealing leads from us in the Home Energy Audit category in Greensboro, NC. During that conversation, I was transferred to a manager to handle my complaint. Being of no help herself, she told me that she would have someone in her "Research Dept" call me within 48 hours to discuss my issue further. Needless to say, I am STILL waiting for a response.
To take you back a little, this particular contractor is an acquaintance of my business partner and mine. Last year, he started a Radiant Barrier business from scratch and used us to help him in the start-up process. We showed him the ropes and helped him get started.
Recently, I happened to look at SM's Home Energy Audit page to see if there were any other additional contractors on the list in the area. To my dismay, there were three other legitimate contracting competitors as well as this guy we ended up helping to get started in the Radiant Barrier business. I decided to call him up as an incognito customer looking for an energy audit.
He proceeded to tell me that he normally doesn't do audits but if a customer is hellbent on having one completed, he refers them to a guy by the name of Jay (last name withheld). Well, it just happens to be that my business partner's name is Jay and his last name matched as well. I can tell you that I have yet to have the first energy audit lead come to us via Cool Attic Energy Solutions (He even stole a portion of our company name). He told me further that normally an energy audit is overkill and it tends to be a little expensive.
He proceeded to tell me that he was a licensed contractor (which he is not), and that he would perform a 10-15 minute walk through and talk to us about his attic product. Now, our company is both BPI and RESNET certified as any legitimate energy auditor or home performance contractor in the country is. His bait and switch technique of gaining leads from SM (and in the process stealing leads from us) defies the concept of an energy audit all together. The purpose of an energy audit is to provide a diagnostic test to the home, and from those tests devise a prioritized report of projects for the homeowner to complete based solely on rate of return. If you are selling a single product, it wouldn't matter what an energy audit would say, rendering it null and void completely.
Today, I spoke to another "manager" at SM regarding this issue and he concurred that this guy was not ethical in his practices, but there was absolutely nothing SM could do to kick him out of their program.
I have since spoken to a number of our (legitimate) competitors in the area and we are meeting Tuesday to discuss all of us cancelling our service with SM. I hope SM has a good spill remediation crew, because we are creating a social media nightmare for them...starting with Facebook and Twitter.
I hope their lack of response to a truly professional contractor like ourselves was well worth it; our response definitely will be.
One last thing...April 22, 2010 the EPA began enforcing a federal law REQUIRING all contractors of certain trades to be Lead Paint Certified; to this date, SM does not require ANY of the their contractors to hold this certification...why you ask???
Because they know that over 3/4 of their customer base would no longer be eligible for their services, and it would affect their revenue potential....proof positive that they do not give a *** about professionalism or ethics within the list of contractors they support. Revenue is KING!!!!
Review about: Home Performance Contractor.