A few years ago, I had the worst experience of my life with any provider: with Gaspar's, on an extensive home remodel. It went about $150K over budget. But it wasn't just the money: it was the way I felt we were treated, consistently, throughout a project that spanned seven months. During this time, there were at least twenty specific incidents where I came to question what I was being told. We saw inflated cost estimates: e.g., a $600 estimate to install a toilet, $850 estimate to install a light in the basement stairwell. As with the other reviewers, we saw lots of vague "design costs" being charged. We came to question the billing at every turn: for example, we saw at least two cases where we knew a worker had left after only half a day but we were charged for the full day. We were billed for full use of a dumpster, even though I personally witnessed Gaspar's Construction workers bringing material from other construction sites to put in that dumpster. When we raised our concerns about the project being way over budget, the response from Gaspar's Construction was "so?". There are countless other examples. And the dollars just kept climbing, with no end in sight. I have never felt so helpless.
We saw incredible defensiveness, even outrage, whenever we expressed less than happiness with the project. In fact, I felt that the consistent attitude from this provider was that if the customer wasn't happy, the fault for that somehow lay with the customer.
Later, at the end of the project, we had great trouble getting unfinished work addressed (we called them back at least five times to touch up a badly botched paint job on a railing), but you can believe that we got lots of calls regarding making our final payment.
We finally did pay, in full, just to get the upsetting incident behind us. At the time, I wrote Gaspar Construction a letter, stating, "At this point, we prefer just to put this very unpleasant experience behind us, even though that means paying for things we should rightfully not."