Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cardinals / Royals Game

Thanks to some free tickets I was able to attend the Cardinals / Royals game last night in Saint Louis. I couldn't believe the play in the bottom of the 4th... the Royals had 2 outs, the Cardinals had a man on 1st and a man on 3rd... LaRue singled to second and all the Royals had to do was step on second... but Grudzielanek fumbled around with the ball, got to second late and then wasn't able to throw to first in time letting the run score from 3rd... in my opinion that should of been marked as an error on the score board, but it wasn't. I was happy to see the Royals redeemed themselves in the 8th inning with 2 solo home runs and came out with the win 3-2. That puts them up 2-0 for the series... get your brooms out Royals fans, we might have a sweep coming!

On a side note...
We were sitting in the outfield bleachers section and before it got dark towards the beginning part of the game we saw an extremely strange bird like creature fly across the sky. It looked like a kite at first, but it was clearly a bird and flew above the outside of the stadium on the 3rd base side from home plate all the way past the stadium and kept on going. I took a triple take on it... it was so odd looking and I noticed lots of people around us saw the same thing and were as confused as I was about it. I'm wondering if anyone got a picture or video of this strange long tailed bird that appeared to have a streamer on the back up while it was flying by the stadium? The closest looking bird I could find on Google is a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (picture show at right). But the tail seems to spread much further apart in the picture at the right than what we saw, plus the tail seemed longer on this bird we saw last night. If you have seen this before or know what it could be, please let me know. Thanks!

UDPATE: The Royals Swept the Cardinals in Saint Louis! LETS GO ROYALS! This extends their streak to a 5 game winning streak (matches their longest of the season). One week from today (Friday, June 27th), the Cardinals are coming to Kansas City... lets make sure we sweep them again, this time at home!

Monday, June 16, 2008

My frustrating experience with this roofing company...

Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC. is not my favorite company. We purchased a home in Saint Peters, MO in October of 2007, and the roof had been completely replaced by Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC. in 2005. There is a 5 year warranty on the roof which they have acknowledged.

We first noticed a leak in our garage around late December of 2007 / Early January of 2008. We contacted Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC. and they sent a representative out (Michael Hatfield) to take a look at what was wrong so they knew who to send out. Everything seemed like it was moving in the right direction.

The day the roofing guy was supposed to come out he was a bit late, but Michael Hatfield had called to inform us he would be late and even came over with some supplies to re-tape and paint the dry wall in the ceiling that got wet from the leak. When the roofer (Brian) finally showed up in an unmarked mini-van he seemed a bit tipsy. It concerned me that his first suggestion was to extend the down spout from the top roof down to the front porch... I understood this would put less water where the apparent leak was, but he seemed to realize there would still be a leak in the roof. So his next suggestion was to caulk the heck out of the area (which I later found out from professional roofers you never want to fix a leak with caulk).

Needless to say, the leak was not fixed. We called them back and eventually got the same roofer to come out again (even though I requested a different roofer)... this time he said he noticed some areas that looked suspect that he didn't notice the first time and was g
oing to caulk some more. (BTW - this roofer left his own business card which says "BMR Contracting - roofing specialist" on it... so I would recommend not using them either!)

Well, this second layer of caulking again did not fix the leak. So we called them up again, and this time Michael Hatfield was in agreement that the roof needed to be pulled up and a new ice and water shield needed to be laid down and the shingles replaced.

Well, they did not show up on the scheduled date to repair the roof. I attempted to call them for about a month... their phone number, (636) 397-7797 always goes directly to voice mail... I've

never had anyone directly answer that number which is frustrating in and of itself. For about a month and a half of me leaving messages I never heard back from them. I finally gave up when their message inbox was full. I filled a BBB complaint near the end of March (yes I had extreme patients to wait that long).

About 2 weeks after filling the complaint I received a phone call from Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC... but this time it was from someone different... a guy named Josh. Josh had no records of the previous visits or conclusions that Michale and Brian had come up with. We were basically starting over from scratch with Josh. Josh told us he was working at a Bar and so he wouldn't be able to fit in much time for roof repair, but that he could come out and take a look at it. Josh came by at a time different than he said he was going to, (a time when we weren't at home) and he left a business card in the door which said this on the back...

"Stopped by fixed your Leak if you have any further Problems please feel free to contact me at 636-397-7797."

Well, I called him up and he said he caulked the roof again... oh, and he used different color caulk so I could see where he had done the caulking. (so yes, now there are three layers of caulk on the roof) and yes the leak is still there, in the same spot, leaking just as much as it did from the begging. All I want is my leak fixed... and I wanted it fixed for free since it was under warranty, but it is appearing like that is not going to happen.

Well, Josh had a different idea after I called and left a message saying the roof was still leaking... he thought it was the siding. Well, I played along... for all I knew it could of been the siding. Josh had a Siding guy come look at... again at a different time than we had scheduled so I was not able to be there when he came. Josh was honest and let us know the siding guy said there was not a problem with the siding. Josh had now come to the same conclusion that Brian and Michael had come to. We needed new ice and water shielding installed.

After Josh had told me this, I then played the game of not being able to get any responses to my messages left on the Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC. voice mail. I finally got a response to one of my messages, but this time it was from someone else completely different. They knew nothing of Michael or Josh's finding with my roof and wanted to start from scratch. I said he really didn't need to look at it as we've had two different roofers come to the same conclusion, but
he insisted on starting from scratch. Well, I never saw him come out and never heard from him or any other roofer. What happened? Well, I'm not sure...

The other day, sometime late in May, we received a call from Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC., but just a courtesy call from a non roofer telling us they have had some communication problems. Well, that wasn't really news to us, but we just wanted to know when our roof would be fixed. He said he could not tell us that as he is just calling to tell us they have communication problems.

I left about 3 or 4 more messages trying to get a hold of them with no luck. Again about a week ago in early June we received a call from them saying we got your messages. That was it...that they got our messages. They would not talk to us about our roof or what they were going to do
to fix it. I don't understand what is going on. We asked for Russ Kasper's direct phone number, and the guy said, "I'm sorry, I can't give you that number. I was just hired to call people to tell them we got their messages."

Here is the link to my BBB complaint. As of today the complaint is still open, but it doesn't appear to be visible on the main website. The status appears like BBB is having trouble getting a hold of Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC. I'm not sure how long BBB will play this phone tag game with Russ Kasper Roof Replacement LLC., but I want to get my roof fixed ASAP.

BBB CASE#: 1345815

There website is located here: Please don't visit it unless you are making sure they are not the roof company for you. I have also attached the business cards I have accumulated through the process so far. I will update this post once I know more. Thanks for your time, and I hope this saves at least one person from using the wrong roofing company. Thanks! -Matt

UPDATE 06/30/2008:

Just wanted to add that the BBB has closed my ticket due to "NO RESPONSE". This is somewhat frustrating, but it appears BBB has given a new rating of 'Unsatisfactory' to Kasper Russ Roof Replacement company. I also noticed there are some additional complaints besides mine since last I looked at the BBB. Kasper Russ Roof Replacement BBB page is located here:

UPDATE 07/15/2008:
Well, I guess Russ Kasper Roofing got what they wanted... I broke down and went to a more reputable roofing company and had them fix the leak using my own $300... even though it should of been covered by the warranty. So far it hasn't rained since they fixed it, but based on what they told me it will be fixed and they have promised to come out and repair it if for some reason it was not fixed. I highly recommend this new roofing company which is GCC Roofing and they can be reached at 636-262-0349. They are very professional and easy to work with. My neighbors recommended them to me based on the great work they did on their roof.

UPDATE 08/19/2008:
I thought this story was over, but I got a message about a week ago from someone from Russ Kasper Roofing... I was skeptical, but decided to call them back and see what they had to say. To my surprise, the guy picked up my call immediately (it didn't go straight to voice mail!). This new employee told me he was hired basically to resolve all outstanding BBB issues and mine was one of them and he wanted to see where we stood. I told him the condensed version of the above story and that we ended up fixing the roof with a different company for $300.00. He then asked if we would like to be reimbursed for that, to which I of course said yes as our roof was under warranty. He then proceeded to offer to reimburse us for the drywall ceiling repair in our garage. I was somewhat in shock and disbelief after all that I've been through. He did indeed show up the very next day with $300.00 in cash. Persistence pays off and Russ Kasper Roofing eventually did the right thing, but I can't say I would use them again for my roof.

The same employee came out to our house and reimbursed me for the drywall fixes which ended up costing $100. I am impressed with the responsiveness of the new employee and the way Russ Kasper Roofing ended up handling this situation. I just wish it hadn't taken this long and this much effort.

Monday, June 09, 2008

iPhone 3G sounds pretty good to me...

First impression of the Apple Keynote today... a little dry... but then I remembered it was the WWDC... the Developers conference... so all the software demo's made more sense. I'm a developer myself, so I enjoyed to see what could be done with the API and SDK, but at the same time I was mostly just waiting to hear the news about the new specs. One application that did catch my eye was the application... that was pretty awesome! And it was truly a live demo because the Royals were playing the Yankees... I checked it out. I wonder what kind of fee will charge for such an application? Or do you think there will be ads?

These are my favorite features, past and present included:
  • 3G Network
  • WiFi
  • Built in GPS
  • Widescreen iPod
  • Rich HTML Browser
  • Visual Voicemail
  • Digital Camera
  • Photo application
  • $199 Price
As long as I can work this new low price into my budget and figure out how it will affect my current family plan with Verizon... I think I'm gonna go for the iPhone. I have one month to figure out my budget so that it will fit in with the iPhone price and monthly plan. Wish me luck!