Reddit Is Up In Arms Over This Common Contractor Practice

For those who've hired contractors to remodel or build a home, there is always some frustration. To be fair, in an era of supply chain issues and worker shortages, we expect that there will be some trouble with the process. Redditors, however, are up in arms about this one common practice of contractors that simply has no reason. Says poster Tina-town, "Why do contractors refuse to give me a quote unless my husband is there?" 

While explaining that this seems to happen to her over and over on quotes for windows, the OP is quick to note that not all contractors have treated her this way, but enough have that she's now questioning the industry. "I've tried explaining that I'm the sole homeowner and I can make financial decisions on my own," she continued. "But they just flat out refuse. Can someone explain this to me please so I don't just assume the worst of all contractors?"

This treatment makes the poster wonder if this is a gender-based issue, a contractor issue, or an industry issue. To that end, readers suggest this practice is more widespread than we think, but have their own theories. A Redditor by the name of morto00x suggests, "Do they offer payment plans? They probably want a cosigner." Others, however, believe this might be sales-related.

Contractors need to stop doing this

Reddit poster SixxTheSandman shared some insight on the subject of contractors refusing to quote a single woman. "Window salesmen go for the jugular on a one call close. They want both the husband and wife present for the pitch to take away the 'I have to talk it over with my spouse' objection," they explained. "Do not, under any circumstances do business with a company that treats you this way. They're crooked."

It's definitely possible that this may be a sales tactic. ACHR News describes how professionals such as an HVAC installer may prefer to have both spouses at home so that to facilitate decision-making, although the outlet is quick to emphasize this should not be a pressure tactic. Steve Moon, owner of Moon Air Inc., shares, "The client doesn't realize how important it is for everyone to be present so they can actually get the best option for the right price," noting that by both being present all concerns can be voiced and options discussed with the experts. 

That said, Moon also notes the important roles women play in large home decisions. "Most often, it's the lady of the house left to collect bids, and refusing to talk to her alone can be a huge no-no," he said. "We're dealing with a much more sophisticated client than ever before. They're educated and have a pretty good idea of what they think they want."

See through this window-selling tactic

Fortunately, Redditor Tina clarified her experience. "To be clear, this has only happened to me for window quotes," she revealed. "I've booked other work like installing gutters, plumbing work, and electrical work where they didn't need my husband to be there for a quote." Fellow posters agree, explaining that window sellers are often more like traveling salespeople than a contractor providing a bid. "It is exactly this," says Redditor BarryIslandIdiot. "I worked for a window company between jobs. They won't give you a quote without your husband present because they want you to buy straight away. If it makes you feel any better, they wouldn't give him a quote without you present either." 

Fortunately, you can avoid some of these aggressive tactics with some guidance. For example, The Window Dog makes it their business to avoid predatory window selling practices, stating that the "husband and wife must both be home" is absolutely a tactic. But to make your life easier, use honest contractors who will give you real quotes.