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Filed Under Life

Using Blackwater Contractors to Remodel my House was a Poor Idea

Posted October 15, 2007

I was playing bridge with some of my friends at the State Department and I told them I was planning to remodel my place. I do it every couple of years, mostly out of boredom. So when they recommended the contractors at Blackwater, I figured, sure, why not, I’ll look into them. Turns out it wasn’t such a good idea.

After getting an estimate from them they automatically started to bill me. I wasn’t ready to decide, I was waiting on a few more bids, but then Blackwater's guy called me to tell me that this was a no-bid process. I hadn’t heard of no-bid contracting before, but since my friends at the State Department were so keen on these guy it seemed reasonable.

Their handiwork is somewhat questionable. Instead of nail guns, they like to use gun guns, which is really rough on the sheet rock. They break all the windows to create a 'defensible position'. But I live in a cul-de-sac! Their philosophy is best summed up as measure once, cut twice, and shoot some neighbors.

Then there was the loss of equipment. They ordered the new whirlpool for my back deck at least six different times, and somehow they lost each one. And then they invoiced me for the missing Jacuzzis. Plus some 8000 rounds of ammunition and a helicopter gunship I don’t even want.

The last straw was when they called me at work to tell me they’d fired my plumber. I’d been working with this guy for years – he’d seen me through every previous remodel. He was always prompt and fair. I ask them where he is. Turns out not only had he been fired. He’d been fired upon. He's in the hospital now.

In the contract, there's nothing about terminating the agreement. I called my lawyer and asked him if I can do anything, and it turns out there’s a federal law prohibiting me from ending my Blackwater contract. Even worse, if I stop paying them, they reserve the right to blow up the house and start over, which means delays. But they have no incentive to do a good job, because as soon as the house is fixed, they’re unemployed. It’s a vicious cycle, and my missing Jacuzzi is in the middle of it. And I didn’t even want a Jacuzzi!



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