When we finalized our offer on our place, our real estate agent asked us if we had a lawyer in mind. Being (re)new to the area, we didn’t, and asked for his recommendation — aside from closing on a house, we need to get our will/power of attorney crap done, so we told him we were looking for a lawyer who did more than just real estate, that we could start a business relationship with.
He recommended someone named Cal Johnson.
After today, I would not.
A lady at Cal’s office drew up our paperwork for us, and we set an appointment to go in and sign everything. Both of us needed to be there, which is something of a trick, since I work full time, and Nicole has two kids to manage, but we figured we’d get in, sign our lives away, and get out.
Cal Johnson had other ideas.
We arrived 2 minutes early, at 1:58pm, where we were told that Mr. Johnson would be right with us. So we sat down with our two kids, both of whom needed to be napping, and we waited. At 2:30 I asked how much longer we’d have to wait. He’d be right with us, we were told. At 2:45, with both kids now over-tired, and me having been away from my job for over an hour (it takes a half an hour to get there) the receptionist finally arranged for us to see another lawyer.
He pulled out the giant folder of paper work, and started handing us papers to sign. For most of them, he offered no explanation, simply pointed at the line we were to sign on. The only form he went over in detail is the one where he explained that their legal fees were in excess of $1000.
One thousand dollars for them to provide escrow service and fill in our name on a dozen different forms, and hit print. They didn’t even do a title search — they just insisted that everyone just buys title insurance these days, since that was cheaper.
For one thousand dollars, you’d think we’d at least get some reasonable customer service. Instead we were treated like a chore — a nuisance. Made to wait in the hallway for nearly an hour, until they got around to letting us sign our paper work.
I’ve got a new business idea: I’m going to start an organization called Important Services You Can’t Buy a House Without. People will have to pay me $500 to hit them with a hammer for 25 minutes before they can have the key to their new house. This will cost less than a lawyer, and probably feel better too.
Our kids are good kids. If we’d had to wait 15 minutes, and then sign papers for another 15, there wouldn’t have been a problem. But by the time we got out of there, Ben was 2 hours late for his nap, and obviously turning into a little terror. I knew how he felt, because I was inclined to throw a temper tantrum myself.
Obviously we’ll be looking for a different lawyer to draw up our will. At one point, Cal himself bustled into the room — silk shirt unbuttoned halfway down his chest, with thick white hair poofing out. Clearly his time was too important to actually deal with us. How do people like this stay in business? How do you keep any customers when you treat them like they’re beneath you.
I seem to draw out these incompetent people who aren’t interested in actually doing their job. Thank goodness this process is almost over — I’m not getting enough catharsis from this blog, and sooner or later I’m gonna have to let some of these people know what I really think of them!
2 days left…