A few times every year I get asked this question and it’s an awkward question to answer: None. Very little of my work is done for the general public. I haven’t hung a shingle nor do I have people walking in off the street into my shop.
Ray Spencer Enterprises is a one man operation working mostly on mover damage claims for the moving industry and their claimants. Almost all of my work is done onsite and in the customer’s home. Mine is a mobile repair business.
For privacy and legal reasons, I cannot share references and the names of claimants of one mover and give this information out to others. I would get in a lot of trouble with my clients if I did. I know that many websites like Angie’s List and Yelp are powered by consumer comments. In an effort to help out that small business, I also know that many of those posts are solicited and/or submitted by family members or close acquaintances.
The names and phone numbers that I can give out are the actual department directors that manage the claim departments themselves. The buck stops with them. Given the opportunity, these managers will tell you that “Ray Spencer has been one of our repair vendors since the 1970’s or 80’s and year after year has worked within our network and has successfully provided services that has resolved our claim problems.” Some will tell you that I was already working for their corporation before they even started working there (a few were even in diapers when I began).
When working for the general public, there are tens of thousands of potential customers. A business can provide poor service to a few of those folks and continue forward for a long time without suffering a loss of business or reputation. There will usually always be new customers who unknowingly choose a less than qualified vendor.
In the moving claim business it doesn’t work that way. You can count on one hand the major van lines for whom one can work. A local mover or agent does not have a sufficient volume of business to support a repair firm. In a year’s time, most repair firm vendors in the network will receive hundreds of claim assignments. Sure, we all make mistakes and now and then someone is not going to be happy with our services regardless of how good or poor our services have been. But with only a potential of five major clients, losing favor with one mover hurts. Two lost van line clients puts you on the ropes and if there are three who don’t use your services, you might as well find another career.
Despite the competition, I am proud to say I work for four of the five major van lines and they have been my clients since the 1970’s … over forty years.