Roofing and siding contractors currently have the option to buy materials from three different suppliers, including: ABC Supply, SRS Distribution, and Beacon Roofing Supply.
Many roofing companies choose to remain with the same supply company throughout the duration of their time in business, but there are also some roofing businesses who decide to change suppliers.
One contractor who changed supply companies is Bob Hoel, the owner of Hoel Roofing & Remodeling.
For years, Hoel ordered his roofing materials from ABC Supply.
Hoel admits that his time as a client of ABC Supply was filled with challenges, but it wasn’t until one particularly divisive moment that Hoel went searching for a new supply company.
“The biggest problem I had when I was working with ABC Supply was the rep would promise you one thing, then it would never happen,”
“Also, there ended up being a dispute on a bill that took over two years to settle,” he adds.
This two-year dispute between Hoel and ABC Supply originated when ABC Supply claimed that Hoel owed $3,800 on an invoice.
Hoel countered that the amount owed was only $3,100.
According to Hoel, the conflict began when ABC Supply did not deliver on an order that a builder he was working with had placed.
“Part of the problem was that I was doing some labor on new construction and ABC Supply didn’t deliver enough material to the jobsite,” Hoel says.
To amend the situation Hoel went directly to ABC Supply to pick up the missing materials.
There was no issue until later on when Hoel was sent an invoice that should have instead went to the builder he was working with.
Hoel adds that there was also another issue at hand.
“ABC Supply also overcharged me on some shingles. They raised the price without letting me know, so I disputed that,” Hoel remarks.
On the surface, it would appear that Hoel and ABC Supply could work to make amends, especially since it was only $3,800 that was being disputed.
Unfortunately, Hoel says that ABC Supply was not diligent in resolving the issue, which led to the prolonging of the dispute.
“ABC Supply kept giving me the runaround,” Hoel says. “Corporate later called me, and I would send them emails showing the invoices that were wrong, but then corporate would always defer them back to the local branch that would never do anything to make it right.”
Eventually, ABC Supply sued Hoel for not paying the $3,800 bill.
Hoel insists that he was willing to pay the $3,100 that he owed the supply company, and says that he was shocked to learn how obstinate ABC Supply was, despite him having proof that $3,100 was the correct amount owed.
Before the case went to a judge, Hoel decided to take matters into his own hands and contacted the judge overseeing the case.
He wrote a letter detailing his side of the story, and he also included the invoices that showed he only owed $3,100 instead of $3,800.
This decision incited ABC Supply to change their tune regarding the alleged unpaid invoice.
“ABC Supply settled outside of court once I wrote the judge a letter,”
Following the legal proceedings, ABC Supply wanted to continue partnering with Hoel, but Hoel decided to take his business elsewhere and began working with SRS Distribution.
Hoel says that since making the shift to SRS Distribution, he’s been treated great and has not experienced any of the issues he dealt with in the past.
“SRS Distribution is phenomenal. If I need something today, they get it to me today. If I need something there on a Tuesday, they get it there for me on Tuesday,” he shares.
“They answer my calls when I need them, especially during this material shortage. They also help me find what I need in order to keep my business moving forward.”
Other prominent figures within the roofing industry have taken notice of situations like Hoel’s, including Roofing Insights CEO Dmitry Lipinskiy.
Lipinskiy says he has heard rumblings about other roofing contractors having bad experiences with ABC Supply, and he attributes this to the fact that the major supply company has become more corporate in the way they conduct business.
“Here is what I see happening in the roofing industry: we have a consolidation of wealth. We have a company who is getting bigger and bigger, and once they’re at the top, they start behaving in a very corporate way. Lawyers get involved and it becomes a very toxic culture,” explains Lipinskiy.
“I’ve seen this same pattern in the manufacturer world. I’ve seen it in the supplier world. These companies have to understand that they are in the commodity business. I don’t care how big your company is. You are never too big to fail.”
In turn, Lipinskiy is taking ABC Supply to task.
“ABC Supply, I’m calling you out. Roofing Insights is not hating on you, but I’ve heard these kinds of stories before. To sue a roofing contractor over $3,800 is so unreasonable,”
If you’re a roofing contractor who has had an experience similar to Bob Hoel’s, contact Roofing Insights today on any of their social media channels and offer a brief explanation regarding the issues you had with your supplier.
Your story may just be featured on an upcoming episode of Roofing Insights!