DirecTV Installer Crashes Through Your Ceiling, Won't Repair The Damage

In April of 2006, Deborah replaced her daughter’s DirecTV receiver. When the technician was installing the line to her daughter’s bedroom, he accidentally shoved his foot through the Deborah’s ceiling.

As you can see, the damage was pretty severe. In the 1 year, and 9 months since the foot went through her ceiling, Deborah has being trying to get Ironwood Communications and DirecTV to properly repair the damage. As you can see from the photos, she hasn’t had much luck.

She managed to get someone to come out to temporarily patch the hole, but the guy never showed up for any subsequent appointments. She called DirecTV/Ironwood again to request that someone come out and repair her ceiling and, instead, they sent a technician out to repair her cable.

directvhole2.jpg

I have been a customer of DIRECTV [redacted] for 7 years now. In April 2006 I replaced my daughters receiver with a dvr receiver. The replacement cost me $99 and there was to be no installation fee.

DIRECTV sent out Ironwood Communications to take care of the installation. While the technician was in the attic installing the second line to her bedroom, we heard a loud crash. The technician slipped and came through my ceiling in the hallway, leaving sheetrock and insulation all over the hallway floor. He was sincerely upset and worried about me being mad. I asked him if he was OK and let him know that I understood it was an accident and I just wanted them to repair my ceiling. He called his office and reported what had happened. They said they would send someone out the next day for the repair. He tried to tape the sheetrock back up but it kept falling down. I was also charged a $49 installation charge by Ironwood and they said this was standard, even though it is “free installation.”

A couple of hours later, I called Ironwood Communications myself and asked them to send someone out right away as the tape was not holding the sheetrock in place and insulation and other debris was blowing through the ceiling hole. They said they would get back to me. I then called DIRECTV and explained the situation and they sent someone out the next day and he temporarily patched the hole. The repairman told me it would be a 3 day job because of the insulation, sheetrock, texturing, and 2 coats of paint. The repair would also involve painting the complete hallway. He set up the appointments for a few days later. He never showed. I called him again and setup another appointment and once again he was a no show. After that he could not be reached.

I then called Ironwood Communications and DIRECTV again. I tried to explain the situation to them and told them that I had already talked to them and they had sent someone out to temporarily patch the hole. They said they would send someone out. They sent a technician to fix the cable connection. I explained to him that I needed a hole in my ceiling repaired and showed him the hole. He called Ironwood and told them that there was in deed a large hole that needed to be fixed, not the cable. I heard nothing back for 2 months even after several calls. Once again I contacted DIRECTV and this time was transferred to someone who told me that I needed to file a claim and send photographs of the damage along with a letter explaining what happened. They told me I had 90 days to file the claim. I asked why I had to go through all this when the technician and I had already talked to them about it and they had already sent someone to do a temp repair, but I followed their directions and filed the claim with the pictures and letter. After waiting 90 days and hearing nothing back, I called again and got the same information. So once again I sent in a claim, pictures and letter, but this time I was told to add an estimate for the repairs. Still I have had no response even after numerous phone calls and letters. Apparently they have no record of my claims so they must be filed in the round file (trash).

It has been one year and 9 months later and I still have a patched hole in my ceiling. Because the patch is temporary, there is a gap of about an inch all the way around and in one corner an open triangular area about 2x2x3 inches. So whenever I have used my heater or air conditioner over the past 21 months, I have also been hearting my attic because of the hole. This has caused larger heating and cooling bills because they have to run more to heat or cool the space in the attic from the hole. I feel that I have been very patient with DIRECTV and Ironwood Communications but it is getting me nowhere. I am also in the process of selling my home and this hole has lowered the value of my home.

I have paid DIRECTV $99 for the leased dvr receiver along with $4.99 per month and a $49 fee to Ironwood Communications for their service call and for their technician to fall through my ceiling and leave a hole. Neither DIRECTV or Ironwood Communications is interested in repairing my ceiling back to its original condition even though I keep having to pay my monthly cable bill on time each month and now have to pay $199 for a HD dvr receiver if I want to upgrade.

Thanks for your help in getting this resolved!

Sincerely,
Deborah

We’re not lawyers or anything, but you might want to consider getting a few estimates from contractors and then filing a lawsuit in small claims court for the amount needed to in order to get the repairs completed. The amount you can sue for in small claims court depends on which state you live in. Delaware, for example, allows for claims of up to $15,000. In Tennessee, you can sue for $25,000. Most states hover around $2,000-$7,000. In any case, it should be enough to fix your ceiling.

You might also want to file a complaint with your local BBB, your state’s Attorney General’s office, and/or your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs.

Also, you should probably hurry up. The statute of limitations for property damage is 2 years in some states.

Anyone else have ideas for Deborah?

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. bonzombiekitty says:

    1 year and 9 months and it’s not fixed?! After 2 months, I would have gotten it fixed myself and sent them the bill.

  2. joeblevins says:

    I am really confused why she hasn’t been more aggressive in this long time frame. At what point does she decide to file a claim? Seems like she could have called the local TV Investigative reporter to stir things up. Hell, almost two years later before trying a website?

    I have to guess she signed up for EDT Energy too.

    Lesson to anyone reading, DON’T DRAG ASS SO LONG!! Take care of it quickly. If they don’t respond, then you just get it fixed and sue them for it.

  3. homerjay says:

    That repair is about an hours work total. They can’t get someone out there??

  4. polyeaster says:

    While you’re waiting, why not tape a bag or something around the edges of the hole so you can avoid heating your attic.

  5. armour says:

    @homerjay:

    Nope that is a much larger and expensive job; they know it and are stalling! The fact that they only put a patch there and there is a gap leads me to ask is there vapour barrier there and if so they have all ready don’t the job wrong.

    The patch it self with cutting the hole bigger to tie in the vapour barrier and the use of sheetrock 20 would take about an 2 hours or so with drying and sanding but the textured ceiling can not be patched the whole thing has to be re-done or it will show.

    Personally I would get it fixed properly and go the small claims route then trusting them to send some one out that will most likely lead to the lowest grade of work for the company to save cost.

  6. cef21 says:

    @homerjay: Done properly, the repair is a lot more than an hour’s work. I don’t know if you noticed, but that’s a textured ceiling. The texture around the patch needs to be scraped off, the edges around the patch need to be taped. mudded and sanded at least twice. Then that needs to dry and the ceiling needs to be painted with a textured paint. It appears that the texture was flattened with a trowel or something, so that will need to be done also. And, it will need to be blended into the rest of the ceiling.

    The scraping and respraying the texture will create a mess, so plastic sheeting will need to be hung around it and there will be some cleanup needed.

    Even if the ceiling wasn’t textured, it’s at least a 2-day job — you have to mud and paint, and you can’t paint on wet mud.

  7. HalOfBorg says:

    @homerjay: No way an hour to repair it. It would take that long just to get the new drywall installed correctly, Then you have to let joint compound dry, sand it, recoat….texture….dry…primer….paint…paint.

    After about 1 week I would have become the #1 person on their phone lines and email. Everyone working there would know me by name, and I don’t care WHAT they call me. :) Document it, have it repaired and SUE THEM.

    For no – lay some wood or something else sturdy in attic to cover holes, cover with insulation. Won’t affect looks, but will insulate it.

  8. Pasketti says:

    I’d have called a contractor and had it fixed, then sent them the bill. If they stalled on that, go to small claims court.

  9. bobpence says:

    Who waits 21 months? The same type of person who pays $49 for “free installation” because it is “standard.” Bad service continues because consumers continue to take “no” for an answer.

  10. joopiter says:

    This same thing happened to my mother when she got her DirecTV installed. The difference, however, is that the damage was completely paid for by DirecTV. That was at least 6 or 7 years ago. I’ll have to ask her if the company gave her any hassle about it.

  11. Fist-o™ says:

    Don’t forget to add the estimated cost of heating / cooling that the gap has caused for the past 1.9 years, in your small claim!

  12. Hawkins says:

    I am not a lawyer, but this seems straightforward: hire a reputable contractor (not your Uncle Fred). Get the work done. Take the both Ironwood and DirecTV to small claims court. Show your evidence of having filed claims, and been blown off, and the judge will almost certainly award you the costs of the repairs, plus reasonable compensation for the amount of time that you’ve spent fooling with them.

    Do NOT be so passive.

  13. snoop-blog says:

    i would have filed suit the within the first 30 days this wasn’t resolved. it’s sad that consumers don’t even know what their options are when being mis-treated by a place.

  14. Daniel-Bham says:

    I sure as hell wouldn’t sit around for more than a week without escalating.

    Your letters are probably hanging in their bedroom for them to laugh at and high five each other over donuts.

    This is the type of situation that lawsuits are designed for. What is amusing – their lawyer will probably deny that any record of mailing exists (because you probably didn’t send certified) and you probably damaged the ceiling yourself to get a lawsuit going.

    You’ll feel violated, yet you’ll keep paying them a monthly fee because you are a weak willed individual.

    Please prove me wrong.

  15. timmus says:

    For god’s sake, this should have been filed in small claims court 18 months ago! Evidently these companies have caught on to the fact that the complaintant is waffling and not doing anything. I’m starting to wonder whether the money can be legally recovered anymore since so much time passed.

  16. MisterE says:

    You should also complain to the county you live in. For example, I had a sunroom installer drag their ass in completing my sunroom. After a month, I complained to Summit County, OH and they sent a letter revoking their license to work in the county. They also ordered all work in progress halted until they finish my sunroom. You mileage may vary…

  17. The light fixture in their hallway resembles a female breast…

  18. calvinneal says:

    1.send a certified letter to Ironwood and direct TV. Get 2 estimates. The drywall patch will need to span from joist to joist. 3. After 15 days file in small claims. You will need your prior proofs of certified delivery to show the judge.

  19. Saboth says:

    @cef21:

    It might be a 2 day job, but just because you have to wait for it to dry on day one. Maybe a 3 “day” job, but each trip will maybe be 1-1.5 hours.

  20. vastrightwing says:

    Heck, at least they didn’t burn her house down.

  21. topgun says:

    Don’t jump on HOMERJAY. I think he was talking figuratively. I know I’m always saying about an hour to do a job….then 3 days later…..
    She should have been on them constantly.Like once a week.Eventually someone would want to make it go away. Reminds me though, back in 2004 WalMart dropped an impact wrench on my brand new alloy wheel leaving a huge dent. I need to call them and see if they’re going to replace it.

  22. jerros says:

    Cable contractors are just that, they run cable, drill holes in walls etc. They are not a handyman, or drywall company and it’s likely that they are not licenced/insured to repair a hole in your ceiling even if they wanted to.

    If you want a repair done right open the phone book and find a handy man or drywall company who handles repairs and get a few quotes.

    Then you can choose to have the repairs done and “Bill Ironwood” asking for compensation, straight up ask them to pay for the repair, or take them to small claims court.

  23. kublaconsumer says:

    The install tech should sue her for pain and suffering.

  24. homerjay says:

    @topgun: It was more of a reference to “The Money Pit”
    :)

  25. GiselleBeardchen says:

    Gee–I hope her agreement with Direct TV doesn’t include an arbitration clause!

  26. kjherron says:

    Her homeowner’s insurance should cover damage like this. She should file a claim and let the insurance company deal with the cable people.

  27. jamesdenver says:

    @cef21:

    I’m thinking the same. An afternoon’s work at most. I just had to do the same thing in my finished basement ceiling due to a water leak.

    Square the drywall, cut out a new piece, (just cut it at Home Depot,) screw it in, seal with tape and joint compound and viola.

    I have “popcorn” ceiling too – but the only bad thing is the texture spray doesn’t always match perfectly. You might need to dirty it up a bit.

    @kjherron:

    I would NEVER file an homeowners insurance claim for something like this. You actually want a “ding” and pay the deductible when the supplies to repair are less than $20???

    Yeah it sucks it has to be done – but still

    • mythago says:

      @jamesdenver: The OTHER bad thing about popcorn ceilings is that if they’re circa the 1970s or earlier, they’re likely full of asbestos. You should never scrape or mess with old popcorn ceilings.

      @dmccarthy: File a suit in small-claims court anyway, if the time to sue has not passed. Let THEM come to court and explain to the judge that you’re not allowed to sue them. Chances are good they won’t show up at all – in which case you will get a default judgment (ie. automatic win).

  28. jamesdenver says:

    p.s. if I come over and do it I’ll install a new light fixture for you too.

  29. mermaidshoes says:

    @jerros: exactly. i don’t really know why she’s surprised that a cable company sent her a cable technician. i’m with all those who say she should’ve gotten it fixed & then filed to recover costs. & heck, if a *foot* was able to break my ceiling/floor, i think i might want my whole house checked out to make sure it wouldn’t happen again…

  30. RottNDude says:

    I have zero sympathy for “Deborah” in this case – and where do you expect whining to Consumerist will get you? If you’re willing to write a short book about the incident, get off your ass and sue the bastards.

  31. kjherron says:

    @jamesdenver: well, sure, if you can fix it yourself and don’t mind letting the installer off the hook, then that’s an option. Apparently it isn’t for the OP, or she would have fixed it by now.

    Regarding insurance, if they collect from the installer, they should reimburse the woman’s deductible. Or they may decide it’s not worth trying to collect and waive the deductible. Worst case, the homeowner has to pay the deductible and then try to collect it from the installer, which is still a better position than she’s in now.

    It wouldn’t hurt for her to at least talk to her agent. Hopefully the time limit to file a claim hasn’t elapsed.

  32. CPC24 says:

    I have DirecTV and love it. It’s probably because I don’t live in Ironwood territory. This is one of many horror stories I’ve heard about them.

  33. CaptainSemantics says:

    I would start the small claims court process, but also fire off an EECB letting them know that the small claims process was starting. Threaten to switch your cable, and let them know that your story has already been featured on the Consumerist. But you have to follow through with the small claims process, don’t let them call any bluff.

    I’m a bit surprised the EECB hasn’t come up, I guess everyone was too busy blaming the lady.

  34. sibertater says:

    Yes. I agree. Sue in Small Claims Court. If they don’t show, you win.

  35. Trauma_Hound says:

    A patch is pretty simple, I used to hang and tape drywall for a living. She shouldn’t have let this sit around so long, should have gotten 3 estimates, and then sent the ceo of DirectTV a build, then followed up with a small claims suit.

  36. hexychick says:

    I’m on the lack of sympathy board on this one. You don’t wait almost 2 years to fix a small hole in the ceiling. You give them a time frame to fix it and when they don’t, you get it done yourself, bill the one responsible for damage, and if they don’t pay you take them to court. This is not a pricey job either so small claims court would resolve it very fast. Basic liability insurance would cover this and aren’t all licensed contractors required to cover a minimum amount of liability insurance?

  37. topgun says:

    @kjherron: Probably a $500 deductible and then I doubt the insurance company would do anything towards Direc TV. My son had a 6 month old GM car catch on fire and totaled itself. I suggested that they pursue an engineering flaw since I saw a number of postings similar. No, they just yawned, paid the vehicle off and increased his premiums.

  38. DallasDMD says:

    @sibertater: And the fun thing you get to do with an uncooperative defendant in a civil case is to pay for collection service from the local law enforcement. They tend to do things like confiscate their equipment, garnish their cash registers, and even padlock their place of business.

    Don’t complain; get even!

  39. SuperJdynamite says:

    @armour: “is there vapour barrier there”

    In the US vapor barriers aren’t widely used between the ceiling and the attic.

  40. Buran says:

    @joeblevins: Uhm, she did call them, got advice to wait X days for processing, called back after that long, what’s the problem with you people? She tried to get it fixed and tried to work with them. I guess that isn’t good enough anymore — if people don’t jump into court on the first day, people complain. Then we want to know what this country is so sue-happy. If people would try to stay out of court until it was obvious nothing else would do the trick, we wouldn’t have the aforementioned bad reputation.

  41. I wonder if there is a case how like with Apartments when your renting and there is a damage how you don’t have to pay till the manager fixes it.

  42. Jean Naimard says:

    I love americans. They bitch about the government not being able to do anything, but they let private entreprise screw-up mightily, saying nothing at all.

  43. MercuryPDX says:

    @armour: I was gonna say “textured ceiling = more than an hour”. If you look at it every day, you’ll always see where it’s not quite right. Depends on your tolerance to stuff like that.

    @segfault: I have the same light fixture. It’s the breast of a female who was wearing a corduroy bra for far too long.

  44. smoothtom says:

    Yes, the installation company should pay for the repair. But if this is causing inconveniences and higher heating and air conditioning repairs, get on the phone to a repairman and get it installed and then get reimbursed. If you are afraid you won’t get reimbursed and don’t want to be out a large sum of money, repair it yourself. Look up “drywall repair” online for free, and then go to Lowe’s and buy a pack of drywall repair clips ($4 maybe), a small $4 piece of patching drywall, and a $5 quart bucket of joint compound. You’ll probably need some drywall screws ($2.50 for a box), paper tape ($1.50, maybe) and a taping knife ($5 or so). If you can afford that and then can set aside no more than half an hour a day for three days, you can do this job. The texture on the ceiling will mean that you don’t have to worry about sanding your joints perfectly smooth. After you’re done with all that, go buy a $25 gallon of ceiling paint and a roller/tray kit (maybe $15?). That’s between $50 and $60 to repair it yourself–still a cost that the installer should cover. It beats all your hot air in the winter escaping through the hole into the attic.

  45. UX4themasses says:

    @Buran: Um, most scams run the same way…just keep sending them money, they promise the repairperson is on the way! Yeah Yeah, that’s the ticket!

    90 days is enough due diligence to allow Ironwood/Dewrecked(sic)TV the problem. Escalating is a confrontational action. Most people avoid confrontation with the assumption that the threat of it is enough to make someone capitulate. Unfortunately, you are dealing with a company that does not get intimidated and does not value customer satisfaction with the same type of weight.

    Small Claims court, the BBB, Angie’s list (where applicable) are all avenues in which pressure, brought to bear by a larger entity is often enough to convince the defendant that resolution is far less expensive.

  46. LikeYourFace says:

    @armour: @DallasDMD: @sibertater: and others:
    She can’t sue in small claims. Well, maybe she can sue Ironwood, but not DirectTV. DirectTV still has manditory arbitration clauses in their “Customer Agreement,” which you get stuck with when you receive their service:[www.directv.com]
    See section 9,a-d inclusive.
    By receiving their service, she’s agreed not to take them to ANY court EVER…except of course for her constitutional right to participate in a class action.
    Surprising no one caught onto this yet, since they got in trouble for sneaking shitty arbitration clauses prohibiting customer participation in class actions into their contracts a few years ago, and got their asses handed to them by the courts.

  47. jamesdenver says:

    @kjherron:

    I agree that the they should make the installer responsible – agree 100%. But having heard stories of homeowners insurance dropping customers I would never get them involved over something so benign. It just seems like a very bad idea.

    Anyway that’s a whole ‘nother issue too: Insurance companies that get made and drop you after you file claims.

  48. howie_in_az says:

    Get it fixed, gather all the information possible on the installer, then take Ironwood to small claims court, suing them for the cost of repairs plus difference in heating/cooling costs.

  49. jerros says:

    Well at the risk of being “master of the obvious”. If an insurance company is going to drop a client for a $35-$40 claim it would probably be best for you to find a new insurance company anyway. If they drop you for a $40 claim imagine what would happen if you have a real serious problem which is going to cost thousands of dollars to repair.

  50. joeblevins says:

    Buran, just because they say ‘Trust me and wait a little longer’ doesn’t mean you are going to be taken care of. After the first missed appointment to fix it, they have demonstrated bad faith. Don’t keep being nice and trusting they will do the right thing. You honestly thing our poster is acting appropriatly by not pushing harder/faster?

  51. Anonymous says:

    Pull a page from the guy that sued Dell in small claims court and send the summons to their equivilent of a “mall kiosk”. I too, had my DirecTV/MDU horror story posted, DirecTV really SUCKS.

  52. Addison says:

    We recently had this problem with AMTEC and their install at my sister’s house. After the run around from a supervisor and 7 missed appts to fix the problem, I finally got on the phone and set up the appt, then called to verify on the day of. Guess what? the guy was a no-show, so I called AMTEC’s home office in Florida and just happened to get the director of services to answer the phone after hours. He immediately had the local supervisor on the phone and the repair was made the next day with bells on. Here’s a link to ironwood’s website, see what you can do.

    [www.ironwoodcommunications.com]

  53. LAGirl says:

    why didn’t she just pay for the repair, and take them to small claims?

  54. snoop-blog says:

    @Buran: sue happy? whenever you wrong a business or a store, do they not call the police to have you arrested when your returning the $3 steak? how many zero tolerance policies are out there? well i think its time the consumers of today put together our own zero tolerance policy on bad business practices. they had no reason whatsoever to at least have things worked out and labor scheduled within the first month. if they had a customer who wanted to sign up for direct t.v. the day after this event happened, i bet that customer didn’t have to wait no one year and 9 months to get it. so i DO feel like the op is being waaaaaay to nice about this.

  55. clickertrainer says:

    I am bothered that her daughter need direct tv in her room. Can’t they watch one tv together? Read a book? Go outside and observe giant bright ball in sky?

  56. jwissick says:

    Sue. Thats what is needed at this point.

  57. DallasDMD says:

    @LikeYourFace: Try it anyway. A court summons will get their attention. They’ll probably pay her to go away.

  58. bigmac12 says:

    I have the same light in my pantry…stare at it alot while burning stuff!

  59. digitalgimpus says:

    This stuff seems to happen all the time with these contractors.

    Tip: when setting an appointment for an install. Tell them you want an employee not a contractor. That way if they screw up, you don’t have to go through 2 companies. Just 1 to hold accountable.

  60. SilverHammer says:

    @ClickerTrainer

    Maybe her daughter is an adult? Maybe she’s watching educational television? Maybe you should cram the elitist book-nerd attitude and let people raise their kids as they wish? I dunno, just a thought.

  61. Osi says:

    Do not forget to file a police report for property damage.

  62. dmccarthy says:

    I appreciate the fact that most everyone’s advice is to fix the ceiling myself at my own cost and then to sue Directv. That would be the ideal solution to my problem if that was possible.

    Directv’s service agreement has a mandatory arbitration clause which also requires the arbitration costs to be paid by the consumer (myself). Another words, I cannot sue DirecTv for the repairs. They do not point out this small clause in their service agreements when you sign up for service. That is the reason I have not taken them to small claims court.

    Believe me, I have been in contact with them on a weekly basis, have spent hundreds of hours on the phone being transferred from person to person or just been put on hold. I have sent certified letters, etc. Basically, I have not just been sitting on my ass doing nothing.

    Logic also tells me that if I repair my own ceiling at my own cost, I will probably never see any reimbursement from Directv for the repairs. I have gotten several estimates for the repair (it is defintely not a quick cheap fix) and the average is about $800. I’m a single mother and can’t really afford to spend that kind of money, especially when I will probably not get reimbursed.

    The advice I got from a lawyer was (1) I can’t sue and have to pay for arbitration myself which is very costly; (2) don’t fix myself (if any problems from fixing it myself, they would not uphold the claim at all); (3) don’t pay someone else to fix because they will figure the problem is taken care of and not reimburse; (4) as long as the damage is still there and visible, I have a claim for them to fix it properly at their expense.

    Lastly, until yesterday I did not know of this website which was recommended. I was hoping by posting my story here it might help to get some results from Directv.

  63. darkclawsofchaos says:

    That can take awhile to fix given the contractor does it right, no way would that take an hour unless some smuck just slaps on some spackling paste and calls it a day. But if you are really losing money on heating and cooling, and wanna quick fix to save save some cash until a real ontractor comes, just smack some spackling paste(also known as patty). Its not apermanent solution, but it should be better than leaving it alone and shouldn’t take more than half an hour and $20.

  64. shor0814 says:

    @topgun:
    Not to go too far off topic, but let me guess, Pontiac Grand Prix? 1997-2003?

  65. jimmydeweasel says:

    I always have an air compressor and nail gun on hand when “service people” come to my house. If you had nailed his pants to the ceiling….told him “Ain’t goin’ nowhere ’til you fix the F#%*in’ ceiling.”

  66. joerockt says:

    Your homeowners insurance would have covered this, without affecting your premium. They would have then gone after Ironwood for payment.

    Get them involved. Hopefully you have it…you should…

  67. jerros says:

    Well as I said earlier, Ironwood/Direct TV aren’t drywall repair people so if they do anything besides hire a contractor who does drywall repairs to do the job, the probability that the fix will crack, be the root cause for significant problems in your home increases.

    Unless there is a significant amount of damage thats not shown in the photo the $800.00 price you’ve been quoted is a joke. Supplies for this repair is a small can of drywall compound ($5.00), Some nylon tape ($3.00), A peice of drywall ($20.00), Drywall screws ($5.00), a peice of lumber to screw into ($15.00), Sand paper ($3.00), and the acoustic ceiling patch spray that they have at home depot/lowes for around ($14.00). Thats $65 in supplies. Where is the other $735 going?

    I’d rope them in again, ask them their hourly fee, ask what the supplies are going to cost, and then ask them exactly what they are going to do. If they are going to pull down all the drywall in that hall and replace it then $800 would be an appropriate price, or if there is alot more damage or problems related to the fix then the $800 price would be in line. But from what I see in your picture, I’d say the quote should be around $335.00, thats $90.00/hr for 3 hours of work, and the cost of supplies. Honestly I think the job could be done in as little as an hour and a half of actual work time especially by a professional.