I stumbled across an interesting discussion on the Consumerist message boards. A man called a contractor to schedule an estimate for a project. The scheduler asked if his wife would be present and refused to come out unless she was there during the estimate. The homeowner was baffled why this would be necessary and theorized it was because the contractor wanted to make a high-pressure sales pitch and play the husband and wife off one another.
Sounded like a reasonable assumption to me until I read the responses. One of the posters pointed out some contractors do this to protect themselves. Since both the husband and the wife own the home, the contractor does not want to begin any work that the two don't agree upon. Another poster who owned a painting business did this because he would go out, do an estimate with just one homeowner present and then two days later the homeowner would cancel because his or her spouse did not agree with the work. He put the policy in place to avoid wasting his time.
I'm going to go with the latter argument. I believe the contractors are looking to protect themselves rather than introduce high-pressure sales tactics. But that's just me. What are your thoughts? Post your comment below.