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Plumber's Gripe Thread

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  • #16
    Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

    Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
    I agree, I would have told him ~$200 when I got there and not touched a single tool until he agreed to it...or walk away.

    Upfront Pricing is awesome in that respect...I never get price complaints after the work is done.

    Upfront pricing is the only way to go.

    I also have a sign before I start line ont he invoice, with them agreeing to the cost before I start.

    I agree with tact and diplomacy. I build my company on professionalism.
    sigpic

    Robert

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    • #17
      Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

      Good thread Dunbar. I have had some good laughs.

      Homeowners that are deceptive is my number one complaint. "No, I never put any drain cleaner in "that" drain."

      Dogs that crap all over the yard, and the owners who fail to clean it up.

      Cats that touch, sniff, look at, linger, wink, purr, at me or my tools.

      Creepy old men who greet me at the door in their tighty whiteys.

      I think that just about covers it.
      Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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      • #18
        Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

        you guys are missing one. ive had this multiple times but it just recently happened again. called out for a leak under a sink, get to the house knock on the door a 4 year old girl opens the door as ciggarette smoke billows at like it was happy hour, middle of the day both parents, mid 30's sitting on the couch, to lazy to get up point in the direction of the kitchen you step over the dirty diapers and clothes,food to get to the kitchen, cats eating food out of the sink, open up the cabinet door and the base of the cabinet is black and rotted out from leaking so long, i tell the customer how much it will be they first glare at me because im interupting jerry springer, than they complain about the price than they say oh its my dads house you'll have to call him to get paid. than there 65 year old dad shows up to not only to pay me but to drop money off to his dead beat kid. i feel like calling social services everytime i see that. the sad thing is, is how common it is
        Mike
        Clark County Plumbing And Drain
        www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

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        • #19
          Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

          I hate it when I go up to a customer and say, "I can fix this no problem, it will be $xx.xx total."

          "Oh my god, thats HIGH!" they practically scream and get all emotional.

          I hate that crap! If you can't afford it, fine. If you think you can get a better deal somewhere else, fine. But don't get all emotional and play victim in hopes that I'll drop my price...I won't.

          I don't mind if someone says politely, "Well, that is more than I expected, so I'll have to think about it, I'll just pay you your appointment charge, thank you."
          Last edited by Service Guy; 03-30-2008, 07:10 PM.
          Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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          • #20
            Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

            True story....(phone call)

            Caller: "Hey, my boyfriend put in a water-heater and we just need one pipe crimped, how much is it to crimp one pipe?"

            Me: "So you need a waterline replaced on the heater?"

            Caller: "No, we just need it crimped, how much is that?"

            Me: "100 dollars" (just spit out random number)

            Caller: "Ok, thanks, bye,"


            WTF?! It's like calling a carpenter and asking, "How much is it to hammer one nail?"
            Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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            • #21
              Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

              Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
              I hate it when I go up to a customer and say, "I can fix this no problem, it will be $xx.xx total."

              "Oh my god, thats HIGH!" they practically scream and get all emotional.

              I hate that crap! If you can't afford it, fine. If you think you can get a better deal somewhere else, fine. But don't get all emotional and play victim in hopes that I'll drop my price...I won't.

              I don't mind if someone says politely, "Well, that is more than I expected, so I'll have to think about it, I'll just pay you your appointment charge, thank you."


              An old plumber i once worked with always said if your looking for sympathy it's in the dictionary between **** and syphilis.



              I still remember the one lady i almost walked out. I was working for a company that was T&M. The boss gave her an idea of 4 hours to change a basin faucet and a shower valve without seeing it. Well the shower valve was a pain in the ***. so i have been there about 4.5 hours when she comes into the washroom and say's shouldn't you be done by now, i don't want to pay more because your working slow. I said i will let you know when it's done and never spoke another word even when i brought in the bill.

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              • #22
                Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                I have run into the occasional nightmare customers, but I guess I must live in the right part of the country. First off, I dont understand how anyone can give a price over the phone. There is no benefit to it.

                I never give free service call estimates. It would have to be a bathroom/kitchen renovation or a boiler replacement etc.

                I give up front pricing not flat rate pricing.

                If I get the "how much do you charge" phone call I tell them we charge an $xxx service call charge to come out, diagnose the problem. We will give you an upfront price to do the work, if you accept it we will waive the service call charge. That right there stops the price shoppers dead in their tracks.

                For a no heat diagnostic, the service call charge covers 15 minutes of diagnostic time.

                I must be lucky because it is not too often that I get these nightmare customers, but when I do I try to remind myself that this is the service business and you have to "fix" the customer before you can fix their plumbing problems. I must also say thay I have "fired" a customer or two over the years.

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                • #23
                  Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                  Why do I have to research the fixtures to see which spouts,valves(mechanical or infra-red) and foot pedals to find which are compatible with the many different styles of surgical,hand,clinic,slop and mop sinks.Architects are payed tens of thousands of dollars to provide model numbers of fixtures to be used.Happens almost everytime

                  And what archives are they looking in,half these fixtures aren't even made anymore.

                  And if you want the 85LB wall mounted clinic sink,specify which carrier.I can bid for plastic drywall plugs if you want a low bid.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                    Originally posted by haycad View Post
                    you guys are missing one. ive had this multiple times but it just recently happened again. called out for a leak under a sink, get to the house knock on the door a 4 year old girl opens the door as ciggarette smoke billows at like it was happy hour, middle of the day both parents, mid 30's sitting on the couch, to lazy to get up point in the direction of the kitchen you step over the dirty diapers and clothes,food to get to the kitchen, cats eating food out of the sink, open up the cabinet door and the base of the cabinet is black and rotted out from leaking so long, i tell the customer how much it will be they first glare at me because im interupting jerry springer, than they complain about the price than they say oh its my dads house you'll have to call him to get paid. than there 65 year old dad shows up to not only to pay me but to drop money off to his dead beat kid. i feel like calling social services everytime i see that. the sad thing is, is how common it is

                    You actually can do this, but I'd wait a few days before doing so.

                    Remember there are some guidelines in that thought process. Having a cluttered house isn't a wrongful act but extremely dangerous situations like multiple plumbing problems in disrepair, severe mold growth or disabled fixtures that are part of a normal plumbing system (like a vanity that no longer works)...these DO warrant a call to the health department or social services.


                    Clutter doesn't get them in trouble but malfunctioning items in a home that are a clear and present danger are warranted.

                    I've mentioned this before but there's a few times I wrote "Not fit for human life" on a few job tickets when I was a union service plumber in Cincinnati.

                    :shivers:

                    Those memories still haunt me to this day; Honestly, some of those people were in competition with house flies and the flies were probably cleaner.
                    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                    • #25
                      Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                      I think i am going to have customers review this thread before making appointments from now on. Maybe they will figure out that we have figured them out.

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