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  • Plumber's Gripe Thread

    That's right! It's finally arrived. But just in case.......

    merge if a repost. Surely this thread has emerged on this site somewhere....yes?




    Here goes mine......a few calls this week got to me real quick because it's nonsense to the umpteenth level:


    "Ma'am, no. I'm not going to step over that child's gate every time I need to go back and forth to the bathroom. Should we reschedule for another time to come back when it is not up?"



    Another,


    "Sir, no dog in the house while we are working. Due to insurance regulation the dog must be put in another room or outside. Should we reschedule for another time to come back?"



    And another, (just happened today)


    "Sir, you stated yesterday in our last conversation that you would send me an email with pictures of your water heater last evening along with your address. You did not send me an email and I gathered that you either changed your mind about the installation or found another plumber."

    Homeowner "But I sent you one this morning at 4:30am and----"

    "Sir, I get customers that "disappear" when they find a better deal or get a brother-in-law to do the job. I'm not about to chase work, especially water heaters given how busy I am. You now have to work off my schedule today as I took advantage of that time slot as there was nothing relayed to me to think otherwise."


    KAPISH?!


    Just more of the same in the onslaught of public relations. Go ahead and share your gripes, I know you want to.
    Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 03-30-2008, 12:29 AM.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

  • #2
    Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

    Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
    That's right! It's finally arrived. But just in case.......

    merge if a repost. Surely this thread has emerged on this site somewhere....yes?




    Here goes mine......a few calls this week got to me real quick because it's nonsense to the umpteenth level:


    "Ma'am, no. I'm not going to step over that child's gate every time I need to go back and forth to the bathroom. Should we reschedule for another time to come back when it is not up?"



    Another,


    "Sir, no dog in the house while we are working. Due to insurance regulation the dog must be put in another room or outside. Should we reschedule for another time to come back?"



    And another, (just happened today)


    "Sir, you stated yesterday in our last conversation that you would send me an email with pictures of your water heater last evening along with your address. You did not send me an email and I gathered that you either changed your mind about the installation or found another plumber."

    Homeowner "But I sent you one this morning at 4:30am and----"

    "Sir, I get customers that "disappear" when they find a better deal or get a brother-in-law to do the job. I'm not about to chase work, especially water heaters given how busy I am. You now have to work off my schedule today as I took advantage of that time slot as there was nothing relayed to me to think otherwise."


    KAPISH?!


    Just more of the same in the onslaught of public relations. Go ahead and share your gripes, I know you want to.
    When a guy breaks his delta shower valve try to replace the cartridge.

    Why dont they just say they screwed something up. The call is always like this.

    Um What does it cost to fix a dripping shower ?

    Oh' its not to bad what kind of shower valve is it?

    I don't know.

    Does it have a single handle or double handle.

    Um single I think.

    Is it a slow drip or is the water coming out in a stream?

    Um It sprays behind the shower when I turn the water on!

    Is it a Delta shower valve and did you try to replace the cartridge?

    Um I didn't do any thing behind the shower!

    Thats how it starts, why can't they just say they screwed up and broke something. By the way replacing broken shower valves through a repair plate is one of my least favorite jobs. If I can cut drywall thats what I do and I still don't like replacing them!

    Maybe some day I'll just say, Um let it run it will fix itself. I don't mind fixing a home owners mistake, but don't waste my time on the phone just tell me you screwed up.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

      Yeah the baby gate is pretty irritating to me also. Each one has a different locking mechanism and I haven't figured how to open any of them

      We are here to demo your bathroom. "Can you keep the noise down? my baby is sleeping in the next room"

      Or how about the ones that lock you out every time you go to your truck?

      No ma'am, I don't think it's funny that your dog tries to hump my leg but if he does it one more time it won't be so humorous

      I have to turn the water off now for about an hour. "Um..can I take a quick shower first?"
      Last edited by plumberscrack; 03-30-2008, 08:52 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
        Yeah the baby gate is pretty irritating to me also. Each one has a different locking mechanism and I haven't figured how to open any of them

        We are here to demo your bathroom. "Can you keep the noise down? my baby is sleeping in the next room"

        Or how about the ones that lock you out every time you go to your truck?

        No ma'am, I don't think it's funny that your dog tries to hump my leg but if he does it one more time it won't be so humorous

        I have to turn the water off now for about an hour. "Um..can I take a quick shower first?"
        ...sure feel free to take all day. I charge the same whether I'm working or waiting for you to take a shower.
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

          The child gate is a real good one. especially when they see you fumbaling with it and then they say " you must not have children"

          a couple other good ones are

          "can you bill me" (residential customers)

          "I'm sorry, my wife / husband has the checkbook"

          "Can you come back later for a payment, or I will mail one to you"

          I have good customers that I expect / or don't mind offering to do this for, but if your a new customer or you nickle and dime me, don't even think about asking.
          sigpic

          Robert

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

            Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
            We are here to demo your bathroom. "Can you keep the noise down? my baby is sleeping in the next room"
            Lets not forget that lil' guilt trip you get when you try to explain, as if you're s'posed to ber a stealth ninja demolitions expert.
            Originally posted by saysflushable View Post
            When a guy breaks his delta shower valve try to replace the cartridge.

            Why dont they just say they screwed something up. The call is always like this.
            Not to mention, the problem is often more extensive than was said on the phone...I've had to completely gut valves because the guy tried to hammer the wrong stem in or gouged the threads for the seats...naturally I'm the bad guy for not being knowledgeable enough to repair it.
            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
            ...sure feel free to take all day. I charge the same whether I'm working or waiting for you to take a shower.
            Granted, I often come across this and admittedly it's a major bad point for flat rate.
            Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
            The child gate is a real good one. especially when they see you fumbaling with it and then they say " you must not have children"

            a couple other good ones are

            "can you bill me" (residential customers)

            "I'm sorry, my wife / husband has the checkbook"

            "Can you come back later for a payment, or I will mail one to you"

            I have good customers that I expect / or don't mind offering to do this for, but if your a new customer or you nickle and dime me, don't even think about asking.
            Got one last week, his checkbook was MIA..I told him I had absolutelky no problem waiting for him to find it.
            It was 8:30 pm, at the point where I offered to help him find it..it mysteriosly turned up.

            To add one of my biggest gripes...the 20" vanity with the leak thats absolutely JAM PACKED with every conceivable cleaner, detergent & household deoderant.
            You begin removing them as the homeowners watches, with absolutely nowhere to fit them in the bathroom, homeowner still just continues to watch.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

              Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
              To add one of my biggest gripes...the 20" vanity with the leak thats absolutely JAM PACKED with every conceivable cleaner, detergent & household deoderant.
              You begin removing them as the homeowners watches, with absolutely nowhere to fit them in the bathroom, homeowner still just continues to watch.
              Oh that's a good one, DB

              It's like a chemistry lab experiment under the vanities

              Customers that lie right to your face

              "Before I take this trap off did you use any chemical drain cleaners?"

              "no, I would never do that. I heard that stuff is bad for your pipes"

              I drop the trap and nearly have to call the HAZMAT Team

              Later, when cleaning up, I find a empty gallon jug of Draino in the trash can

              I show it to her expecting an apology or at least some lame excuse. I say say nothing, she says nothing. She just stares back at me.... WTH?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                That is a very good one, all the crap people can put under the sink and I mean, most are packed from front to back and top to bottom.

                then as I start to remove it I hear " I am sorry, I should have had this cleaned out for you before you came"
                sigpic

                Robert

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                  Oh yeah...the gratitude thing...
                  When I first started out I got a call from a referall to a customers co-worker.
                  He tells me he has only one bath and the tub spout is broken off inside the wall.
                  He'd tried to tighten it too much and mangled the 90 in the wall & wanted me there "yesterday" so his family could bathe.
                  Over the phone he let me know what was on the other side...I asked him to empty the dining room china cabinet and have it out of the way when I got there I was excited over getting a referral so I underpriced it substantially.

                  The cabinet was not only unmoved, but all the plates & china were still inside...he stood there as if I were going to empty it.

                  I was there a total of 1-1/2" hrs...he'd bent up the drop from the valve pretty bad because the spout hadn't been blocked in the wall and I wound up having to completely redo the outlet from the valve, then blocked it correctly with a 2x3 from my truck, I'd been very neat about opening the wall to keep the drywall intact and replaceable.

                  I finished, told him "$80 will cover it, just happy to get the referral".

                  He had a whispering "consult" with his wife in the next room and she openly says "Thats rediculous"...fully knowing I could hear her.

                  He came out and actually asked me if I could go down, I would not.

                  Six months later he calls again with a leaking CI drain in his basement, I told him I was too busy and referred him to a large shop in my area that is notoriously expensive.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                    Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                    Oh yeah...the gratitude thing...
                    When I first started out I got a call from a referall to a customers co-worker.
                    He tells me he has only one bath and the tub spout is broken off inside the wall.
                    He'd tried to tighten it too much and mangled the 90 in the wall & wanted me there "yesterday" so his family could bathe.
                    Over the phone he let me know what was on the other side...I asked him to empty the dining room china cabinet and have it out of the way when I got there I was excited over getting a referral so I underpriced it substantially.

                    The cabinet was not only unmoved, but all the plates & china were still inside...he stood there as if I were going to empty it.

                    I was there a total of 1-1/2" hrs...he'd bent up the drop from the valve pretty bad because the spout hadn't been blocked in the wall and I wound up having to completely redo the outlet from the valve, then blocked it correctly with a 2x3 from my truck, I'd been very neat about opening the wall to keep the drywall intact and replaceable.

                    I finished, told him "$80 will cover it, just happy to get the referral".

                    He had a whispering "consult" with his wife in the next room and she openly says "Thats rediculous"...fully knowing I could hear her.

                    He came out and actually asked me if I could go down, I would not.

                    Six months later he calls again with a leaking CI drain in his basement, I told him I was too busy and referred him to a large shop in my area that is notoriously expensive.

                    He complained at $80.00

                    it would have been twice that without the cabinet bullsh**

                    That is just really heartbreaking. You shouldn't have to pay the customer to work in their house and provide a service.
                    sigpic

                    Robert

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                      Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                      He complained at $80.00

                      it would have been twice that without the cabinet bullsh**

                      That is just really heartbreaking. You shouldn't have to pay the customer to work in their house and provide a service.
                      Exactly, but I also keep it in perspective and try NOT to go to the other extreme by assuming everyone is like that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                        Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                        Exactly, but I also keep it in perspective and try NOT to go to the other extreme by assuming everyone is like that.

                        Exactly, that is all you can do.

                        Start each day with a positive thought!!

                        Over time one can tell within the first 20-30 seconds of a conversation what is going to happen.
                        sigpic

                        Robert

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                          Wouldn't service work be so much better if there were no customers.?

                          Oh, I guess without customers, there would be no service work.

                          I work very hard to instill into my service guys that there would be no work without customers. Some are great, some suck, some pay, some don't, some are reasonable, some are'nt, some are nice, some are mean, some are black, some are white and so on. It is a very bad habit to judge your customers. Even those that don't, or are slow to pay need to be handled in a professional manner. Why,.? Because even scumbag deadbeats have friends and even if the bastard's lying, word travels fast in a small town. If you must refuse a customer, do it with tact and diplomacy.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                            Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                            He complained at $80.00

                            it would have been twice that without the cabinet bullsh**

                            That is just really heartbreaking. You shouldn't have to pay the customer to work in their house and provide a service.
                            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.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Plumber's Gripe Thread

                              Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                              Wouldn't service work be so much better if there were no customers.?

                              Oh, I guess without customers, there would be no service work.

                              I work very hard to instill into my service guys that there would be no work without customers. Some are great, some suck, some pay, some don't, some are reasonable, some are'nt, some are nice, some are mean, some are black, some are white and so on. It is a very bad habit to judge your customers. Even those that don't, or are slow to pay need to be handled in a professional manner. Why,.? Because even scumbag deadbeats have friends and even if the bastard's lying, word travels fast in a small town. If you must refuse a customer, do it with tact and diplomacy.
                              SO true...I am very firm with 'difficult' customers, but still maintain a polite, professional dialogue while I am telling them they can stick there business up their ***.

                              Customer on phone: (whom I already gave a free estimate to remodel his bathroom and never heard back from him)"You winterized a house for the previous owner and I just bought it... can you come out and turn my water meter on?"

                              Me: "Sure, I could be out there this afternoon for you. There's just a $40 charge for the drive out."

                              Customer: "Oh, well the town said they could do it for $20 but they can't do it for a couple of days."

                              Me: "Well, I can have the water on this afternoon for you but I can't compete with the town's price."

                              Customer: "Well, ok then, thank you but I guess I'll wait."


                              See, that is called blowing off a cheapskate customer while maintianing a polite, professional tone.
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