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  • How would you respond to this from a customer?

    I had a sewage backup on my lateral between the last cleanout on my driveway and the town sewer. When I called last night (Sunday) I told the person answering the call that my driveway is 300 feet long, so have the tech come prepared. Guy shows up and says he doesn't have an extension cord long enough to run the power rooter thing (not sure what it is called, but it was a Spartan 2000), and he'd have to make a few calls. Having a generator trucked in will cost extra.

    I told the guy I have a generator and asked if he could shave a few bucks off. He said he couldn't, but I wanted to get back to work, so we used it anyway. Whole job took 20 minutes.

    No big deal on my part, but since I was clear about coming prepared, and was able to help out in a pinch, should I call back and ask for a credit? I don't want to be a prick, but I wonder how you professionals would handle this.

  • #2
    Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

    300' of extension cord is typically too long a run for a high powered machine.

    of course i would have taken you up on the generator offer as long as it was a proper sized unit 2500 watts or more.

    as far as pricing, it would have been the non generator rate if there was an extra charge.

    p.s. i do carry a generator and an invertor, but don't charge for it. it's a convience thing for me.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

      I don't want to be a prick either, but if you had called me and told me what you told him I'd have felt like two cents waiting for change if I showed up that unprepared. He should have worked with you since you tried to explain up front what he would be dealing with IMO.

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      • #4
        Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

        I think your right, since you informed them of special circumstances. What it does sound like is that you got the answering service and generally they don't care.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

          Originally posted by spoon View Post
          I think your right, since you informed them of special circumstances. What it does sound like is that you got the answering service and generally they don't care.
          Yeah, I don't know if the answering service cares or not. I did get a call from the company this morning to arrange the time, and I did mention to the guy that I have a long driveway and to come prepared, so he had all the facts.

          I suppose my case is "special" in that it is outside of the normal conditions, so I'll accept that. However, if there would have been an extra charge for a generator equipped truck, nobody told me, and I thought my description would have at least opened the conversation in that direction.

          So I guess I'm on the fence. The price was just north of a hundred, which isn't a bad price to prevent raw sewage from oozing onto my driveway and wetting my basement.

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          • #6
            Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

            did they charge the generator rate? if not then you're all set. if they did, ask for a refund.

            rick.

            ps. 100 is not a bad price at all for a sewer main. the 20 minutes still has his travel time.
            phoebe it is

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            • #7
              Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

              That right there is the difference in a professional and a hack...thats all I got to say...
              Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
              You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

              Derek

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              • #8
                Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

                i say if it happens again call some one better in the trade and you wont have to supply them with the things they should have came with
                Charlie

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                • #9
                  Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

                  Originally posted by JoePolvino View Post
                  Yeah, I don't know if the answering service cares or not. I did get a call from the company this morning to arrange the time, and I did mention to the guy that I have a long driveway and to come prepared, so he had all the facts.

                  I suppose my case is "special" in that it is outside of the normal conditions, so I'll accept that. However, if there would have been an extra charge for a generator equipped truck, nobody told me, and I thought my description would have at least opened the conversation in that direction.

                  So I guess I'm on the fence. The price was just north of a hundred, which isn't a bad price to prevent raw sewage from oozing onto my driveway and wetting my basement.
                  I don't know what typical sewer cleaning rates are in your area, but in this area it would be hard to get a main sewer cleaned for less than $160 so I doubt you got a raw deal. (Assuming they did a good job cleaning the sewer.)

                  I personally don't know any drain cleaners that carry generators on their trucks all the time. I have a nice Honda 5000W generator but wouldn't be thrilled about trying to get it onto the truck alone. (no ramps) (yet)

                  His Spartan was probably a 2001. I wonder if a 1500 watt inverter would run that.
                  Time flies like an arrow.

                  Fruit flies like a banana.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

                    In New York, drain cleaning just a little over $100?


                    That is a tremendously great price. I'd let that one go.


                    I'm in kentucky and everything starts at $170 and goes up for main drains.
                    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                    • #11
                      Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

                      Main drains in my area are easily well over $200.00 with R.R. near $400.00. $100.00 is a steal imo.

                      I don't carry a generator either, but I have a nice Honda 5000w in case I need it as well.

                      If it was me, I would want to know up front of the distance so I would know to take my generator with me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

                        (It was a Spartan 2001.)

                        Based on the input, I'll just leave the situation as it is, and not pursue a discount for use of my generator. I also know what to look for when I see slop at the bottom of my driveway, and know to act fast before I have a serious issue.

                        Thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

                          So what was the problem with your sewer line? Grease, roots or your kid threw a GI Joe down the toilet?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

                            Originally posted by DanLawrence View Post
                            So what was the problem with your sewer line? Grease, roots or your kid threw a GI Joe down the toilet?
                            The invoice said "soft blockage" so I'm assuming TP, hair, and soap scum.

                            Speaking of this, I recall a problem in a thread where something similar happened to someone in LA with a long sanitary run. Since we have low flow toilets, low flow showerheads, and a HE washer, I wonder if there was a long period of these low flow events that weren't enough to push the soft material the full 300 feet, and it piled up along the length of the line. Then a large volume event occurred that triggered a TP Tsunami that got hung up toward the bottom.

                            If this is the case, should I do an occasional flush by draining both full tubs along with sinks?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How would you respond to this from a customer?

                              TP Tsunami I like that.

                              Royal Flush = 5gal bucket of water. Dump it in the toilet as fast as it can take it. Do this at least weekly.
                              This will help "clean out" such a long run.


                              How often does this line clog?
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