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  • #16
    Re: And the oscar goes to

    I'll be back later tonight. I got to go. A customer called to schedule a video-inpsection. The basment toilet is having mysterious problems. I will tell the story when I get back. There needs to be more than one nominee if we are going to give out oscars.
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    • #17
      Re: And the oscar goes to

      Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
      I totally disagree with your opinion on this. I don't tape unless the customer requests it. I let them see the inspection and I show them the location of any trouble-spots (using flags) after I use the locator. If I can see what's going on in the pipe, it helps me do my job. It also helps the customer. My customer's love to see the screen and see what's going on, and they are more than happy to pay for the technology. I felt crippled on sewer jobs before I got the camera as I couldn't accurately assess what the problem was or where.
      I don't camera if I am on a job that I have already inspected in the past, or if the customer declines for whatever reason. I give options. Customers want options.
      customer deserves the options and the tape and information they have paid for. pushing a camera into a line for 5 minutes is not an inspection. it's a show and tell/ smoke and mirrors.

      something tells me that your customers are not the millionaires like the customers i work for. and i don't waste their money either.
      what is your customer going to tell another plumber/ drain guy in 6 months when you're no longer there?

      "the last guy ran a camera into the line"

      "ok, let me see the tape"

      "tape, what tape. he showed me the line on his little tiny t.v."

      "great, show me where the problems are. the distance, location and depth. then i can give you a real estimate to repair your so called problem."

      carl, i've been doing this longer than 99% of all camera guys and believe me, i've seen all the gimmicks that get sold.

      if you have a camera, locator and vcr/dvd. then use it and present them the proof that they can hold onto and show it to others to assess the situation.

      disagree if you want, but i get more calls from new customers that have to pay again because the tape either never exist or is a useless silent movie.

      my camera gets used only when i and the customer agree it's a wise investment. same with my pipe burster and the other specialty tools i own. i don't feel running a camera with every snake job is a wise investment. there is no such thing as a free lunch

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #18
        Re: And the oscar goes to

        Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
        Rick, we are still wondering why you didn't video-inspect this particular job? Why reschedule, when you are already there with the cleanout open?
        did you not read post #9

        rick.

        p.s. it's been 10 days and the line is still flowing just fine.

        it has been approved and waiting for the dry weather and a free 2 hour window of my time. it's not a 5 minute smoke and mirror inspection. they get a video, locations and markers. along with my meeting with the management and owners to discuss the findings and any recommendations if needed.
        phoebe it is

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        • #19
          Re: And the oscar goes to

          I can see both sides to the story. But this was not a run of the mill job. Rick got stuck and good. What's to say it isn't something more serious and all that happened was a band aid solution? If I'm already there, I charge less to use the camera then if I have to come all the way back. It's actually cheaper for the customer like this.

          Rick, what's the incentive for someone to have you camera the line? Your drain cleaning rates are lower than most. If I was the customer, I would just say, "Forget the camera, when it backs up again I'll just have you snake it again". Let's say the customer decided to forgo the camera and 6 months later you came back out to snake the line and got stuck again but couldn't get free.

          It's almost like the customer is telling you how to clean a drain. I look at similarly when I do hvac. The customer gets one price but the vacuum pump, nitrogen, hygrometer, temp clamp, manifold, gases are all included in the price. The customer doesn't get to tell me, "Can we drop the price if we don't use nitrogen".

          The customer has a problem, you're the problem solver. They just need a solution, not how you're going to arrive at that solution. Their lack of technical training should void any say in how you fix their problem. Give them options is fine but there comes a time when you"re the professional and you need to decide how to fix the problem
          Buy cheap, buy twice.

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          • #20
            Re: And the oscar goes to

            I will own a camera.
            So I snake a line.I am not a retard and will do my best with the knowledge and tools that I have aquired due to being a part of this forum(thanks guys).I'm not going to let anyone tell me that this drain cleaning is the most technical black magic voodoo thing I'm going to experience.But I will feel more comfortable letting the homeowners know that they can have their requested warranty(after I explain and they still attempt to pin me with the competitors options) if I camera.So I see myself camera-ing more than you Rick.After all,I don't have that magical hypnotic overpowering showmanship effect you have on your customers

            I am not selfish enough to not give them proof to give me a better chance of them feeling obligated to calling only me.

            I see both sides.

            There is a responsibility I carry and how I present the camera to someone.
            I know my local compatition makes a killing with theirs,along with everything a lot of other stuff they do.

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            • #21
              Re: And the oscar goes to

              Originally posted by garager View Post
              I wanted to say something about all the extra space in the trailer, but I decided to keep quiet instead.....
              Dosen`t take much if you have the right machines for every job
              http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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              • #22
                Re: And the oscar goes to

                The very first picture on this thread the look on Ricks face is priceless is that your it's stuck face (looks like it) or had you just got it freed up and your happy? As for the amount of time given on a camera job 5 min. or 2 hours depends on the job. I have had many customers tell me it was already been video shot but they don't have it but also even if they had it it was over 6 months ago and all the yard flags are now in all the area kids rooms, so I would probably have to do it again anyway.
                Seattle Drain Service

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                • #23
                  Re: And the oscar goes to

                  I don't leave flags, but I do swing ties of all problem areas and areas of interest (main tie in, line makes a 45 etc..). I some times leave a swing tie sheet or just draw it out on the invoice.
                  INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                  Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

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                  • #24
                    Re: And the oscar goes to

                    Although I'd love to get a camera, I fear that most of my customers would never pay for one. Another local cleaner got a camera less than a year ago and it's spent a lot of time back at the factory - at about $1500 per repair. They've spent a lot more on repairs than they've made with it.

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                    • #25
                      Re: And the oscar goes to

                      hay rick you have a long sleve shirt on was it cold there 70*
                      Charlie

                      My seek the peek fundraiser page
                      http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                      http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                      new work pictures 12/09
                      http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

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                      • #26
                        Re: And the oscar goes to

                        Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                        I can see both sides to the story. But this was not a run of the mill job. Rick got stuck and good. What's to say it isn't something more serious and all that happened was a band aid solution? If I'm already there, I charge less to use the camera then if I have to come all the way back. It's actually cheaper for the customer like this.

                        ben keep in mind that i snuck this emergency job into my already booked schedule and took a 30 minute job into a 3 hour nightmare.

                        the immediate problem is gone and the recommendation was to camera the line at a later date. the owner, and building manager were already gone for the weekend. the emergency was solved and i got the ok to camera the line the following monday.

                        unfortunately my busy sch and weird weather has put a damper on the follow up camera job. still it's been 10+ days and all is working. the last time i was there was 18 months ago.i know it can wait for the right opportunity to camera the line. plus it's only 3 miles from my house.

                        i don't charge them anything extra to come back. it's not like do it now or it's more the next time i come out. these are well established customers that i have a good relationship with. they're not going anywhere and neither am i.

                        Rick, what's the incentive for someone to have you camera the line? Your drain cleaning rates are lower than most. If I was the customer, I would just say, "Forget the camera, when it backs up again I'll just have you snake it again". Let's say the customer decided to forgo the camera and 6 months later you came back out to snake the line and got stuck again but couldn't get free.

                        the incentive is that this being a medical building. i would rather know a day early than a day late the sewer is bad. the street was widened 18 months ago and i fear that something more serious is going on. all my prior jobs there were never this bad or this far.

                        the last thing i want is to get stuck and have to open up the street to repair the line. i/ we want to know what's going on and have time to resolve it on a non emergency basis.

                        It's almost like the customer is telling you how to clean a drain. I look at similarly when I do hvac. The customer gets one price but the vacuum pump, nitrogen, hygrometer, temp clamp, manifold, gases are all included in the price. The customer doesn't get to tell me, "Can we drop the price if we don't use nitrogen".

                        The customer has a problem, you're the problem solver. They just need a solution, not how you're going to arrive at that solution. Their lack of technical training should void any say in how you fix their problem. Give them options is fine but there comes a time when you"re the professional and you need to decide how to fix the problem
                        i do give them options and discuss the options with them. sure some think they're smarter than me, but in the end, they know i give sound advise and am not looking to retire on their dime.

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

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                        • #27
                          Re: And the oscar goes to

                          My video-inspection today was rather boring. Basement toilet has been leaking at the seal, flushing poorly and gurgling for 8 years. Never completely stops up though. I pulled it, and sent the camera down. The sewer pipe dives into water about 10 ft. before it enters the septic tank. The septic tank outlet drain to the drain-field was installed improperly about 6 inches too high, causing the water level to be too high and thus keep the sewer partially full of water at all times....thus the problem. I showed the customer, explained in detail and reset the bowl.

                          Customer was satisfied with the diagnosis, and happily paid me for my service. No need for a useless video-tape.
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                          • #28
                            Re: And the oscar goes to

                            i guess the job cost didn't take into account $1.00 for a tape.

                            the next guy after you is not going to know what the customer is describing.

                            even if the tape sits on their shelf, at least you and them know it exist.

                            the notes/ hi-lites are on the tape box cover and the entire job is recorded onto the tape with findings and recommendations. along with my computerized invoice that is in my truck all the time.

                            rick.
                            phoebe it is

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                            • #29
                              Re: And the oscar goes to

                              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                              i guess the job cost didn't take into account $1.00 for a tape.

                              the next guy after you is not going to know what the customer is describing.

                              even if the tape sits on their shelf, at least you and them know it exist.

                              the notes/ hi-lites are on the tape box cover and the entire job is recorded onto the tape with findings and recommendations. along with my computerized invoice that is in my truck all the time.

                              rick.
                              In this case you're probably wrong. Most septic tanks here are withing 20' of the house. A septic tank contractor only has to be told the tank is too high. They'll know what to do if a camera was never even present.

                              Oh, by the way Carl, chances are the whole system will have to be redone if the plumbing can't be raised.

                              J.C.

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                              • #30
                                Re: And the oscar goes to

                                The problem is simple Rick, he doesn't need or want a second opinion. He is going to get estimates to fix the outlet drain. Very simple. No need for a video-tape on this one. (actually most jobs don't need it. On most jobs, I find the problem and I fix it, no need for a video for the "next guy." )
                                Last edited by Service Guy; 12-23-2008, 01:22 AM.
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