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I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

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  • I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

    Did a plugged up sink today.

    Commercial building. Kitchen sink in a breakroom. Ben Franklin's been there. Was told thay snaked 30' and hit something they couldn't get through and said it was probably a broken pipe and would need to be opened up to fix it. Was called in for a second opinion before they tore out their lobby floor.

    Stuck the diagnosis in the back of my mind, forced it to stay quietly, and approached it as I would any clogged sink; jetted it.

    It WAS a pain. 40' or so to the clog, which felt like it was at a junction with another line, and a difficult push. Pulled back tons of black nasty; I think mostly cast iron sand and or coffee grounds. Most sinks are a one spill bucket job. This one was a five bucket job, which was an extra pain as the nearest toilet to dump my bucket in was 100 feet across the lobby and then up the elevator.

    1 1/2 hours. Most sinks are 30-45 min. My bill to solve the problem was less than 1/3 of of when Ben Franklin charged to not solve it and misdiagnose it.

    Why are they called 'Ben Franklin'?

    'Cause that's what they do; go get those Ben Franklins out of your wallet.

    I could probably make more money (for a while) if I sold every customer a jug of colored water labled 'Bio-Ace', but I pay myself just fine, and I made some friends today, and I prefer that.

    I had an epiphany today. I was packing up and the guy who referred me had stopped by to pick up some cards and said something about hating Ben Franklin. I smiled and said I love them; they just keep making me look better and better.
    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

  • #2
    Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

    Ace are you implying the only ineffective and unprofessional plumbers work for a franchise? I do not work for a franchise and I must call you out on this implication. In my 39 year relationship with the plumbing industry starting out in a plumbing wholesale shop to working as a plumber, owner and now back to being a service technician I can verify that there are lousy technicians in all phases of the plumbing trades.

    Plumbing companies that refuse to force their plumbers to gain a journeyman’s license and putting unqualified techs into trucks to start making money. How ethical is that sending an unqualified tech to a clients home? I recently was I invited into a home of client who was using another company that made yearly trips out to the clients home to clean the same drain. This was not a franchise but a highly respected plumbing company that is rather large. They charge half of what we do however they charged more than we do. I gave them a solution to the problem and rid them of this problem that this unethical company refused to deal with due to it being a money making drain. They were stealing from this client year after year without providing a solution.

    With your story did you camera the line to figure out if the line was bad? Did you inform them how to prevent this from happening? Is there back pitch to this line? What is your guarantee with this specific drain cleaning? You did bad mouth your competition but what did you really do for the client other than fix the issue for now what about the long term? You guessed that it was cast iron what else is a guess? How much scale came out of the building drain? What other drain lines dumped into this drain?

    I wish plumbing contractors would stop moaning about what the other guy charges and realize that there is more to any industry then being just that guy or just a plumber in our case. Build some value other than being the cheapest guy. What are the benefits to using you without bashing the other guy? I am positive I can find a company that thinks you overcharge or that you have taken a client. It is impossible to satisfy every client we are only human and prone to errors. I make friends on a daily basis both professionally and personally by building value, trust, and the likability factor with what I can do and not built on what the other guy cannot do. Is your value to the client where it should be?

    Anyone can charge fifty dollars and still overcharge if gave them no solution and the problem still exists (occurs). If all you did was clean the drain line without providing a permanent solution then I say you overcharged for what you did. The time is now to provide your clients with a solution that lasts and not a get by job. Anyone can find fault with any professional’s process and price really has nothing do with anything and is not relevant. If price was a concern we would all be driving the cheapest automobile or have the cheapest products in our home but we do not.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

      rich welcome to the forum

      amazing your first post is so bashing to a well respected well known forum member that many of us actually got to meet on more than 1 occassion.

      so to sum it up, you believe that there should be no drain cleaners and just pipe replacers

      there's more to your post than meets the eye

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

        Originally posted by rich34232 View Post
        Ace are you implying the only ineffective and unprofessional plumbers work for a franchise? I do not work for a franchise and I must call you out on this implication. In my 39 year relationship with the plumbing industry starting out in a plumbing wholesale shop to working as a plumber, owner and now back to being a service technician I can verify that there are lousy technicians in all phases of the plumbing trades.

        Plumbing companies that refuse to force their plumbers to gain a journeyman’s license and putting unqualified techs into trucks to start making money. How ethical is that sending an unqualified tech to a clients home? I recently was I invited into a home of client who was using another company that made yearly trips out to the clients home to clean the same drain. This was not a franchise but a highly respected plumbing company that is rather large. They charge half of what we do however they charged more than we do. I gave them a solution to the problem and rid them of this problem that this unethical company refused to deal with due to it being a money making drain. They were stealing from this client year after year without providing a solution.

        With your story did you camera the line to figure out if the line was bad? Did you inform them how to prevent this from happening? Is there back pitch to this line? What is your guarantee with this specific drain cleaning? You did bad mouth your competition but what did you really do for the client other than fix the issue for now what about the long term? You guessed that it was cast iron what else is a guess? How much scale came out of the building drain? What other drain lines dumped into this drain?

        I wish plumbing contractors would stop moaning about what the other guy charges and realize that there is more to any industry then being just that guy or just a plumber in our case. Build some value other than being the cheapest guy. What are the benefits to using you without bashing the other guy? I am positive I can find a company that thinks you overcharge or that you have taken a client. It is impossible to satisfy every client we are only human and prone to errors. I make friends on a daily basis both professionally and personally by building value, trust, and the likability factor with what I can do and not built on what the other guy cannot do. Is your value to the client where it should be?

        Anyone can charge fifty dollars and still overcharge if gave them no solution and the problem still exists (occurs). If all you did was clean the drain line without providing a permanent solution then I say you overcharged for what you did. The time is now to provide your clients with a solution that lasts and not a get by job. Anyone can find fault with any professional’s process and price really has nothing do with anything and is not relevant. If price was a concern we would all be driving the cheapest automobile or have the cheapest products in our home but we do not.
        Your posts direction towards Ace's post makes no sense at all to me. IF you read his post, he behaved exactly like you claim you do.

        Provided all the service you claim too and what appears to be a permanent solution. Do you really think this is the first drain he's corrected?

        What I highlighted in your post is what many typically hear about national franchises. Not all are bad, but I'm just telling you the percentages I've seen.

        Then I joined this forum and found out that others that knew nothing about me around the United States have seen or heard or similar ethics.

        Do you work for a national company?
        Good or bad experiences?
        Any "loss leaders" incorporated into the sales?
        Do you have a flat rate book?
        What numbers are in the flat rate book?

        Maybe everyone is too cheap.

        J.C.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

          Originally posted by rich34232 View Post
          Anyone can charge fifty dollars and still overcharge if gave them no solution and the problem still exists (occurs). If all you did was clean the drain line without providing a permanent solution then I say you overcharged for what you did.
          Or if they charge $100 for cleaning the drain every year, but digging the thing up costs $10,000; they can clean the drain for the next century before it costs as much as a replacement.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

            I am surprised Ben Franklin Plumbing went out on a commercial job. When they talked to me about getting into their franchise they told me its strictly a residential plumbing service company. That I could no longer take on any commercial business if I signed up with them. Do not get me wrong I had no intention of franchising, I just wanted to hear what they had to say, so I know what I was against since there is a handful of these franchises in the Chicago land area.
            Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
            A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
            Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
            Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

              Plumber Rick
              I said to provide a long term solution. Discover why the drain stopped up and inform the client. Did you notice the word sand in the drain line? I did and wondered why the sand is in the line. Dumping small buckets provided the sand? I suspect there is a crack or break in the line. It is not my decision to make considering what the client will spend to make the necessary repairs or replacement. One hundred dollars to the ten grand, I do not know the costs of that do you? Is it in the slab or in a basement, chase? Throwing blind dollars around is not relevant until we know the work scope. I did not see anything done other then clearing the drain for less.

              I have found when price is mentioned there is nothing else mentioned with what the company or service technician did for that money. Only generalities such as he charged this and did not deliver this. What else was done?

              Obviously the first company and technician miss-diagnosed the job and valued second opinioned was the option. I do not know the poster however I did notice the slam on franchises and the technician. Why was that necessary? My point that anyone can slam on anything any do. These are things that I picked up with the post and they are valid.

              Nothing more to the post other than it is time for the professionals to stop bashing the price another charges to maintain their business. A one man shop has less overhead than a 20 man shop. The difference in price reflects that cost differences. Working out of a private home instead of a shop has less cost. Until we know what the cost to run that business is the price they charge is not relevant. I can accept that the tech made a bad diagnosis.

              I am happy to see that you in this forum stand up for one another and I respect that. My hat is off to you for doing this. Understand the side I am presenting to you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

                Rich,

                While I appreciate your passion for your argument I can't help but notice you are pushing a new book and have a web site related to this stuff. As such I consider your posts SPAM and must ask you to stop.

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

                  you really need to read a lot more than 1 post to appreciate the information and help on this forum.

                  both ace and myself own our shops and don't work out of our house.

                  i guarantee you my overhead is a lot more than a 20 man shop. you have 20 people generating income to support all the fixed cost. i know my cost can only be absorbed by myself and not 20 incomes.

                  appreciate the input, but spend some time reading more than a single post to get the jist of our character

                  many of us are now friends and have met on more than 1 occasion. not that we always agree we do know where we stand with each other

                  please do some reading before you take us the wrong way. there's more knowledge and information here than anywhere on the net

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

                    JC
                    I thought I answered this question of working for a franchise. The answer is no. I do not nor have I ever worked for a national chain. Yes I have had both good and bad dealings with franchises and national chains as I have had with local based companies. My issues has absolutely nothing to do with the price they charge it has to do with shoe maker workmanship and not helping the client out of obvious plumbing issues charging the client each time they come to do a different repair three weeks later when the client discovers it on their own missing work to meet over and over.

                    We have loss leaders everyone will have them such as trip levers, flappers there really is not too much that can be done with loss leaders.

                    Yes we have flat rate prices and I am betting that traditional time and material companies also do some tasks with flat rate. Bidding remodels, new homes, water heaters, water closets faucet installs or giving a guaranteed price over the phone to a client.

                    I would be happy to discuss pricing with you privately and you can inform me what your pricing is based upon.

                    I think I answered the other questions of additional items I would have done for the client to rid them of their problems when I pointed the things that are out items that I think have been done. I do not know if they were done however they are not posted so I must think they were not completed.

                    I do appreciate that you do work with one another in this forum and do stick up for one another. I only ask that you have an open mind and see the other items that we are required to do in order to do the best possible job for our clients.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

                      Originally posted by rich34232 View Post
                      JC
                      I thought I answered this question of working for a franchise. The answer is no. I do not nor have I ever worked for a national chain. Yes I have had both good and bad dealings with franchises and national chains as I have had with local based companies. My issues has absolutely nothing to do with the price they charge it has to do with shoe maker workmanship and not helping the client out of obvious plumbing issues charging the client each time they come to do a different repair three weeks later when the client discovers it on their own missing work to meet over and over.

                      We have loss leaders everyone will have them such as trip levers, flappers there really is not too much that can be done with loss leaders.

                      Yes we have flat rate prices and I am betting that traditional time and material companies also do some tasks with flat rate. Bidding remodels, new homes, water heaters, water closets faucet installs or giving a guaranteed price over the phone to a client.

                      I would be happy to discuss pricing with you privately and you can inform me what your pricing is based upon.

                      I think I answered the other questions of additional items I would have done for the client to rid them of their problems when I pointed the things that are out items that I think have been done. I do not know if they were done however they are not posted so I must think they were not completed.

                      I do appreciate that you do work with one another in this forum and do stick up for one another. I only ask that you have an open mind and see the other items that we are required to do in order to do the best possible job for our clients.
                      All noted. Yes, I've always thought price was too subjective to even be discussed really.

                      While Ace may have been incorrect in judging price of another, I thought you might have jumped the gun to judge Ace.

                      J.C.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

                        I don't really understand your post rich... I think JC says it best;
                        Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                        Your posts direction towards Ace's post makes no sense at all to me. IF you read his post, he behaved exactly like you claim you do.
                        I'm not bashing franchises in general. The rr franchise here does good work and has a good rep. Even employs a guy who used to work for me.

                        But honestly? I've yet to hear any GOOD stories about BF. They are just notorious. Somewhere on this very site is a tale of elder abuse involving them. I've seen enough of BF that I've made my decision regarding them. Rape and pillage as a business model.

                        Sending untrained/unqualified techs out? Well, isn't that exactly my point? What happenened in this incident, construed in the very best possible light, is incompetence. These people were on the verge of a multi-thousand dollar solution on the advice of a BF tech who, according to one emloyee of the business where the 'work' took place, spent much of the two hours he billed for watching tv in the breakroom where the sink he was supposed to be clearing was located. The rest of his time was spent spraying the inside of their cabinet with drain black and complaining that he got dirty to anyone who would listen, and swapping their disposer for a regular basket (wtf? no-one cares about the disposer, open the line! is that not what you were called for? Maybe his brother-in-law needed a disposer?).

                        Enough.
                        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I figured out why it's called 'Ben Franklin'

                          I work for a franchise and I can definately see the potential for ripping people off. They send you to training meetings and try to teach you how to upsell all sorts of stuff when all the customer would really need is a good snaking.

                          When your pay is ONLY commission all sorts of bad stuff can start to happen. Your company ends up looking like a sleaze bag used car lot that doesn't even bother to change the oil or make sure the transmission works.

                          I went to a friend's parent's house in st. paul minnesota and they had Ben Franklin out. They shut off the water to the house to do some stuff and then did a check up afterwards on the plumbing. They found a faucet that all of a sudden very mysterously had almost no water pressure. They told them they needed a new faucet and gave them a price for it. I was there just to hang out with my friend and I went to the bathroom and noticed the problem. I took the aerator off and cleaned all the garbage out of it and tada the problem was fixed.

                          Anyways, the potential for abuse is there but that doesn't mean all franchise plumbers are the scum on scum's boots if scum could wear boots.

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