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Highway Robbery....

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  • #16
    Re: Highway Robbery....

    Originally posted by theplungerman View Post
    ....... You'd be surprised, alot of people don't understand what it takes to run a business.

    Very true but I don't think you went far enough. IMO, the vast majority of people haven't the slightest idea what it takes to run a business. Managing a household budget is certainly a challenge and I don't downplay that one bit but managing a business is a whole different deal altogether.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #17
      Re: Highway Robbery....

      Had a customer that owned a 20 million dollar apt. Building in beverly hills. Always paid me immediately as that's how he did business. But every now and then he would complain about the bill. He said his attorney doesn't charge that much. Of course it was an exaggeration, so I compared the attorneys expenses to mine.

      Most attorneys dont own their office, they rent. They own a computer, a fax, a desk, shelving and some books. Other than a few years of law school, they have very little invested in thier business.

      Now I own my shop, all my equipment, my trucks and yes, 4 years of apprenticeship and school. I would say I've got more invested than most attorneys.

      Of course he kept me busy for over 20 years until he sold the building.

      phoebe it is


      • #18
        Re: Highway Robbery....

        DON'T FEEL SPECIAL A .TYME ! Last week Mrs Jones called Eddie at the Garage a crook ! Her car is junk and He saved Her fat AZZ. . Her roof is beyond saving , 35 Years old ! But jim added shingles and cemented the chimney, He's also a thief! Guess what they,won't call You next time ! RR will give them a $350.00 bill for the same work ,and insist on a $10,000 dig and Lateral replacement. They She will call You! What will Mr. Nice Guy say ?
        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .


        • #19
          Re: Highway Robbery....

          I get that once in a while. It's rare anymore. I can usually smell them on the phone and I'm too busy to work for them.

          A few guidelines about things that I've learned the hard way:

          - discuss price structure before driving over to the job, at least briefly. Note that this is exactly the opposite approach to the real gougers; they show up, glance at it, name a crazy price, demand a signature or credit card to go to work, and force the person to choose between the crazy price and waiting for someone else to have time.

          - Always leave yourself and out when discussing price, ala "based on what I've heard from you, I think it's a clogged back to back sink drain. Unless I've misunderstood what you've told me, those are $x unless we run into something unusual," or "it sounds like a clogged service, which can get pretty expensive depending exactly what the problem is and what access we have to the line, but it starts at $x, and barring something that needs to be dug up, an object in the line, really poor access, or something like ice or roots that takes extra time we usually get it for that or a bit more."

          - If it feels wrong it probably is. Feel it out in conversation over the phone and if it gets wronger, be too busy. Just not worth the grief.

          - NEVER work on the tenant's say-so (or anyone's, really, that claims to be speaking for someone else). Person ok'ing work accepts full responsibility for the bill, else must talk to other person. Getting the landlord or whoever to pay for it is THIER problem, not yours.

          - Beware of "Our maint guy/my buddy/my husband/whoever tried and said it's deeper than x feet, so it's an hoa charge," or "so you need to do this." see above: must speak with hoa representative before going to work. their maint guy/buddy/husband/whoever, with rare exceptions, doesn't know their butt from a hole in the ground. And you'll be caught in the middle of an argument over who pays. when re-doing/checking something that the buddy/maint/husband "already did", a good line is "Yeah, I understand that, but I just have to go through my whole process."

          - See above: NEVER trust that ANYONE on site before you who "ruled something out" has any idea what they are doing. This usually should include your own co-workers and employees. You need to see it.

          - NEVER, no matter how hard you are pushed, admit to an opinion on hoa vs unit charge. (In fact, never express an opinion on anything. only let facts you are 100% sure of come out of your mouth.) Like "The clog was 18' into the wall." "Well, that makes it an hoa charge." "I wouldn't know, that's not up to me to determine. The invoice will have notes as to distance and what I found, and you can submit it to your hoa representative for reimbursement." "No, it's for sure hoa... I mean, that far in, it has to be, right?" "I really don't know. All the hoas have different guidelines on that. The hoa rep makes the decision. Do you want to talk with them about it? I have their number."
          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.