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In these politically correct times it's inappropriate to steriotype, instead we call it a demograph. I have repeatedly encountered one "demograph" over and over, that always wants work done cheap, expects the most and complains the most about the price when the work is done. Last week I got a call from a member of that "demograph", the accent was almost indistinguishable, requesting I drive out and give him an estimate. I explained that I charge a "trip fee" for in person estimates, he then explained he had tons of work he needed done on his plumbing and would be happy to have me do the work if I gave him a free estimate, I wouldn't budge...after five minutes I gave in and set a time for the next day, all the while telling myself this would be the last straw if I was right. I drove into the driveway a minimum $3/4 mil home...stood in the guys basement and at the point that he stated "I am on a tight budget and hope you can do this affordably" I walked out. My back hurts, my kinee's are going, my shoulders ache. When customers accidently forget certain details, like a water heater is buried behind their boiler, I tell them it's more or I pack and expect a trip fee. I'm all done with bargain hunters shopping for price only. A few years ago it was just my back, now it's my families survival.
I don't work in that end of the business, but you wrote a great post. It was well written, honest, and the "real deal" on your situation. This should have been a "hall of fame" post,if we had one.
I can life up to 75 by myself, now, if it's a 100 gallon, the ferguson guy delivering will help me out.
Ferguson has a new program here, the driver will help you out, get it up stairs, whatever you need, and they wil haul the old one away. One condition, the old water heater has to be ready to go, drained and unhooked etc.
Guys, remember, the harder it is, the more it cost. Also, a water heater is a big ticket item, the customer will enjoy 10-15 years of hot water, so they shouldn't mind paying what it cost to replace it, it is called the cost of comfort.