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  • #31
    Re: Just Have To Vent

    It's funny, I recieved another call today, cost me $12.00, a guy who went to home depot to purchase parts to repair his dishwasher, he lives in a mobile home from the 70's, it's a non emergency, he is curious, probably wants the work completed maybe wedns of next week because the pipes look bad.

    I guess he wanted me to go out on a free estimate to install some parts he purchased from depot, maybe next week

    I forgot to mention, he called on a sunday, and on mothers day to because this couldn't wait until monday morning


    Sorry, where are my manors? aren't we people to? not with kids yet, but don't we still have families

    I would have gone out for a free estimate sometime next week when I had time, to look at his job with a smile, if only he had respect and called on monday.
    sigpic

    Robert

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    • #32
      Re: Just Have To Vent

      Originally posted by Tyman View Post
      You could have fun with this one Robert.

      Get back at your "friend".

      I had a "friend" that was a pain in the &^% so I placed a for sale ad in the newspaper for a 67 corvette in mint condition, must sell, call between 1:00am and 5:00am. Best 20.00 I ever spent.

      If you want to get back at the jerk that hung up on you, post his phone number.
      Even better, put it on craigslist under gay guys needing a date.
      Buy cheap, buy twice.

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      • #33
        Re: Just Have To Vent

        I had a women call and ask how much for an RPZ test. I had to spend 495 bucks on the class. 700 for my instrument, 125 a year to have it certified, and 4 days of lost work to take the class. That's 4 grand, easy. I tell her if it's outside and I can do it after I finish for the day at a job which was about 2 miles from her house, 75 bucks. I also have to keep a copy of the test result and fax one to the inspector. She gasps and says that's a lot. XXX Plumbing will do it for 50 bucks, and even that's too much. I guess I should drive over, hand her a 50 and test it and come back every year let her get into my wallet. Sigh.
        Bogart

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        • #34
          Re: Just Have To Vent

          I love this thread...wanna ask it to marry me.
          I broke my newest golden rule of no in person free estimates a few weeks ago...damsel in distress calls me and says her bathroom remodel isn't going too well and she needs a plumber, begs me for a free estimate.
          Yup...reeled in, hook line & sinker.

          I get there and her boyfriend was looking for a free tutorial on how to finish the mess he started.
          I looked at her and said..."Call another plumber" as I walked out.
          I regularly get people that play the bidding game with small tasks, had a fella tell me he had another plumber that would install his disposal for $65 with stock, but if I could beat the price and get there that day...the job was all mine.
          I explained to him that the "other guy" was the much better plumber..."stick with him".
          Last month, guy calls me for a simple dryer hook-up...I get there, unload my tools and get ready to work...and he says, "I forgot to mention...the guy I bought the dryer from on Craigslist gave me these things so I could convert it from propane"...he hands me a half dozen orifices of various sizes and says "the guy said you should know which one is right".

          It's a combination of the "known fact" that plumbers make more money than doctors, and the whole Priceline.com mentality online that creates such a rediculously unrealistic environment for us.
          Service guy has the right mentality, absolutely unavoidable...these people exist and will always exist.
          I just price accordingly, take it or leave it.

          I say it's a matter of time before one of us with enough resource and know-how conjures a reverse form of Angie's list, where we can openly list customers who are known to stiff payment, deceive tradesmen, or resort to false accusation to get out of payment...I'd happily pay to join.

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          • #35
            Re: Just Have To Vent

            Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
            I love this thread...wanna ask it to marry me.
            I broke my newest golden rule of no in person free estimates a few weeks ago...damsel in distress calls me and says her bathroom remodel isn't going too well and she needs a plumber, begs me for a free estimate.
            Yup...reeled in, hook line & sinker.

            I get there and her boyfriend was looking for a free tutorial on how to finish the mess he started.
            I looked at her and said..."Call another plumber" as I walked out.
            I regularly get people that play the bidding game with small tasks, had a fella tell me he had another plumber that would install his disposal for $65 with stock, but if I could beat the price and get there that day...the job was all mine.
            I explained to him that the "other guy" was the much better plumber..."stick with him".
            Last month, guy calls me for a simple dryer hook-up...I get there, unload my tools and get ready to work...and he says, "I forgot to mention...the guy I bought the dryer from on Craigslist gave me these things so I could convert it from propane"...he hands me a half dozen orifices of various sizes and says "the guy said you should know which one is right".

            It's a combination of the "known fact" that plumbers make more money than doctors, and the whole Priceline.com mentality online that creates such a rediculously unrealistic environment for us.
            Service guy has the right mentality, absolutely unavoidable...these people exist and will always exist.
            I just price accordingly, take it or leave it.

            I say it's a matter of time before one of us with enough resource and know-how conjures a reverse form of Angie's list, where we can openly list customers who are known to stiff payment, deceive tradesmen, or resort to false accusation to get out of payment...I'd happily pay to join.


            I started a rule about no free estimates on jobs less then 1,000 since gas went up to $4 a gallon, but I feel I may have lost 2 jobs because of it

            Iti s such a hard call, because most of the time, 80% of the time, my personality sells the job. I just think that for the most part, if someone does nto want to pay a service, why would I think they will pay my price to do the job
            sigpic

            Robert

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            • #36
              Re: Just Have To Vent

              I only do free estimates for my existing clientele...because they are awesome. Some random Joe calling for a free 'bid'. Nope.

              Actual phone conversation on a saturday:

              •man with bad southern accent: "I need an es-ta-mit, I need mah pipes replaced in mah crawlspace, could you come out today and give me an es-ta-mit?"

              •me: "Sure, its $40 to come out."

              •man: "Well, I need an es-ti-mit, but I don't need to be payin' for it."

              •me: "Well, it cost us money to come out to your house."

              •man: "Well, I don't want to pay for an es-ta-mit."

              •me: "OK, BYE!" (I was actually quite busy with REAL calls and REAL customers that saturday to be driving around on estimates!)
              Last edited by Service Guy; 05-11-2008, 08:25 PM.
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              • #37
                Re: Just Have To Vent

                Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                I just think that for the most part, if someone does nto want to pay a service, why would I think they will pay my price to do the job
                This is absolutely true for the majority of people, keep it up, you aren't losing a thing.

                Dunbar and others helped me see the light that "Free Estimates" are not smart in the service business nowdays. You'll get people like Finer9898 or whatever who get 20 bids for a simple job!
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                • #38
                  Re: Just Have To Vent

                  Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                  Iti s such a hard call, because most of the time, 80% of the time, my personality sells the job. I just think that for the most part, if someone does nto want to pay a service, why would I think they will pay my price to do the job
                  thats a good one
                  Charlie

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                  http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


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                  new work pictures 12/09
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                  • #39
                    Re: Just Have To Vent

                    It's funny, but probably half of the cold calls I get don't even ask price. Mostly they want to know how soon I can get there. Repeat customers never ask price, except for a number to put in their po system. It is all about response here. I try to always answer the phone, not let it go to voicemail, for that reason. We are raising prices 6/1, about 10%. First time in 4 years. The gas has got to us.
                    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                    • #40
                      Re: Just Have To Vent

                      that sucks!!!

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                      • #41
                        Re: Just Have To Vent

                        Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                        Got a call this evening from my lead service.

                        6:45 on a fri night, a customer calling to see what it costs to clear a sink stoppage, then I explain the cost, 4 times to him, and he hangs up on
                        me

                        Tried calling for the last hour, his phone is off

                        My point of view on the subject

                        why would you call anyone on a friday evening to ask for an estimate or quote, on a non emergency?

                        ever heard of family time? this was an emergency? no he wanted the service maybe tomorrow......

                        The rudeness of customers....and it cost me $14.00, and he still has not turned his phone on

                        My solution......I am going to call him this evening at 11:30 to see if he wants to schedule the call for tomorrow for 8am






                        6:45 pm isant so bad when people dont get off work untill 5 pm and with the drive its prob. 6 by the time they get home. If it were more like 9 pm i think i would have a problem. The thing about this is that he hung up on you. That would piss me off more than anything. I know it sucks but all in due time he'll get his. Karma!

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                        • #42
                          Re: Just Have To Vent

                          Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                          I started a rule about no free estimates on jobs less then 1,000 since gas went up to $4 a gallon, but I feel I may have lost 2 jobs because of it

                          Iti s such a hard call, because most of the time, 80% of the time, my personality sells the job. I just think that for the most part, if someone does nto want to pay a service, why would I think they will pay my price to do the job
                          There's only one job I have ever done that I was fully aware I'd gotten because I was the only guy to give him a free estimate, he confided it to me as I worked. (though I know there were others)
                          His words: "I chose you because there was absolutely no way I'm going pay someone just to stop by and look at my plumbing and you were the only one who doesn't charge for estimates."

                          He also stared over my shoulder the whole job, complained at the end of the job because he had done an inventory at Home Depot (primo stock indeed) on what the stock cost me, and called me back a week later to have me run around and remove/clean every aerator & showerhead in his 3 bath home because he felt it was my responsibility to do so.

                          Service guy has it right...don't look back thinking you lost out.
                          I can honestly say first-hand that a larger and larger majority of my business is repeat/referral business as time passes.
                          Fewer and fewer have any concern with price, more concerned with getting it done right.

                          I cannot begin to explain how glad I am that I listened to advice given to me about lowballing early on...I still get the occasional call from customers from early on that STILL want the same thing...cheap.
                          I'm better off sitting at home shuffling papers and waiting for the next call than working for food and risking not being able to get to better customers emergency calls in a timely fashion because I'm wrapped up in cheap labor.

                          Sure, there might be the occasion where bills are due and it's been a slow month....use discretion, but DON'T forget this...
                          When it's been slow and the calls haven't been coming, the spurts start with that first call....do you take the first call and underbid, all to lose the next batch of calls to your competition?

                          As for free estimates, small flat rate jobs can be estimated over the phone, larger remodels, boilers or tankless W/H's need be done in person and a small token fee to at least cover gas is warranted.
                          The ones the specifically request free estimates are almost always the ones that go for the lowest price.

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                          • #43
                            Re: Just Have To Vent

                            Good post Duckbutter. I am coming to the realization that cheap asses are just that.....cheap! I went on a call a couple of months ago to check out a leak on a two story apt. They wanted me to go on the roof and check things out because "there might be some leaking pipes up there" ok whatever so I get my ladder out, climb to the roof and find out that it's the roof that's leaking......there was no plumbing on the roof to begin with.

                            Now they don't want to pay me my modest service fee. I hate to lose any account but they only call me maybe once a month. I will no longer be mr. nice guy. Collections has been called!

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                            • #44
                              Re: Just Have To Vent

                              Originally posted by TomSV650 View Post
                              Good post Duckbutter. I am coming to the realization that cheap asses are just that.....cheap! I went on a call a couple of months ago to check out a leak on a two story apt. They wanted me to go on the roof and check things out because "there might be some leaking pipes up there" ok whatever so I get my ladder out, climb to the roof and find out that it's the roof that's leaking......there was no plumbing on the roof to begin with.

                              Now they don't want to pay me my modest service fee. I hate to lose any account but they only call me maybe once a month. I will no longer be mr. nice guy. Collections has been called!

                              Same thing here, except it was a grout problem. Customer said "but you did not do anything."

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                              • #45
                                Re: Just Have To Vent

                                Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
                                Same thing here, except it was a grout problem. Customer said "but you did not do anything."
                                As if driving out to a stranger's house at their request is "doing nothing."
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