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  • #16
    Re: Customer called...

    Point taken. I have access to a camera. For me to charge to camera a line at weekend rates (when the clog was broke) would be cheating the customer. I left the house and the stoppage was gone, with another issue that can be resolved during regular business hours. This guy waits two weeks for it to back up again, get someone else, and then ask me to pay the difference. At weekend vs. regular rates no less.

    Sure, I cant win...

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    • #17
      Re: Customer called...

      This client isn`t worth the worry put it down to experience and forget about him, he`s trying to con you if he was genuine he would have called you back in the first place.

      Tony

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      • #18
        Re: Customer called...

        I guess I'm playing devil's advocate but you couldn't pass the cable through 4 ft in the pipe? If this is correct and I'm reading this right, you didn't clean the pipe at all. All you did was pull out paper towels (that never should have been there in the first place) that was catching on the protrusion in the pipe. Should you pay the difference-hell no. Could you have done a better job that might have solved the problem intially-yes. Chalk this up to experience.
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

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        • #19
          Re: Customer called...

          Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
          I guess I'm playing devil's advocate but you couldn't pass the cable through 4 ft in the pipe? If this is correct and I'm reading this right, you didn't clean the pipe at all. All you did was pull out paper towels (that never should have been there in the first place) that was catching on the protrusion in the pipe. Should you pay the difference-hell no. Could you have done a better job that might have solved the problem intially-yes. Chalk this up to experience.
          Woah, I didn't read that part. Good point. The customer still should have called him back anyway instead of someone else.
          Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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          • #20
            Re: Customer called...

            The micro see snake-with an extension- may even have solved this puzzle.
            "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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            • #21
              Re: Customer called...

              Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
              Point taken. I have access to a camera. For me to charge to camera a line at weekend rates (when the clog was broke) would be cheating the customer. I left the house and the stoppage was gone, with another issue that can be resolved during regular business hours. This guy waits two weeks for it to back up again, get someone else, and then ask me to pay the difference. At weekend vs. regular rates no less.

              Sure, I cant win...

              Now why would that be cheating the customer

              Your out there on a weekend, (I understand thats the business we are in)

              If you had access to a camera, then you shouldve definitely had it out there with you.

              You are by no means cheating the customer. Your finding their problem, giving them a solution to the problem, and fixing their problem.

              If you think ALL of this couldve been avoided if you just had the camera.

              This is why we pay all this money on all this equipment. To be the best company out their, and to provide a service that cant be beat.

              I appreciate your morals, and im the last person that would EVER cheat a customer. But they did call you for your services, you are the PRO.

              I feel bad for you, this is a hard spot. But like someone said, you do have to be paid for your time, you did clear the block.

              Take this as a lesson thats all. A camera is a life saver, and a money saver for customers, its just a better service that you can provide in the future.

              This is why i crack up when people say that anyone can do drain cleaning.

              Sure anyone can do it, But it takes skill and training, and equipment, and drive to be able to provide and do a complete service.

              Im in no way mocking you, but this type of job is a prime example of why customers will not pay for drain cleaning cos, or complain about the high prices because they are paying plumbers who do drain cleaning at cheaper prices, but yet dont have the correct equipment.

              Your also gonna get the customers who that if you gave their children a million dollars, they still wouldnt be happy.
              The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

              www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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              • #22
                Re: Customer called...

                Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
                The micro see snake-with an extension- may even have solved this puzzle.

                That would have been an even better video, the micro with 20
                extensions to camera 60' of sewer
                sigpic

                Robert

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                • #23
                  Re: Customer called...

                  Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                  That would have been an even better video, the micro with 20
                  extensions to camera 60' of sewer

                  I thought he couldn't make it past 4 ft.
                  "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                  • #24
                    Re: Customer called...

                    Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
                    I thought he couldn't make it past 4 ft.
                    Well with a regular camera, he couldve seen the 4ft. mark, fixed that...then camera the rest of the sewer to make sure no other problems, and to make sure he didnt push anything further.
                    The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                    www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Customer called...

                      N.I.P. cleared the stoppage. A camera wouldn't have made it any more clear. The next company didn't see anything. Their camera didn't help clear this sewer. The homeowner's family puts paper towels through the toilets. I'll bet it will be stopped up in another two weeks.
                      The onus is entirely on the homeowner here. He had the option to call you back and camera the line. It sounds to me like he was too embarrassed to call you back because he knew they had put more paper towells in the line. He probably also thought NIP would be a chump and pay for part of the bill. From the way he tried to haggle, I still say he's a jerk.

                      By the way, how would you flat guys have priced this one up front? I don't mean how much, but what would your book say?
                      "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                      • #26
                        Re: Customer called...

                        Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
                        N.I.P. cleared the stoppage. A camera wouldn't have made it any more clear. The next company didn't see anything. Their camera didn't help clear this sewer. The homeowner's family puts paper towels through the toilets. I'll bet it will be stopped up in another two weeks.
                        The onus is entirely on the homeowner here. He had the option to call you back and camera the line. It sounds to me like he was too embarrassed to call you back because he knew they had put more paper towells in the line. He probably also thought NIP would be a chump and pay for part of the bill. From the way he tried to haggle, I still say he's a jerk.

                        By the way, how would you flat guys have priced this one up front? I don't mean how much, but what would your book say?
                        Ya but he clearly stated that he couldnt pass 4ft. So the camera wouldve confirmed why. Either the cable head was to big, obstruction in the pipe, or possible break.

                        At least with the camera, he couldve shown the homeowner right there on the spot, if its a break, or if its clear. Then there wouldnt be an issue at all because they both saw that there was nothing wrong with the line, the line was clear, and no warranty due to abuse with paper towels.

                        Then if it backs up in 2 weeks, weather it was the same plumber or a different co., there would be no problems because A. the line isnt under warranty due to the abuse, and B. The line was already video inspected and they both know there isnt a problem with the pipe.

                        Case closed

                        If i had to Flat Rate it, It wouldve been for Cable line w/ large machine
                        Video Inspection

                        Thats all. After a few mins of not being able to get past the 4ft spot, i wouldve immediatly camerad the line to see what i was hitting.
                        The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                        www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Customer called...

                          Don't get me wrong Drain Medic, I turn all sewers over to you guys, even most kitchen sink drains. There's no room on my van for the machines and usually they end up being a big headache (case in point). Also, I feel that, like the medical profession, plumbing is becoming specialized. You can be really, really good at some things but not everything. I have a referral list for remodeling, big drains, new contruction.

                          But, this homeowner didn't want to pay for clearing the sewer. I doubt he would have agreed up front to a $300.00 camera charge. And what's the use of flat rate if after a few minutes at 4 ft. you're ready to up the charge by putting in a camera?

                          I garauntee you, N.I.P. went out hoping to get the customers sewer going as quick as possible and at the best price. That's what keeps em calling.
                          "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                          • #28
                            Re: Customer called...

                            Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
                            Yes, no guarantee. I wrote on the invoice what was found in the line etc. After all rodding when a clog is cleared, I do a paper flush. This usually invloves a whole roll. He declined it...it would have taken more time.
                            This happened again two weeks later. I still would have helped them. I even explained why they should call me back if a problem developes.

                            I did not get the chance to ask how long the other guy was there.

                            Why would you need to do a paper flush when you drained two stories of crap and paper when you opened the line?
                            "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                            • #29
                              Re: Customer called...

                              I understand thats what keeps them calling,that "excellent cost" but it is in my best interest to protect myself and have the equipment and knowledge to fully take care of their situation.

                              A camera would have done this.

                              I didn't always have a camera, and yes, they aren't cheap, but it is part of the 100% customer satisfaction experience that I want to provide my customer with.

                              I told my wife the other day, I want my customers to use me because I have the right equipment and knowledge to complete the job. Because I have pride in my work and give them excellent customer service, not because I am cheaper then the next guy or because i gave them a deal

                              deals are furthest from my mind, if the job called for a camera ont he first meeting, I am the professional, I make the decision, and the customer is offered the camera. They pay me

                              I want my customers to change their train of thoughts from, West Coast Plumbing is the cheapest, here is their number to West Coast Plumbing always solves my problems, let me give you their number
                              Last edited by westcoastplumber; 05-11-2008, 10:33 PM.
                              sigpic

                              Robert

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                              • #30
                                Re: Customer called...

                                Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
                                Don't get me wrong Drain Medic, I turn all sewers over to you guys, even most kitchen sink drains. There's no room on my van for the machines and usually they end up being a big headache (case in point). Also, I feel that, like the medical profession, plumbing is becoming specialized. You can be really, really good at some things but not everything. I have a referral list for remodeling, big drains, new contruction.

                                But, this homeowner didn't want to pay for clearing the sewer. I doubt he would have agreed up front to a $300.00 camera charge. And what's the use of flat rate if after a few minutes at 4 ft. you're ready to up the charge by putting in a camera?

                                I garauntee you, N.I.P. went out hoping to get the customers sewer going as quick as possible and at the best price. That's what keeps em calling.

                                And as i was saying, i can appreciate his standards.

                                BUT

                                The issue again is, no camera on location, and now the call back 2 weeks later, and now this fight. The 2nd co had a camera, proved there was nothing in the pipe after clearing it. Now who is he going to call if it happens again??

                                The whole thing is to give your customer a complete service. Which im sure N.I.P was trying to give the customer. Im not faulting NIP in any way, im proving a point that if he had just camered the line to begin with, knowing he couldnt pass the 4ft., he wouldve saved this problem from happening alltogether.

                                Now. You ask about flat rate. This isnt going to turn into a flat rate arguement, because this isnt what its intended for. From the sounds, (i wasnt there) and diagnosing, he shouldve probably guessed stack blockage to begin with, with the water dripping down into the basement. I wouldve done the same thing. You can give the customer his options UP FRONT. Like, say, this is the 1st time you had a problem, lets clear the blockage, and check the condition of your pipe. Ill give you a DVD of your line, and you will know if you are going to have any problems in the future.

                                OPTION 1= Cable line w/ large machine, Video Inspection of pipe.
                                OPTION 2= Cable line w/ large machine.

                                Customer chooses option 2. I have the camera on site with me, the customer signed for the 1st option, and signed on the price. Now i cable the line, realizing i cant pass 4ft. I now tell the homeowner i cant pass the 4ft mark, I was able to clear your clog, but lets take alook and see why i cant pass the spot, there could be something stuck, or possibly a break. Customer refuses on the camera, signs off on the invoice, and now you do not give him a warranty and state on the invoice you could not pass the 4ft mark and customer refused video inspection.

                                He wouldve had the option to have to line video inspected right there.

                                Now on certain circumstances for my own benefit, (and this customer would be prime example), i would take the camera out for my own knowledge (not charge the customer) to see what the problem is.

                                We all go to every job, hoping to get the sewer running.....bottom line is the customer called NIP because he had a problem the pipe, it clogged. Why did it clog. Paper towels helped, but there couldve been something stuck in the line that we will never know because he didnt camera the line, and the customer called someone else who had a camera on him.
                                The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

                                www.thedrainsquad.net Our website

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