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  • #16
    Re: Refused to sign invoice

    Spodelee

    your post #14, was very WELL STATED

    steve
    In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

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    • #17
      Re: Refused to sign invoice

      I am a new business owner and similar things have happened to me as well. You are not alone.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Refused to sign invoice

        This is the thread that the school teacher on another thread who want's to be a plumber should read

        Anyhoooo. Not sure how much time you have into this but materials I assume were nominal? I think I would just walk on it and don't leave any paper trail at all. Next time get a signature before you start work. Lessons learned usually cost something.
        sigpic

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        • #19
          Re: Refused to sign invoice

          The last shop I worked out had legality down to a tee. There were 4 signature blocks
          1. Customer signs for the tech to proceed with diagnosis and agrres to pay for diagnostic fee.

          2. Customer signs for tech to start work at agreed upfront price. Block 1 and 2 get signed before work starts.

          3. Customer signs for acceptance of work.

          4. Tech signs for work being done.
          Buy cheap, buy twice.

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          • #20
            Re: Refused to sign invoice

            Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
            I am a new business owner and similar things have happened to me as well. You are not alone.
            This is why I felt it good to post my experience. If this issue helps anybody NOT go through this, then it's worthwhile.

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            • #21
              Re: Refused to sign invoice

              Originally posted by JeffH View Post
              This is going back to the polybutylene thread.
              Funny how things can just inplode in a blink of an eye.

              Customer call to fix leak in front yard, bubbling up through lawn.
              After digging, it is determined that it is black polybutyene pipe without a great fix (read link below). I counsel my Customers on the history of PB and it's failures and that the fix should be viewed as temporary. But at least their yard is not being damaged and they have restored H2O to their home. This will give them time to make a decision about replacement. Well, I couple the crappy stuff, give it till the next day to make sure it holds and bury it in the morning. Here is where it goes into chaos...

              They won't sign the invoice with the disclaimer that I cautioned them about the polybutylene and considered the fix as a stop gap measure to 1) stop the leak 2) restore water to home.

              They start accusing me of not wanting to be responsible for my work, blah, blah, blah. They want the invoice to simply read: "Fixed leak in water supply"
              I tell them that it was my duty to caution them about the product and it being on the invoice was really just standard practice. Same goes with the "stop gap" line.

              Well they refuse to pay me, until I edit my invoice. I wanted to get paid and get away from these crazy people, so I did edit my invoice.

              How would you of handled this situation? and Do I have some sort of defense from liability? Should I give them back their payment and be done with it?

              Read: http://www.seay-inspections.com/Polybutylene.htm
              I think that you do have good defense from liability. You repaired "this" leak and any good expert witness should find in your favor percentage wise in my opinion. The problems with the material can be easily proven. Even if you're repair fails you can easily prove defective material. And unless your invoices/contract has specific wording giving warranty then there can't be any expectation of such.

              As far as returning their payment, don't. It may be all you'll ever see and it wouldn't stop them from seeking litigation. Upon them receiving the bill and you accepting payment, the contract is complete and may not be reversible depending on state statutes.

              After awhile, you'll get a feel for people and how reasonable they are. But no matter what, make it clear what you will do and more importantly what you WON'T do. Then you should be fine.

              It's up to you if you want to continue working with this customer. Each customer is different. And it sounds like their expectations demand higher rates.

              Good luck. You'll do fine.

              J.C.

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              • #22
                Re: Refused to sign invoice

                You didn't mention the amount of the bill. I hope you cashed the check after you left!. There's no way this can come back to bite you. Don't worry about it. Where did you pick up this customer?

                Work up an estimate now to replace the line and write the history of your original call and that you highly recommend replacing this defective pipe. Have it notorized and send it to them certified mail with return receipt. When it leaks again remind them of the price to replace it and you will require the entire amount up front (make it twice of what you would normally charge - just for the grief they have already caused).

                If they insist the leak is on your pipe tell them to call someone else but you or your representative must be there when they uncover the pipe.

                Put their name and number in your caller i.d. just so you will be prepared. Don't answer their call. Call them back.
                "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                • #23
                  Re: Refused to sign invoice

                  jedd--if u havent been doin this long, you will always get a customer like this every once in awhile--after a few people convince u to change ur bill and u do--you will start to feel it(paycheck or boss sees it) and realize as i said earlier--people are getting a deal when u show up-even if the rate is 200 / hr
                  take pride in ur work and dont ever back off your bill--your time is always worth the price you charge
                  good luck and do not back down

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                  • #24
                    Re: Refused to sign invoice

                    Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
                    You didn't mention the amount of the bill. I hope you cashed the check after you left!. There's no way this can come back to bite you. Don't worry about it. Where did you pick up this customer?
                    Believe it or not, it was only $400.00. Emergency call & and I was out there in 25 minutes. I had done a drain cleaning job for them some time ago, and they called me first. Anyway, because they were repeat Customers, I gave them the best price I could come up with. Why? because I love my Customers and have some sort of weird maternal feelings towards them. But Hey, I'm learning!

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                    • #25
                      Re: Refused to sign invoice

                      Jeff, pulllease...replace the word with "fraternal", even "paternal".

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Refused to sign invoice

                        I gotta say that I'm still having a hard time with this. Are you absolutely sure it was polbybutylene? Unless this was put in by some trailer house company, black PB was hard to come by. I've never seen black PB in a supply house. Were you able to actually read polybutylene on the pipe? What did you repair it with?

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                        • #27
                          Re: Refused to sign invoice

                          Originally posted by Herk View Post
                          I gotta say that I'm still having a hard time with this. Are you absolutely sure it was polbybutylene? Unless this was put in by some trailer house company, black PB was hard to come by. I've never seen black PB in a supply house. Were you able to actually read polybutylene on the pipe? What did you repair it with?
                          This is the only verbage on the pipe. I wasn't quite sure either. I took a sample to the local plumbing house, where a few plumbers confirmed that it was PB. Though my own subsequent web research I've found out that there has been class action suits due to this stuff in cities like Mission Viejo, CA which just happened to be my job site.

                          This was the only verbage on the pipe.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Refused to sign invoice

                            The biggest problem with PB pipe was that antibacterial chemicals in the water would unspin the little molecules and the pipe would fail. Otherwise it isn't all that bad, and I plumbed my own house with it. I'm very happy after all these years. Never a problem - not one - not even a failed valve.

                            The ones who had the worst problems, aside from the multitudes of cheaply-plumbed trailers, were the municipalities that installed it beneath their streets and it started failing. That gets expensive.

                            I was sad to see it go.

                            I do repair a lot of failures in trailers. I have never had to go back on a house I plumbed in the stuff. But the trailers used the dog-eared aluminum crimp rings and they just rot away when they get damp. And the plastic tees they used tend to snap - usually because of torsion from any twisting of the pipe because of improper hanging.

                            When it first came out, we were required by the state to pump it up to 140 lbs. They changed to whatever the static water pressure was later - and the hydrostatic pump I invested in hasn't had any use since we switched to PEX.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Refused to sign invoice

                              High-density polyethylene is approved for both water and sewer lines in many parts of the country. The regular PE is weak though, its only good for irrigation lines. I always rip it out and replace it with copper or sometimes schedule 40 pressure-rated pvc and schedule 80 pvc fittings.
                              Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                              • #30
                                Re: Refused to sign invoice

                                PB is pure junk.
                                Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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