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  • When to say no

    There are certain "red flags" that pop up to warn me not to take on a job. Being aware of these have saved me a lot of grief over the years but like all of you I had my share so these are some of my warning signs.

    I fired the last two plumbers that were here

    I need it done yesterday

    I don't want any inspectors

    Can I pay you in a few months

  • #2
    Re: When to say no

    "Can you come by my house and give me a bid to fix my toilet? I have 3 other plumber's coming to look at it also."
    (I do small service jobs, not big projects, so I don't do 'bids'. I actually hate that word, if it comes up on the phone I hang up.)

    "I don't have my checkbook with me."

    "It will only take you 10 minutes."
    (Every job only takes 10 minutes according to some people.)

    "Can you do better on the price?"
    (what is this? A flea market? My prices aren't negotiable.)

    "I have no idea what could be in my toilet."
    (translation: "I put something really stupid in there, and it is going to be near impossible to get it out.")

    "I am a property manager/landlord."
    (Notorious for not paying after service is rendered. I get a credit card number before I will even show up.)
    Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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    • #3
      Re: When to say no

      Hmmmm that is a tuff one, The items you listed are straight deal breakers for me...

      I think we end up developing a radar about folks the longer we stay in the business and the more people we deal with though I will be the first to admit it is not foolproof but I feel like I'm better about picking out the bad seeds now as opposed to when I first started...

      There are those folks out there that just like to cheat and feel better about themselves by getting over on someone ( they were the kids who used to pull the wings off of flies in school), These pro's IMO are the tuffest to spot.

      " Can I bring you by cash tomorrow?" is the one line that got me stiffed this year ( I fell for it)

      Okie
      Last edited by OkieBill; 11-12-2008, 05:10 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: When to say no

        Yea, "the other plumber just walked off the job" is a huge red flag. I wonder how long I'll last before I walk off.

        Most are pretty easy to spot but every now and then one will slip under the radar and stab me in the back.

        Facial expressions and body language will tell you a lot about people too. Sometimes what comes out of their mouth doesn't match up with what their body is saying. That's when the hair on the back of my neck stands up.

        "If you give me a good price on this water heater today, I have 4 other houses I'll have you do those next week"
        So I take 10% off. Never hear from them again. Doh! I always fall for that one!

        "I'll meet you at the house in 10 minutes" An hour later she calls and says she can't make it. "Can we try again tommorrow?"...um...sure dear, whatever you want. If I'm a few minutes late don't worry, I'll be there!....NOT!!

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        • #5
          Re: When to say no

          Originally posted by Okie Bill
          Can I bring you by cash tomorrow?" is the one line that got me stiffed this year ( I fell for it)
          I've gotten nailed by that one quite a few times. Usually, I go back to collect at the door and find that they've moved with no forwarding address. They were just fixing things before they left. Watch out for those real estate signs in the yard . . .

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          • #6
            Re: When to say no

            I thought this post was about drugs, or booze.

            Anyway, I would have to agree with all the above.

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            • #7
              Re: When to say no

              Originally posted by rookie plumber View Post
              There are certain "red flags" that pop up to warn me not to take on a job. Being aware of these have saved me a lot of grief over the years but like all of you I had my share so these are some of my warning signs.
              the referrals i get from the local hardware store are typically the desperate ones. i tend not to be interested in them.

              sometimes i would just pawn them off to my buddy steve

              rick.
              phoebe it is

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              • #8
                Re: When to say no

                Anyone that their voice is starting to tremble like they are about to cry on the other end of the phone.


                Do they do this to their hairstylist? Their court clerk when they pay their taxes?


                I can't type out what I do next, but it's rude and I'm sure it straightens them out for the next plumber they call.


                Until I get Oprah Winfrey wages, I'm not a mood or financial counselor for grieving customers. ****ing idiots.
                Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                • #9
                  Re: When to say no

                  I am very good at saying no. I've made a career out of it.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: When to say no

                    I had a homeowner ask me the other day if i could install his "2 peice homemade sink". The bottom plate was a peice of steel with a welded on fixture outlet pipe, fastened to the concrete sink by nothing more then a thin bead of silicone. Wow. No thanks.

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                    • #11
                      Re: When to say no

                      Originally posted by doubleD View Post
                      I had a homeowner ask me the other day if i could install his "2 peice homemade sink". The bottom plate was a peice of steel with a welded on fixture outlet pipe, fastened to the concrete sink by nothing more then a thin bead of silicone. Wow. No thanks.
                      Yeah then you tried to pass it off to me..
                      West Trail Mechanical Ltd
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                      www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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                      • #12
                        Re: When to say no

                        The one that really pisses me off is " I'm a real estate agent, but iI deal with alot of contractor, so I expect a good deal" When i hear this I used to hang up, now I can't help but to let out some choice words
                        West Trail Mechanical Ltd
                        Service. Commitment. Expertise.

                        www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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                        • #13
                          Re: When to say no

                          Originally posted by bigPipe09 View Post
                          The one that really pisses me off is " I'm a real estate agent, but iI deal with alot of contractor, so I expect a good deal" When i hear this I used to hang up, now I can't help but to let out some choice words
                          I agree completely. Real estate agents are the WORST!!! I don't ever waste my time with them.

                          The ones I love are the one halfs - one half of a couple that's looking for a price without the knowledge of the other half. "I make all the decisions" they'll say....

                          Yeah right.....

                          First thing out of their mouth after the price is "I'm gonna have to discuss it with the wife/husband"

                          Never gonna happen, so call someone else. I'm not falling for it.

                          I don't bother with the ones that say they're currently "checking out their options", or "we're just getting estimates right now".

                          Great. Give me a call when you get all your other prices, 'cause mine's gonna be the most expensive.......

                          Remember, an extra 5 or 10 minutes of qualifying the customer on the phone can save you and hour or two, and thereby your money, your business, and probably your sanity.
                          I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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                          • #14
                            Re: When to say no

                            Another good one is, "I need it done now, but I'll pay you when I get my income tax back." It doesn't take long to realize that they've spent the same check several times.

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