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    Within the last couple of years I have became extremely unsatisfied with this trade and the cheap mentality that seems to be constantly looming over our heads. It is honestly like trying to perform your job with one hand behind your back. Case and point: Recently while installing water lines in a medical clinic I was chastised by the facility staff for using copper pipe with pp fittings (BTW to cut cost we scaled down to type-m). He continued to ask and suggest that pex was the cheaper and better alternative. Aside from the fact that the ceilings are open-air return and Plastic pipe is against city fire code, I informed this gentleman that copper is actually less money when you figure in the additional labor and material for hangers every 42" vs every 6'. For the record I will not screw plastic plumbers tape into pandeck for hangers. Even more recently we installed a Champion 4 toilet for a Dentist who frantically needed a new toilet first thing Monday morning. We suggested the Champion based off of Consumer Reports and word of mouth. Later that week we got a call from the practice to answer why the toilet was so much more than the ones at Home Depot. First of all Glacier Bay does not make an ADA toilet.....Anyway I am so sick of this. It has gotten to the point where I am seriously considering other career options. I have recently started college again, but the truth of the matter is I used to really enjoy this job; but I will not do it for food stamp wages and "the ER can't turn you away healthcare plan". I feel that the pride, professionalism, quality has all been lost in the name of cheap. I never intended to get rich doing this; but is it so much to ask to be able to do your job as a professional and go home with a little bit of pride at the end of the day?


    J

  • #2
    Re: Advice

    I'm going to have to get a second opinion from my handyman.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Advice

      I agree with you justin , I am not going to do anything else though , just keep in mind that people will always try to beat you up over price or think they know more than you about plumbing and material , use the code to your advantage , some / most people think they are smarter than me also , I us e this to my advantage . You will always get people complaining about price , it is part of the business , just let it go in one ear and out the other , or start doing what dunbar does , [ he just makes me laught , ] he is correct

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Advice

        When someone wants me to go cheep,
        I let some one else do the job

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Advice

          Well Justin...I have a college degree. Go get one and see what it will pay. Remember, there are literally 100,000's of snot nosed kids coming out of school with nothing to go to. But you have a trade, a skill. So far they have not figured how to source it out...

          Now, having a college degree does help if you blow your knees out, break your back. Then you can fall on that, maybe.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Advice

            my advise is to work out the details in the contract prior to dong the work. sounds like you installed what is correct, but the owner was not aware of the cost.

            if i was installing med piping, i would have a contract to protect both you and the owner. all spelled out specs and price.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Advice

              I lived in coos Bay for 2 years. Bend is a great Town. I am lucky to live in and work in a money area, What a difference in getting Your JUST money. I hope this isn't taken the wrong way. We got lucky Hooking up with a Guy named Steve Jobs ,He shares the wealth with little People ! May He live long! Charge good money , Blow off the cheepies. I was told You should be getting 1 of 5 jobs estimated! Good Luck Tool
              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Advice

                Originally posted by Justintheplumber View Post
                He continued to ask and suggest that pex was the cheaper and better alternative.

                Why did they call you? Are you a handyman? Did they call your company because you are the least expensive plumber, or because you cut corners to cut costs. Do you do jobs for cash 'under the table'? I don't think so. They called you because you are a professional, and they want you to do a professional job. These are the type of people that will be the first to complain if you don't. If you did a shoddy job with cheap materials, they would be up one side of you and down the other.

                If my clients start second guessing me, I ask them what their concern is. A lot of times that opens up the door for them to actually open up with their real objections. Then those objections/cost/concerns are dealt with one by one.

                If they really start to get ornery, I explain why I'm doing it this way/with these materials, then I say, "I can do it properly - to code, and to better than industry standards, or I can do it your way. If I do it your way, I'll need you to sign off on the changes you want, taking all of the design, legal and insurance responsibility for the changes off of me". Works every time.

                Originally posted by Justintheplumber View Post
                Even more recently we installed a Champion 4 toilet for a Dentist who frantically needed a new toilet first thing Monday morning. We suggested the Champion based off of Consumer Reports and word of mouth. Later that week we got a call from the practice to answer why the toilet was so much more than the ones at Home Depot. First of all Glacier Bay does not make an ADA toilet.

                If you 'suggested' the Champion, I would imagine that before you proceeded with the emergency repair/replacement you waited for some kind of an approval (for the Champion, and hopefully the cost of the job) from the Dentist. - Done.

                Originally posted by Justintheplumber View Post
                I never intended to get rich doing this; but is it so much to ask to be able to do your job as a professional and go home with a little bit of pride at the end of the day?

                Very easily Justin. You just have to learn how to deal with clients and their objections a little better. While you are going back to school, take a few sales and marketing courses. Or even better find Marketing professionals in your area. Most of them offer courses on dealing with client objections.

                My most loyal clients are the ones that have had a lot of pricing or installation concerns at the start of the job. After talking with them, explaining why, and in some cases asking them if they will be home in the next hour, because I'm coming over to return their $2,800 deposit, find someone else to do the job. Residential, Commercial or Industrial, people just want to feel like they are important and being taken care of. ....But then again, there are just some customers that you just have to fire.

                Mick

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Advice

                  Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                  my advise is to work out the details in the contract prior to dong the work. sounds like you installed what is correct, but the owner was not aware of the cost.

                  if i was installing med piping, i would have a contract to protect both you and the owner. all spelled out specs and price.

                  rick.

                  I agree with Rick.

                  One thing I have found and I am in no way accusing anyone of anything, this is just my opinion. However the one thing I find in service companies of any kind is that that their is little explanation in WHY things need to be done a certain way. Part of the fault is customers for not asking but the other fault is of the service man as well. It's often the WHAT needs to be done is told but not the WHY it needs to be done in such a way that the customer understands the numbers and why you use the parts or services you do. I have learned that being proactive and checking for understanding of the what and why goes a long way to having happy customers. It prevents questions of the cost and reason why you used quality parts you did and not some HD brand that will give out after 1,000 flushes.

                  To be honest when I was doing service work I was guilty of this and if I ever get back into it I know now I will do things differently.

                  p.s. Justintheplumber welcome to the forum and woo hoo another Oregonian. The real question is Ducks or Beavers?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice

                    80% of my work was more in the custom cabinets and remodel and construction of new buildings when I actively working in the trades,

                    when I first started out, I built a shop on the side lot of the house we lived in and started advertising cabinets and kitchens,

                    at first I built cabinets that were good but low cost, basically thought I needed to compete against the manufactured line of stuff being sold in the day,

                    then it dawned on me WHY, either I build a quality product or I do not need to build it at all, (I can not compeat with a factory that has a thousand machines and can slap together a cabinet in 2 Min's),

                    I later came to the conclusion that if that is what the customer wanted go to the home center and haul it home.

                    IF I was going to build it it was going to be near heirloom quality, or if stand alone it would be heirloom quality.

                    Before I got injured and slowed way down and my Dad no longer helped on the farm.
                    I had 5 years worth of work lined up, when I got out of construction. and had not advertised for many many years prior to that.
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    my son in law is a electrician, he is very careful and meticulous and neat, (he is the top employee of the company that has two owners), but his company will get calls that will request him to be in charge of the project or he him self do the project and will pay extra for the work he does, (and this town has many many shops in it),

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    I still think reputation is important in what ever trade you work in,
                    yes cost is bearing, but if cost is the only criteria one is judging your or any ones work by, the basically deserve what they get, (it is kind like buying a harbor freight tool compared to a Ridgid or Dewalt or Milwaukee),

                    I think if one is up front and holds to quality standards materials and workmanship, you will build a business that will be desired and will stand out and be searched out for its reputation.

                    you put in a cheap or inferior product you will be remembered for it much longer than if you use quality long lasting products.

                    Price it up front, indicate you believe that the higher cost of the materials will pay for them selfs in the long run in durability and usefulness and life expectancy,

                    (I do not know how many people are like me, and the say the porch sink starts to drip and I will say I just put that in what seems like last year, then I will start to think about it oh I did that when ... and figure it was 10 to 15 years ago, and then think the service was not that bad, but if I do fix some thing, (lately it has been valve stems on tires, I got a batch of junk ones that will crack off in about a years time, it is very frustrating to have a tire repair or the tire ruined because of a faulty inferior 99 cent item. that should out last the tire it was used with, (I went out and bought 50 of the best valve stems I could find, nice brass clamp in units), the cost was not the issue but quality was.

                    I personally think if you commit to quality you will be rewarded for it,
                    It may take some time and you may lose some jobs over it,
                    It takes a long time to build a reputation but only a few moments to destroy one,

                    (I had a friend who thought he would get in to tree trimming and removal on a business level,
                    He had some experience, in doing it part time, any way he got his tools together and put an add in the paper, and got a job removing this tree, it was leaning away from the trailer, and he had cut the correct notch in it and ever thing was clear in it's fall path, but he did not count on that gust of wind, and on his first professional job he took out one 1970 trailer house, with one blow. His careerer started and ended on the same day. )
                    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                    attributed to Samuel Johnson
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                    Comment

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