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  • #16
    Re: Question for rick and co.

    Hochwald, I admire your conviction on this issue but that is about all

    Whoever helps me the most for free earns my trust thus will get the paying work when it comes down the pipe, not a strong position IMO

    I have learned my lesson doing estimates for DIY'ers who like to play 20 questions then take my expertise and attempt the job themselves, That is why most professionals will not do free estimates anymore because if we did all we would do is answer questions for every DIY "Engineer" that can dial a phone. For residential work I charge a flat fee for a verbal estimate that is refundable if I get the job, A written estimate costs slightly more (more time and more likely being used for an insurance hussle) and the fee is also refundable if I get the job.

    --The pros know exactly why i do this and will steer any tradesmen away from free estimates.

    Generalized plumbing discussion, no problem (As Stolen stated)

    Answering "How would you do X questions?" not gonna happen.

    Now for what bothers me. Have you read the criteria for posting in this particular forum? Why would you choose to insert yourself into a professional plumbers discussion when you admittedly are only here seeking free advice? Do you really believe you are a plumbing "Engineer"?

    Just because you can post does not mean you should insert yourself into any discussion because you can. That goes for anyone that does not meet the criteria that Ridgid has specified for this Forum, there is a reason we have an ask the experts section...


    Maybe once Rick is finished with his time out he will also remind folks about the criteria for posting in THIS forum since he can remind Plumbers in the ask the experts section that anyone can post there...
    Last edited by OkieBill; 06-24-2012, 12:01 PM.

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    • #17
      Re: Question for rick and co.

      OkieBill, I am indeed not a plumbing prof, I am an electrical engineer by training. I apologize for inserting myself in the prof plumbing discussion, I won't do it any more. Just wanted to throw the opinion of someone who has training (although in another field), and that I generally offer advice to others who ask, without reservation, but with the caveat that my advice is free and I be held blameless for others use of it. I think it buys alot in goodwill and future business, but you folks know best about yours. BTW, I have high opinion of virtually everyone in the forum who has the passion to not just exercise your profession, but also write and discuss it on a forum such as this, it makes everyone better no doubt. Most ppl try hard to leave their jobs at work and not bring it home.

      --Bert

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      • #18
        Re: Question for rick and co.

        Thanks to OkieBill and Stolen for given very good insight on this subject. You could easily see that the guy hochwald was definetly not a plumber in the trade. Only someone not in the trade would make such a outlandish statement. I agree with you guys hold heartedly. Theres is no way I can call the doctor up and get any free advice. He charges for the knowledge and the expertise he has aquired of the years such as we should. I mean you have to consider the consequences when given out this "Free advice", 9 times out of 10 your talking to a complete novice that may have never picked up a tool in there life, and doesn't know the waterline from the wasteline or even worst the gasline. And you think its ok to give this person advice when their completely over their heads. Cmon now, thats crazy.I had a guy tell me one time he thought the water and waste all came from the same pipes. ( You see what I mean?) What happens when you give that advice and they blow up or cause major damage or harm to themselves. That advice isn't so "Free" anymore is it.You just have to know when to much advice is more harmful than helpful. Thanks again to all of those who gave great imput on this subject. keep it coming
        Wise man said "Hot on the left, cold on the right,
        crap flows downhill, and checks come on Friday"

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        • #19
          Re: Question for rick and co.

          i work for hundreds of doctors and lawyers. i can't think of 1 time they didn't give me free advise. in fact i'm seldom put on hold.

          phoebe's doctor takes calls all the time while we're in the office for phoebe's checkup. in fact when we were interviewing doctors prior to phoebe's birth, this was one of the things he mentioned to us. that he takes calls as needed even while he's with other patients.

          doctors and their nurses are always giving out phone advise. they don't need or want you to come in every time you sneeze or have a headache. in fact i wouldn't want a doctor who doesn't take calls and give advise.

          last night i received a series of late wake up calls. after 3 calls and trying to talk them through the problem, i went to the job and took care of the emergency. i did first get them to attempt to shut off the riser in the garage for the hot angle stop leak. unfortunately the gate valve broke in a partial open position. so i ended up going at midnight. i've had this 21 unit account for close to 20 years for a reason. and as people move to private homes and other condos, they take me with them.

          guys, it easy to keep the phone ringing. treat your customers like you would treat your friends and family. if your in it for the long haul, you will see the benefits. not spending a penny advertising, has allowed me to build up over 1500 more than qualified individuals, business and other tradesmen. yes, i do a lot of work for other plumbers and contractors.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #20
            Re: Question for rick and co.

            My cousin asked me howto run gas once.

            Told him the same thing I would anyone else.
            No.

            I think its bad policy to just dispense how to info. Sometimes dangerous. Amongst pros, I will dispense how to. But this is how I make my living. I'm not going to log in and brag myself out of a job. I don't have the 1500 strong customer base you do. And I would bet money it isn't that strong because you tell everyone how to solder. Its most likely because you are a damn good plumber.

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            • #21
              Re: Question for rick and co.

              I never had a paying customer ask me how to fix something so they could do it themselves.

              Personal friends...yes.

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              • #22
                Re: Question for rick and co.

                Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                i work for hundreds of doctors and lawyers. i can't think of 1 time they didn't give me free advise. in fact i'm seldom put on hold.

                phoebe's doctor takes calls all the time while we're in the office for phoebe's checkup. in fact when we were interviewing doctors prior to phoebe's birth, this was one of the things he mentioned to us. that he takes calls as needed even while he's with other patients.

                doctors and their nurses are always giving out phone advise. they don't need or want you to come in every time you sneeze or have a headache. in fact i wouldn't want a doctor who doesn't take calls and give advise.

                last night i received a series of late wake up calls. after 3 calls and trying to talk them through the problem, i went to the job and took care of the emergency. i did first get them to attempt to shut off the riser in the garage for the hot angle stop leak. unfortunately the gate valve broke in a partial open position. so i ended up going at midnight. i've had this 21 unit account for close to 20 years for a reason. and as people move to private homes and other condos, they take me with them.

                guys, it easy to keep the phone ringing. treat your customers like you would treat your friends and family. if your in it for the long haul, you will see the benefits. not spending a penny advertising, has allowed me to build up over 1500 more than qualified individuals, business and other tradesmen. yes, i do a lot of work for other plumbers and contractors.

                rick.

                Rick, it is easy for a Master Plumber that has been in business for almost 40 years to give free advice, you have admittedly already built your customer base. How is dispensing free advice over the internet the same thing as helping your customers? You gotta compare apples to apples here...

                --If you have done work for someone and have developed a relationship, safe advice within the customers capabilities is not an issue.
                --Why dispense advice without knowing someones capability, is that irresponsible?
                --Why do a disservice to a fellow plumber by attempting to take work from him / her. (Do you remember what it was like just starting out?)

                Nobody doubts you have a healthy business but that has nothing to do with this discussion...

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Question for rick and co.

                  Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
                  Rick, it is easy for a Master Plumber that has been in business for almost 40 years to give free advice, you have admittedly already built your customer base. How is dispensing free advice over the internet the same thing as helping your customers? You gotta compare apples to apples here...

                  --If you have done work for someone and have developed a relationship, safe advice within the customers capabilities is not an issue.
                  --Why dispense advice without knowing someones capability, is that irresponsible?
                  --Why do a disservice to a fellow plumber by attempting to take work from him / her. (Do you remember what it was like just starting out?)

                  Nobody doubts you have a healthy business but that has nothing to do with this discussion...
                  have you seen those web sites where pros get paid to answer questions from the public. they're all over the Internet. should i just take my show on the road and make millions by charging for simple advise. at $5.00- $20.00 an answer, i could be making a good 100.00 a day answering questions.

                  do you really think the people that ask questions here are directly taking work away from you or anyone else on this forum. would you rather see them get the parts and advise from a home center so called pro.

                  do you really think that the people that come to this forum for do it yourself advise can actually afford the going rates that most plumbers are charging. is it fair to charge a person a days pay for them, for a simple 1 hour call.

                  the more the public is educated on the basics, the better chance that they will know the difference between a licensed pro and a wanna be plumber. every week i see people getting taken advantage of. saw it saturday for the tune of $20,000 and today/ tuesday for an unknown sum on a sewer repair. if the pubic was better informed, they would also make better choices.

                  do you go out every time to plunge a persons toilet? or do you first advise them to use a plunger? and if you do go out, what did it just cost a person to have you come and plunge their toilet? a plugged toilet should not cost a person time off from work and a 1/2 days pay. especially when it takes me 10 seconds to plunge a persons toilet. most will take my advise and some will still have me come out to do it for them. $55.00 is not exactly going to make me rich, but it does build trust when you offered them the advise over the phone first.

                  i know that the public that reads these forums appreciate all the work that most of us put into it by providing a free service. they then call you, i and all the others when they know it's not a simple and safe job.

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Question for rick and co.

                    I'm just going to let that whole post go because further discussion is not going to change anyones opinion and is pointless. Some are far more interested in furthering self interest than protecting their trade.
                    sigpic

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                    • #25
                      Re: Question for rick and co.

                      Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                      I'm just going to let that whole post go because further discussion is not going to change anyones opinion and is pointless. Some are far more interested in furthering self interest than protecting their trade.
                      That's letting go ?
                      I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                      • #26
                        Re: Question for rick and co.

                        Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                        That's letting go ?
                        I think it is...he has said it all already anyway.
                        AllurePlumbing.com
                        • leak detection
                        • drain cleaning
                        • utility locating
                        • conductor fault locating
                        • and other specialties.

                        Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

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                        • #27
                          Re: Question for rick and co.

                          Someone get a hold of Al Gore and tell him to shut his internet down, cause Youtube is far more damaging to our trades than any message board, so the hell with it all.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Question for rick and co.

                            Oh absolutely it is. But it is just another piece of the problem.
                            sigpic

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                            • #29
                              Re: Question for rick and co.

                              Both sides make compelling arguments...so I'm in the middle on this one.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Question for rick and co.

                                I guess we will agree to disagree on the DIY self help

                                Can we all agree that DIY'ers no matter how "good we think there work is" do not belong in THIS forum but should be directed to the ask the experts section?

                                If we can at least agree on that it may help prevent future disagreements in the pros section.

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