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Thread: Plumber Policy Question

  1. #1

    Default Plumber Policy Question

    Would anyone mind doing a "What would you do" scenario re: your policies?

    You install a product. It doesn't work. You believe that there is another problem that is making the product not work. You tell the homeowner to have it checked out, because you can't do that kind of work. You don't have the proper equipment.

    The homeowner has the other stuff checked out by another company. The company tells the homeowner that everything else is fine, the product you installed is not going to work, ever. There is nothing else wrong but the product.

    The homeowner comes back to you, and you tell the homeowner that your product is fine. You believe it is fine, so you don't really do anything to offer to correct the problem.

    The homeowner contracts with company #2 to have the problem fixed, which includes replacing the product you installed. Everything works fine after the product has been replaced.

    What kind, if any, refund policy would you offer to the homeowner? Just the part? What about your labor charges? Too bad, so sad for homeowner? What should a plumbing business do in this situation?

    (I am the homeowner, btw!)

  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Responses are going to be tempered by the fact that we are getting only one side of the dispute.

    It would be helpful if you were very specific regarding the product, the problem, and the other trade or service involved. Otherwise we may give you an answer that you will use to justify your position and we could be completely off track.

    In general; if I install something it works before I leave the premises.

    If I sell you a product with installation, and that installation requires another trade, then I either perform that function myself, or tell you when I sell it and you agree to get the other work done, or it is my responsibility to get it done.

    For example, if I were installing a new gas water heater with a power vent (I don't do that sort of thing but it is an example that requires multiple trades.) where one had not been installed before, I would expect to be responsible for the whole job, soup to nuts. When I left, you would have a reliable water heater with the gas, electricity, and plumbing hooked up. The unit would be fired up and I would verify that it was working and controlling.

    If I couldn't do the gas line or electrical, I would tell you and we would agree ahead of time who would get it done and who would pay for it.

    Now if I were replacing an existing unit and it just involved connecting the new where the old was, I would expect that you would be responsible for the capacity of the gas line. If you need a bigger line from the meter that would be your responsibility unless we contracted for it.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Bob,


    He was....here but for some reason he went in and removed all his statements in regards to his dilemma, got feedback and now wants a role reversal of opinion.

    CheeseCurl...did you think somebody wasn't going to do a search on your posts to find out what your agenda is?


    What's becoming obvious is you are becoming deceptive for no apparent reason and I'm starting to question your credibility on the actual events of your situation.


    Otherwise, why would you of bothered to even remove your posts on another thread relating to this same situation? When I quoted your words, that's something you can't remove from the thread.

    I'd have trouble believing anything you got to say about this matter now; there's more to this story than what your eluding to.

    Don't try to go back in and add your statements back now; it will show the time stamp showing you did.

    You removed your posts on 10-26-07
    Last edited by Dunbar Plumbing; 11-13-2007 at 02:39 PM.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  4. #4
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    I remember that thread - bizarro price for a jet pump install by a plumber who probably shouldn't get anywhere near a pump. Or so it read at the time.

    Bring on Judge Judy!

  5. #5

    Default No agenda...

    I did erase my posts back then because in the midst of the dispute I was uncomfortable with the whole situation. I would definitely like to understand the other - the plumber's- side. I was left with a non-working jet pump and had to have the pump replaced by another company. Plumber #1 told us our well was dry or too low. That wasn't true. I 'm sure he thought it was.

    As I stated here, I am the homeowner. I just wanted to know how other pros would handle a situation like this. When I suggested that maybe just refunding the cost of the pump was really not enough, the plumber went nuts on me and said it was "unheard of" and his labor charges stand. Despite the fact that his pump did not fix our problem.

    Honest, no hidden agenda or deceptive anything. No need to jump on me. Didn't want to bore folks with a million details here, just wanted to know in general how things like this are handled in the industry. As for his side of the story, I don't think he meant to be a jerk at all.

    I think he really believed something was wrong with the well, and he was also over his head and didn't know how to fix the problem and communicated this very poorly.

    Really. Nothing I said here is different than what I said in my other thread.



    Quote Originally Posted by RUGGED View Post
    Bob,


    He was....here but for some reason he went in and removed all his statements in regards to his dilemma, got feedback and now wants a role reversal of opinion.

    CheeseCurl...did you think somebody wasn't going to do a search on your posts to find out what your agenda is?


    What's becoming obvious is you are becoming deceptive for no apparent reason and I'm starting to question your credibility on the actual events of your situation.


    Otherwise, why would you of bothered to even remove your posts on another thread relating to this same situation? When I quoted your words, that's something you can't remove from the thread.

    I'd have trouble believing anything you got to say about this matter now; there's more to this story than what your eluding to.

    Don't try to go back in and add your statements back now; it will show the time stamp showing you did.

    You removed your posts on 10-26-07

  6. #6
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Still isn't much point in trying to frame some indefinite inquiry. You aren't going to get any expert opinions that way. And if you're in a legal situation, you will have to deal with it.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking give them back the money

    How much money are you talking about???

    200? 500?


    Did they give you a chance to make things right???


    You should give a 100% refund if they are willing
    to at least give you back the product they tore out....

    at least your name wont be turned to mud....

    I hope it was not a tankless water heater....$$$$




  8. #8
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    From what I gather, it was $1850 for a jet pump install...from what I could tell the guy didn't know how to prime it.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercheesecurl View Post
    Would anyone mind doing a "What would you do" scenario re: your policies?

    You install a product. It doesn't work. You believe that there is another problem that is making the product not work. You tell the homeowner to have it checked out, because you can't do that kind of work. You don't have the proper equipment.
    Who did the troubleshooting on the original pump that was being replaced?

    If the plumber that replaced the old pump, then he has the liability IMO. I say that due to the old pump probably not being bad.

    If the homeowner called him saying "I need a new jet pump"... then the homeowner has the liability IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by supercheesecurl View Post
    The homeowner has the other stuff checked out by another company. The company tells the homeowner that everything else is fine, the product you installed is not going to work, ever. There is nothing else wrong but the product.
    Well ummm that statement is not true. The pump (product) isn't bad, or so far you haven't said it is... it doesn't do the job it is intended to do because of whatever they told you is wrong that it will never work, and that has t odo with something with the well, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by supercheesecurl View Post
    The homeowner comes back to you, and you tell the homeowner that your product is fine. You believe it is fine, so you don't really do anything to offer to correct the problem.
    Me, I would have stayed after installing the jet pump until I got you water or we made a deal to work the price of the jet pump into the price for a change over to a submersible pump; which I would have done before selling you the jet pump actually.

    Quote Originally Posted by supercheesecurl View Post
    The homeowner contracts with company #2 to have the problem fixed, which includes replacing the product you installed. Everything works fine after the product has been replaced.
    You say "replacing the product...", where is the new jet pump the plumber installed?

    Quote Originally Posted by supercheesecurl View Post
    What kind, if any, refund policy would you offer to the homeowner? Just the part? What about your labor charges? Too bad, so sad for homeowner? What should a plumbing business do in this situation?
    IMO, if he is smart, he would take the pump back and give you a full refund right after a heartfelt apology. He could look at it as tuition in the school of hard knocks but... he won't.

    Now on your side of all this... if you called (a plumber that doesn't know wells and can't do work on one) for a new pump instead of having him come out to fix a no water problem, then you need to pay some hefty tuition too.

    Wherever this goes, you will be running this story past everyone remotely talking about ripoffs or plumbers or pumps etc. for at least the next 10 years. If you mention the plumber, which IMO there is no chance you will miss any opportunity, you will cause him to lose many times the amount of money he has charged you. That's why I say if he were smart, he would have refunded it all and apologized when you told him why the new jet pump didn't fix the problem.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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  10. #10
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercheesecurl View Post
    I did erase my posts back then because in the midst of the dispute I was uncomfortable with the whole situation. I would definitely like to understand the other - the plumber's- side. I was left with a non-working jet pump and had to have the pump replaced by another company. Plumber #1 told us our well was dry or too low. That wasn't true. I 'm sure he thought it was.

    As I stated here, I am the homeowner. I just wanted to know how other pros would handle a situation like this. When I suggested that maybe just refunding the cost of the pump was really not enough, the plumber went nuts on me and said it was "unheard of" and his labor charges stand. Despite the fact that his pump did not fix our problem.

    Honest, no hidden agenda or deceptive anything. No need to jump on me. Didn't want to bore folks with a million details here, just wanted to know in general how things like this are handled in the industry. As for his side of the story, I don't think he meant to be a jerk at all.

    I think he really believed something was wrong with the well, and he was also over his head and didn't know how to fix the problem and communicated this very poorly.

    Really. Nothing I said here is different than what I said in my other thread.


    Well thanks for the clarification because it sure looked odd that you removed your posts in the matter.....then reposted a new question relating to issue. ??

    As a plumber....if I enter into unknown territory and mislead a customer into spending money that they should of never spent to begin with....

    I have a obligation to refund that money, get my product back and consider it a mistake that no one should have to deal with. On the job training isn't permissable when dealing with other people's pocketbooks.

    If I'm not secure in my asessment of a job...I don't do it.

    On another front...

    In my area there were no "specific" pump guys...they didn't exist. Just plumbers who would do the task....and there wasn't many that wanted to mess with them. Back then I was fed tons of pump calls for repairs/replacements...all that came from a plumbing/electrical supply house.

    They trusted my work...I was really cheap back then as I didn't have any overhead and was the last of the plumbers still willing to deal with them. I took advantage of this overflow and made the best out of it.

    Now......I don't like messing with them because I don't have my hands on the product every day like I used to. I give advice to what people "should" put in their homes in regards to these private water systems and most if not all times, the customer supplies me what I'm going to put in with no choices in the matter. So....I do it.

    I never take the word of a customer on a defective product until I've done checkpoint testing of whatever is malfunctioning first.

    Meaning, I would of test that pump by series of different ways and determined what the customer is stating is the same thing that is truly happening.

    That's where knowledge and experience of dealing with a million situations pays off...saves you and the customer from double spending.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  11. #11
    Plumber Winslow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercheesecurl View Post
    Would anyone mind doing a "What would you do" scenario re: your policies?

    You install a product. It doesn't work. You believe that there is another problem that is making the product not work. You tell the homeowner to have it checked out, because you can't do that kind of work. You don't have the proper equipment.

    The homeowner has the other stuff checked out by another company. The company tells the homeowner that everything else is fine, the product you installed is not going to work, ever. There is nothing else wrong but the product.

    The homeowner comes back to you, and you tell the homeowner that your product is fine. You believe it is fine, so you don't really do anything to offer to correct the problem.

    The homeowner contracts with company #2 to have the problem fixed, which includes replacing the product you installed. Everything works fine after the product has been replaced.

    What kind, if any, refund policy would you offer to the homeowner? Just the part? What about your labor charges? Too bad, so sad for homeowner? What should a plumbing business do in this situation?

    (I am the homeowner, btw!)

    If I was the homeowner I wouldn't pay for the job until it was done to my satisfaction. Once you pay you have no effective leverage.

  12. #12

    Default Thanks everyone.

    I appreciate the feedback. It's just been weighing on my mind and wondered if my expectations were as crazy as he made them out to be. He was very insistent that he was entitled to every penny. Not the most flexible guy on the planet. I really had no idea if this was unusual or not. (I was pretty sure other people would have handled this a lot different than he did.)

    Yes, we did give him the opportunity to fix it, but he just could not accept that anything was wrong with the work he did. He argued with me. It seems he didn't want to deal with it. That's okay with me, I just don't think it's right to try to collect every penny in that case. I know I feel strongly that if someone is paying me to do a job, I am going to be accountable for it, no matter what the job is, plumbing or any other kind of job. The well pump guys did tell me a few things that they are pretty sure went wrong during installation. He just wouldn't own up to it.

    Thanks again for your thoughts on how you would handle customer service in this instance.

  13. #13
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default Do us a favor and post results of the matter

    no matter how long it takes to get your money back.


    There's a plumber that's a dopehead in my area that would do just like the above, swear up and down that you're wrong and he's right because he's a plumber and you're not, then guilt you by saying he's got young kids and a family to raise.

    If a mechanic replaces a motor when it was the transmission making the noise, you got rights to get refunded for the money misspent and the ability/choice to have someone competent to fix the transmission, just like what should of been done to begin with.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  14. #14
    Plumbing Company Owner smellslike$tome's Avatar
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    I would not have been able to provide you service to begin with because I do not possess the knowledge or skill necessary to work on well systems. If there were a significant demand for such services in my area then I would certainly obtain the knowledge and develop the skill. However, within our sphere of competancy, my company has a standing policy of !00% satisfaction guarantee or you do not pay, ... anything. We take a big chance with this policy. The chance is not with our work, we have an obligation to the client to do what we say we will and if we don't or can't it's not the customers fault. We are consumers too. The chance we take is that we will encounter someone who just gets in their head that they will steal from us via our guarantee. Ok fine, when this happens we will refund a portion or all of your money no questions asked. We will remove the equipment we installed. You will have to get someone else to replace it. We will note you in our files so that we never provide you with service again and we send out a message to every plumbing company we know of warning them of our experience with you as well as providing them with your name and address. Please understand we have never had to do this and this would only apply to situations where the work was performed as agreed and subsequently the customer was not happy because they didn't know it would look like that or "I'm just not happy" or "you took too long" or any other petty ploy to get free stuff. In reality I don't think this would ever happen anyway. We have on very rare occasions had to walk away from jobs without being paid but when we did, the customer was never charged anything. If you install something and it doesn't work for whatever reason, it's not the customers fault.

  15. #15
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    thank you smell.

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