My very first disappointing job as a business owner. - Plumbing Zone - Professional Plumbers Forum
CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!

Go Back   Plumbing Zone - Professional Plumbers Forum > Plumbing Forum > General Plumbing Discussion


Like Tree52Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-09-2018, 11:22 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,401

View Alan's Photo Album My Photos
Default My very first disappointing job as a business owner.

I got a call from a friend of the family asking how much I would charge to go over and turn off the water because she was at work and they were losing water out of their water heater.

She is about 3 minutes down the road so I just went and did it. There was a ton of water leaking out of the pan drain.

So I let her know about the heater leaking, the water was off to it and the power was off to it and to let me know if she wanted me to actually do any work there. She let me know that she doesn't own it, so she would try to get in touch with her landlord.

2 days later, she still can't get ahold of him so she told me to just go ahead and do the job and she would pay me and then submit the bill in lieu of her rent check.

Well, that never happened. She paid her rent and just handed the bill to this dude and he called me last night to let me know that he wasn't happy with the bill that he has a manager that takes care of the property and he could have had this thing delivered and installed for x amount from home depot, and i'm apparently $200 too high.

He was really concerned about the $50 permit fee and I explained to him that anybody who removes, replaces or causes to be removed or replaced a water heater is required to have a permit for it at which point the water heater needs to meet code, which it currently did not. I had some extra parts and labor involved in bringing it up to code.

At the end of it all he told me that he wouldn't be paying the whole thing, but letting his tenant know that she would be responsible for the rest.

That's the first and only strike for me doing work on a rental property without communication from the landlord even for friends. Sorry that you haven't had hot water for 2 days. I would move.

Also, not sorry that i'm $200 higher than a scab property manager. I could not even give the material away with no markup and come down that much.

FFS
GAN, sparky, chonkie and 1 others like this.
__________________
Journeyman Plumber
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Alan For This Useful Post:
breplum (06-11-2018), MACPLUMB777 (06-09-2018), Master Mark (06-09-2018), PLUMB TIME (06-10-2018), sparky (07-04-2018), Tommy plumber (06-09-2018)

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. PlumbingZone.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-09-2018, 11:42 AM   #2
philosopher and statesmen
 
Master Mark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Indianapolis indiana ...
Posts: 7,189

View Master Mark's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Once I hear its rental property I always end the conversation with the tennant and tell them to have the landlord call me directly....

I tell them I dont care if water is running out your front door, unless you are paying me c.o.d CASH its not my problem.....
so dont take it too hard ... you still made some money on the job and the 200 dollars gets chalked up to your continuation education classes....

you know you will never, ever make that mistake again,,.,

you might get the money from the tennant but I would not expect it...
Alan, mtfallsmikey, sparky and 6 others like this.
__________________
God created man in his image and likeness but Sam Colt made them all equal."
http://weilhammerplumbing.com/
http://plumberindianapolis.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQMO1eyMRuM
Master Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Master Mark For This Useful Post:
mtfallsmikey (06-12-2018), PLUMB TIME (06-10-2018), sparky (07-04-2018), Tommy plumber (06-09-2018)
Old 06-09-2018, 12:19 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Wolfe Seacoast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Diego
Posts: 15

View Wolfe Seacoast's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Mark View Post
Once I hear its rental property I always end the conversation with the tennant and tell them to have the landlord call me directly....

I tell them I dont care if water is running out your front door, unless you are paying me c.o.d CASH its not my problem.....
so dont take it too hard ... you still made some money on the job and the 200 dollars gets chalked up to your continuation education classes....

you know you will never, ever make that mistake again,,.,

you might get the money from the tennant but I would not expect it...


It’s true, I would bet that everyone here has this similar experience.
So much so, there should be a thread dedicated to it.

My learning curve moment involved a disposal and sink repair for a renter.
When bill time came, heard the landlord has ‘a guy’ who does this for ‘way less than you’ etc.

That’s the public, the smell new meat like that. It a learning curve.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Alan, MACPLUMB777 and Tango like this.
Wolfe Seacoast is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-09-2018, 12:28 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,401

View Alan's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Mark View Post
Once I hear its rental property I always end the conversation with the tennant and tell them to have the landlord call me directly....

I tell them I dont care if water is running out your front door, unless you are paying me c.o.d CASH its not my problem.....
so dont take it too hard ... you still made some money on the job and the 200 dollars gets chalked up to your continuation education classes....

you know you will never, ever make that mistake again,,.,

you might get the money from the tennant but I would not expect it...
Well, the good news is that my wife and I talked to her this morning and what the landlord told her is different from what he told me. He is going to let her take the entire amount out of her rent split over the next 2 months.

Maybe he just had a bad day and didn't like getting a surprise bill.

Bad news is that the supplier will want to be paid before that. Hopefully I get enough jobs between now and then to cover it, but I've already kissed my 2% goodbye. There's always the credit card. I'm surprised he doesn't have one of those? I'd be happy to take a plastic payment.

I think this will be my biggest struggle : Fighting with people after the fact who don't think I'm worth what i'm charging. People who hire scabs have no idea of the logic and reasoning behind contractors being licensed. We provide professional service with professional results that are covered by insurance in the event of a catastrophe, which is highly unlikely because I have been doing this every day for 11 years.

I've already had enough people tell me that I am VERY REASONABLY priced in terms of labor to make me feel comfortable with what i'm charging. On the other side of the token I understand that some people will still complain even if you give them something for free and tell them about it.

Nobody likes surprises. All in all, this could have been a lot worse. You are right, Mark. Continuing education.
MACPLUMB777 likes this.
__________________
Journeyman Plumber
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2018, 01:27 PM   #5
Moderator
 
Tommy plumber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 12,419

View Tommy plumber's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Well, the good news is that my wife and I talked to her this morning and what the landlord told her is different from what he told me. He is going to let her take the entire amount out of her rent split over the next 2 months.

Maybe he just had a bad day and didn't like getting a surprise bill.

Bad news is that the supplier will want to be paid before that. Hopefully I get enough jobs between now and then to cover it, but I've already kissed my 2% goodbye. There's always the credit card. I'm surprised he doesn't have one of those? I'd be happy to take a plastic payment.

I think this will be my biggest struggle : Fighting with people after the fact who don't think I'm worth what i'm charging. People who hire scabs have no idea of the logic and reasoning behind contractors being licensed. We provide professional service with professional results that are covered by insurance in the event of a catastrophe, which is highly unlikely because I have been doing this every day for 11 years.

I've already had enough people tell me that I am VERY REASONABLY priced in terms of labor to make me feel comfortable with what i'm charging. On the other side of the token I understand that some people will still complain even if you give them something for free and tell them about it.

Nobody likes surprises. All in all, this could have been a lot worse. You are right, Mark. Continuing education.


























Kissing 2% goodbye? Fighting with people after the fact?

Please explain.
mtfallsmikey likes this.
__________________
Hire a licensed master plumber.
Tommy plumber is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Tommy plumber For This Useful Post:
mtfallsmikey (06-12-2018)
Old 06-09-2018, 01:45 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,401

View Alan's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy plumber View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Well, the good news is that my wife and I talked to her this morning and what the landlord told her is different from what he told me. He is going to let her take the entire amount out of her rent split over the next 2 months.

Maybe he just had a bad day and didn't like getting a surprise bill.

Bad news is that the supplier will want to be paid before that. Hopefully I get enough jobs between now and then to cover it, but I've already kissed my 2% goodbye. There's always the credit card. I'm surprised he doesn't have one of those? I'd be happy to take a plastic payment.

I think this will be my biggest struggle : Fighting with people after the fact who don't think I'm worth what i'm charging. People who hire scabs have no idea of the logic and reasoning behind contractors being licensed. We provide professional service with professional results that are covered by insurance in the event of a catastrophe, which is highly unlikely because I have been doing this every day for 11 years.

I've already had enough people tell me that I am VERY REASONABLY priced in terms of labor to make me feel comfortable with what i'm charging. On the other side of the token I understand that some people will still complain even if you give them something for free and tell them about it.

Nobody likes surprises. All in all, this could have been a lot worse. You are right, Mark. Continuing education. <img src="https://www.plumbingzone.com/images/smilies/vs_cool.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Vs Cool" class="inlineimg" />

Kissing 2% goodbye? Fighting with people after the fact?

Please explain.
2% discount if I pay my supplier by the 10th.

I suppose maybe fighting is the wrong word. What I mean is having to deal with people who don't have the sense to ask for pricing up front and then when they get the bill "himmin' & hawin'" about how expensive it is and making partial payments.

I don't really know what to tell them. Like this guy last night had already made up his mind that it was too expensive. He doesnt want to know how expensive it is to carry a contractor's license. He just wants the home depot price.
MACPLUMB777 likes this.
__________________
Journeyman Plumber
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Alan For This Useful Post:
Tommy plumber (06-09-2018)
Old 06-09-2018, 01:49 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
JohnnieSqueeze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 817

View JohnnieSqueeze's Photo Album My Photos
Default

never for friends, never for family. unless its free. and I agree with Mark, let the place flood until the landlord talks directly its not my problem.
Side note, some landlords have rental insurance, most of us carry liability, so there is an insurance coverage issue if the “client” is not the “owner” in the case of a claim.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
JohnnieSqueeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2018, 04:02 PM   #8
Super Moderator
 
OpenSights's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Grand Ledge, MI
Posts: 6,522

View OpenSights's Photo Album My Photos
Default

I’ve only done one job for a tenant. Main line backed up for over a month because the LL wouldn’t call them back. Tenant was good about not flushing or running water the entire time. Tenant paid. I felt bad bad about their situation so took the job.

Other than that, some landlords give me the ok for anything I find while in the house, others I need permission.

Without the ok, you have no recourse if you do work without the owner’s permission.
MACPLUMB777 likes this.
OpenSights is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2018, 04:06 PM   #9
Moderator Wizard
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Québec
Posts: 6,636

View Tango's Photo Album My Photos
Default

I've let a water heater continue to leak as the woman didn't like the quote I gave her. You have to grow tough skin on some jobs.

If I do work for a tenant I tell them directly on the phone that they will pay the bill in cash. They have to be on site while I do the repairs. When you show up you tell them the price upfront and I ask them if they have the money.

If its a big job like a water heater they would have to pay in advance and I would refund if there is any left over. Only then I would go and pick up the heater.

I too had issues with tenants getting paid. Some tenant said they would foot the bill and when I got there they would say the landlord would pay it. I said either you get someone with money or I leave.

Lastly you are better off saying a high price before you get there and they refuse. A lot less issues then going there without them knowing the bill will be more than 20$. That's what they expect a 20$ job....
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Tango For This Useful Post:
MACPLUMB777 (06-09-2018)
Old 06-09-2018, 04:18 PM   #10
Super Moderator
 
OpenSights's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Grand Ledge, MI
Posts: 6,522

View OpenSights's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
I've let a water heater continue to leak as the woman didn't like the quote I gave her. You have to grow tough skin on some jobs.

If I do work for a tenant I tell them directly on the phone that they will pay the bill in cash. They have to be on site while I do the repairs. When you show up you tell them the price upfront and I ask them if they have the money.

If its a big job like a water heater they would have to pay in advance and I would refund if there is any left over. Only then I would go and pick up the heater.

I too had issues with tenants getting paid. Some tenant said they would foot the bill and when I got there they would say the landlord would pay it. i said either you get someone with money or I leave.

Lastly you are better off saying a high price before you get there and they refuse. A lot less issues then going there without them knowing the bill will be more than 20$. That's what they expect a 20$ job....

Working without permission on a property without the owner’s permission can be bad juju in the US. I don’t know how it is up there, but here best is to walk.
mtfallsmikey and MACPLUMB777 like this.
OpenSights is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to OpenSights For This Useful Post:
mtfallsmikey (06-12-2018)
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
4th Generation Plumber, 1st Generation Business Owner MrMiracle New Member Introductions 2 12-11-2017 07:56 PM
Marketing Your Plumbing Business with Facebook PlumbingZone Featured Articles and Topics 2 07-27-2016 07:44 AM
Best resources for a new or expanding business? VAMountainMan Business, Marketing, and Sales 4 04-15-2016 08:13 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | ElectricianTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | RoofingTalk.com