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Old 03-06-2018, 06:55 PM   #1
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Default Mea culpa

We talk a lot about unreasonable customers, with good justification, but not all complaints are without merit. We have dropped the ball a number of times and pissed customers off by simply failing to communicate. A quick phone call to inform them that we are running late can do a lot to prevent someone from flying off the handle. I have even seen times where we just don't even bother calling if we can't get there and need to reschedule, leaving them to wonder when and if we are coming. I don't blame customers from being pissed when that happens. I would be too.

What are some of the things that you guys have seen that our fellow plumbers could have done better so as to not piss the customers off?
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:19 PM   #2
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You've got an excellent point. I hear every other week from customers where they hired a plumbing company. They took time off work and the plumber doesn't show up. 3 days later they call saying they'll be there. Or they schedule an appointment at 9 am and they are told they are first in line. By 11 they call the company to be told they are 3rd in line and the plumber will be there sometime tomorrow...

I also have complaints where the techs made a mess and didn't clean up or didn't take off their boots.

My policy is that I can guarantee the first appointment in the morning. If I have more than one customer that day I tell people an approximate time and say I'll call them after the next client. They like that.

I also explain my work in easy terms so they can understand and I answer all their questions. I have them inspect my job, show them I cleaned their floor, their cabinet space etc. I ask them if its up to their satisfaction.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:50 AM   #3
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It's so simple really. Why do so many of us not do it? Is there some sort of plumber's code that no one told me about that says that we need to do things to piss people off just so we can build our own comradery by commiserating about how *****y they are?

I will say that sometimes, often even, no matter how well you try to explain things, they will still hear only what they want to, but at least we eliminate some by trying to be proactive.
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I also explain my work in easy terms so they can understand and I answer all their questions. I have them inspect my job, show them I cleaned their floor, their cabinet space etc. I ask them if its up to their satisfaction.
Good points. I've seen a guy who uses all sorts of industry terms that mean absolutely nothing to the HO, and he continues even after they say so. He's really insecure and uses it as an attempt to make himself seem smarter and superior. I will show them the job, but not have them "inspect" per se or ask them if it is up to their satisfaction, for two reasons. One, no matter what you do some people will have unreasonable expectations and can never be satisfied. Two, I see our relationship as an equal partnership. I will not grovel and beg for their approval, esp when I know I've done a good job. I like to answer legitimate questions and explain what I did and why. Usually I will tell them what I will be doing in advance, which saves headaches, but I've seen guys tear out walls without so much as a mention, and have the HO come running and screaming when they hear the sawsall start up. That just creates more problems for us IMO, and sets up a negative environment from the start, when a little communication could have made all our lives easier.
Sometimes all I want to do is get the hell out of there, so my explanation is limited. All they need to know and all I care to tell them is written on the invoice. Other times if they have been nice and I like them, I will ask them if they know where their main shut off is and show them how to use it in case of an emergency, and point out other interesting things about their system or potential future problems. Just depends on how I am treated. I almost never accept offers of food or drink, but appreciate the offer very much, and that goes a long way in my book.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:15 AM   #4
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One, no matter what you do some people will have unreasonable expectations and can never be satisfied.
2 weeks ago A man called and I had to replace a delta shower cartridge in a luxurious house less than 10 years old because it had been dripping for over a year. He wasn't thrilled about hiring a plumber...

The wife told me it kept them awake at night hearing the forever drip. The husband told them he'd fix it but waited a year, he attempted it but the handle was seized. I could hear downstairs the almost adult teens and mom saying how relieved they were it was going to fixed.

I fixed the drip and put a new universal handle. He calls me 3 weeks later saying he wants a refund for the handle because it came loose and he got one free from Delta.

He wanted to give me only a 10 minute window in the evening to refund him. I had the exact change, rang the doorbell and handed him the money and quickly left.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:08 PM   #5
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One, no matter what you do some people will have unreasonable expectations and can never be satisfied.
2 weeks ago A man called and I had to replace a delta shower cartridge in a luxurious house less than 10 years old because it had been dripping for over a year. He wasn't thrilled about hiring a plumber...

The wife told me it kept them awake at night hearing the forever drip. The husband told them he'd fix it but waited a year, he attempted it but the handle was seized. I could hear downstairs the almost adult teens and mom saying how relieved they were it was going to fixed.

I fixed the drip and put a new universal handle. He calls me 3 weeks later saying he wants a refund for the handle because it came loose and he got one free from Delta.

He wanted to give me only a 10 minute window in the evening to refund him. I had the exact change, rang the doorbell and handed him the money and quickly left.
Well handled sir. Fwck that guy
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:15 AM   #6
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Well handled sir. Fwck that guy
Ditto fuq him. Took him a year, wife was nagging his A, you save the day, then he gets money back to prove to the Missus that he still a man

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Old 03-08-2018, 08:46 AM   #7
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Ditto fuq him. Took him a year, wife was nagging his A, you save the day, then he gets money back to prove to the Missus that he still a man

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That's exactly my thought, he was cuckoo in the head. You can't reason with those types with that type of behavior. I told him I'd go back and re-install it but no he was going to save 30$. I could of told him no refund but he'd surely of write a nasty review as a retaliation.

A lot of them want an appointment at 4:30 sharp after they've come back from work. I call 30 minutes ahead to confirm and I get there 10 minutes ahead and ready with my work order filled with their info and ring at 4:30.

Any other company wouldn't call and they'll be waiting all day for a plumber or many time it ends up the next day! Also at this time they'd be charging evening rates.

Some don't appreciate the better service I provide.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:41 AM   #8
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Ditto fuq him. Took him a year, wife was nagging his A, you save the day, then he gets money back to prove to the Missus that he still a man

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He didn't fool her. She knows he's an a$$ and you're the hero, but for sake of harmony she has to go along and just say "yes dear".
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:58 PM   #9
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I'm reading my post in the light of sobriety as I may or may not have had a few when I wrote that post. Still believe it 100%. There are two types of real men in that situation

1)He nutz up and fixes it his damn self

2)He has the money to pay someone to do it and not whine about price like a little punk

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Old 03-08-2018, 02:08 PM   #10
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He didn't fool her. She knows he's an a$$ and you're the hero, but for sake of harmony she has to go along and just say "yes dear".
I think you are right on the money, I hadn't thought of that.
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