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Master Plumber
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
$176,000 job sold and $22,000 check collected - All done on a yellow legal pad!
Tonight I was at a public gathering place, consuming my drink and minding my own business. (It wasn't a bar.)

A gentleman sat at the table next to me and spread out his papers. He was soon joined by a second gentleman.

I quickly figured out the first guy was a GC and the second was his mark, sorry, I mean customer. This was the final meeting where they confirmed the price and signed the deal for building a new house.

Their table was 6" from mine. As soon as I realized what was going down I started paying attention. I heard every word, read pretty much every line and figure. I have never done that before but under the circumstances I was so completely intrigued I could not resist. Well, I could have but i didn't want to.

After about an hour of sleazy BS from the GC they agreed to the prices listed on the yellow legal pad. The GC copied the prices over onto another sheet and they both signed the deal.

A $176,000 deal. And the mark whipped out his checkbook and wrote a $22,000 check for the down payment. The GC snatched that check off the table like lightening.

I never heard the location or address mentioned. Trust me, I listened for it.

He had spent about 10 minutes of that time explaining why his illegals did a better job than the legal competitors. The rest of the time it was pure hucksterism on display. A con man if I ever saw one.

UNBELIEVABLE!

Four hours later I am still blinking my eyes, shaking my head, and wondering if I really saw and heard what I saw and heard. I was stunned. Still am.
 

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We just done a addition for a man who's gc had some illegals do part of the work. Later on we were called back to do some siding work. We talked to the HO and he said that the illegals did not do anything as per the plans. He said they tried to work too fast and screwed up so much it actually took longer to get the job done. The HO said the GC wanted to do the siding as well, but he liked the way me and my partner took our time and made everything exactly right. I thanked him and told him that all our jobs sell more work. He really appreciated everything we done for him.

BTW, this was the same job where the GC wanted me to do the plumbing for 1/2 price! Wish I had a camera before the HO closed in the walls! He got what he paid for !
 

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These hustlers should be lined up on the wall with a smoke and a blind fold !! And right after the re loading ,,,, the dumb A** homeowners should be on the wall !!

How many MORE bad stories do they have to hear before it sinks in !!

Cal
 

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Nothing surprises me anymore. Went on a call to a million dollar + home to repair a 12 year old heater that wasn't heating. Explained the new avg. lifespan of a heater is 8-10 years old and he may want to invest in a new heater instead. BUT NOOOOO, "I'll just nurse this one along." Drive 30 minutes to discover the heater is busted, leaking all over the place. :censored:
It's an 80 gallon up on a stand and had to be scheduled next moring because we send two guys on that type of job to avoid injury. Oh, and the jasper wants a price. Call him later and the first words out of his mouth, "whatever the price, make it lower" Give him the price, "that's a lot of money. You have me over a barrel, so just do it." I'm thinking this is just the type who likes to complain since their are more than 50 other plumbers in the yellow pages. Do the job, and he writes the damn check for $1,100.00 instead of $1,185.00! :furious: Said the office (me) quoted him $1,100.00. BS! Added a nice note to his file. Next time he calls, he better bend over.

On the way back, get a call for WH leaking at drain down valve & the connections above heater. Spent two hours working on an 80 gallon that should be replaced. Again, a home worth 3/4 million dollars!

I just don't get people sometimes.
 

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Do the job, and he writes the damn check for $1,100.00 instead of $1,185.00! :furious: Said the office (me) quoted him $1,100.00. BS! Added a nice note to his file. Next time he calls, he better bend over.
We always call the office to verify what was said, office will tell us up front what they said before we start. We as the plumber set the price not our office anyways, so this problem will not happen.
 

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Master Plumber
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Couple of points I wrote on CT.

The yellow pad contract would have horrified me no matter what. In today's world, that just stupid business. And they referred to it as the contract. That's why the GC wrote another copy. But combined with the total sleaziness of the GC, it made for a mind boggling experience.

The illegals thing. I hated to say this for fear it would be misinterpreted. But the whole point of the Hispanic GC to the black mark was "A black man like you is gonna get screwed by the white contractors. Me and my illegals will treat you right."

Don't assume I was drinking an alcoholic beverage. I was vague because I don't know if the GC reads CT (plenty of sleazy operators do), and I don't want him and his buddies "visiting" me.

I expected the mark to leave first. At that point I planned to gather a bit of intel. I stepped up to the "counter" to get a "refill". When I turned around they were both walking out the door. To those who chide me for not gathering intel and reporting, I accept your comments. It was my intent. I have been regretting not getting that intel since.
 

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Plumbcrazy - when a customer does that to me , I do the same thing , but I also remeber this , last year I spent many trips to thais customers , new building , giving prices , and re prices , never got the jobs , so the dumb a$$ calls me this year to test his 6 backflow preventers , I remembered what I went through last year , so I said I can test them in a couple of weeks , this lasted for a couple of months with many of calls , the water attority sent him a temanation letter , HE CALLED ME IRATE , I SAID HE WOULD HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER PLUMBER , I am to busy [ I hope that guy charged him out the rear end
 

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Plumbcrazy- you can avoid that situation by having the HO sign for the work before hand. Our invoices have 3 steps.

step 1. Technician walks across threshold. "Please sign here for the call out fee" They sign on the line that says: "I agree to pay the $XXX.XX service fee. I understand that all payments are due at the time and location of service."

step 2. After the price quote(s) are given(verbally and in writing), they circle the service(and price) that was agreed upon and sign the part that says in so many words "I authorize your company to do the above work for the above price with the above warranty and agree to pay for it. If I don't pay for it, you will rip me a new A$$ hole in court and I'll pay your attorney to do it for you"

step 3. After the work is completed, they sign the part that says: "I have inspected the work that has been satisfactorily completed" and cuts the check/card/cash. The warranty if any is stated on the invoice as well.

If your paperwork is done right, you will have few headaches on collection time.:thumbsup:
If you would like to use the language from our invoices PM me, and I'll send you a copy.

Disclaimer: I'm not an attorney. This is not legal advice. Consult an attorney about all legal matters.
 

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You would be surprised how many deals I have inked on a yellow writing pad (not construction contracts). Everybody signs it at the end then later on we put something together which is more formal. However, we always have our yellow pad to refer back to to remind everyone what was said during negotiations.

Mark
 

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By the way if you ever do this type of thing or build your own contract you are generally better off letting the other guy put it together. That way any contradictions in the contract during a dispute go against the author of the device.

Mark
 

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Just a bit of info. As a licensed building contractor myself I know here in VA a contract has to have several key points.
Start date
Finish date
Total job cost
Payment schedule
Scope of work
Location ow work

This is bare minimum. There is no law saying it cant be wrote on notebook paper. But it does have to have these key points in it. To me, it is just the shady thought of doing business that way. It really does not represent a professional company, and furthermore the HO cant be too smart either, I mean, would you buy a house that a bank has drafted on a notepad??
 

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Protech - The invoices we use at the moment don't have enough space to put all of that on it. Rarely, (only twice in two years) has a customer done this to us. The other customer wrote the check, then cancelled payment. We accepted less, but they have a nice note tagging them as well. If it becomes a problem, we will be instituting a lot of the CYA signature lines.
 

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residential service
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Protech - The invoices we use at the moment don't have enough space to put all of that on it. Rarely, (only twice in two years) has a customer done this to us. The other customer wrote the check, then cancelled payment. We accepted less, but they have a nice note tagging them as well. If it becomes a problem, we will be instituting a lot of the CYA signature lines.
The point is though that if you have the sigs then it's no problem to lien the house. It might take 20 or 30 years but it's actually not a bad investment at 18% apr or whatever the law allows where you are. I understand that the guy payed what he felt like paying instead of what was owed but with the sigs you could lien the balance and get a nice check one day long after you forgot all about it. It's like finding a $100 bill in the pants you haven't worn since last winter.
 

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In many States a mechanics lien takes first position on the deed which pisses off the mortgage company. As it also violates the mortgage agreement they will usually tell the owner to satisfy the lien or they will foreclose.

Mark
 

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In Fla you can force the sale of the property after so much time to satisfy the lien. You can also garnish the delinquent party's bank account(s) to get paid. This is all assuming you have perfected your mechanic’s lien by suing them and getting a judgment in your favor.

Disclaimer: Not legal advice. Talk to a lawyer about all legal matters before doing anything.
 
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