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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On friday someone called saying he had bought all his own materials for moving his water heater and a drain pipe. He asked what I charge by the hour, and I explain him I charge flat-rate for everything. He then says that he was going to do it himself but decided he needed an experts 'touch' and that he'd like to pay me by the hour and 'help' me to do the work.

Well, something snapped inside me:furious:....first of all its illegal to do drain work or water-heater work here in NC without a plumbing license, so his DIYer ideas are illegal. Secondly he has already purchased all the material and wants to 'help' me and pay me by the hour, so its quite obvious to me that his goal is to cut out virtually ALL MY PROFIT FROM THE JOB! And the funny part is he is all friendly on the phone like he's my best friend and I should be so thankful that he has graced me with this opportunity.:rolleyes:

So I snapped, "Sir, I have been doing this for 11 years, I am a licensed professional and I DO NOT work with strangers. This is not a hobby for me, I do this for money! I will be glad to look at the job and give you a price to complete it, but I won't be charging by the hour and you WILL NOT BE HELPING ME DO THE JOB!":hammer:

He agreed to an appointment that afternoon, but when I called to tell him I was on my way, he muttered, "umm, I have made other arrangements." Of course no courtesy call from this asswipe to cancel the appointment. :mad: I just said, "Oh you have it taken care of then, thats good!" I was relieved to not have to deal with this customer. It never ceases to amaze me that some people think they are the only customer on earth and that I should be happy to do whatever they want and even get paid on THEIR terms instead of my own! I guess this guy has no idea of how busy I am and how many customers I have that are easy to work for and actually pay me for my work on MY TERMS!:thumbsup:
Anyway, I just wanted to vent about this and I am sure some of you can relate.:cursing:
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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2,043 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, one more thing, after I called him and the guy rudely cancelled last minute, I was happy as I was able to drive out to a customer that was patiently waiting for a sewer video-inspection...I sold a new sewerline that afternoon. So I was actually VERY HAPPY and relieved that the asswipe customer above cancelled, so didn't waste my precious time on his 'job'.:thumbup: :laughing:
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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5,478 Posts
I hung up on a lady last night, "calling for information" about handicap toilets...10 pm on a saturday night.


Told her we have the customer pick out the toilet of their choice, have it there and we'll install it. She said okay and I said mm-mmm and hung up the phone.

There are countless other times that I "let it fly" but never in the way you described the callback scenario. If I get mean/rough or blunt on the phone, there is absolutely no contact after that point, no follow-up, no possibility that I've arranged anything with them.
BUT! See below

One thing I've learned real quick is the customer isn't always right, I don't give two ****s about making a bad impression because if they've done something in the first 5 minutes of me knowing them to piss me off...?

That's a customer I don't want, and I hope they tell their friends too. I won't be a pushover in this business and I've got enough under my belt now to dish it back like its given to me.


I've gained more respect from NOT being a pushover and being blunt than being gullable and thinking a jab here or there is acceptable.


Those dumbasses that like to tell me what they're willing to pay when they call me?

I purposely drop my price about $50-$100 less than what they mentioned, I get them to commit, and then I schedule the time to come out.

I then purposely cancel, reschedule, don't call, NEVER show up. The last time I call and leave a message I usually sound like I'm having a hard time from keeping the laughter contained. It's funnier than hell and you have to try it at least once. Feels so damn good because you got them at rock bottom pricing. :whistling2:


Let them talk amoungst themselves...the truck leaves every day and makes money. :laughing:
 

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1,122 Posts
Rude people often times do not realize how rude they really are. Especially when it comes to HD and Lowes. They think you are as thrilled as they are that they got a deal from Home Depot. They do not realize it is your living.
'
I used to get really angry and take it personally. In the past couple of years I have learned a sales concept I often use at home shows to qualify a customer. It is called the "go for the no" concept. I once had a guy get Irate with me because I wouldn't put in his POS sterling unit for a hundred bucks. in fact I proudly told him where he could store it while he was waiting for me to come and install it.

The go for the no concept is rarely used but it is effective. "Mr Jones we may not be the right fit for one another, we are a licensed and insured professional organization." Many times convincing someone you are not right for them will spin it and they will change there tune. or, you will weed out someone quickly that had no intention of working with you in the first place, allowing you to focus on clients that value your services.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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2,043 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Most of the time I am much more professional than this on the phone. I simply get rid of these type of customers by mentioning that there is a trip charge to come out and price the job. For some reason this guy hit a nerve and I let him have it...I need to get my wife to answer the phone and follow a script before I really lose it one of these days and scream obscenities at somebody.:whistling2:
 

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Banned
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1,589 Posts
Couple o years ago I had a foreign fella call me for a TXT install at about 6pm just before dinner.
He told me his uncle was a plumber and he knew what it would cost, but wanted me to come out and give him an estimate in person.

I don't think Anyone here would not understand why I quoted him a price of $600 over the phone.

He then insisted I was too high, and if I would just go out and take a look he was sure my price would go down as it was a simple task.

I took one look at my wife and kid, sitting at the dinner table waiting..I lost it.

I started screaming at this guy after he threatened to call the BBB on me for refusing to go right then and give him his free estimate.

That was THE one and only time I ever lost it with a potential customer on the phone.
 

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Mmm, the BBB! They all think they are the saviors of the world dont they?
Nothing but an over glorified referral service!
Thats OK now angies list is going to run them out of town.
 

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I have had a few face to face excanges with customers. One comes to mind....

Call came in at a local restaurant. I always cringed when they called because this place was nasty, real nasty. Two toilets in the women's restroom were leaking. They were broke at the floor and every time someone sat down it pulled the spud out of the top of the toilet. I tightened up the spuds and SHOWED the manager what the problem was. I suggested that it be fixed or it would cause more problems in the future. He said they would get back to us. Next day his calls hollering at our secretary. I don't take kindly to that because she has nothing to do with what goes on. SO I show up there and he proceeds to get in my face and tells me I didn't fix s:censored: Im not a small dude and neither was he. I asked him kindly to take a couple of steps back. He just got louder. I knew right then that I was fixing to plant my knuckles squarely on his right eye. Luckily the phone rang and I was able to walk away. We never went back and I cant say that I feel bad....
 

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WILLPLUMB4$
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584 Posts
Sept. 07' issue of PM magazine had a great multi page article about "Firing Costomers". Don't forget though, that all behavior is learned these costomers must have gotten away with this behavior at some other time. It is our responsibility as the professional to do so. There is however a charge for this we call it the P.I.T.A add on price. PITA=pain in the a--.
 

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I used to love to get phone calls like this to be honest. I would just be polite and ask them what about my ads or my company implied that I willing to be spoken to that way.

I was deserving of the same respect I afforded them. If you demand respect, you'll get it. If not, you'll get treated badly. I've never had to really get upset, just state the obvious and hope for the best, and if that failed, suggest I wasn't the right company for them.
 

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Certified Lunatic
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20,658 Posts
There are all kinds of add-on's required.
The PITA one.
The "I'm in a panic and you should be too" one.
The "Ok, if I omit this what will it cost?" one.
The "I'll do the digging" one.
The "I would prefer to do this under the table for cash" one.
Let me guess... ancestrial home geographic coordinents close to 23°15′N 77°25′E :furious:
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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5,478 Posts
I love it when a woman calls up and she's all concerned about her plumbing and the deeper the conversation goes leading up to price, her voice is cracking. Then you give her a price and she starts crying...!!

Those...are the biggest jokes out there because if you're crying on the phone to a stranger because your plumbing is messed up, I got news for ya; don't spill milk.


You have to be hard with people at times because the "be kind to all" is not going to get you a cookie. These people that call and waste your time?

Have fun with it. Concerned they will talk to others? Why would you want to work for their friends if they treat you this way in the first 5 minutes of knowing you? Comon.


I'm certainly not the voice of reason, god forbid that but I don't operate my business scared. I let it fly, shirt not tucked in and let my workmanship and attention to full customer satisfaction be the battering ram that keeps the phone ringing.


The ones I beat up on the phone is just play time that I enjoy to the fullest. You should too.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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2,043 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just had one:

Me: "Hello, this is Carl with XXXXX Plumbing, How may I help you?"

Caller: "Yeah, I was wondering if it is ok to put heat-tape on pvc?"

Me: "What is your name, sir?" (I was just checking to see if this was even a customer of mine.)

Caller: "Jacob."

Me: "We don't do free phone consultat-"

Caller (interrupting my sentence): "So its not good to put heat-tape on pvc then?"

Me: "I am sorry I don't understand what your asking, would you like to set up an appointment?"

Caller: "I am sorry to waste your time sir." *CLICK*

WTF? To me this is like calling a restaurant and asking cooking questions! Totally inappropriate.:thumbdown:
 

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٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶&#
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Redwood
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Join Date: Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uaplumber
There are all kinds of add-on's required.
The PITA one.
The "I'm in a panic and you should be too" one.
The "Ok, if I omit this what will it cost?" one.
The "I'll do the digging" one.
The "I would prefer to do this under the table for cash" one.


Let me guess... ancestrial home geographic coordinents close to 23°15′N 77°25′E :furious:


:lol::laughing::thumbup:
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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2,043 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I had another one today.
About 6 months ago a customer called and had bought a little piece-o-junk sump-pump for the cellar of his restaurant and asked me to put it in. I explained that the pump is junk and has a poorly designed float-switch, and I would much prefer to put my pump in which has a much better design and I will warranty it. His pump, no warranty by me. Well, he insisted I put his in.

A few months after installing it, I had to go out there once because the float-switch doesn't work very well, and I explained him that I would put in a pump with an internal switch and warranty it. I didn't charge him, but I explained that next time he called, I would be replacing the pump with mine and gave him the price. He said, ok thanks, and was happy I didn't charge him.

Well, he finally calls last week during a rain storm and says, "ok, come and install your pump." I told him I was extremely busy now, but I'd come out next week. He said fine.

So I call him today (no flooding rain this time so he's in a arguing mood) and he says, "I want you to tell me which pump to buy and I'll go buy it, and I'll pay you $60/hour to install it.":blink:

I told him, "No, that is not how it works, I supply and install the pump and warranty it, and this is the price, as we discussed before."

He says, "Well don't give me the warranty, then how much is it?":eek:

I told him, "that is not how it works, I warranty my parts and this is the price."

He says that the price is unacceptable, to which I said, "fine.":yawn:

He says, "I will be buying my own pump (again), do you want me to call you to install it, or should I call someone else?"

I said happily, "CALL SOMEONE ELSE." And hung up.:thumbsup:
 

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Don't you just love those

"lets make a deal" customers

as if we are in the business to barter for renderred services

the ones that piss me off are the ones who are shopping via telephone

it's like wtf, man you either need the work or ya don't
 

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Wrenchboy
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25 Posts
Aggravation Fee,,,

Also known as an "Aggravation Fee",,,,!

LOL

Dave Doyle
Monrovia,Ca:laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:
:jester: :jester::jester::jester::jester:
 
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