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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a customer who is a used car salesman and he is basically a pain in the ass. He wants a 'deal' on everything :rolleyes: ...anyway, to make a long story short, I have to go out on a callback tomorrow. This guy has insisted I put in his low-quality home-cheepo parts and yet he gets upset when there is a problem with them and I explain there is no warranty on customer-supplied parts.
To make him happy and protect my reputation I have decided to go out there and rip out all the work and redo it with my parts for FREE.
But I also want him to know I won't be working for him any more if he continues to call and try to make deals and have me install his parts. How do I handle it? Just tell him to call another plumber from now on? That is usually how I handle these customers.

Also, I have decided that my new company policy is "NO CUSTOMER SUPPLIED PARTS PERIOD." It puts me in an uncomfortable liability situation. Installing customer-supplied junk has come back to bite me more often than not.:cursing:
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter #3
Thats just it, I already argued with him on the phone, but he insists I fix it for free since I charged him to install his parts (which broke). I told him its not my fault his junk parts broke. He basically threatened to smear my compnay name if I don't fix it. So I am going out there, eating the cost to fix it, then I am going to FIRE HIM, as politely as possible.:censored::whistling2:
 

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Forget him, don't stoop to his level. If you let him get away with it, he'll keep at it, tell him your busy and book him 2 weeks out, then when that time rolls around, wait for his call, then rebook him.
 

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Thats just it, I already argued with him on the phone, but he insists I fix it for free since I charged him to install his parts (which broke). I told him its not my fault his junk parts broke. He basically threatened to smear my compnay name if I don't fix it. So I am going out there, eating the cost to fix it, then I am going to FIRE HIM, as politely as possible.:censored::whistling2:
Your making a mistake.

Instead of smearing you he is going to tell everyone he knows how to do exactly what he is doing now and devalue your service completely.
 

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Tell him you will have to charge him to replace his parts with your new parts, if he says no way, then tell him you don't work for free and he will need to call someone else then, you have to take a stance and do it now.
 

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That will do the trick. Good luck and let us know what he tells you afterwards.
 

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I see what you guys are saying. But I DID CHARGE HIM for installing his parts, it was a mistake I made at a time when my business was still new and work was slow. I feel guilty if I just blow him off completely. Reputation is very important in this business.
Reputation is why you are making a mistake.

Tell him he can pay for your replacemant parts, or you will give him the parts and he pays for the labor, but you will not be responsible for his mistakes. Giving away stock and labor is not a good way to build a reputation as a solid business, especially for a customer who is going to badmouth your business regardless of what you do.
 

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Service guy - you're worried about reputation - what exactly is he going to say to people? What?

So he comes into work and he goes up to his coworker " Oh my god, you are never going to believe this Plumber I hired - I can't even believe it myself. I bought a Piece of Sh*t faucet/fixture/whatever and he installed it properly despite his recommendation not to use it, and it's all his fault! What a jerk, I can't believe this guy!!!"
 

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Agreed. It would be worse if he tells everyone that he got one over on you, than telling everyone you told him like it is....
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter #13
Reputation is why you are making a mistake.

Tell him he can pay for your replacemant parts, or you will give him the parts and he pays for the labor, but you will not be responsible for his mistakes. Giving away stock and labor is not a good way to build a reputation as a solid business, especially for a customer who is going to badmouth your business regardless of what you do.
I agree. I think I will handle it like you said, it makes sense. I'll let you guys know how it worked out tomorrow.
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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Carl,


Two things:


You already know where I'd go with this and

I've already stated for the record that I "encourage" customer supplied materials for their well known nature of them buying the wrong parts, stuff not working, missing parts. It's a cash cow to me and it works the total charge right up there.


If you do "no customer supplied materials" you put the customer on the defensive, instantly.


When I started with Angie's List, I got this guy similar to yours, he was a salesman, retired one. I had to give him pricing for every damn little bit of work in his home.

I was wearing tired of this guy, he was pushing hard, real hard and it came down to a dryer vent that he agreed to allow me to put a panel in a window that had broken glass and run it out there.

I install it, he loves it, wife comes home. She states "absolutely not" and now he wants me to drill through not one, but two joists, through a brick facade above the foundation wall and my cost and time? Don't think so jack.

I had him almost convinced on a code restriction that I couldn't bore that large of a sized hole in a joist, period! But this guy wouldn't let up, he once again priced me out on some additonal work.


Here's what I did, knowing that he could blacklist me on Angie's List......and it could of been ugly for me as well:


Went up there, they were out walking which happened by chance, I had given him a price to do the faucet replacement and a kitchen sink drain replacement.....along with him "thinking" I'd take care of that dryer vent.



My work that had been done so far was 100% complete, and nothing I was doing was entering into that next amount of work.


Grabbed my tools, all of them, left a love letter in the sink:

"Sir,


Due to your inability to comprehend the code requirements placed by your local building codes and regulations, I have decided in the best interest in my company to cease all future work with you and your property given the standard you feel I should consider, compromising my reputation.


I feel comfortable discontinuing the work we had planned as I feel there would be other shortcuts that you would expect me to perform. Good luck with your next service provider."

:laughing:


Never got a bad report on AL either. No calls.



What exactly broke? If it is from overtightening, you are obligated to fix it with your materials and time.

If it is plain defect without any control to your doings... I'd tell this guy to consider our working relationship null and void.


I promise whether you go back or not, he'll never use you as a plumber again anyway because you had words with him, him trying to control you and he won. I'd do the right thing and tell them no way.


I've done it a few times, not many. Those are not the customer base you need and it's good that they DO tell friends and family.....you don't want any of the same garbage wasting your time.

Remember, birds of a feather flock together. That word of mouth thing doesn't harbor for long.....just short term.

Otherwise Roto-Rooter wouldn't be sending trucks out every day making money. :blink:
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter #17
One thing is for sure, I am going to prevent this type of crap from happening from now on. No more dealing with 'hagglers' and installing home cheapo parts. Call another plumber, let him go out of business working for the cheapskates, I am not doing it any more.:furious:

Tonight I am writing up some company policies to stand by. In the past I have 'bent the rules' with people and it always comes back to bite me!
 

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One thing is for sure, I am going to prevent this type of crap from happening from now on. No more dealing with 'hagglers' and installing home cheapo parts. Call another plumber, let him go out of business working for the cheapskates, I am not doing it any more.:furious:

Tonight I am writing up some company policies to stand by. In the past I have 'bent the rules' with people and it always comes back to bite me!
Thats what Im talking about!
 

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Carl - As a small business it is always a fine line we walk. I understand your dilemma - we would charge for the new parts and provide the labor for FREE since we caved and installed inferior parts. Bad word of mouth travels like wild fire. When we want to fire a customer, we say nothing to them. We wait until they call again and tell them we are booked.

Another option when installing owner parts, have them sign off on the invoice that you recommended your parts and that you can not stand behind parts supplied by them. CYA

When we are busy, we can afford to make demands of our customers. When we are slow and a customer wants us to supply his toilet, we do it.

We can be right, damn near perfect, and out of business.
 
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