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Discussion Starter #1
back in the 90's Frank offered to let us ride with him to learn flat rate for free. He also sent me a package of stickers and invoices that had several disclaimers. I am re-starting Birmingham Plumbing in Michigan, after 14 yrs at the failed Chrysler. Anyone got a invoice to send or post that protects like Franks does? He is Bigtime now and everything is about a buck with him.
 

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back in the 90's Frank offered to let us ride with him to learn flat rate for free. He also sent me a package of stickers and invoices that had several disclaimers. I am re-starting Birmingham Plumbing in Michigan, after 14 yrs at the failed Chrysler. Anyone got a invoice to send or post that protects like Franks does? He is Bigtime now and everything is about a buck with him.
Really ?!?!
m u s t r e s i s t t e m p t a t i o n. :censored:
 

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back in the 90's Frank offered to let us ride with him to learn flat rate for free. He also sent me a package of stickers and invoices that had several disclaimers. I am re-starting Birmingham Plumbing in Michigan, after 14 yrs at the failed Chrysler. Anyone got a invoice to send or post that protects like Franks does? He is Bigtime now and everything is about a buck with him.
If you would like a warmer reception remember this "An intro is usually made before requesting FREE information from longstanding members."

It's just common courtesy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Please let me clarify why I am posting this instead here. Frank Bleau sent me a invoice sample in 1991-1993 timeframe. At that time he was selling them as a single item,not as a several thousand dollar "system".
The invoice had terms such as requiring a signature to the following before work is started:(as remebered)
1. This repair estimate is for the item(s) listed,but due to the normal process used to repair old pipes and fittings, damage to adjacent plumbing is sometimes un-preventable. I agree to pay additional fee for any additional work encountered during the above repair process.
2. I agree to pay the amount of_______ upon completion by_________or to have my credit card ______________ charged the full amount.
3. I agree the dangers of scalding water that have been explained to me by the installer. I have been read the safety section from the manufacturers manual, and will call Blau Plumbing immediatley if the water becomes too hot. I agree to hold Bleau Plumbing blamnless in the event of any scalding injuries occuring as the result of this installation/repair.
4. Whereas drain and sewer stoppages are normally caused by holes in the piping and that replacement of the piping has been recommended as the prefered long term remedy,I agree to allow Bleau Plumbing to attempt to open the clogged piping by an less expensive alternative (cabeling) at the risk of the cable becomming caught inside the damaged piping. I further agree to pay for the damaged cable as well as the cost of retrieval up to including excavation.

As you can see, Frank was thorough in his attempt to reduce the risk factor of the 3 most common fears doing repair work.
1 Getting paid
2 Getting cable caught
3 Getting sued

Thanks for the replies, and to clarify why I used the term in my post stating he was "bigtime", when I called to take him up on his offer -a year or so after I read about his flat rate system, I was treated like a bill collecter and told to "visit" his website. When I got there, I discovered he was offering the "system" only, no invoices or any parts sold seperate. The cost went from 75 bucks for 250 invoices to several thousand dollars for the "package" Phone attempts to reach him were useless.

I believe he was convinced to "sell" instead of share his knowledge and his experience with others, as is done here. This 180 degree reversal of his, and the resulting bait and switch outcome,the callous phone responses and the money grab all remolded his image from a plumber to "bigtime".
In Christ
Motown
 

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No one cares or is defending Frank Blau - we are asking you for an intro.

Who are you? What code do you use? General stuff, like 'hi my name is _______, found this wonderful site by ________________, I'm super impressed and cannot wait to contribute. In the meantime, I need a little help, can someone help me?"

Try again PLEASE!:whistling2:
 

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So, if I have this right, you are pissed off because he has proprietary forms that he will not part with unless paid. You are upset and would like us to provide HIS information to you at no cost? Tell ya what, I know a guy who knows a guy who can get you vehicles cheap. No questions asked. Theft is theft. If you like his stuff so much and he will not give it to you why should I? Or anyone else for that matter?

Just my 2 cents. Now, feel free to blast me for my opinion, but I would request that you post an intro first.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry about the intro or lack there of:

I did a long one but it disappeared when I failed to log in after registering so i did a followup post-sorry gentlemen follow did not intro me.Then I responded to reply-again no intro..
I am Mike Maruska, a U.A. Local 98 member since 1970. I am a 3rd Generation Plumb. My Grandfather was J.P Maruska Plumbing (non-union)
He retired in 1960. My dad joined the Union and did not pursue the biz as he was burn't out during the War.
I worked out of hall, and learned Welding in Troy Ohio (Hobart) to become marketable. I have welded in Nuclear Power plants across the country, as well as many refineries. Doing so took me away from my young family so I gave up on my "career" and started Birmingham (MI) Plumbing in 1990 using a unemployment check and a 500 bus. I had my house paid for at the time, my 3 kids college secured in 3 MET funds, 5000 oz of silver bullion in a deposit box,and needed 8 hrs a week to pay all overhead . I chose a name only after learning the yellowpges placment rules ended up with A AA BIRMINGHAM PLUMBING which placed me first in the phone book ahead of the 20 fullpage adverisers..like me so far?
I had a 10 year plan: 40 hrs billable within 10 yrs....no guys.....no bids....
repairs for homeowners and welding for plumbers and hvac only. 5 years into plan Chrysler hired me after neighbor refered me. (pipefitter-Jefferson Assy ) I always expected to re-open the biz 1-2 years before retirement.
That time is now,due to the bankruptcy filing and my new 8 week first time in 14 yr layoff. Chrysler had its rewards...2 million in earnings over 14 plus yrs of boom...healthcare...vacations....credit...(first time)..new house ect. It also caused me to leverage my paid for 200k Royal Oak home by renting it for 1500 per month in 1999....to pay the mortgage on a 270k (1650)...condo in Rochester's Billion Dollar Mile area...which was rented for 2k per month in 2000, that rental income (3500 mo) plus my 100k plus salary was used as leverage to mortgage and purchase my present ranch (278k)....I end up with 900k prime Oakland real estate with the plan to double in value in 10 years as it has for 60 yrs! Considered a safe,conservative investment by all (real estate) I watched it all go south,ending in a divorce in 08. We have since reconciled. Money does affect a marriage. So here I sit, trying to decide what to do-take a buyout offer of 1500 mo plus health care for life that is suspect at best, take a 100,000 buyout with no health care-no pension for 7 yrs...stay and go to midnights and restart the biz doing 1 call after work a day....going back to welding and it politics.....at the "hall"
I hold several licenses and certifications:
Michigan Master/Plumbing Contractors #8or3?(worn)001594
michigan mechanical contractor #7109303
american welding society certified welding inspect # (upon request)
My life is a open book and i hope to be a light in this world as i walk in the steps ordered by my Lord and Savior,Jesus Christ
again sorry for the late intro
Sincerly,Mike
 

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Welcome!! Now that's an intro! The Ban Hamster has been called off!
 

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So what do these Slau invoices look like?

pffft...this is the real one:
 

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I've never seen display ad's in the yellow pages go by alphabetical order, anyone else? In the last 20 years anyway it's always been done by seniority, or did I miss something there?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
column not display ad

The yellow pages had the following placement rule.

1. First came heading "Plumbing contractors"
2. This heading could fall at anywhere on a page. (check any heading)
3. Based on how many inches and columns were availiable on that intial first page only, listings were inserted beginning with the alphabet sequence,to fill the first page with the heading only. Page 2 always was the biggest add with most seniority,ect and at some point the display add pages started showing column adds (alphabetical) again.
4. As of late 2 premium full color 4 inch column adds are being marketed and sold as display adds that go ahead of the first column add. I would have sued if I was still in the book when this change happened.
5. I was told that nobody could change their name to become first in book,i.e add a aa befor their name once they begin in the book but if new they surley could use a aa Birmingham to be #1 immediatley after heading.

I was at the top of the North Woodward book for 5 years-and the crooks let a able plumbing change their name to a aa able to get #1 away from me. That said 1 2 inch add got 2 calls a day,when I moved up to a maximum 4 inch add with 18 point bold caps and no clutter "SEE OUR CUPON" I was answering 5-8 phone calls a day-always 1 or 2 provided fruit.
 
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