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Former Moderator
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Discussion Starter #1
Sounds ominous, it's not. No drama zone here.

Dear Richard,

I read some of your articles and found them to be informative and thought provoking. Challenging contractors to strive to improve is definitely something the industry needs and a worthwhile endeavor.

Homeowners have many sources looking out for their interests as well, via articles on the internet, magazines, etc. There is no shortage of information in that regard. The sad fact is, the information is not always good and is written without regard to the contractor, which creates an adversarial relationship between contractor / homeowner.

Here is my challenge to you. Would you consider representing us, the plumbing industry, in a future article? To really write with your heart and clear up some homeowner misconceptions. A few things come to mind:

1. Contractors are people. Imagine the plumber working in 100 degree heat all day, picking up his phone after hours, only to hear a customer yell, demand, and be disrespectful.

2. Free estimates are never free. (How many times have we heard, you should always get three estimates?) We all pay the price for this misconception.

3. The notion that someone providing you a free estimate should give you a material / labor breakdown, as if that is the only way.

4. All plumbers overcharge.

5. Plumbers are not educated.

6. Plumbers are all about the money. How many times have we read stories on PZ about plumbers / plumbing contractors going above and beyond the call of duty?

It may not change the world, but maybe someone will read it and think a bit differently, if they know our side of the story. You are in a unique position with a platform to share this information.

Please consider telling our side of the story, because it does not appear anyone else is.

Thank you for your consideration.

P.S. - If you choose to take this challenge, I am certain many of us have stories to share that demonstrate how hard plumbers work and that they are worthy of respect and live up to the motto "The Plumber Protects the Health of the Nation."
 

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On thanks giving i got a call at 10.30, clogged drain. I assume simple enough, right in and out. Our family doesnt have dinner but lunch so i thought i would be back on time to eat. So i get their whole house clogged could not find clean out so i pull a toilet try to go through their wrong, went up tub. So i pulled another toilet, as it was raining and could not go through roof, same thing. Old house with copper drain lines so i couldnt go through sinks or any thing else, with the medium machine. So i go out side to locate pipe i stumble on to a clean out after probing and in the rain. So i dig it up and run 100 feet of cable by now i know i am in the street. So i call the city to see if they have any problem with main say no. So i try it again thinking its a grease clog or something. I tie a rag at the end of cable run 100 feet nothing. So i go to the shop and get the cart jetter 100 footer with no success. Now its 730. So i call the city to come and jet their line cause 60 feet to the street, and i know i am past it so i am waiting for him, And the h.o son comes with bear and big turkey sandwich, i am thinking great he brought me food man i am hungry, Nope he takes a big arse bite and then goes and i quote man you really milking the cow on this one wtf then he asked when i am gonna get done. I told him politly i am waiting for the city to jet the lines i think it might be in their main, So city get their and run their jetter and they say their line is cleared. Shiot then i tell them well hell i am in 100 feet i am already at the street i am already at your main. So they call, their sup. He says that the main line for the city crossed the street and 160 feet from their clean out shiot. So i go to the shop now its 10 get the trailer jetter and take it back to jet line and nothing, So then after this is done i go get the camera with locater locate line. Dug up five feet in the front neighbors lawn and find line collapsed clay. I temp repair with fitting i had in my truck to return friday. I go inside garage mudy wet hungry. and they say i hope the bill isnt that expensive cause you really took your time. aaaaa. Not even a thankyou not even nothing and i tried several times to tell them if they wanted i could schedule for morning and no no no no. Go to find out the owner was staying with her son and she went home to get some dishes took a shower washed some clothes and used the toilet. She was not and i repeat not staying their and she didnt need the plumbing to work since she wasnt staying their she was staying at her sons to take care of his wife that just went through surgery. We as plumbers go out of our way to help people and no thankyou nothing just bickering, Well my boss wanted to give them a discount and i refused. To agree to it after i told him what happend he agreed with me.
 

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Very interesting and I would say something that I have not given consideration too. I would accept the challenge with your help. My web site and blog is to help the construction trade service people. It is not designed for the consumer. However you set up a web site through Yahoo for free I would be more than happy to write articles that would be designed to set behavior standards for the consumer. The reason I ask this of you is I am real busy setting up a new web site, getting ready to launch an idea and running a business that is real close to busting loose. We have changed our work culture and now all are on the same page. This has been taking about 15 hour’s day with both activities. You make it consumer friendly and set the bait. 1-3 pages are all we need and I can tie it to a word press blog where each member of the zone can send me information that we will turn into a story of behaviors or we can insert their blog. To make it real I will use my real name and not a pseudo name.

I have been doing what I have been doing since the early 80’s. I do not get the things that some of you receive from customers. I do get the occasional buyer’s remorse though it is concerning the other plumbers on our staff and it is my job deal with and typically it is only 1-2 a month out of 300-350 calls a month. The biggest hurdle I get are the customer’s that call demanding a price and after 10 minutes on the phone they are booking the call unless I say sorry about your luck you already know many prices you do not need one more.

Setting customer expectations and standards are one of the many points to ponder as an owner of a business and one of the issues I address. You are right that there needs to be a set of standards for the consumer. We should accept the responsibility to educate them verse the adversarial role we play in places like the zone.

Challenge accepted with your help.
 

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On thanks giving i got a call at 10.30, clogged drain.
I assume simple enough, right in and out.
Our family doesnt have dinner but lunch so i thought i would be back on time to eat.
So i get their whole house clogged could not find clean out so i pull a toilet try to go through their wrong, went up tub.
So i pulled another toilet, as it was raining and could not go through roof, same thing.
Old house with copper drain lines so i couldnt go through sinks or any thing else, with the medium machine.
So i go out side to locate pipe i stumble on to a clean out after probing and in the rain.
So i dig it up and run 100 feet of cable by now i know i am in the street.
So i call the city to see if they have any problem with main say no.
So i try it again thinking its a grease clog or something.
I tie a rag at the end of cable run 100 feet nothing.

So i go to the shop and get the cart jetter 100 footer with no success.
Now its 730.
So i call the city to come and jet their line cause 60 feet to the street, and i know i am past it so i am waiting for him, And the h.o son comes with bear and big turkey sandwich, i am thinking great he brought me food man i am hungry, Nope he takes a big arse bite and then goes and i quote
"man you really milking the cow on this one "
wtf then he asked when i am gonna get done.
I told him politly i am waiting for the city to jet the lines i think it might be in their main, So city get their and run their jetter and they say their line is cleared.
Shiot then i tell them well hell i am in 100 feet i am already at the street i am already at your main.
So they call, their sup. He says that the main line for the city crossed the street and 160 feet from their clean out shiot.
So i go to the shop now its 10 get the trailer jetter and take it back to jet line and nothing,
So then after this is done i go get the camera with locater locate line.
Dug up five feet in the front neighbors lawn and find line collapsed clay.
I temp repair with fitting i had in my truck to return friday.
I go inside garage mudy wet hungry.
and they say i hope the bill isnt that expensive cause you really took your time. aaaaa.
Not even a thankyou not even nothing and i tried several times to tell them if they wanted i could schedule for morning and no no no no.
Go to find out the owner was staying with her son and she went home to get some dishes took a shower washed some clothes and used the toilet.
She was not and i repeat not staying their and she didnt need the plumbing to work since she wasnt staying their she was staying at her sons to take care of his wife that just went through surgery.

We as plumbers go out of our way to help people and no thankyou nothing just bickering, Well my boss wanted to give them a discount and i refused. To agree to it after i told him what happend he agreed with me.
I have had calls like that.
Most Home Owners are great to work with , but now and then you get a real Jackwad.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will look into setting it up.

Congrats on the good things going on in your life! :thumbup:
 

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Former Moderator
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Discussion Starter #7
Question - Rather than set up a 'free' website, would it be better for me to buy a domain (they are cheap enough)?
 

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You can buy a domain name however you will still need a web site. That is where it can become expensive purchasing a host site for a web page.It will also depend on how much stuff do you want on this website and what you want to do.

If you want the domain name purchase it and then run with it.

consumerbehavior.com
you need a platform for the domain name

Yahoo free website would probably be something like

consumerbehavior.com/default

A real domain name will give you better search results and show up on google,yahoo and bing.
 

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where do we stand on this?
 

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I'll give you a WordPress blog on my site if you want it...

Would like it to stand on it's own and not to drive traffic to other websites however it is up to Cat
 
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Certified Lunatic
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Busy week - I am looking into buying a domain.

Redwood - Could we do both? If it grew into something bigger than we anticipated - Richard & I may want to cash in as well. :yes:
You could start it up on mine for free then if it grows big enough, set up your own and change the blog on mine to excerpts and links to the new site...
I'm fine with that...

You'll be able to see your traffic stats and see where it is heading...
 

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why not just do both

Question - Rather than set up a 'free' website, would it be better for me to buy a domain (they are cheap enough)?

So where has DUNBAR gone....
I think he would have some good input on this... is he dead or something???

A domain name is only gonna cost you about 8 bucks a year...(cheap)
a catchey one might cost you more... like
plumberindianapolis.com.

The totally Free web sites can be rather bland and in-personal...

their are a ton of neat places to build a cool web site
for about 60 bucks a year....

it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish


I fooled around with a few a while back ,
but no one here thought much of them cause they dont come
up well on small hand held phones...
.... but they are still up and running......I dont care

softwaterindianapolis.com .. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CIUBEBYwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoftwaterindianapolis.com%2F&ei=P14eUI2VMvCLyAH8vYGADQ&usg=AFQjCNFaG7OtzaFK8IxDKiH1uO_QPSf62A&sig2=IWoMa62b1RpVu3BAzizoKQ

Getting traffic and some advertiseing dollars flowing into your pocket
is another story, REDWOOD has much more information on how to
accomplish that feat.....


I need to get in there and add more stuff
 

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It might be the other way around....:laughing:

Understood I could attach it to mine at word press and my website. can tie it to about 10 different press release sites.The objective is to reach the consumer not other trades people. Unless your blog is aimed at the consumer we will reach people we do not want to reach. Face book, pintrest,stumble,etc. is where we want to go.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
So where has DUNBAR gone....
I think he would have some good input on this... is he dead or something???
:no: Not looking for sensationalism or promoting an agenda. Basically building a bridge between consumer and contractor / tradesman etc. One needs to understand both sides and be willing to use that understanding to find some middle ground. IMO, Richard and several others on PZ have the ability and maturity to achieve that goal.

Redwood understands the mechanics of it all, along with the inflow / outflow of traffic.

If Richard and I are on the same page, the main goal is not to make money or have a lot of hits. The goal is to reach out to consumers, so that they become better consumers. Better consumers benefit the professional contractor immensely. The more educated the consumer, the harder it is for handyhack and the less professional contractor to compete.
 

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We could all use stuff like this for or webpages. It should be on craigslist too. If you are trying to inform customers you should try and make it as available as possible
 
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