Re: Customer Relations
Posted by Terry Love on July 13, 19100 at 14:00:08:
In response to Re: Customer Relations

: OK, all you Plumber/lawyer wanabes: I've gotten into a situation and would appreciate other plumbers' thoughts and opinions.
: First, a brief background history: A week ago I replaced a section of 3" stack for a new customer. The section was abut 6' long that was connected from the TY fitting for the toilet drain arm to the base of the stack. ALL work was in the basement. The pvc pipe that was originally there was so poorly installed, I simply had to wiggle it out of the TY to remove it. No sawzall or pipe cutters required. Job complete, customer's happy. I also quoted for this customer the plumbing for a full bathroom renovation as well. This morning, I get a call from this customer saying that water has poured in around the plumbing roof vent and now her kitchen ceiling is waterdamaged and needs repair/replacement. A roofer was called in and found a 3/4" gap between the vent pipe and the roof flashing. We've had a couple of severe rainstorms recently which only worsened the situation.She has already contacted her insurance company. The repair work is estimated to be around $500.00 ( by her insurance estimations)
: I strongly feel that my repair work in the basement did not cause this gap to appear at the roof vent. As I stated before, I was able to pop the old pipe without any effort. I don't believe that would have caused the leakage at the roof and I know the stack didn't drop or shift when I worked on it. If I'm at fault, I have no problem paying for the repairs, but I don't think I am. Do I balk at this situation, lose a customer and possible future work, or do I bite the bullet and eat this repair charge? I would appreciate hearing so serious replies to my situation. Terry, could I get your opinion as well? Thanks to all, Marty

I wouldn't be surprised if you leaned that they had problems with water coming down the pipe, and that's why they asked you to work on the plumbing. The fact that you were able to pull a three inch fitting out of the hub tells a lot about the previous condition of the plumbing.
Most people with problem plumbing, try to keep the costs down, and favor doing as little as possible. I have encountered handyman plumbing in the past with improper fittings, ragged cuts on pipe ends, and unglued joints. Any workman should be paid when entering a home, laying out the tools and improving the general condition of the home. If the problem is larger than the homeowner expected, it is not the fault of the repairman. I'm sure you have plenty of projects around your home that you would rather be doing for free.
If your customer has "Welfare Mentality" however, you may not be able to convince them that it is "their home" problems and all. My favorite remodels of old homes are the ones where the insides are gutted and the critical workings of the home are replaced before new drywall goes up. No patching and bubble-gumming, but good honest, up to code, working underpinnings.
If your customer is counting on a "Freebie" you will have to determine whether you want to spend the time fighting it, or making up the money with your paying customers. I have a lot of great customers. I love going to work everyday.
Terry Love

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