1st Customer I can't satisfy!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcom, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    We received a call last week about a busted above ground manifold we had winterized last fall. After arriving onsite and with the son-in-law in tow as the homeowner has either died or is totally incapacited. He thought it was a winterizing issue.

    We found the downstairs shutoff was continually weeping and the drain downstairs was closed. Last fall, we arrived and the homeowner said the water was off, etc.. We blew it all out.

    We showed the son-in-law the weeping valve. Told him we would rebuild the manifold and see if valves are damaged on startup.

    Sent bill and got a call yesterday. Son-in-law says it is our fault that we did not check on shut off and drain. I told him we take the homeowners word that the inside shutoff, etc. is taken care of. He maintains his relation is 80 yrs. old and not all that well and we should have checked the drain.

    I told him we do not IQ test our customers and we have to be responsible for our own actions. Ended up he maintains it is our fault and I said no way of course.

    Common sense lacking in North Dakota.

    John
     
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,027

    Nothing like an outdoor drain to avoid the freezes. Slap a lien on the house.
     
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 22,073

    I'm going to re-read this in the morning...it's another " where's the rest of the story"? post.
     
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    No, it happens here too. Completely believable. Especially if it is a gate valve shut off. had it happen a handful of times with me too.
     
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Well, it probably won't be the last customer you can't please. If there's one thing I've learned in all these years it's that you can't please them all. We try a lot harder than most. But there are some that just can't be convinced. And whoever said, "The Customer is ALWAYS right" never had very many of them.

    I for one and not going to bend over backwards a hundred times at a customer's whim just to make sure they're totally satisfied. We do what we say we will do for the price we agreed on. And we'll even throw in some extras. But that's about it. Beyond that, they can payup or I'll take collection action. Which doesn't happen often, but it does happen.
     
  6. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,538

    10% of the general population you will never make happy, another 10% you will never make money on . Run as fast as you can from both!
     
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I learned this very early on. Some people will NEVER be satisfied, and it's best to run or cut ties early. I have let many people know that we will no longer service their system, even send money back in certain cases. Maybe only 4-6 or so. We try as hard as possible.
     
  8. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,767

    Never call it a "winterazation" this implies a warranty . Call it a blow out . We have printed on the invoice that a blow out is not a guarentee . Any one can accidently turn that valve on. A customer with a crappy system can call you out to " winterize" as soon as you leave , turn the system back on , and have you replace it for free in the spring.
     
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 22,073

    Every year, get rid of 1% of the clients that give you 99% of the grief.
     
  10. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,538

    When they tell me " well you blew it out" I take the time to explain that there is no possible way its junk because of me. Either the inside shut off failed or someone turned it back on.
     

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