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First for Me

Appliance unplugged

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12 replies to this topic

#1 Patricio

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:47 PM

A call from an elderly lady, Her small upright freezer just went dead.   Asked usual questions, plugged in, breaker tripped, Throw breaker & turn back on, plug in something that works into receptacle.   All questions answered, electricity to receptacle.   Arrived for call see freezer with extension cord plugged into receptacle disappearing behind freezer.    Pull freezer out & extension cord ends with freezer plug cord laying there ... unplugged.  I plug it in & unit runs. 

 

Now what,   Charge her a service call or do something.   I get my vacuum & clean unit out, use my meter to check amp draw.   Feel bad about having to charge.    Then she lets me off hook.

 

   Asks if I do electrical work. she needs a switch replaced.    I carry light switches, plug receptacles, plate covers, & other electric paraphernalia on truck, I find I have to replace sometimes at customers homes so I can do my repairs.  End up making good feel money (I did something rather than just show up).

 

I realize I have to make something for my time but an elderly widow on limited income,  that sits on me.   I'm not a vulture.


I see says the blind man, leading a lame dog, while talking to a deaf person. In other words, Not liable if you choose to follow my opinion.
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#2 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 07:27 AM

It's great to be a good Sumaritan. It is good for the soul. But you also have to remember what you are not. You are not a social worker nor a nonprofit corporation. Remembering this is good for your bottom line.. So when you are considering providing charity (and not charging a trip or diagnostic fee is indeed charity) weigh in your current income position as well.

It's cool that you can work on related electrical issues. Even though I wired many of my rental properties to code ( my electrician hovering and following up), since I don't have an hvac nor electrical license, I couldn't do that outlet repair but I believe in making money from every job.

So how would I make money from this job? After plugging in the fridge, I would give the customer some added value. Clean the coils, check temps, set and explain temp controls . Also provide her with info on other appliances like how to clean dryer vents, proper washer detergents and warn about self cleaning oven cycle. Then I would give her a bill. This bill would have some business cards, the full cost of my services and this statement: "in repayment, you are encouraged to refer my professional and courteous service to your friends, family and any online review sites you frequent. . But let's keep the gratuitous nature of it between us. Thanks and have a great day!

So if I did it right and get referrals, I would make money FROM this job, not ON this job. On top of it, I made an elderly lady happy, received some good karma and maybe even a little asterisk in St. Peter's book.

Durham Appliance Thrift & Repair, LLC

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#3 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:31 AM

A call from an elderly lady, Her small upright freezer just went dead....

Now you know I just gotta show a video example of what I mean...

in this clip we see a tech who decides to work for pittance because the cause is a noble one and he knows he will get his true reward in the future. The only difference with your scenario is the tech in this video is the elderly one and the item isn't dead... only "mostly dead."


Durham Appliance Thrift & Repair, LLC

www.DurhamApplianceThrift.com


#4 PDuff

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:58 AM

Here is wisdom.  Having a large customer base between the age of 75 and 1000 I run into Brother Patricio's dilemma almost on a daily basis and some cases are heartbreaking.  Throw in some individuals with Alzheimer's or dementia or mobility issues you wonder how they managed to call for service in the first place.  But Brother Durham's Kung Fu is strong.  Agree word for word on his procedure.  Sometimes just turning a unit on fixes the problem but it's the little things that fix the customer.  Just explaining the operation of the product and other products in the home help them feel at ease and gives them peace of mind.  That alone is worth your time and their money.



#5 MicaBay

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 10:44 AM

Unfortunately it is illegal here in WA state for an appliance person to change switches and receptacles, unless the receptacle is on a dedicated circuit for an appliance...

But we have hung a picture frame an a fancy clock at some of our older customer's houses. It's all about value of your time for services rendered.

#6 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 06:32 AM

...... unless the receptacle is on a dedicated circuit for an appliance... .


Interesting. I need to check into that in NC. It does make sense.

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#7 curjones

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:29 AM

Roofing contractor I worked for as salesman warned me about giving out free service, he too had compassion for a little older lady. He decided to give her a free roof.  He tore off the old and put on the new, free of charge.  She complained about the way it was done, and she eventually filed a lawsuite on him for poor workmanship.  They did good roofs.  She won a settlement of money.

 

I have always tried to keep in mind to trust people, but I have gotten the biggest run around and wasted valuable time trying to help some of the elderly, that are grumpy, or have a bad story to tell.  I have also done what is right, no charge and have gotten some of the best hugs, and sincere tears runing down both of our faces.  Thank You, Is often more valuable to the soul than a 100.00 bill.



#8 J5

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:59 AM

many a time i have tried to do someone a favour , a shortcut or something to save them money

 

as they say no good deed goes unpunished and quyite often it comes back and bites you in the arse

 

 

the ones you think are all nice are the ones that come back and get you



#9 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 06:39 AM

I had to begin eviction proceedings against a long time tenant. She was 6 months past due and I even had the water bill in my name. We go to court. She brings her infant child. The tenant is hearing impaired and her child is both hearing and sight impaired. She told the magistrate she wanted to stay and would work something out. The magistrate stared at me. I relented and said "okay, she can stay."

Three unpaid months later, I am back in court. She's not there. As the magistrate was reading the file I said "Judge, you remember this one." As I proceeded to explain he said "oh, yeah I remember." Then I said "yeah, this is the one where you stared at me." He said "yep, sure did. I was trying to tell you not to do it. I see it all the time. You let your heart get involved and all you did was lose more money. Remember, you are not social services."

After that my motto to all new tenants became "I repair fast, I evict faster." I am still a sucker for a hard luck story, but I use my head more and heart less.

Durham Appliance Thrift & Repair, LLC

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#10 nickfixit

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:53 AM

Durham, It's a shame that when you try to show some compassion it comes back and bites you on the ass. With all the welfare/social services in this country, I can see why this person would not be getting help from multiple departments.


" Giving numerical data to Sears management is like giving a monkey a machine gun. No one knows for certain what will happen, but you can be sure of two things... It will be real messy, and only the monkey will be unharmed"

#11 nickfixit

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:06 AM

Roofing contractor I worked for as salesman warned me about giving out free service, he too had compassion for a little older lady. He decided to give her a free roof.  He tore off the old and put on the new, free of charge.  She complained about the way it was done, and she eventually filed a lawsuite on him for poor workmanship.  They did good roofs.  She won a settlement of money.

 

 

She got a free roof and a cash settlement? 

 

This is why I HATE doing concession calls for Whirlpool. The worst customers are the ones getting something for free. They always try to milk as much out of you as possible, even try to get you to work on other items for free.  I've told some of these cheesedicks If I had my way, I would fire the person that gave you the free work. 


" Giving numerical data to Sears management is like giving a monkey a machine gun. No one knows for certain what will happen, but you can be sure of two things... It will be real messy, and only the monkey will be unharmed"

#12 Chat_in_FL

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 04:53 PM

She got a free roof and a cash settlement? 

 

The worst customers are the ones getting something for free.

 

Squeaky wheel gets the grease! So I tell my customers who DESERVE a concession...


We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

Mother Teresa

#13 btaggartjr

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:20 PM

Working in property management people ask me to do things for them all the time. There is a fine line on my end because of fair housing rules, if I do something for someone, I have to do it for everyone. I have no problem helping people out with things, but there are some residents who take advantage of it and act like I am there for whatever they need.






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