Passed up a waer removal job--sorta?

Discussion in 'Water, Fire & Mold Restoration' started by DamageClean, May 27, 2011.

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    DamageClean

    DamageClean Active Member

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    OK guys how would you have handled this?

    Fella calls at 4pm upset that his $300k house is flooded in the finished basement (yes another Leadsbyfone lead call which cost $175) and needs help NOW:D

    I tell them I can be there in about an hour after I disinfect some incoming equipment which I will then bring to his house...OK so far....then the question: How much is this going to cost?

    "Mr Homeowner I really don't know till we get to the house and see the extent of the damage."

    His reply after a lot of himhawing: "I've got $300.00 and all I want is you to remove the water. I can dry out my own basement. I called Servi****** 2 hours ago and they are yet to call me back so if you can get here before they do you can have the job"

    MY Reply "well Mr Homeowner we are sorry we are not in a race to be to your house faster than a competing company so I think we will just have to pass on this one and good luck but a little friendly advise that no matter who you call you should have professional drying done and fast or the damage is going to be a whole lot more than you are planning"

    His reply: " thanks for the advise. I think I'll just grab my shop vac"

    I keep telling myself I should have jumped in the vehicle and made a beeline over there and looked the situation over----then my gut tells me that this would have been a waste of time.

    How have you all handled situations like this? Hate "maybe" passing up any $$ :AddEmoticons04259:
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    XM_Industries

    XM_Industries Member

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    We have a minimum charge for going out to the home and even assessing it.

    "Mr Homeowner I understand, and you are very right to be in a hurry. The faster the water is removed the less possibility you have of further damage to your home. I can be at your location in an hour (more than reasonable btw). I have a minimum charge of ($175+gas+your time) to come out and assess your property, which I will apply to your invoice should you decide to use my services."

    Being a good person and trying to help someone out quickly is a good thing, but it still costs your business money. CYA
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    Gary Getman

    Gary Getman Well-Known Member

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    That potential job could have been Servi*******'s nicest flood of the week, but you have to handle all suspect calls just the way you did. By your gut feeling. Key word..."hemhawing". Move on to the next real custy that values their home, and your service, and wants to have their home restored correctly.
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    Scott W

    Scott W Preferred Vendor Premium VIP

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    I would have at least brought up insurance coverage. Explain the potential dangers of not drying properly and timely. Ask a few question about insurance coverage. Then likely could have let him know that fees above his deductible would be handled by his insurance carrier. In this economy, many are thinking about what comes out of their pocket.

    After that discussion, you would have a better fell for how to proceed.
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    Joey J.

    Joey J. Well-Known Member

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    What was the source of the water? Would this be covered by his insurance? In my experience most people have no idea how expensive it is to dry a structure and they have no idea how extensive the damage can be. The only thing they are usually even concerned about is the carpet. It's amazing how many people say I'll just rip the carpet out instead of drying it, until I explain about the structure needing to be dried also. It also has not usually crossed their mind that it might be covered by their insurance until I tell them.

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    mathis1

    mathis1 Member

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    When ever i get a call that begins with the statement "I've got" i usally know its not worth the hassle, the fact that he said he call serve*** means he probably already know the price
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    spotman123

    spotman123 Well-Known Member

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    Good points by all who have replied so far. Sometimes you can talk to a potential customer about the severity of water damaged property and they still do not get it!! They think about the cost factor. It is tough to pass up money, but you did as I would have.
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    William Weaver

    William Weaver Member

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    Had a similar call this morning. All she wanted to know was "how much". I explained that it was impossible for me to know the extent of the damage over the phone. I offered to come out and inspect the damage to give her an idea of cost, for our inspection charge of $250.00 applied to her bill if we got the work. She said " $250.00!!! ARE YOU INSANE???" and hung up. Glad I didn't go out to that one.
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    DamageClean

    DamageClean Active Member

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    I guess I should have "filled in the blanks" a little better. The loss was from groundwater/flooding and no flood insurance so it was private pay. Like William Weaver said they were "shopping " but I still have that nagging feeling that if I coulda got into the home I would have been more effective. Oh well all worked out with another lead that afternoon that generated another paying job :)
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    Ho0tz04

    Ho0tz04 Member

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    I have to agree with Gary. You have to decide how much risk you're willing to take in order to make a profit. If we think about it we are constantly doing risk management in this business. Simple things like corner guards to prevent property damage to ensuring that you're going to actually get paid for the services rendered. I would have handled it the same, with a smile.
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    kevind

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    I would have gone out to at least extract the standing waterand begin the mitigation process, especially if I paid $175 for the phone call.

    I would inspect the job with the homeowner and show what areaswere wet and explain how much money I could save them by properly drying thestructure. It might be a gold mine, it might be a dud. It might be covered byinsurance, it might not, but you will never know for sure unless you go andLOOK. I would then give them a timesensitive estimate for properly drying the structure.

    If they chose to only do light wand extraction for $300 anddry the structure themselves I would document that on the work authorization.

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