Liability? Need to refer customer to water restoration, they refuse. | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Liability? Need to refer customer to water restoration, they refuse.

Dougie "fresh-clean"

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Oct 10, 2012
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Doug Nelson
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Customer calls for cleaning, later comes out or is discovered on-site that there is a days old a/c leak and the padding is soaked and who knows what else. I refuse cleaning job and refer customer to a restoration company and suggest they call their insurance company. Customer refuses to deal with the water properly and insists on just having a cleaning. A cleaning company be held liable for future mold/mildew if they agree to half-ass the water problem for that customer?
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
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At the very least I’d make a note on the invoice how you recommend a restoration company and have them sign off that they understand you are not performing restoration services.

How severe was it? Just a small area of carpet & pad or are walls wet too?
 

Dream Clean

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I used to carry extra copies of the liability waiver we used in our flood folders for when the customer wanted equipment out before the job was completed. (Usually a noise issue, if it was a self-pay job we never charged any equipment over 3 days no matter how long it took.) Just took one out and filled it out then did the cleaning and if there were any issues we had it on file at the shop.
 

SRD

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Id just make a side note on the invoice that your doing a clean only customer declined restoration services and your not responsible for any damages or ill health effects that may arise and have them sign it.
 

Mama Fen

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Customer calls for cleaning, later comes out or is discovered on-site that there is a days old a/c leak and the padding is soaked and who knows what else. I refuse cleaning job and refer customer to a restoration company and suggest they call their insurance company. Customer refuses to deal with the water properly and insists on just having a cleaning. A cleaning company be held liable for future mold/mildew if they agree to half-ass the water problem for that customer?
I'm going to have the unpopular opinion here - decline the job.

Like so many other things in our industry, once your wand touches the carpet then, in the customer's eyes, you own every problem that carpet has. And while chances of you being held legally liable for the water loss are minimal, the headaches the customer may give you aren't worth the risk.

A customer who won't spend the money to have a water loss handled properly is, IMHO, a customer not worth putting yourself at risk for.
 

OxiFreshGuy

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I make them sign a liability waiver and tell them plainly , this wont solve your problem. Then again I've cleaned for that same customer a year later and didn't see any problem on the carpet (I'm sure there is under the pad) but unfortunately its perception that matters
 

floorclean

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Dale MacDonald
Had this exact same issue this spring only with a roof leak.
I wouldn’t do a thing until the carpet was pulled back and everything was treated properly and completely dried out.
After that I made them sign a waver that we were only there to clean the carpets and in no way were responsible for doing water restoration. It was clearly spelled out we are a carpet cleaning and janitorial business and not a restoration company.
Although we are in Canada and not a lawyer happy country best be safe than sorry. God knows what would happen if someone got really seriously sick. Even if the actual customer didn’t want to sue you, you could well bet there insurance would as to not have to pay out.
 

Dougie "fresh-clean"

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Oct 10, 2012
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Doug Nelson
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At the very least I’d make a note on the invoice how you recommend a restoration company and have them sign off that they understand you are not performing restoration services.

How severe was it? Just a small area of carpet & pad or are walls wet too?
Didn’t go, just all over the phone. Half the reason I was refusing the job is that I would be another 3 days before I got to a 4 days old water leak.

In the end the tenant just shop vacuumed it and put regular fans because the landlord (customer) said they would have to move their stuff out of the way to get the leak dried out, tenant refused to cooperate.
 
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Dougie "fresh-clean"

Active Member
Oct 10, 2012
104
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Memphis, Tennessee
Real Name
Doug Nelson
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United States
I'm going to have the unpopular opinion here - decline the job.

Like so many other things in our industry, once your wand touches the carpet then, in the customer's eyes, you own every problem that carpet has. And while chances of you being held legally liable for the water loss are minimal, the headaches the customer may give you aren't worth the risk.

A customer who won't spend the money to have a water loss handled properly is, IMHO, a customer not worth putting yourself at risk for.
I was refusing the job. Customers don’t accept a refusal easily. It’s weird. Was hoping to stick some legal jargon in an email to get him to leave me alone. It passed as tenant wouldn’t cooperate with landlord to move their junk for a restoration crew or me as a cleaner.
 

Dougie "fresh-clean"

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Oct 10, 2012
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Doug Nelson
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When you have “insured” written on van and/or website gotta watch your back and CYA. Already been pinned with something before. People know insurance companies will settle on gray areas and eat good hard working local companies for lunch on their way to scam your insurance.
 

john gerding

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I always decline these, usually right on the phone when they call, if they mention it, which they sometimes will not, because they are expecting a Tech to show up so they can offer him a few bucks under the table to fix it... Thats really what they want, a cheap fix for a problem they have no understanding of...
 

Luky

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Customer calls for cleaning, later comes out or is discovered on-site that there is a days old a/c leak and the padding is soaked and who knows what else. I refuse cleaning job and refer customer to a restoration company and suggest they call their insurance company. Customer refuses to deal with the water properly and insists on just having a cleaning. A cleaning company be held liable for future mold/mildew if they agree to half-ass the water problem for that customer?
In many cases customer will do it internationally ( avoiding big restoration guys). Main reason is fear from paying bigger premiums if they decide to file claim with their insurance, so they're trying to wing it. Even , if in the process insurance gets involved, it is better for customer not having walls cut up. Worse case scenario in replaced padding and carpet, but no mold mitigation, because there is no mold. I've done a few jobs recently on residential and commercial side of the business. I was able to safe thousands for homeowners and landlords. Question remains, was it worth it for me? I'm not sure. I said to myself many times to stay out of the water damage mitigation
As many of you know, it's tiring, time consuming and oftentimes frustrating. Late hours, cranky homeowners are not helping the case also. I do only fresh cases ( within first hours). I make sure that source of the leak is taken care of, enough dehus, air movers are handy and place is not cluttered. I won't touch any floods, where incubation period is expired. I think this is a safe practice, if your not proficient in this area. Leave it to the professional crew, is my advice, or you just going to get entangled in so many issues ...