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New person,indroducing myself

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by fastrac, Sep 28, 2006.

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  1. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    580
    Loc:
    Shokan, NY
    Welcome to the forum Larry. I'm about an hour and a half north of you, up I-87.

    We do take on new service customers who bought their appliance from somewhere else. But they have to pay our rates and work with our scheduling. If it's an emergency they will pay higher rates this time of year. We usually say "we'd be glad to help after the rush is over. How does June look for you?"

    The reason most of us dealers do not like to service units we did not sell is that we have a full plate serving the customers who DID buy from us, instead of going around us to save a couple hundred bucks. When a customer wants me to service a stove they bought elsewhere we have to negotiate the terms. If they agree to my terms I will help them out. If they are not cheapskates I will usually get a new customer for life. But many of these folks already came to me a few years ago and thought my prices were too high and bought elsewhere. Who is responsible for that situation? Of course, it's up to us to do a good job and prove that we are worth the extra amount.

    I agree with your position, on principle. But I also believe that we can pick up some good customers who might have made a mistake. Not everyone, but some. We take it on a case by case basis.

    By the way, I would have charged about $250 (at least) for the job you described above (climbing in the chase, etc.). In that case you were called in as the expert. My minimum inspection as an "expert" is $150, and that would not include climbing in a chase and fixing the problem. That's just the consult fee. Another $100, or so, for the repair work. The builder will grumble, I just stand there while they write the check. I just saved them thousands of dollars and they screwed up. It would have cost them more to hire me in the first place. They are getting a deal and they know it. And they may need me again. The best builders start to understand that professionals are worth the extra investment and start calling me instead of the guy who doesn't know what the hell he is doing. If they hire me to begin with I guarantee it to be right the first time. That's peice of mind they need. It worth more than $120.

    Sean

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  2. hilly

    hilly Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Loc:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    I find these kind of discussions quite interesting because I consider myself cheap (or as Basil Fawlty might say, "cheapish"), but when someone is doing work on my home, I would much rather pay a large amount and get it done really well (and one time) than go cheap and have someone over two or three times to get the job done to my satisfaction. If I can do the job myself, I will, but if I can't then I will pay someone top dollar to do a good job.
    I was helping a friend side his house and he was taking forever and I was getting a bit antsy because it was going so slow, but then I realized that the work that he was doing would last many years, so it made sense that he went slow, took the extra time and had a great looking home. When you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home, it doesn't seem to me that $105 for fixing a potential ten thousand dollar problem is significant. In fact it seems to me that builder that was grumbling about that may have lost a great resource over a very small amount of money. But I guess it's also easy for me to sit here with my secure job spouting off how I'd do things when owning your own business must be a very difficult and demanding career.
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