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Old 28-03-2012, 15:55   #46
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
An honest & expert, though perhaps apparently “expensive” tradesman, might pay for a “quick” service call by charging an “apparently” expensive minimum service charge.
The “quick fix” was only quick, because he/she knew what they were doing; also the reason they were worth their “rate”.
Often, when I performed a "minor" fix, customers said: "I could ave done that myself" ... leaving out the all-important, if I had of known" ... which was why they'd called me, in the first place.

A Joke (with a hint of truth to it):

There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multimillion dollar machines.

They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine to work but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past.

The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and stated, "This is where your problem is".

The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.

The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges.

The engineer responded briefly: One chalk mark $1 Knowing where to put it $49,999 It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.

Great joke, our version was he knew were to turn the screw driver, but same point taken. Another one I always liked. A plumber is called to a lawyers house to fix a leak that has been agravating the lawyer for some time. The plumber spends about fifteen minutes fixing the leak and hands the lawyer a bill for $200. The lawyer screams "TWO HUNDERD DOLLARS?, I'm a lawyer and I don't make two hundred dollars in 15 minutes" The plumber looks at him and says "When I was a lawyer I didn't make $200 in fifteen minutes either"
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Old 28-03-2012, 15:59   #47
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Heaps

A couple of grand spread over 1920 hours of work (40hours x 48 weeks) so a couple of dollars an hour
Probably no more than $5000 for a well stocked van, many get away with a $100 angle grinder a $200 sander polisher, a $150 jig saw, a $100 hand plane, a $100 saw and a selection of cheap chinese made hand tools which get thrown away when covered with epoxy

Who gets paid to travel from home to work every day?
And its probably no more than a few minutes for those who work at the same marinas
4 year apprenticeship for me paid for by my employer.

Because its difficult counting to 5
,
What, like some grinding discs and sandpaper?
Who stocks parts? You buy them for the job from your supplier who is a phone call away.

all the little things that are left over from previous jobs which you charged the owner for but never gave back

There used to be no shortage of tradies driving around in a $2000 van which can be locked, only a fool needs a $70,000 Malloo ute.
Seems to be plenty of fools these days.
On the side of the van? $200

I thought we were talking about a guy and his van?

So you admit that there is gouging?
And where is it written that costs cannot be passed on?

Hmm, what about the afternoons sailing on owners boats, the beers that are bought, the flexible hours
You chose the business you are in, dont cry about it.

You choose the hobby you're in, don't cry about what it costs.
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Old 28-03-2012, 16:08   #48
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
You choose the hobby you're in, don't cry about what it costs.
Thats it?

No actual response to my post calling you out on the assumptions you had made.

I obviously got it right then.
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Old 28-03-2012, 16:21   #49
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by AllezCat View Post
I completed a 4 year apprenticeship in Australia.
I backpacked around the world and worked in USA. I was highly praised for my reliability, honesty, competence, and broad area of expertise. I didn't think much of it at the time. Everyone I knew was like that.
I returned to Australia and an employer in NYC flew me back and provided free accommodation in Manhattan.
But, when I got out of that business, and into retail and had to call tradesmen - I discovered what they were talking about.
Most tradesmen I dealt with were unreliable, dishonest, and incompetent.
I developed the axiom "never chase someone to give them your money".

Same applies to Boats - seems the less competent a tradesmen is - the more likely they are to be dishonest. At the very least they will have to return many times to get the job done. Mostly - simply because they don't know what they are doing.
And they always make more money. I call it gouging.
Not that any tradespeople here are like that.
But it is common - far too common. And I agree with the op...
The guy I worked for in NYC 25 years ago was the worst - lack of skills in the trade but non in dealing with people. He lied cheated and ripped off everyone he dealt with - (except me). The only gripe he had was I could repair things quickly. "Sell parts, sell parts" he used to yell at me. "Can't make money on a minimum charge service call". But often that was all I needed to fix the customers problem...And I would not lie for him...
Nice post and I 100% agree.

I see the same in many trades, last month I had a tenant who' a/c was freezing up and blowing warm air instead of cold.
I couldn't get out my usual guy so had to use this other so called expert and this tradesmans arsehole tried and stitch me up $700 for a repair with a big pile of made up BS about major parts failure.

A quick google of the symptoms and got the tenant to clean out the filters and the vanes in the unit and hey presto, a/c works fine once again.

I didn't pay his $120 "quote fee" either.
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Old 28-03-2012, 16:50   #50
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

By and large I agree with the OP.
When I request a quote, I have two expectations, 1) it's a honest quote, 2) the quoted amount will be honoured. (within reason) I figure since I'm allegedly dealing with a professional he knows what he's getting into. I insist on a contract and believe me I feel free to make any changes to any part that leave me open to almost unlimited price increases.
In case anyone is wondering what an "honest quote" is, let me provide an example. Last year I had my boat trucked. One of the "professionals" at the boat yard from which the boat was being transported quoted me $300 to "prep" the mast for transportation. Now the mast in question are two ( I have a ketch ) free standing carbon fibre tubes, no spreaders, no standing rigging what so ever, and they were already unstepped. I politely refused the offer. The next day I get an email from the same "professional" offering to prep the mast for $200, again I politely refuse. Make a long story short, his final offer was $50! So what does that tell me about the initial $300 quote?
By the way I turned down his $50 offer, did it myself in 10min and $5 worth of materials.
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Old 28-03-2012, 16:54   #51
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Last time I heard, if you put a lien on something befor you were owed any money, that was a separate prosecutable offense...
I didn't know that. But I wasn't being sarcastic. So maybe they can't put a lien on your boat BEFORE they begin. It wouldn't surprise me if some put a lien on the boat as soon as they finish, or as soon as the first payment is due.

Again, a whole lot of boatyards have gotten stuck in the last few years with abandoned boats. Seems reasonable to me for them to protect themselves against such an eventuality to whatever extent they can.
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Old 28-03-2012, 17:33   #52
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Thats it?

No actual response to my post calling you out on the assumptions you had made.

I obviously got it right then.

Yeah ya did, absolutely brillant.

To qoute the infamous Peanut as his hand flies over his head "Zoooom"
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Old 29-03-2012, 04:10   #53
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Nice post and I 100% agree.

I see the same in many trades, last month I had a tenant who' a/c was freezing up and blowing warm air instead of cold.
I couldn't get out my usual guy so had to use this other so called expert and this tradesmans arsehole tried and stitch me up $700 for a repair with a big pile of made up BS about major parts failure.

A quick google of the symptoms and got the tenant to clean out the filters and the vanes in the unit and hey presto, a/c works fine once again.

I didn't pay his $120 "quote fee" either.
Let me see if I have read this right.

You engaged a unknown a/c repairer to look at / quote you for a unknown fault and because the quote was $700, you didn't accept his advice. You worked out (from google) how to repair the a/c and then got the tenant to carry out this fix for free.

Now you aren't willing to pay the a/c tradesman for his time to look at the system and prepare the quote because you know he made up a big pile of BS.

Now of course I don't the fine details because they aren't provided but I guess there are 3 potential reasons he quoted you $700.
1. He was trying to take you to the cleaners.
2. He is stupid and doesn't know enough about his profession
3. He knows that some major part is on its way out and is about to fail so he must replace that as well as clean the filters etc otherwise you will be screaming warranty when it fails in a few months time.

What did he say when you questioned his quote? I presume you can smell a snow job from way off.

I am surprised that you aren't willing to pay his quote fee considering you approached him for the business without any knowledge of the problem and he has provided you with a solution.

While it might not seem related, doesn't your tenant have a requirement to keep the filters clean; if so, then he/she is partly responsible for calling out the repairer (and therefore some of the $120) and if not, then how much are you paying the tenant for cleaning the system.

I do know that when a customer refuses to pay a small (~$100) bill and doesn't have a reasonable excuse (IMO), then I am very happy as it means I will never have to work for that unreasonable customer ever again.

Does the tenant have to pay his rent in advance; if so, should the tradesman require advance payment for his time to attend to the problem?
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Old 29-03-2012, 05:21   #54
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Let me see if I have read this right.

You engaged a unknown a/c repairer to look at / quote you for a unknown fault and because the quote was $700, you didn't accept his advice. You worked out (from google) how to repair the a/c and then got the tenant to carry out this fix for free.

Now you aren't willing to pay the a/c tradesman for his time to look at the system and prepare the quote because you know he made up a big pile of BS.

Now of course I don't the fine details because they aren't provided but I guess there are 3 potential reasons he quoted you $700.
1. He was trying to take you to the cleaners.
2. He is stupid and doesn't know enough about his profession
3. He knows that some major part is on its way out and is about to fail so he must replace that as well as clean the filters etc otherwise you will be screaming warranty when it fails in a few months time.

What did he say when you questioned his quote? I presume you can smell a snow job from way off.

I am surprised that you aren't willing to pay his quote fee considering you approached him for the business without any knowledge of the problem and he has provided you with a solution.

While it might not seem related, doesn't your tenant have a requirement to keep the filters clean; if so, then he/she is partly responsible for calling out the repairer (and therefore some of the $120) and if not, then how much are you paying the tenant for cleaning the system.

I do know that when a customer refuses to pay a small (~$100) bill and doesn't have a reasonable excuse (IMO), then I am very happy as it means I will never have to work for that unreasonable customer ever again.

Does the tenant have to pay his rent in advance; if so, should the tradesman require advance payment for his time to attend to the problem?
The premise here is that the so called tradesman lied.
Therefore at the very least - no payment.
Perhaps civil or criminal charges for fraud...( this never happens).

However, if I worked as a tradesmen again - I would demand payment in advance, and charge far more than anyone else. (at least in USA).

There is a 2 way street here possibly magnified by the fact that many cruisers are on a budget - are often very handy - and do not wish to pay for tradesmen. but, sometimes have to.
I would not want to work for them...
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Old 29-03-2012, 06:26   #55
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by AllezCat View Post
The premise here is that the so called tradesman lied.

Agreed that is the premise but there is also the premise that person making the call of lying did not have any knowledge of the system until after they were google trained. Hardly an expert witness and also has motive to withhold payment on slim evidence.

Therefore at the very least - no payment.
Perhaps civil or criminal charges for fraud...( this never happens).

Way too hard to prove I guess!

However, if I worked as a tradesmen again - I would demand payment in advance, and charge far more than anyone else. (at least in USA).

There is a 2 way street here possibly magnified by the fact that many cruisers are on a budget - are often very handy - and do not wish to pay for tradesmen. but, sometimes have to.
I would not want to work for them...
Me neither.
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Old 29-03-2012, 18:23   #56
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Let me see if I have read this right.

You engaged a unknown a/c repairer
Do you know everyone in the phone book? I sure as hell dont

Quote:
to look at / quote you for a unknown fault and because the quote was $700, you didn't accept his advice.
Not when a brand new replacement unit is $1200
Quote:
You worked out (from google) how to repair the a/c and then got the tenant to carry out this fix for free.
correct

Quote:
Now you aren't willing to pay the a/c tradesman for his time to look at the system and prepare the quote because you know he made up a big pile of BS.
Also correct

Quote:
Now of course I don't the fine details because they aren't provided but I guess there are 3 potential reasons he quoted you $700.
1. He was trying to take you to the cleaners.
Thats it in one.
He made no mention of clogged filters in his quote, what he said was faulty was the soft starter and PCB on the outdoor unit.

Quote:
What did he say when you questioned his quote?
He wasnt concerned. From what I have been told since by my usual contractor he has a reputation for high quotes and probably makes a nice earn on getting paid for quoting and not actually working
Quote:
I presume you can smell a snow job from way off.
Usually


Quote:
I am surprised that you aren't willing to pay his quote fee considering you approached him for the business without any knowledge of the problem and he has provided you with a solution.
I would have copped it on the chin if he was honest.
as he wasnt he can jam it up his

I dare-say he will make the loss up quick enough by ripping off some poor gullible granny down the road.

Quote:
While it might not seem related, doesn't your tenant have a requirement to keep the filters clean; if so, then he/she is partly responsible for calling out the repairer (and therefore some of the $120)
They are required to keep them clean and I believe the agent has issued a breach.
IF the a/c repairman had been honest I would have paid and would have attempted to pass on the cost to the tenant.


Quote:
I do know that when a customer refuses to pay a small (~$100) bill and doesn't have a reasonable excuse (IMO), then I am very happy as it means I will never have to work for that unreasonable customer ever again.
Good for you
In this instance do you think my excuse was reasonable, not that I really care

Quote:
Does the tenant have to pay his rent in advance;
of course they do

Quote:
if so, should the tradesman require advance payment for his time to attend to the problem?
That's up to the individual tradesman I suppose
If that's what they wanted I would simply call the next one in the phonebook.
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Old 29-03-2012, 18:34   #57
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Agreed that is the premise but there is also the premise that person making the call of lying did not have any knowledge of the system until after they were google trained. Hardly an expert witness and also has motive to withhold payment on slim evidence.
You are guessing.

I actually have worked for an a/c installation company before and helped the electrician do the installs on this unit when I had the house built.
They are less than 18mths old so I seriously doubt it could or would have been a catastrophic failure like this clown claimed.

I think it was more a case of rental property = no owner present = easy pickings for an unscrupulous gouger.
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Old 29-03-2012, 19:48   #58
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

Why does someone call out for a professional service?

1 They are too busy or lazy to do the job themselves.

2 They don’t know what the problem is, need to find that answer and learn how to prevent it from happening again.

3 They know what the problem and solution is, but hope a professional may have repair options and good spare parts that might save them money.

Only in case 3 do you have the opportunity to qualify your decision based on your own knowledge to determine a "not to exceed cost.."

The other 2 are based on doing your homework on the ethics (reputation) of the service contractor…. and that is where you need to network with other owners to determine if that trust should exist.
If you don’t and it goes all wrong…. you are equally to blame.
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Old 29-03-2012, 20:01   #59
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Why does someone call out for a professional service?

1 They are too busy or lazy to do the job themselves.

2 They don’t know what the problem is, need to find that answer and learn how to prevent it from happening again.

3 They know what the problem and solution is, but hope a professional may have repair options and good spare parts that might save them money.

4) In the case of the job mentioned above I am 1000 miles away
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Old 30-03-2012, 05:38   #60
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Re: Marina Service Gouging

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Do you know everyone in the phone book? I sure as hell dont
I wasn't being critical, just stating a fact; sorry if it came across as criticism.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Good for you
In this instance do you think my excuse was reasonable, not that I really care
Well it sounds reasonable from what you have posted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
You are guessing.
Correct.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
.......

I think it was more a case of rental property = no owner present = easy pickings for an unscrupulous gouger.
Sounds like it.
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