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Would you do it over?

Boiler Guy
Boiler Guy Member Posts: 585
on your proffessional attitude. Let's face it .... you could have "flamed/defamed" the previous contractor. However, you did not!! KUDOS Most of us want to avoid confrontations at all costs. Most of us also learn from our mistakes. A rational discussion could very well be a learning opportunity and resolution for all concerned. The results of the final outcome WILL separate the "cream from the skim milk".

Best of Luck


  • thfurnitureguy_4
    thfurnitureguy_4 Member Posts: 398
    Do over?

    Ok here is a question from the other side of the fence. I am a HO/BO That is home owner/ business owner (thought is sounded better than being just an old HO) any way. If you know my saga I purchaced a building with one pipe steam about a year ago. At the onset we had the local company come out and do a boiler service and a some radiator install. In talking to the techs. I learned that this company had been doing the service and repair for the previous owner for about 3 years. They also were responsible for installing new returns and all of the short circuits that there choice of location caused. Steamhead knows the score on this building and I now have a plan in the works to fix the problems. Steamhead, by the way Is the best money I ever spent on this heating system.(Many thanks to him) Now for the question. I owe this company money and I will pay the bill. They were kind enough to extend a payment plan. I am getting ready to either do this job over my self or pay again to have it fixed. As professionals If a home owner aproached you with an obvious mistake in your work would you do it over? Would you bill additional? would you find some middle ground? or would you run from it. I know what I would do if this was a furniture job. what is considered usual and customary for a problem like this. I must add that I have msde no attempt to contact this company to this point I have just been paying the bill. Also the work on the returns was done for the previous owner just 2 seasons ago I hate to think of what I have spent in oil because the system being repaired wrong.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    My customary policy

    If we did it wrong IE: it doesn't work and it was a flat out mistake on our part, we fix it. Free.

    If it doesn't work because of "circumstances", like unknown situations that come to light after we've done our thing, I will offer to fix/replace/repair and charge only the difference between what we did and what needs to be done. That is providing what we did in the first place is usable as part of the new solution.

    The unknowns are tough to deal with on some of these old systems. I've seen "stuff" hanging in basements that I have no clue as to what it even is let alone what it does ir is supposed to do. When you get into the old systems, it really pays to spend some serious "homework" time. A lot of companies don't do this because they feel they can't bill for the time spent researching and understanding your system. Most will just hack and slash and bill for the parts.

    Getting Frank involved is probably the best thing you could have ever done to get a grip on what's wrong and what it will take to fix it. Whatever he recommends is going to be your best solution.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997

    If you show me my work is wrong then I fix it!! If I have to do it on my own time so be it!! I take great pride in every install and repair I do and the company I work for does also. I have made technical mistakes in the past and been shown that I was wrong. When this occured I repaired the issue to make the customer happy. As to the work being done for a previous owner, I have never run into that but still would do something to make it right. I however would not have the final say the company would. If they made a mistake I would approach them and see what they have to say. Just make sure to have all your duck's in a row..IMHO
  • don_131
    don_131 Member Posts: 1
    I would

    think that any professional hvac contractor would pay for
    what it is that he does not know.

    I mean if you made a piece of furniture and the customer was not happy with it,would you try to make him happy at your expense?

    Maybe get the owner and you..and even Steamhead back in the basement to hash out the issue again.Personally as a contractor I would have no problem hiring Steamhead or whom ever it was to get the job done right.
    And at the same time if I learn something that made me better then I was before,it a win/win all the way around.

    Here's a certain % of your money back and thanks for getting
    in contact with me so we could address your issue.

    I feel if you dont say anything,all they will do is assume you are content and will wonder why they lost you as a customer.

    You have the ball...So shoot!

  • thfurnitureguy_4
    thfurnitureguy_4 Member Posts: 398

    Thank you all. I do want a fair solution I think I will extend the offer and see what comes of it.
  • Boiler Guy
    Boiler Guy Member Posts: 585
    I completely agree with the tone of all the answers:

    If I/we made a mistake on your project - it should be mutually resolved ASAP!!. PERIOD!

    As I understand it: You hired a contractor, familiar with your building, "in good faith", to undertake repairs on a system he/they "lead you to believe" were capable of doing correctly, to your satisfaction. For whatever reason, the job was not improperly completed.

    IMO you owe it to yourself and that contractor to resolve the issue(s). The sooner the better.

    You have since chose to engage another contractor to "make things right." Most of us as contractors can easily find fault in another's work - either because that "is not the way we would do it" or it truly is "shoddy work". That said; as an outside observer, you now seem to be very satisfied with the consumate proffessional (Steamhead) you are now working with. With all you have now learned about your system and it's idiosincrisies, you should be able to have an informed conversation with the previous contractor, outlining your concerns. If he is a proud, proffessional businesman, he will be more than willing to resolve your issues amicably. As others have said, he may be wondering why he no longer has your business anyway.

    As far as "what happened before" you took possession of the premises - you do not KNOW what was expected by the previous owner or what he was prepared to spend to undertake the repairs required. That situation was totally out of you realm of control. So.... unfortunately, that issue may just have to be "chalked up to experience".

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,899

    If I make a mistake I correct it, period- no charge to the customer- simply because that is the right thing to do.

    On a "can of worms" job I always involve the customer in the process. This way everyone knows what's happening and what's expected.

    TFG, it's your move now. The company's response will tell you whether they care about their reputation.

    And thanks to everyone for the kind words!

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
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    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • thfurnitureguy_4
    thfurnitureguy_4 Member Posts: 398

    Good point I too have worked on jobs where the expections of the customer were not in line with the way I should have been done. Being older and wiser now I turn away from these jobs. I do not know what the agreements with the previous owners were. I do know that the money spent to do it wrong would have gone a long way toward making it wright. I am drafting a letter with my concerns. It addresses only the work they performed. I will post what they say. It comes as no surprise that your group is willing to learn from and correct mistakes. It is what makes you good at what you do. Thanks for the responces
  • jerry scharf_3
    jerry scharf_3 Member Posts: 419
    right vs. customary vs. legal

    Furniture Guy,

    There are several ways to cut this. The people who have responded are high class people who live on their reputation and take great pride in their work. Like you, they would make it right, fix anything they did wrong for free, come up with a plan for the rest. Even if there was no way to forsee the problem, the they would do what they could to make the cost as reasonable as possible.

    What I would call customary would be to expect full payment from the past and maybe give a small break or no break for the repair work. They would often not be interested in what "another heating guy" that you hired thought needed fixed.

    Legally, you owe them every penny and they don't owe you anything. They have met the legal bar of "substantial completion" for the scope of work defined. Sadly, functioning to customer satisfaction is not the level. On the other hand, that could be abused just as well.

    My take on it is bring the manager and or owner down there, go over all the things that were done wrong, then ask them what they are going to do about it. Keep your best attitude in place. If they are reputable people they will act that way. If not, chalk it up to the kind of learning experiece you hate and find someone who you want to do future business with. Steamhead sets the bar as high as it goes, which in my book is a great thing.

    May your business and your heating system prosper.

  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    many of us would remodel it on the spot .

    i will say this though, if you buy a new car with a 25 year power train, it isnt on the person doing the body work to make the car vroom....
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