About 3 months ago, I helped the install crew put in a Trane heat pump, and matching A/H. All went well, the finished job looked good, the customer was happy, paid his bill and Life is great. This afternoon just before quitting time the dispatcher calls me and wants to know if Ill run an after hours warranty call to the same customer. She says he has no cooling and was rude on the phone. So I get there, the guy is super nice, offers me a coke, and says the A/C has worked great until it just quit working about 3 hours ago. I graciously declined the coke and told him I would rather get right to work... OK, T-Stat has no power, I go to A/H and check Power...Nothing... I look over at the subpanel and see the circ. breakers for the cond unit, a/h and hot water heater all in the OFF position. What the hell???...I turn on the breakers and everything fires right up. Well the customer is standing behind me and says "Oh I guess I forgot to turn them on after I changed the filter THIS MORNING". "Sorry about having to call you out for that"... I tell him Im glad thats all that was wrong but I would still have to charge him a $39.95 trip charge... Of course he asks about warranty, and I told him if it was broke we would fix it , but it wasnt broke...only off... So he says "OK Ill pay you". When we get to the top of the stairs I hear him say "you need to take your A$$ outside" I thought he was talking to his dog , but I dont see a dog, so I say "excuse me " and then he says "Get the f&#% out of my house ,Ill bring a f&#%ing check out to you.. I go out, write a quick invoice, he hands me a check, refuses to sign the invoice or take a copy and slams the door.
What do you all think ? Should I have given him a "freebie"? After all he did buy an entire system from us 3 months ago...Ive been doing this job for over 20 years, but I cant ever remember a customer turning on me like that...And it is bothering me or else I wouldnt have wrote this long post.
Thanks for "listening" guys, I feel better now
You did exactly the right thing.... at the wrong house :D
You're lucky the butthead didn't attack you.
I feel for ya man. I had one exactly like that. You are correct by charging for that. It cost money to come out to find a home owners problem is his own fault, no a warranty issue.
If you do everything for free, you will not be able to keep your doors open to warranty his system in the future if needed. One way or the other the customer has to pay for everything. Cost must be passed down, its pure business.
I would have done the exact same thing! In fact I do it all the time. If I'm called out it does'nt matter what the problem was, they get a bill for a service call. If its bothering you that much give him a call and try to explain that he called you for a call which was nothing thats covered by warranty and your boss has a policy where calls require payment unless its something covered by warranty. The guy screwed up and he should pay for your time reguardless of what he thinks.
If the customer created the problem, oh well.
Time is money.:)
Dr Jeckle, Mr Hide, I think you gave him a break. i think i would tell the Co. i work for if he ever calls again you can send someone else.
Hopefully the boss is on your side and maybe call this joker and say he doesnt appreciate the way his guy was treated and will drop him as a customer
you certainly did nothing wrong & really he should be charged. As for myself , well even though something like that he should pay for if a customer has bought a new system I'll give him a free be like that once but throughly exsplain that these kinda things will not be covered under warranty in the future.Now as for how he spoke to you that was completly out of line. When customers cuss me the call is over & I refuse to go back. Another thing that really sucks about this situation is that now no matter how good the installation job this customer will remember this situation most & when he speaks to people about your company (maybe potential customers) it probably wont be a positive conversation. From my view even though no doubt he should pay for the call, its just not worth the $40 . And again not saying you were wrong in charging him.
I would have let it go with the warning that non-warranty service woill be chargeable in the future. Also tell him that he doesn't need to turn off the breaker when changing a filter.
As for the verbal abuse, it should not be tolerated. The guy seems to have a problem when things don't go his way.
Sucks to be him!!!!!!
We would have charged him 3X that.
[QUOTE. Another thing that really sucks about this situation is that now no matter how good the installation job this customer will remember this situation most & when he speaks to people about your company (maybe potential customers) it probably wont be a positive conversation. From my view even though no doubt he should pay for the call, its just not worth the $40 . And again not saying you were wrong in charging him. [/B][/QUOTE]
Thats exactly why Im having second thoughts about how I handled the situation.
This is a tough one.
First you absolutely 100% in the right.
However, you are at a crossroads. Do you want to be right (and keep the check) or do you want to return the check and keep the customer for life?
The guy's td-off because he made a stupid mistake and it cost him money. Every single time you go out to service his unit it is going to remind him that he screwed up and it cost him money.
It's business pure and simple. 1 bad reference can cost way more than $40.
I'd call him first and explain that there was some type of misunderstanding, ask if I could come over to personally return the check and clarify that warranty calls do not cover customer caused situations.
The last thing I would do before I left would be to tell him that you didn't appreciate the abuse and from this point forward you REALLY wish he would take all of his future A/C business including warranty issues somewhere else.
9 times out of 10 this guy is going give you back the check, offer to give you another soda, and apologize for being rude! In the process, he will feel bad about the incident and think he owes you and your company big time. This guy is set-up to be a customer for life. Not only that, he will tell all his friends how great you were for not charging him when you could have.
You are at a cross roads, it's up to you! JMM
If you didn't charge him, it would happen again! As long as he thinks you'll respond for whatever stupid thing he does to sabatoge the system, he won't think twice about calling for service.
Don't fret about it any longer.