Doing work for "Friends"
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    425

    Doing work for "Friends"

    Just looking for some opinions. I got a call a few weeks ago from some former neighbors with whom I was friendly with. They said that the unit seemed to be having a hard time cooling, offered to come over and take a look, left this as a message and never heard back. Fast forward 1 week and I hear from them again. This time they say that the unit was "struck by lightning" and their insurance co. asked them to get a estimate on repairs. So I go over and find a t-stat and zone control bad. I happen to have an extra zone control of the exact same model. I wire the unit to run temporarily from the upstairs stat, do a quick check of the system(it is 8:30pm after a long day and I have not been home yet), and explain what I found. To my surprise they seem less than happy. I get the impression that they wanted my to condemn the entire system so that they can make a large insurance claim and include some other electronics that may or mayor may not have been damaged by this "lightning". Then the next day I receive a message saying the outdoor unit does not seem to be working. I am considering just going back and putting the system back to the condition I found it and telling them to contact someone else...frustrated and feeling like they are trying a abuse our friendship. What are the opinions here on doing work for friends, family, and neighbors??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Spokane WA
    Posts
    297
    Working for family and friends can be tricky. Don't let them talk you into anything that is "NOT CORRECT" or you will regret that later. Tell them that they need to call someone else if they want a different result. It sounds like they are trying to get even with their insurance company and while that make them feel good to get some payback from them I bet it won't make you feel good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,414
    Dicey road for sure.

    Family... I'll drop what ever I'm doing to fix something for Mom, Dad's on his own (he's a HVAC guy too), but I'll help if he needs it.

    Extended family and good friends get faster response and good service for a bit less than they could at a competitors place.

    General friends and acquaintances... they get the peace of mind that they have someone who knows what they are doing (most of the time anyway) working on their equip.

    If I were you I'd stick with your guns, maybe tell them they have the option of you putting the system back to the way it was, or you'll fix whats wrong and they'll have a properly functioning system.
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    425
    Funny timing on this post. I just got off the phone with the guy. I told him that I would come over this afternoon and put in the replacement zone control that I have along with the t-stat that they purchased. I started the repair, so I will finish it. When it comes to money, I never feel right asking for money from friends and family. Kinda like "loaning" money to the same groups...it is just easier not to expect to see it back. Thanks for the responses, just needed to vent.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,335
    If they are asking you to cheat the system, they aren't really your friend.

    They are trying to take advantage of you and your trade to get a new system on the cheap.

    Do what you know is right.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,579
    Stopped doing that a long time ago unless it's someone I owe a favor too, which is rare. Tell them I'm licensed, but not insured, and could loose my license and job. If they persist, just give them the insurance application, tell them to pay it and when all the paperwork goes thru, "six to twelve weeks" I'll see what I can do in my spare time.

    Haven't seen an insurance company yet that will pay for a lightening damaged unit without proof, usually an adjuster will come out. Insurance fraud is not something you want on your future Resume.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,847
    Keep in mind,insurance fraud is a felony.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,460
    Remember 'no good deed goes unpunished'.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    843
    Quote Originally Posted by amickracing View Post
    Dicey road for sure.

    Family... I'll drop what ever I'm doing to fix something for Mom, Dad's on his own (he's a HVAC guy too), but I'll help if he needs it.

    Extended family and good friends get faster response and good service for a bit less than they could at a competitors place.

    General friends and acquaintances... they get the peace of mind that they have someone who knows what they are doing (most of the time anyway) working on their equip.

    If I were you I'd stick with your guns, maybe tell them they have the option of you putting the system back to the way it was, or you'll fix whats wrong and they'll have a properly functioning system.
    Same here except for my father who is an hvac guy too, if he wants something fixed he's first in line. I still like my job and hope not to be fired for the day. Just had an emergency pool pump replacement for him

    As for anyone else that doesnt share similar blood to me, its the full price. If its a neighbor I tell them its my job its how i pay the mortgage to be your neighbor, if I do this stuff for free I wont be your neighbor for much longer.
    Global Warming or: None like it hot
    No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater... than central air. -Dogma

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
    Posts
    1,978
    Quote Originally Posted by hidalgo1301 View Post
    When it comes to money, I never feel right asking for money from friends and family
    Family is a maybe... Parents and grandparents are off limits, aunts and uncles I charge but a very fair rate.

    Friends... It all depends on what they have done for me. Most get charged but again very fairly.
    UA LU189

    10mm, because it's better than .45acp

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    in my lumpy chair
    Posts
    1,947

    Family and friends are the best barterer
    I dont warranty Tinkeritus

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,414
    Had a customer just yesterday ask me how to kill their unit.
    Im sitting there from across the table thinking, Do you really want to do business with someone who is dishonest?
    It can be very disappointing.
    You sure are cocky for a starving pilgrim.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,579
    Man, that's the easiest thing in the world. Get three to four lenghts of copper pipe, and couplings. Put them together, no need to sweat them, they'll be welded. Next time they have a storm, they hold the copper pipe six inches off one of the units top screws.

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