View Full Version : Spring Claim?

Jim Gecz
04-05-2007, 05:47 AM
“Hi Jim, my name is Terri F, do you remember me? You inspected my townhouse last June.” Every experienced HI dreads that type phone introduction. You just know she is calling with a problem. Potential claim alarms start to sound, “Warning, warning, Will Rodgers, danger!”

“Oh sure, Terri!” Why do I always lie? I don’t really remember her, although the name sounds vaguely familiar. “How can I help you”, other than dig into my pocket!

Terri went on, at great length how, how after she moved into her townhouse, a basement leakage problem was discovered. The leak had damaged the finished walls and rugs, and she had already spent $1,500 and still the problem is not fixed. I listened to her with sympathy, while mentally doing the claim math. Ouch, ouch, ouch, this was starting to hurt.

While I was preparing for the worst, she brought me up short by saying, “Now Jim, I know you are not to blame here. The seller asked if she could leave a large desk in that corner of the basement and I said yes. It was only after we moved the desk that we saw the leak. Your contract specifically states you do not move furniture, and that makes sense.”

HUH? I am not to blame? Turns out, Terri was simply calling for advice. She had gotten one of my marketing postcards, and impulsively she dialed the number. We spoke for about 30 minutes, about the leak problem, about all the renovations she has planned, and we even joked about another inspection I had performed for her on a townhouse disaster she felt I saved her from purchasing. We ended the conversation with her saying, “Thank you so much, for all your help, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help.”

I knew Terri could have tried to pull me into her problem, but instead she choose honesty. Wow. Can’t be from Jersey! (She is a transplanted Southern girl)

Well, I can’t help but tie this phone call into the time of year. We old guys can get pretty cynical as we have seen so much of the bad people are capable. Here was a call that reminded me of Spring and renewal; a renewal of optimism in human nature. Kind of nice, don’t you think?

John Ghent
04-06-2007, 06:52 AM
Marry her and live happily ever after.

Jim Gecz
04-07-2007, 09:13 AM
Spoken like a true cynical old geezer, John!

Nick Ostrowski
04-08-2007, 08:38 AM
Not all people are out to get their hands on your E&O. Treat your clients right, be professional, pleasant, and take your time with them. It doesn't mean you won't ever run into problems but most clients will remember how helpful you were and how hard you tried to do a good job when an overlooked or unforseeable hiccup surfaces.

Mike Schulz
04-08-2007, 05:20 PM
It's nice to know that thee are some good people left in this ruthless sue anyone world. You should tape that conversation to your wall so you can read it when the arse hole comes along and tries to ream ya! :rolleyes: