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  1. #1
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    Default Inspection Refund fee

    Hi Guys,

    Good morning to all!

    Hey, I need a couple of things, and I hope you can help.

    First, I need a good, generic "hold harmless" form. You'll know why when I get to the second part.

    Secondly, I want your opinion on something that probably could, or has happened, to every inspector.

    I did an inspection, I'm just going to hit the highlights here to save time. In AZ the A/C is pretty important. So I ran the unit, got a good split. The rest of the house was in fairly good shape, less than 10 years old.

    Two weeks later the client contacts me, says that the A/C doesn't work, wants me to pay like a $500 bill from a HVAC company. He also asks why I put the disconnect in back-wards, and asks why I say the unit was working. To make matters worse, he's an HVAC guy of 32 years. (no offense to HVAC guys. But a guy in the business must see units that work one day, and break the next - that's how they get work!) He says the unit was free of all freon.

    So I look at my notes and explain the "good" readings I take from the registers. And how I don't put the unit in shut-down mode. The unit didn't have a fuse block, so I explained I didn't even have a reason to pull the disconnect out! I explain, "Someone has obviously touched the system since the inspection". He says "You were the last one there".

    So, I am going to refund the inspection fee (it's less than the HVAC bill!) just to get this guy off my back, I don't have time to deal with his "getting something for nothing" attitude.

    Has this happened to you?

    Thanks guys!

    Similar Threads:
    Member Benefits1
    Dave Hill
    Buyers & Sellers Property Inspections LLC
    WWW.BuyersSellersPi.Com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Dave, if you know you did nothing wrong, you have no reason to refund the fee. But if you want to do so just to make this guy go away, that's up to you. If the dollar amount is that little, it in most likelihood would not be worth this guys time to make it a legal issue. I bet if you put something in writing and told him why you didn't owe anything and why, that would most likely be the end of it.

    As for a release form, if you carry E&O insurance, your carrier should be able to give you a form that they approve and recommend for these types of situations.

    As for his comment that "You were the last one there", two weeks went by since the inspection. Anything could happen. And if a fuse block didn't exist, how could you pull it out and put it in backwards if it wasn't even there? Does your inspection agreement have any verbiage that voids the contract if repairs were made to disputed items before you have a chance to reinspect?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    So your client is in the HVAC business, and he's shaking you down??

    1. Put your defense in writing, explain everything you tested/inspected, etc. Be specific.

    2. Tell him your sorry he has to repair the A/C, however it wasn't damaged during your appointment and he has to repair his own items around his house.

    3. Send the letter (with proof of delivery) and get on with your life.

    This is applicable only if your 100% sure of your facts, of course.

    Dom.


  4. #4
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    I have to agree with Nick and Dom on this, I wouldn't give the bastard a penny. Having said that, how you run your business is the decision you have to make based on what's best for your situation.
    This reminds me of the other thread about Reporting non-existent/working items in the report. Does your report state any details about the condenser/disconnect, do you have a picture of the unit? I'd write a letter and paste pics into the letter showing he is full of crap. If you have a pic of the unit from the inspection, I would go out (when he's not home) and take another pic to see if they match or not.
    His idea that you were the last one out there and pulled the disconnect are nonsense. Two weeks, who knows how many people were there. No freon in the line, where was the leak? Was the lineset soldered instead of brazed? I could go on and on. He's in the business and wants $500., he's a scammer. It's a $350-$500 repair if he had to pay someone else.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hill View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Good morning to all!

    Hey, I need a couple of things, and I hope you can help.

    First, I need a good, generic "hold harmless" form. You'll know why when I get to the second part.

    Secondly, I want your opinion on something that probably could, or has happened, to every inspector.

    I did an inspection, I'm just going to hit the highlights here to save time. In AZ the A/C is pretty important. So I ran the unit, got a good split. The rest of the house was in fairly good shape, less than 10 years old.

    Two weeks later the client contacts me, says that the A/C doesn't work, wants me to pay like a $500 bill from a HVAC company. He also asks why I put the disconnect in back-wards, and asks why I say the unit was working. To make matters worse, he's an HVAC guy of 32 years. (no offense to HVAC guys. But a guy in the business must see units that work one day, and break the next - that's how they get work!) He says the unit was free of all freon.

    So I look at my notes and explain the "good" readings I take from the registers. And how I don't put the unit in shut-down mode. The unit didn't have a fuse block, so I explained I didn't even have a reason to pull the disconnect out! I explain, "Someone has obviously touched the system since the inspection". He says "You were the last one there".

    So, I am going to refund the inspection fee (it's less than the HVAC bill!) just to get this guy off my back, I don't have time to deal with his "getting something for nothing" attitude.

    Has this happened to you?

    Thanks guys!
    You owed him absolutely nothing. He is the client ... he is the HVAC guy that inspected the concern and did the repair ??????? Life's a b***h. He can hold nothing over you. He inspected and repaired something on his home that you inspected and then sends you a bill for the repairs after the fact. I seriously don't think so.

    Most home inspectors are protected from such acts by their state. I know you folks have some form of licensing or control by officials. He should have called you first before any party to reinspect the situation.

    Thats like the garage down the road doing brake work on your car and then you come back a couple weeks later saying you had break problems and fixed it yourself and here is the bill. Ain't going to happen.

    As far as a Hold Harmless clause. Is that for the referring Realtor ?? If it is this is a basic hold harmless clause for them.

    CLIENT agrees to hold any and all real estate agents involved in the purchase of the property to be inspected harmless and keep them exonerated from all loss, damage, liability, or expense occasioned or claimed by reasons of acts or neglects of the INSPECTOR or his employees or visitors or of independent contractors engaged or paid by INSPECTOR for the purpose of inspecting the subject home.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Dave,

    I sent you a general release form to your AOL email address. Hopefully, you will not need to use it.

    Jeff Euriech
    Peoria Arizona


  7. #7
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    I would not give him a cent, he is obviously a scumbag.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Hi Dave;

    I pretty much agree with everyone that has posted. Now that I have said that I think that you have screwed yourself! I just took a look at your website. You are begging folks to do exactly what this guy is doing.

    From your site on the first page:
    Why use Buyers & Sellers Property Inspections for your next home inspection?

    All my inspections include:

    •FREE 90 day warranty for Buyers and Sellers
    •FREE Security Alarm Inspection
    •$1M Errors and Omissions Insurance to protect you!
    •I will take care of scheduling the termite inspection for you as needed
    From your site under "Our Promise":
    My promise to you:
    If you will trust me to represent your best interest, I will be diligent and take pride in producing a very thorough inspection. I will treat your potential new home as if I was going to buy it and give you the very best.

    Superior service guarantee:
    Upon delivery of my inspection report to you, if you feel that you did not receive a thorough and comprehensive report, just ask and I will give you a refund. By the same, though, if you feel I did give you your moneys worth and more, please refer my service to your friends or relatives.
    Get that crap off of your website! Never tell folks that you have insurance! E&O insurance is not for your clients protection, it is to protect you!

    Get a release document and give the guy his money. But before you do that you need to change your website!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  9. #9
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hill View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Good morning to all!

    Hey, I need a couple of things, and I hope you can help.

    First, I need a good, generic "hold harmless" form. You'll know why when I get to the second part.

    Secondly, I want your opinion on something that probably could, or has happened, to every inspector.

    I did an inspection, I'm just going to hit the highlights here to save time. In AZ the A/C is pretty important. So I ran the unit, got a good split. The rest of the house was in fairly good shape, less than 10 years old.

    Two weeks later the client contacts me, says that the A/C doesn't work, wants me to pay like a $500 bill from a HVAC company. He also asks why I put the disconnect in back-wards, and asks why I say the unit was working. To make matters worse, he's an HVAC guy of 32 years. (no offense to HVAC guys. But a guy in the business must see units that work one day, and break the next - that's how they get work!) He says the unit was free of all freon.

    So I look at my notes and explain the "good" readings I take from the registers. And how I don't put the unit in shut-down mode. The unit didn't have a fuse block, so I explained I didn't even have a reason to pull the disconnect out! I explain, "Someone has obviously touched the system since the inspection". He says "You were the last one there".

    So, I am going to refund the inspection fee (it's less than the HVAC bill!) just to get this guy off my back, I don't have time to deal with his "getting something for nothing" attitude.

    Has this happened to you?

    Thanks guys!
    Seeing what Scott posted. I recall Jerry Peck had a great "hold harmless" form. He posted one time on a subject like this. Do a search of old post...

    Best

    Ron


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    I agree with Scott 100% on this.

    Superior service guarantee:
    Upon delivery of my inspection report to you, if you feel that you did not receive a thorough and comprehensive report, just ask and I will give you a refund.


    You can do whatever you want Dave but like Scott said, this statement is begging people to request a refund.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    I pretty much agree with the others but have also refunded money plenty of times just to make something go away. It stings a bit but is much easier in the long run then fighting over couple hundred bucks.

    And I agree 1000% with Scott P about flaunting E/O insurance... you're setting the clients expectations too high before they even pick up the phone.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I agree with Scott 100% on this.

    Superior service guarantee:
    Upon delivery of my inspection report to you, if you feel that you did not receive a thorough and comprehensive report, just ask and I will give you a refund.


    You can do whatever you want Dave but like Scott said, this statement is begging people to request a refund.

    I disagree with this. We run this same "Satisfaction Guarantee" nationwide with over 200 inspectors. We very seldom get a claim against it. In fact, in the past year we've performed over 800 inspection in Minnesota and had only one "Satisfaction Guarantee" claim for $265. And that one was only because the client thought we should be doing infrared photography, air quality testing and radon testing for the $265 price as he was quoted by another company. What's really nice on our situation is if there is a claim, the company takes care of the refund. The inspector still keeps his pay, so they're not out anything.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 11-18-2009 at 10:24 AM.
    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I disagree with this. We run this same "Satisfaction Guarantee" nationwide with over 200 inspectors. We very seldom get a claim against it. In fact, in the past year we've performed over 800 inspection in Minnesota and had only one "Satisfaction Guarantee" claim for $265. And that one was only because the client thought we should be doing infrared photography, air quality testing and radon testing for the $265 price as he was quoted by another company. What's really nice on our situation is if there is a claim, the company takes care of the refund. The inspector still keeps his pay, so they're not out anything.
    Ken, LandAmerica might offer it but it is not on your website like Dave has it on his. I could not find it on your site so it is hidden pretty good.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Ken, LandAmerica might offer it but it is not on your website like Dave has it on his. I could not find it on your site so it is hidden pretty good.

    Home Inspections - Minnesota Home Inspectors

    Last sentence in the body of the page.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Home Inspections - Minnesota Home Inspectors

    Last sentence in the body of the page.
    Like I said it is hidden pretty good.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  16. #16
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Home Inspections - Minnesota Home Inspectors

    Last sentence in the body of the page.
    Hmmm

    Land America making money when offering home inspections as well. Or does it. Or doesn't it. Almost sounds like a realtor having a home inspectors license selling them a home and doing an inspection.

    Employees of, huh. Maybe that gets you folks around it. Let me see. Land America makes money from their home inspectors so referring their own people they are getting paid for the referral ... employees or not. Use our title services and we also offer home inspections and make money from the home inspection.

    I cannot get around that myself.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Hmmm

    Land America making money when offering home inspections as well. Or does it. Or doesn't it. Almost sounds like a realtor having a home inspectors license selling them a home and doing an inspection.

    Employees of, huh. Maybe that gets you folks around it. Let me see. Land America makes money from their home inspectors so referring their own people they are getting paid for the referral ... employees or not. Use our title services and we also offer home inspections and make money from the home inspection.

    I cannot get around that myself.
    I'm not sure what you're getting at since there is no Land America Title. In fact, when there was, they were different companies. One really didn't have anything to do with the other. Kind of like GE and NBC.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  18. #18
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I'm not sure what you're getting at since there is no Land America Title. In fact, when there was, they were different companies. One really didn't have anything to do with the other. Kind of like GE and NBC.

    Sorry Ken

    Just saw Land America. Yes there is a title company of such name. My bad.

    I find your inspection period of 7 years amazing at 11 inspections a week for 52 weeks a year for 7 years straight. May we all be so lucky to be so busy we wouldn't have time to breathe. Never mind build a multi inspector company.

    Good for you


  19. #19
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    I wouldnt pay him anything. You did your inspection. Paying him to go away wont solve anything. Most likely he would still continue to bad mouth you anyway. Some people are just kooks, and you cant please them. If you pay him he will be calling you later for other things that break.


    Let him take you to small claims court. Most people say they will, but wont do it. Even if he does, you should win, providing you are right.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    John, the only problem there is that he has advertised on his website that his clients can get a refund by just asking.


  21. #21
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    If he is an HVAC guy, he of all people should know how a home insperction works.

    Maybe some of his work has been written up by a HI, seems ironic that his issue is with the HVAC.

    Just a thought.


  22. #22
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Your right about the refund Nick. If he advertises it on his website, he is obligated to refund. This should make that sound like that goofy old robot on lost in space to other inspectors "DANGER,DANGER,DANGER".


    Okay Will Robinson, your intentions are good, but good intentions dont always make for good business.

    My guess is he is wanting more than your refund (if you are willing to pay).


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Dave.
    I see that you offer a FREE 90 day warranty for Buyers and Sellers
    Why wouldn't you let them, the warranty company, handle this instead of refunding him money?

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    I think you should write him a check and move on. With the information Scott brought up on your website leaves you wide open to be sued for false advertisement if you don't. It happens.

    As previously mentioned, clear that "crap" off your website.

    JMHO

    rick


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Ditto, everyone else after reading what Scott posted. Pay the guy and change the website. What were you thinking.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Thanks guys for the info, suggestions, and dope slap through the computer. ;-)

    Dave Hill
    Buyers & Sellers Property Inspections LLC
    WWW.BuyersSellersPi.Com

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hill View Post
    .
    Thanks guys for the info, suggestions, and dope slap through the computer. ;-)
    .
    ...
    .
    .

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Sorry Ken

    Just saw Land America. Yes there is a title company of such name. My bad.

    I find your inspection period of 7 years amazing at 11 inspections a week for 52 weeks a year for 7 years straight. May we all be so lucky to be so busy we wouldn't have time to breathe. Never mind build a multi inspector company.

    Good for you
    Actually my first 4 years I averaged between 700 and 750 inspections a year because we were so short staffed. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. The past 3 years I've been doing 300 to 400 a year since the market went south.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    I'm right there with you dude, I was a doctor but there is way more money in home inspection.
    Not really. Back then I was paid a flat rate of $75 per inspection.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    I'd hate to think of all the stuff I didn't get to in being so busy. At $75 a stop I'd hope you didn't have any liability.


  31. #31
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Not really. Back then I was paid a flat rate of $75 per inspection.

    That was not all that long ago ... Back then! I hope getting paid so little you took all that business you created with you as a bonus. I see your pricing now. It could not have been much different when you were working for the other guy ... back then! No matter ho9w new you were you were getting seriously ripped off no matter how anyone wants to look at it.

    I hope you brought along hundreds of contacts. I am sure the way most folks work it you had to be getting out there to get referrals and gain business for the other guy. Again ... I seriously hope you took all the business you created with you. You probably did concidering you went right into hundreds of inspections a year. There we be no other way to instantly get that much work unless most of the contacts and referral base was already there.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Inspection Refund fee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hill View Post
    Thanks guys for the info, suggestions, and dope slap through the computer. ;-)
    Next!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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