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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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    11

    Question Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    I am looking for opinions on how I should handle this call back. I feel the buyer is just trying to get money out of me. Here is the story: I inspected a 4 plex with a 30year old boiler. Each unit has it's own zone & I tested all zones & made sure they were all heating up at time of inspection. Due to the age of the boiler I recommended that it be serviced & cleaned. I also had other comments about the boilers age & budgeting for replacement & a note saying that each units zones were working at the time of inspection. A month & a half after I inspected it the boiler recirculating pump stopped pumping & needed replaced. The service technician said it was not working when I did the inspection. I'm pretty sure time travel is not possible so how can he be so sure. Plus I did not check it once, I checked it 4 times! She went from asking for the full $340 repair bill down to anything I would give her back. I feel I shouldn't give her anything, & her Realtor agree's with me. I feel that since there will be no bad blood between me & the agent that sends me quite a bit of business, why should I give her anything back. I want to give her back just a little bit, so I can get her to sign a full release on any other items that she may come up with. Either way I will definitely be busy doing something else if this client ever needs another inspection. Any opinions on how you would handle this are greatly appreciated.

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    Respond back with a firm but polite letter.

    State that you noted the age of the boiler and that it should be serviced. If this had been done as recommended this would have identified any non working components or issues prior to the purchase.

    Then tell them that you understand their concern but you did everything in your power and did in fact identify the boiler as needing service but as they opted to not have the system serviced you can not be of any further assistance on this matter.


    That is about all you really need to say.

    Take the real estate agent out of the equation. Deal directly with the client, I would not even copy the agent on your reply.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    Would like to know how the service guy new the pump was not working when you inspected. Unless he was there before you. They work right up to the point they quit. The end stage it may be making some noise from the pump bearings or motor bushings.

    If it was working when you tested, then it was working. You have no responsibility.
    If you agree to giving the client anything then you are admitting that you were wrong. Either your wrong and give back $340 or your not and $0.00.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    You reported the condition correctly. You suggested that the unit be serviced. You advised as to the life expectancy. You did the job you were hired to do.
    If you still feel you want to give something to this client you can offer them a small discount on their next inspection. After all you called this one right on the nose.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Respond back with a firm but polite letter.

    State that you noted the age of the boiler and that it should be serviced. If this had been done as recommended this would have identified any non working components or issues prior to the purchase.

    Then tell them that you understand their concern but you did everything in your power and did in fact identify the boiler as needing service but as they opted to not have the system serviced you can not be of any further assistance on this matter.


    That is about all you really need to say.

    Take the real estate agent out of the equation. Deal directly with the client, I would not even copy the agent on your reply.
    I would add some to make sure that the client understands that it was she who erred and not you:

    Scott said: "Then tell them that you understand their concern but you did everything in your power and did in fact identify the boiler as needing service ..." and finish with " ... and what was the service technician's recommendations when you had it serviced as I recommended - you did have it serviced as I recommended, didn't you?"

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    Not much I can add to the good advice already offered. Do this long enough, and every HI will have your experience. Hang tough, be polite, be firm, be sympathetic and explain why you did exactly what the client paid you to do.

    Oh, and throw the plumber under the bus. Tell the client that the plumber cannot possibly know when the pump failed and anyone that said that they knew that, is a liar or incompetent and can't be trusted........but that is just me, I like to return the favor when some piece of cr*p tradesman tries to throw me under the bus.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
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    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    After some thought and taking a wider view of the situation a thought came to mind.
    Is it possible that the plumber replaced a working pump and repaired the relay going to it?
    Not to say a plumber would take advantage of someone and specify a more costly repair than was required. But the idea that he could tell that the pump was not working when the inspection was done, does leave a little question in the back of my mind.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    If you feel you did not miss anything, there is no reason for you to give a refund of any amount.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    1,394

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Not to say a plumber would take advantage of someone and specify a more costly repair than was required.
    No, of course not......me neither.........nope and certainly not a guy who can give the date when a pump failed.....


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    I think Scott nailed it on the headů

    Sounds like you did everything correct, and like Garry said, giving her some money back would be the equivalent of saying you did something wrong.

    Pumps do fail, it was working when you were there, you said it was old and to have it serviced, plus and you have no idea of the relation between the tech and owner, or if the tech really said that???


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    Here's the key. Did she tell you that the tech said it was not working at time of your inspection or did he tell you that.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    The service technician said it was not working when I did the inspection.
    Here is how I would handle it.

    Ask the lady to provide you with a letter written on the HVAC company letterhead from the tech stating it was not working when you did the inspection.

    Dollars to donuts the lady will not provide same, nor will the tech.

    End of issue, you covered your backside in the report and case law is on your side.


  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Your Opinion on Boiler Callback

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Here is how I would handle it.

    Ask the lady to provide you with a letter written on the HVAC company letterhead from the tech stating it was not working when you did the inspection.

    Dollars to donuts the lady will not provide same, nor will the tech.

    End of issue, you covered your backside in the report and case law is on your side.
    One year old home never lived in

    Two heat pumps working just dandy. All in good order and the install was pretty exceptional.

    The builder had goods stacked next to one of the units. When they moved them they tripped on, pulled, disconnected the wire to the heat pump when they moved the goods.

    Warranty man comes in and tells the new owner......Here is the problem. It was never hooked up and made to function!!!!!!!! I will have to evacuate the systems do this do that and a little of this as well and it will be 867.00

    Buyer calls me all hot even though he was there when I ran the systems and proceeds to tell me I have to pay up to get his system running.

    Now that was just not nice. He even referred me already before he moved in knowing I did do a wonderful job.

    I called an HVAC guy. He comes out, connects the wire, takes a few quick but really unneeded test that come out great.

    Warranty guy looks like an ass. I have the seller saying he never doubted me anyway because he new I did a great job for him.

    I actually paid the HVAC guy like 116.00 to come out. Wait, did I mention the Realtor got my client all fired up saying "see, you should have used "my" inspector". The money I paid the HVAC guy was to enjoy the Realtor throwing me under the bus looking like a complete ass. I have received 2 more referrals from that guy in the past year. That makes 3. Plus his. That time and half an electric panel that I did not have too pay for are the times I actually laid out cash for no fault of my own only because I received joy from the act.


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