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  1. #1
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    Default I fired a client yesterday

    Got a call on Thursday morning to schedule an inspection. Just by luck we had an opening the next morning (for our inspector), and set it for 9am.

    At 8:30am on Friday I get a call from the buyer saying he wanted to cancel the inspection. Seems his Realtor couldn't get there to open the house. OK, I call my guy and he is almost to the house - he turns around and heads home.

    About 10:30 the buyer's wife calls and said she didn't know why her husband canceled, because it was their last day to have the inspection. Then she said that they had a structural engineer friend look at the house the night before, and they were going to use his report.

    I told her that unless he was a licensed home inspector, his report would be worth less than the paper it was written on. She said that he was a licensed SE. I told her that unless he was a licensed HOME INSPECTOR, it didn't could.

    Could I come out today? I then told her that I had already told my inspector the job was canceled and he might have gone fishing. She said that I was being rude.

    I told her that I was NOT being rude. Rude is when someone cancels a job a half hour before it's scheduled. But, go ahead and see when she can get the Realtor to open the house. She called back in a few minutes and asked if we could be there at 4pm.

    I told her that not only could our inspector not be there at 4pm, that he wasn't going to come there at any time, and she could take her business elsewhere.

    Felt good to hang up the phone.
    JF

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  2. #2
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Good stuff Jack. I came from a customer service background before becoming an HI. And that old saying of "the customer is always right" couldn't be more wrong.

    As slow as things have been at time this year, I never thought I would turn work away, especially for a past client. But that's exactly what I did back in February. He wanted me to give him a home inspection and termite inspection for over $100 off my normal price. I told him if he was familiar with me and my work and felt he needed to ask for that much of a discount, then he needed to look elsewhere because I wasn't going to work for him again. I hung up, the phone rang again in 30 seconds, and I ignored it. Let him go raise somebody else's blood pressure.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Connecticut
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    It's the brokers fault as usual. They appear to work for nothing from the clients perspective. The client dosen't pay them, DIRECTLY! SO they get used to having every one at their beck and call.
    That's also why they often show up without their checkbook!


  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Ridgewood, NJ
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    237

    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    I hope your inspector is on salary, or cleared it with him before NOT scheduling the inspection for him.


  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Eastern NC
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Maybe we need to start doing like the Doctors offices do. If you do not cancel at least 24 hours in advance, you will at least get charged an office visit.


  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Neal,
    Last time I looked, I was the one that owned the business. The jobs I do or do not give my inspector is up to me. How he's paid is also up to me.

    He has my approval to fire a client anytime he feels the need to. If I decide to fire a client, I will be damned if I would allow him to re-hire them.

    Make no mistake, this is my company, and I can choose who I want to work for, and who I will NOT work for. If I feel a client might be trouble in the future (based on the telephone conversation), I will not schedule the inspection, simple as that.

    JF


  7. #7
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Talking Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Had a lady call to set up an inspection. she was informed the inspection fee was due at the time of the inspection. I completed inspection and ask for the check but she wanted me to send her a bill in the mail. I informed her that would not work. and that i was not going to move my truck as it was blocking her car in the drive way. she then got out the check for me.

    Good park job!

    Best

    Ron


  8. #8
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    I don't know about every where, but is Indiana a P.E. is not required to have a home inspectors license to perform home inspections. I know that she said that it was a structural engineer, but maybe he was actually a P.E.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    I've tossed around the idea of a cancellation charge numerous times. I have one for large apartment jobs where the contract gets signed before I really block out the time.

    I just can't find a way to make it work for normal inspections. Sure, I could get a credit card # prior to the inspection and/or get a contract signed ahead of time but those options just aren't realistic.

    R.E. Agents have zero sympathy for the situation.... The story of their life is running around for no money so don't expect them cry for us when we lose a day's work. Of course, we all realize that we get $300 a job and when they close a deal its 10X that but that's speaking logically... something that a lot (not all) agents don't get.

    All the BS just has to be built into the price of the inspection.... otherwise you just get known as a PIA.

    As for holding a client's car ransom in the driveway.... I envy you for having the balls... I try to keep my dealings with my clients pleasant. They hold a lot of the cards once you've worked for them. Any client could really make your life hell for no reason whatsoever. I've 'fired' someone before they became a client but once I've got their money I have to be nice.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    I've had clients offer to pay me even if something falls through at the last minute. I don't accept anything because these people at least get it that they've taken up my time and they acknowledge the inconvenience placed upon my schedule. But I too have thought about having a cancellation fee for last minute cancels but figured it would be too much of a pain in the ass to collect on.

    I place nice with past clients too and for the most part I have no reason not to. But I did have one client who I must have done 5 inspections for as he kept finding some reason to not buy the house. Payment was not an issue with him. His problem (and mine) was that he refused to leave voicemail messages for me and would call incessantly until I picked up the phone. I was on vacation and had my office phone forwarded to my cell. My cell phone showed 8 missed calls from his number in 3+ hours. I had to remind him that he's not my only client and that for whatever reason (this time vacation) that I cannot always be there to take his calls.

    The time that made me snap at him was when I was talking to him in the car while I was on the way to an inspection. He wanted to give me a phone number but I told him I was in the car and couldn't write it down. I asked him to just call me back after we finish this conversation, I would let his call go to voicemail, and he could leave the number for me in a message. Well he called back all right, 6 more times while I'm driving and again would not leave a message. When my phone rang for the 6th time, I'd had it. I answered the phone and spoke very tersely and bluntly reminding him that I was in the car, could not write the number down, and that he HAD TO LEAVE A MESSAGE!!!. After all that, he didn't call to leave the number and I had to call him later that day.

    Getting back to the payment thing, I don't hold their report hostage (for lack of a better term) if they've forgotten their checkbook. I simply give them my address and they mail a check to me. I have never been stiffed when doing this but if I don't get their check in a few days after the inspection, I pester them. I have no argument against holding reports until you get paid. It's just not my style and I prefer to give the client the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I'll change my approach to that the first time I do get stiffed.


  11. #11
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    Mar 2007
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    Philadelphia PA
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Randolph View Post
    I don't know about every where, but is Indiana a P.E. is not required to have a home inspectors license to perform home inspections. I know that she said that it was a structural engineer, but maybe he was actually a P.E.
    P.E.s in PA also may play home inspector. Architects as well, I believe.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    In Tennessee, home inspections can only be done by licensed home inspectors. Engineers, architects, contractors and people that have slept in a Holiday Inn don't count.

    We also tell everyone that payment is due at the inspection. If someone forgets their checkbook, no problem, just give me a credit card. I've had several client realize they forgot the checkbook early on, and went to the ATM to get cash. THEY understand the whole concept of getting paid for your work.

    I really don't like to get the check in the mail thing. They never seem to get mailed, and I can't stand hounding people, or wasting my time making call after call to remind them. I will usually say that they can mail me the check, and as soon as I get it, I will post the report to internet.
    JF


  13. #13
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    Apr 2007
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    gainesville fl
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    I use paypal, I have payment in the bank 85% of the time 2-3 days before the inspection. It is very rare that I get paid at the inspection. I like it that way.


  14. #14

    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Got a good laugh last night, my wife is a realtor and another sales women came back to the office all riled up, she was thrown out of the home inspection.

    It was her sons listing and the buyers and their agent did not like the way she was poking her head into the inspection. So they told her straight out to leave.

    Got to love it.

    Steve Reilly


  15. #15
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    Park City, Utah
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Jack,
    Just curious how you pay your inspectors. I may have to hire a guy.


  16. #16
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    Mar 2007
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    Oklahoma City
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Some people have alot of nerve. I have one right now that did not pay us and the deal fell through. Long story short I started sending her collection letters and she has the nerve to call me to ask if she hired us to do an inspection on the new POS she has found, if we would forget about the 1st one. WHAT, are you kidding me???

    If it weren't for lawyers, we would never need them.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Rockwall Texas
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    4,517

    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Frank,

    Hey, I'm actually in OKC at the moment sitting in a Comfort Inn room bored out of my mind. Got to take my dad to the doctors in the city tomm. and then Friday morning in Edmonds and then onto Tulsa friday afternoon to see one other doctor.

    In between these visits, lets go get this client of yours and get your money. I need some time away from the dad here.

    rick


  18. #18
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    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Bombardiere View Post
    Some people have alot of nerve. I have one right now that did not pay us and the deal fell through. Long story short I started sending her collection letters and she has the nerve to call me to ask if she hired us to do an inspection on the new POS she has found, if we would forget about the 1st one. WHAT, are you kidding me???
    Frank,

    Tell her yes, put that you will need to get paid up front for this one, then, once you get paid, you start the inspection but have second thoughts, so you tell her that if she wants you to continue with this inspection, she will need to pay for the last inspection ... before you continue with this inspection.

    Either way, you got paid for the last inspection first this time, and maybe just "fire her" and walkaway from this inspection ... with payment for the first inspection.

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

  19. #19
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Bombardiere View Post
    Some people have alot of nerve. I have one right now that did not pay us and the deal fell through. Long story short I started sending her collection letters and she has the nerve to call me to ask if she hired us to do an inspection on the new POS she has found, if we would forget about the 1st one. WHAT, are you kidding me???
    Some people have no shame Frank. Tell her you'll do this inspection............and double your fee.


  20. #20
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    and maybe just "fire her" and walkaway from this inspection
    This I have done. After the runaround of cancelling and rescheduling Jack initially referred to, I conceded to do the inspection on the afternoon of their last day, just to get them in under the line of their option period.

    I arrived at the site and told them, you know what, I think I'll take a pass on this. You don't look like my kind of people. Not a sound came from that gallery of assholes as I left . . .

    Great feeling and worth more money than they could ever have paid me,

    Aaron


  21. #21
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Had a stupid-azz, real-turd meet me upon entering a home once. Real-turd starts in (immediatly):

    "How long is this goinna take?"

    "My normal inspector is usually done in an hour" "I hope this isn't going to be a home assisination attempt". "I've gotta another appointment that I can't be late for... can we speed the process along?"

    ME: (turning to the buyers)-- one of us needs to leave. Me or her. You decide and I'm going to be very happy either way...

    Buyer: (turns to the real-turd) Sorry... we've gotta do what's best for us. You'll have to leave.

    Real-turd: But, I'm suppose to be here. I can get always get you another inspector.

    Buyer: Not if you want this sale.

    Me: Bye- Bye

    I actually walked outside and waved at the real-turd as she drove off, smiling like a Chesshire-Cat.

    Rich


  22. #22
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Richard:

    I think I've met that agent. It seems that she has a lot of relatives in the business. . . I've met them too.

    You may forget her over time due to the number of transactions you are involved in. She on the other hand, will never forget you.

    Sometimes it is worth standing your ground with people. With agents that translates to anytime.

    Aaron


  23. #23
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Ok i fired a general contractor client today. I inspected this house 3 years back. out to day and noted the house had a new face lift. new paint, windows, new roof. and floors. main subject was the bone head installed a new composition roof over a 60 year old wood shingle roof that was covered in fungus. in my last report on this house. On to the attic new tankless water heater in the attic with the vent pipe with duct tape all around it going up into the wood shingle roof with water stains around the roof jack. He got so mad that i called out the fungus damaged wood shingle roof and noted the duct tape. just stop the inspection.

    He said im going after your license. L.O.L. Dude you put the duct tape on the gas water heater vent pipe just below the 60 year old wood shingle not me.

    Some time you just got to walk away.

    L.O.L.

    Ron


  24. #24
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    He said im going after your license.
    Ron:

    I've had several folks over the years say that they would "have my license". Once they informed me of their intention I was in the habit of saying this: " You sir (ma'am), don't have the ass necessary to hold up the wallet that contains my license. And besides, you couldn't pass the damned simplistic test . . ."

    Nowadays I just take out my wallet and ask them, "Which license was it that you wanted? I have several of them in here." One seller a few months ago was on this same kind of tear, told me he would have my inspector's license, so I took it out and threw it in his face. Then I told him, "Here, take the GD thing, there are plenty more where that came from!"

    Never, never pass up the opportunity to do the unexpected. Life's too short.

    Aaron


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Garland, TX
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    605

    Default Re: I fired a client yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rushing View Post
    Real-turd starts in (immediately):

    "How long is this goinna take?"

    "My normal inspector is usually done in an hour" "I hope this isn't going to be a home assisination attempt". "I've gotta another appointment that I can't be late for... can we speed the process along?"
    Rich
    I met her yesterday! Is she a double-dipper (works both sides)?

    My reply was, "Yes we can. Write me a check for my fee and I'll leave right now, you can reschedule this appointment with your normal inspector."

    After that she had an urgent realization to leave for that other appointment.

    I also work at 2-speeds mine and theirs, theirs takes soooooo much longer.

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

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