Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 196 to 260 of 438
  1. #196
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevn Horton View Post
    Hello everyone and Merry Christmas (2012)
    I am new to this board so sorry if I F it up
    I have been reading all the post here dated back to 2007 or so and there is a lot of talk about Mueller sounds like they pay like crap..
    I am here in So. Calif and they have advertisments running of which I have applyed to and then never heard back from them. ( maybe a good thing )
    MY Background : I have been doing Mortgage Field service work for a few years and than last year went to full time as a contractor doing Homeowners Insurance inspections for one company, where I take photos ( front, right, left. &, back if homewoner is home and an address number) then do a 5-10min online form with sqft drawing, & down load the photos, for which I get 20.00 to 65.00 depending on the destance I have to drive, I do 120 to 170 a month, I work in the fireld
    2-3days (8-10Hrs, ea.) doing 40-50 jbs per day and then on the computer 2 days ( 6-7 hrs, ea) I also do a few Commercial inspections a week that pay 50.00 -125.00 but take more time, however if I plan right I can slip them into my reg day.
    I am looking for more work maybe one day a week 40-50 more jobs
    does anyone know were I can go to find other compines that do work in my area ( Bakersfield, Lancaster, Barstow, etc.)
    thanks for your help
    Kevn
    50 jobs a day in the field? Wow Kev, You have quite an imagination. LOL.

    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance

  2. #197
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I want Kevn's job! Where do you get the sq ft drawing for the online form if you're only taking photos?

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  3. #198
    Liz Fass's Avatar
    Liz Fass Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hi All, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I've been with Mueller for a little over a year and I love my job. I find it a little odd though that we aren't encouraged to know the other field reps in our areas. I've never met anyone from my area. I guess they're encouraging you to work on your own.

    Either way, to the person that posted about the waterproof paper, thank you so much! I cannot tell you how frustrating it is when your paper starts to dissolve on you.

    Anyhow, would love to chat with other field reps. This is the first I've heard of the $3 report. I'm wondering if they aren't in my area and that's why.

    Thanks for listening.


  4. #199
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Liz,
    Management 101 :
    -Keep the employees separated so that they do not get to informed of the operation. -What the employees know is only what you tell them.
    -Make any conflict with what you tell them a reflection on their job performance and their lack of organizational skills to increase production.
    -Never have employees discussing what they are making, it only breeds discontent.

    Like the manager that went to field work. The party line was that it was their choice/decision. Translation: Their choice to go into the field or out the door.


  5. #200
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hi Liz, and welcome!

    What Garry said, plus

    - not all managers are the same, and they don't want that comparison. For example, some give extra fees when a case (or cases) goes particularly slowly for some reason (long drive or whatever), and some don't. My old one did, but my new one just said I could switch to a $12/hr flat rate if I wanted, and

    - they probably worry about FRs sharing their secrets for cutting corners.

    I had a chance to look at a HV case linked to mine that was completed by another FR. Same house, but far less information and some big mistakes. It became clear then why I apparently take longer than others to do the same survey (it was also completed in 2010, when there were fewer requirements - no tagging of photos or site work, for instance. Same fees, though!).

    The $3 jobs were temporary. No one should have those anymore.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  6. #201
    Liz Fass's Avatar
    Liz Fass Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Thanks Guys, Happy New Year. I guess from their perspective that's a good thing and you're probably right Kristi. God forbid we should share our secrets and help out a newbie . I'm just glad I've connected with other reps. It's isolated work to begin with and I always worked in offices with co workers. I don't miss the back biting that comes with that at all. And I suppose it's good because sometimes I get cases where I have to go and correct someone else's mistakes and I'm thinking... Holy crap! Were they on drugs? Or they call me in to sooth an angry PH because the previous FR was really rude. Those are sometimes a little hard because I'm literally shocked at how some reps conduct themselves. I don't care how little you're making, you're still supposed to be a professional. It's my experience, that you never know who's door you're knocking on. It could very well be your next opportunity in life.

    Kristi, what is your biggest pet peeve though (aside from no shows). I'm curious.


  7. #202
    Liz Fass's Avatar
    Liz Fass Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Kristi, just responding to your post about times...

    Apparently I'm working very inefficiently, with times quite a lot higher than average. Averages including desk and site time are 45 min. for an int/ext, 30 for ext., 2 hours for HVs, and 16 min. each for OV and ext. without diagram. Does this strike anyone else as odd? 45,30,120,16,16. They are all very nice, round numbers. Averages usually aren't so...average.

    Those times are impossible. An interior/exterior 45 min (including phone calls and inspection)? I average 20-30 min on those without desk time. Not to mention since the hurricane we can't close anything out. I have to keep calling people who have no intention of getting back to me.

    HV's drive me crazy with the narratives. They usually take an 2 hours just to upload if you're doing it properly and not going to get a rejection.

    frustrating....


  8. #203
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz Fass View Post
    Kristi, just responding to your post about times...

    Apparently I'm working very inefficiently, with times quite a lot higher than average. Averages including desk and site time are 45 min. for an int/ext, 30 for ext., 2 hours for HVs, and 16 min. each for OV and ext. without diagram. Does this strike anyone else as odd? 45,30,120,16,16. They are all very nice, round numbers. Averages usually aren't so...average.

    Those times are impossible. An interior/exterior 45 min (including phone calls and inspection)? I average 20-30 min on those without desk time. Not to mention since the hurricane we can't close anything out. I have to keep calling people who have no intention of getting back to me.

    HV's drive me crazy with the narratives. They usually take an 2 hours just to upload if you're doing it properly and not going to get a rejection.

    frustrating....
    Hi Liz,

    I like to talk to other reps here, but wont discuss $$ or evals with any specificity in respect to the rules, but it's nice to know you secretly aren't the only one out there with a clipboard and a wheel, lol.

    My first HV took forever in a mansion with muti wigs etc. A frikin sketch nightmare and a house that had every element and component on every worksheet. I immediatly copied the narratives and added them to my personal stamps page in word. I use a second monitor (which windows recognizes and extends) and keep my page on the second monitor as a palette. I copy/paste the narratives and change the amonts etc to fit the case you're working on. Even the Special Features narrative has a base script as 90% of my HVs have Oak flooring, customhigh-end appliances, etc. With a few minor changes from the notes you took, the whole narrative thing is done in a few min. As long as the info is accurate, it's ok.

    The link on the top left of the online ticket (Address To Survey) is a link to google maps of the risk. Add the words, "fire stations near" directly in front of the addy in the addy bar in google maps and google will list them with names and miles from risk, closest first.

    You might know all this but it's an fyi for anybody. The more you do the more efficient you become...good luck with your times, it will improve, and the "average" may not be comparable to others if your area is really sketch heavy. A chat w your manager may help. Good luck.


  9. #204
    Liz Fass's Avatar
    Liz Fass Guest

    Smile Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hey Carlos, nice to meet you. Thank you for the tips, I really appreciate it. My problem is that people like to talk to me. I think I have tell me your life story tattooed on my forehead (just kidding).

    I agree about discussing $$ and specific evals is dangerous. This is a public forum after all and I really do love what I do. I'd hate if I got fired over something like that. However, it is nice to have other Reps to talk to and possibly vent if needed. Not everyone understands what we do. It's not complicated but it's also not for everyone. I know plenty of people who would freak out at the idea of walking into someone's backyard or even knock on their door. I do find most of the time though being a woman can be an asset. Which is also unsettling at the same time. It's amazing how people will tell you everything. For instance, when I make an appointment with someone and they're going to be away, I've been given exact days of when they'll be away and where they're going. I want to say don't tell me that! You don't know me! I know I sound nice on the phone but I could be anyone! I'm just thankful it's me they're talking to because I'd never hurt anyone like that. You'd also think in this day and age people would at least check out my badge. Nobody ever looks at it. They just take me for my word. I'm much more cautious at my own home.

    Anyhow, enough babbling. Thank you for the HV tips. I've been doing something similar but I didn't know about the google fire departments. That is very helpful and I'll try it out tomorrow.

    I just wish they'd update the sketch software so it was more compatible with other browsers. I don't use IE for anything. I'm a Firefox girl and I wish I didn't have to use IE but what can you do? I just got a new computer that works with Windows 8 and IE 10. Let me tell you I'm still trying to figure this thing out. Holy technology!

    Happy New Year! Hope to chat soon

    Liz


  10. #205
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hey! Page 3! Isn't that nice, it doesn't take so long to load. I see the views for this thread are way over 50,000 now. There are many out there taking a peek. I wonder sometimes how closely Mueller mgmt. follows it.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the time guidelines are hard to meet. I'm sure some people do, but I'm also pretty sure some people don't report all the time they spend - in fact I read just the other day on the site Glass Door (has reviews of the job - search for Mueller Services, and it will come up) someone said that's what they do, just to make their stats look good. And others no doubt do a poor job. There are lots of corners to cut if one wants to.

    That's different from being efficient, though. I tried using an HV template, and it just didn't work for me. The houses are too different, or maybe I'm too detailed, I don't know. The HV done by another rep I mentioned in my last post had a few sentences, three lines in all, I think - far from the sentence per room the guidelines state. Makes me wonder if I could get away with that.

    Hmmm, pet peeves. QA listing inane (wrong) errors? Trying to guess which door type I should mark in an HV?* No, that's not that bad. Perhaps the nearly weekly addition of a new customer-specific requirement? Labeling photos? When I started only a couple companies wanted that, now the majority do. I don't understand why hazard photos need a label and a description in the hazard section - couldn't the latter just refer to the photo number so it's clear? Probably the thing that causes me the most trouble is when there are wings at angles to the main house. I can never get my measurements to match the sketch, and once you start sketching anything that's not straight up and down you're lucky if you can even get a 90 degree angle. Yeah, maybe the sketching software is my biggest peeve. You'd think after over a year I'd be able to whip 'em out, but sometimes it seems to have a mind of its own.

    Some venting is probably best done through PMs. If you need to, Liz, you can always send me one. I've bent others' ears often enough!

    Liz, you mentioned how people tend to talk a lot. You must be a likeable person! I often enjoy chatting with some of the homeowners. Sometimes they have interesting stuff, and interesting stories. I've made a few friends through the job. Sometimes, too, they are simply a little lonely, especially the older folks, and it feels good to bring a little humanity to the work. If I chat a lot, I don't report that time. I'd rather enjoy my job than race through it just so my hourly wage is a few cents higher. It is very isolating, as Liz pointed out. Hard to deal with especially at the beginning. I was very glad to have found this thread.



    * I was playing around with the HV RCT and different door types today. A single leaded glass door can add almost $8300 to the est. - while a single solid core mahogany door will lower the estimate!!! What kind of sense does that make? Is cherry closer to oak or walnut in price? And why isn't there an entry for leaded (but not stained) glass windows? Or for that matter, why isn't there an entry for linoleum flooring on the regular RCTs? It's quite common these days, and more expensive than vinyl.

    Last edited by Kristi Silber; 12-31-2012 at 11:05 PM.
    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  11. #206
    Island Girl's Avatar
    Island Girl Guest

    Smile Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hi Kristi & ( & everyone else)! I've been following this thread for a few weeks now and decided to introduce myself. I was a residential real estate appraiser for over a decade and am in the process of completing my training as a FR with Mueller. I had seen their ads on Craigslist many times and finally took the plunge. I did my training practicals over the holiday and am curious to see how I did on those.

    My appraisal experience definitely helps, though I actually need MORE details and information as a FR. In appraisals, our specialty is neighborhoods and market value; the small details of an individual home were not critical. For example, in the appraisal world we would basically "summarize" the condition of the whole house in three ways: Average, Above Average, or Good. The condition of, say, the oil tank, soffits & eaves, sidewalks, siding, etc etc, was all lumped into general condition. The true "work" as an appraiser is in finding comparable sales and gridding out the comps to come up with a market value estimate.

    As a FR I have to be very careful to pay much closer attention to details and hazards than I ever did as an appraiser. Sketching is very different too, as I didn't have to separate components by foundation or height in appraisals, only levels. We also were not fixated on getting the square footage precise or exact as the purpose was not for replacement cost.

    I've read on this thread and others that with time working for Mueller can be a good gig money-wise if and only if volume is high and time is used wisely and efficiently. I'm not worried about getting up to speed as I'm a quick learner and comfortable on the computer, but I am a little concerned that with speed I will lose accuracy--especially in the field. I can already see how easy it would be to miss hazards, especially on the interior, and I don't want that to happen.

    One thing I noticed while in the field doing my practicals--taking out all the extra forms--especially for NBIC--is impossible! Trying to flip through 6 pages of forms that have many duplicate questions was ridiculous, and I'm working on making my own templates that will work for any company. Then I will just need to highlight the "special" requests on the ticket for each individual job and double check that at the end.

    In writing up my 3 practicals I actually found that loading, sorting and labeling the photo's, followed by the summary narrative at the end, took me the longest. The check-mark style forms were a breeze!

    Anyway I am glad I found this forum, I already know it can be isolating from my years doing independent appraisals from home (I remember when If first got into appraising I worked in a large office with 10 other appraisers and I LOVED the comradarie--and missed it when I went solo). Hopefully I will get a good volume of work to keep me busy, and I'd love to stay in touch with other FR's.

    --Island Girl (cos I live on Long Island)!

    (On a completely unrelated side note--does everybody have the same advertisements showing on this site? There is an ad to the left has a man with his head appearing to be in the ground--the gif shakes every few seconds. It's an annoyingly disturbing photo that I am somehow drawn to keep looking at. I wish it would go away!!!)


  12. #207
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Island Girl View Post
    One thing I noticed while in the field doing my practicals--taking out all the extra forms--especially for NBIC--is impossible! Trying to flip through 6 pages of forms that have many duplicate questions was ridiculous, and I'm working on making my own templates that will work for any company. Then I will just need to highlight the "special" requests on the ticket for each individual job and double check that at the end.

    In writing up my 3 practicals I actually found that loading, sorting and labeling the photo's, followed by the summary narrative at the end, took me the longest. The check-mark style forms were a breeze!
    Hi IG,
    Please check with your manager on this, as I don't want to misdirect your training, but I was taught not to use forms. The forms are a guideline for all the info you'll need to survey a case, but in the field, you actually should be able to work with just the ticket, with all your notes AND the sketch written on the back for an Exterior Only. Interiors and HVs require 2 sheets of paper...only.

    I wasn't shown this until after my test cases at the end of training, but it was an essential part of the job. I'm sure I couldn't do this job if I had to work with all the forms, plus it would coust a fortune in copy costs.

    When you accept cases, you should be prompted to 1. Print tickets (yes) or 2. Print tickets and forms (no). All I print are the tickets. On the back ofbthe ticket, I print a stock form with a half page of abbreviated notes that can apply to each risk. Basically, it's the hazards and the interview in shorthand. The rest of the space on the sheet that is blank is where I sketch the house. Example: one line reads: rf...ms...crl...lft/buck...wav...____%<1"____%overall. There is a sim line for siding, windows yard, etc. The abbrev stand for: roof moss curling lifting/buckling wavy etc. When grading the roof, I just circle the appropriate hazard, then note the % over 1", and the % overall. All the notes about every hazard and all the info for an entire exterior can be abbrieviated this way, so that each risk is just one piece of paper on the clipboard. Interiors and HVs you need 2 sheets: 1 is the ticket with the hazards and sketch, the other is a sheet with similarbstyle abbreviations for interior components and info for your narratives.

    There's an organized way to mark your tickets so that when you are done, the order you actually shot each house on your route is marked, and the prev risk is marked, so you can sort them according to due dates and write them up. It becomes a short routine and after a short while, it all happens very quickly. I couldn't imagine being in the field (especially in the rain) and flipping through forms. Even with waterproof paper, it would be a mess.

    Your best bet, again, is to consult your manager on getting one of these half page abbrieviated forms to print on the back of your tickets. Dont rely on other reps (like me) on forums like this. We are not your trainers. I did write all this just to show you how I work, and it was shown to me by my trainer who is now a reg mgr with mueller. The nuts and bolts of this job become very easy and routine, which will allow yiu to make money faster. Good luck.


  13. #208
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Island Girl View Post
    (On a completely unrelated side note--does everybody have the same advertisements showing on this site? There is an ad to the left has a man with his head appearing to be in the ground--the gif shakes every few seconds. It's an annoyingly disturbing photo that I am somehow drawn to keep looking at. I wish it would go away!!!)
    Yes, those ads are what keep this site free. You should click on them from time to time to help the owner of this site with the support that is needed.

    The ad with the guy sticking his head in the ground is a very important add. It will take you to the "The Cost of Doing Business" site. Every single person who inspects homes (Especially Field Reps) or is in a related business should go to this site and subscribe to the service. Spend a little pocket change to find out just how much money you are not making! It will shock you when you discover that you are most likely loosing money instead of making it!

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

  14. #209
    Island Girl's Avatar
    Island Girl Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Thank you so much for the info Carlos, I really appreciate it. I can see that some of the things they teach in the modules and web seminars are are not how it's always done in the real world. I clearly remember the trainer on several of the web seminars stating the importance of bringing the actual RTC form in the field because the form on the website contains extra information that we don't need to fill in. He kept reiterating that we should print out all the forms so we don't miss anything in the field, but the reality is, as we both noticed--it's just not practical!

    I will ask my regional manager about this shortened form. In the meantime I made two of my own--an exterior only and an interior/exterior, each one page.

    Your technique for marking the tickets sounds great. That kind of organization is what is going to make or break me, as I can see how things can get real confusing in a high volume environment (My manager did tell me that my area is high-volume but time will tell).

    Thanks again for the tips and hope to stay in touch.


  15. #210
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Island Girl View Post
    Thank you so much for the info Carlos, I really appreciate it. I can see that some of the things they teach in the modules and web seminars are are not how it's always done in the real world. I clearly remember the trainer on several of the web seminars stating the importance of bringing the actual RTC form in the field because the form on the website contains extra information that we don't need to fill in. He kept reiterating that we should print out all the forms so we don't miss anything in the field, but the reality is, as we both noticed--it's just not practical!

    I will ask my regional manager about this shortened form. In the meantime I made two of my own--an exterior only and an interior/exterior, each one page.

    Your technique for marking the tickets sounds great. That kind of organization is what is going to make or break me, as I can see how things can get real confusing in a high volume environment (My manager did tell me that my area is high-volume but time will tell).

    Thanks again for the tips and hope to stay in touch.
    Another reason to use templates printed on the back of your ticket is to keep the inspections accurate. Before I get back in the car, I can see the hazards I noted, and the shed, and the roof/siding types in one glance. If you forget to shoot the shed or the detached gutter, one glance reminds you to take a pic. If you send a case and it doesnt have a shed pic, you will wind up having QA return it to you, then, if the homeowner isnt home when you drive back, and the shed is in a gated backyard that was accessable when you were there the first time, you are screwed. It can get messy either trying to phone the ph for access to the shed, or explaining to you field manager (who gets 1 hundred emails daily) why you couldnt get the shed pic, all while your case is now overdue. Plus you arent clocking in to reshoot the shed, so it's costly as well.


  16. #211
    Ken Kowalich's Avatar
    Ken Kowalich Guest

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hello All,
    I am currently working for Reliable Reports and from reading this thread it sounds like Mueller and Reliable are very similar. Does anyone know if there is a similar thread on this forum for Reliable field inspectors? I ran a search but it returned nothing.

    My manager has turned my route into a nightmare and I feel like we are about part ways and wanted to know if any other Reliable reps have experienced the same.


  17. #212
    Liz Fass's Avatar
    Liz Fass Guest

    Smile Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hi Ken,

    Sorry to hear you're having such issues. I have never heard of Reliable but you might want to check and see if Mueller is looking for reps in your area? We're branching out to auto inspections now too. The web address is https://www.mueller-inc.com/

    Good luck!

    Liz


  18. #213
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Grrr. I'm doing my taxes. Because of the change in non-taxed mileage "reimbursement" down to $0.40, I owe almost $200 more than I would have if it were $0.55 (owe because they only sporadically took taxes out in the first place!)

    I gotta hand it to them, that was one sly manuever. At no cost to them they made it look to us as if we're making more hourly (I figured it out once, and the difference was about $1/hr for me because I've had to drive so much). Now we're paying for it.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  19. #214
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    And this surprises you. The idea is ot keep you working till you figure out that it is a no win position (for you). And you quit, then start over with someone else, till they figure it out. And so on and so on till the word gets out and they have to change to get people to stay. This thread does get the word out so it will accelerate the process. But it will not change till they (top management) feel the pain.


  20. #215
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    And this surprises you. The idea is ot keep you working till you figure out that it is a no win position (for you). And you quit, then start over with someone else, till they figure it out. And so on and so on till the word gets out and they have to change to get people to stay. This thread does get the word out so it will accelerate the process. But it will not change till they (top management) feel the pain.
    Hi Gary,

    The premise that a company, any company, purposely sets up their employees for a fall with trickery to force attrition is ridiculous. It winds up being way more expensive to train new people since many do not make the cut, and creates tons more errors in reports from new people that cost both FR and QA labor while disappointing the customer.

    I don't believe a conspiricy to trick FRs is a reality, and there should be no surprises about how we get paid, or how wages and fees are taxed. If the compensation isn't worth it, one should look for another job. No one is forcing us to sketch houses.


  21. #216
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Hi Gary,


    I don't believe a conspiricy to trick FRs is a reality, and there should be no surprises about how we get paid, or how wages and fees are taxed. If the compensation isn't worth it, one should look for another job. No one is forcing us to sketch houses.
    That is so true.. One could most likely make more money and have benefits if you were a door greeter at Walmart or flipped burgers at a local McDonald's!

    Service companies like Mueller thrive on the new hires. I bet you would be hard pressed to find more than 10% of their hires that have more than two years of employment with them.

    Once folks learn that they are actually loosing money when you really take in account all of the cost that they are absorbing on their own they wise up and leave.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 02-04-2013 at 09:04 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  22. #217
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    That is so true.. One could most likely make more money and have benefits if you were a door greeter at Walmart or flipped burgers at a local McDonald's!

    Service companies like Mueller thrive on the new hires. I bet you would be hard pressed to find more than 10% of their hires that have more than two years of employment with them.

    Once folks learn that they are actrually loosing money when you really take in account all of the cost that they are obsorbing on their own they wise up and leave.
    Scott, your anti-mueller position here is well known. What ever personal issues you may have had with them is not important. What is important is, with due respect, yourbpost is innacurate. Your assumption that this company thrives on high turnover, and assumes there's some benefit to this, has me trying to decide whether you are a cleaver satirist, or just someone with a vivid imagination. Jobs pay what they pay, and mueller is transparent and above board. As far as comparing jobs that you imagine have comparable wages or skillsets or whatever, that was entertaining...but doesn't apply as eacb job has a different skillset and responsibility level. I'm sure you have more to contribute than just trolling the mueller thread, unless you really hate this company for some personal reason. It would be great to hear it.


  23. #218
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Scott, your anti-mueller position here is well known. What ever personal issues you may have had with them is not important. What is important is, with due respect, yourbpost is innacurate. Your assumption that this company thrives on high turnover, and assumes there's some benefit to this, has me trying to decide whether you are a cleaver satirist, or just someone with a vivid imagination. Jobs pay what they pay, and mueller is transparent and above board. As far as comparing jobs that you imagine have comparable wages or skillsets or whatever, that was entertaining...but doesn't apply as eacb job has a different skillset and responsibility level. I'm sure you have more to contribute than just trolling the mueller thread, unless you really hate this company for some personal reason. It would be great to hear it.
    I really have nothing against Mueller, I just hate to see folks taken advantage of.

    Carlos, how long have you worked for Mueller?

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

  24. #219
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I really have nothing against Mueller, I just hate to see folks taken advantage of.

    Carlos, how long have you worked for Mueller?
    Scott...My personal involvement there is unimportant and...personal. All I'm saying is that in your quest to be helpful, your posts are condescending and negetive, at best, in response to no one asking for help.

    You posts are also not based on any applicable facts about the job. I was just wondering how you think you have some confidential insight on how 1700 of us field reps are being duped into a job by this unfair, subversive company, or if you are just being negative for fun.


  25. #220
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Scott...My personal involvement there is unimportant and...personal. All I'm saying is that in your quest to be helpful, your posts are condescending and negetive, at best, in response to no one asking for help.

    You posts are also not based on any applicable facts about the job. I was just wondering how you think you have some confidential insight on how 1700 of us field reps are being duped into a job by this unfair, subversive company, or if you are just being negative for fun.
    So my guess is that you have worked for Mueller for less than two years.

    Carlos, if you look at my post since this thread was started I don't think I have ever said anything bad about Muller other than the way they compensate folks. If you look at other posters and folks that work for Muller and similar companies as well, that seems to be a common denominator with most of them.

    As I said I just hate seeing folks being taken advantage of, but if you are happy with the work and income you make that is all that matters.

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

  26. #221
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    So my guess is that you have worked for Mueller for less than two years.

    Carlos, if you look at my post since this thread was started I don't think I have ever said anything bad about Muller other than the way they compensate folks. If you look at other posters and folks that work for Muller and similar companies as well, that seems to be a common denominator with most of them.

    As I said I just hate seeing folks being taken advantage of, but if you are happy with the work and income you make that is all that matters.
    Ok, I accept that, and agree that being taken advantage of is not good, but that requires deception, and I don't see the deception with a company that pays what they say they are going to pay. After a couple of weeks in the field, any rep pretty knows the time and miles involved, with the understanding that efficiency will increase, allowing for slightly more income per hour. Like sales or any other customer based job, if that's not enough compensation, then one should quit. Assuming that most reps work more than a couple of weeks, the labor force is attainable and people must be ok with their jobs. One can make more as an independent contractor with a different level of responsibility, and that doesn't suit everyone either.


  27. #222
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    And this surprises you. The idea is ot keep you working till you figure out that it is a no win position (for you). And you quit, then start over with someone else, till they figure it out. And so on and so on till the word gets out and they have to change to get people to stay. This thread does get the word out so it will accelerate the process. But it will not change till they (top management) feel the pain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Hi Gary,

    The premise that a company, any company, purposely sets up their employees for a fall with trickery to force attrition is ridiculous. It winds up being way more expensive to train new people since many do not make the cut, and creates tons more errors in reports from new people that cost both FR and QA labor while disappointing the customer.

    I don't believe a conspiracy to trick FRs is a reality, and there should be no surprises about how we get paid, or how wages and fees are taxed. If the compensation isn't worth it, one should look for another job. No one is forcing us to sketch houses.
    I said nothing about trickery, only you inferred "trickery", "conspiracy", and "sets up their employees for a fall" which it may be and you would know better than I.

    I speak to a mind set of management and their philosophy of employees. Again, when you state " purposely sets up their employees for a fall" is one way to look at it or they management fails to set up the FR to succeed, and put the effort into fostering success. The company realizes there is a tipping point of the desired profit margin and gross profits where the effort in retention is augmented with replacement. Regretfully companies today look at employees as transient objects easily replaceable. Gone are the days that longevity within a company is cultivated. Replaced with the concept that the employee is lucky to have a job with us.

    Granted I may seem cynical because it goes against your desired perceptions. Yet, the corporate world works in that manor. Does it make sense, yes and no. It is purely dollar and cents on the corporate level. Paying for training and the productivity curve is calculated into the equation. From my understanding compensation is solely based on production. The factors that are part of that production vary greatly and seem not to be slow to adjust to changing assignments. By example: travel time seems to be a poorly addressed. Millage compensation also becomes a recurring theme at issue.

    Your intimation that Scott was "trolling the mueller thread," I doubt as being true. As to being "anti-Mueller" possibly, yet it begs the question is anything stated false. You may not like what he has to say and it may threaten your position, but is it untrue? Personally my interjections are solely the result of the thread being in this forum. It could be about any company. I have no in depth personal experience with Muller only a limited experience. From what I have read in this thread I doubt that I would become personally involved for many reasons. Would I seek out a discussion on Muller some where else, no. I do find it interesting as a insight into the company.


  28. #223
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Wink Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    I said nothing about trickery, only you inferred "trickery", "conspiracy", and "sets up their employees for a fall" which it may be and you would know better than I.

    I speak to a mind set of management and their philosophy of employees. Again, when you state " purposely sets up their employees for a fall" is one way to look at it or they management fails to set up the FR to succeed, and put the effort into fostering success. The company realizes there is a tipping point of the desired profit margin and gross profits where the effort in retention is augmented with replacement. Regretfully companies today look at employees as transient objects easily replaceable. Gone are the days that longevity within a company is cultivated. Replaced with the concept that the employee is lucky to have a job with us.

    Granted I may seem cynical because it goes against your desired perceptions. Yet, the corporate world works in that manor. Does it make sense, yes and no. It is purely dollar and cents on the corporate level. Paying for trainining and the productivity curve is calculated into the equation. From my understanding is solely based on production. The factors that are part of that production vary greatly and seem not to be slow to adjust to changing assignments. By example: travel time seems to be a poorly addressed. Millage compensation also becomes a recurring theme at issue.

    Your intimation that Scott was "trolling the mueller thread," I doubt as being true. As to being "anti-Mueller" possibly, yet it begs the question is anything stated false. You may not like what he has to say and it may threaten your position, but is it untrue? Personally my interjections are solely the result of the thread being in this forum. It could be about any company. I have no in depth personal experience with Muller only a limited experience. From what I have read in this thread I doubt that I would become personally involved for many reasons. Would I seek out a discussion on Muller some where else, no. I do find it interesting as a insight into the company.
    Well, to be sure, both scott's opinions and your theories are pure conjecture based on a handful of interweb posts by mostly disgruntled employees. A dozen people who are sour grapes because they wish they had made other choices, and no word from the 1688 other employees who don't post here. In general, people who are happy at work seldom seek places to exclaim their happiness about their employer, while people who are not drop everything so they can bitch about what's bugging them. This element in community bulliten boards, forums, blogs, and social media are pretty universal whether it's jobs or consumer products or your hometown baseball club. People who bitch about stuff outnumber the happy people who have other things to do with their time. As a mueller employee, I can tell you that Scott's remark where he guesses that I have been at the job for less than two years points to the absurdity of the mueller online mini review. Ummm...does it take 2000 exteriors to figure out what my paycheck is? Gee, for the first 23 months, including filing taxes at least once, I didn't notice that my employer was "taking advantage" of me because I am just that dense. Obviously, sizing up a job based on this conjecture is internet fantasy. In reality, I know exactly how much my paycheck is, what my responsibilities are, how many avg miles I drive and how how much of my time it's going to take, and I am fine with that. If the company was running their human resources dept they way you fantisized they are, despite the added costs, work, innefficiency, embarrassment, loss of revenues, and geraerla frustration, a lot more than a handful of complaining reps would be posting on the interenet of the 1700 people employed. If you want to continue your theories for fun, go for it, but I am here to say that they are factually untrue. Nobody is deceiving anybody, that's just silly.


  29. #224
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Well, to be sure, both scott's opinions and your theories are pure conjecture based on a handful of interweb posts by mostly disgruntled employees. A dozen people who are sour grapes because they wish they had made other choices, and no word from the 1688 other employees who don't post here. In general, people who are happy at work seldom seek places to exclaim their happiness about their employer, while people who are not drop everything so they can bitch about what's bugging them. This element in community bulliten boards, forums, blogs, and social media are pretty universal whether it's jobs or consumer products or your hometown baseball club. People who bitch about stuff outnumber the happy people who have other things to do with their time. As a mueller employee, I can tell you that Scott's remark where he guesses that I have been at the job for less than two years points to the absurdity of the mueller online mini review. Ummm...does it take 2000 exteriors to figure out what my paycheck is? Gee, for the first 23 months, including filing taxes at least once, I didn't notice that my employer was "taking advantage" of me because I am just that dense. Obviously, sizing up a job based on this conjecture is internet fantasy. In reality, I know exactly how much my paycheck is, what my responsibilities are, how many avg miles I drive and how how much of my time it's going to take, and I am fine with that. If the company was running their human resources dept they way you fantisized they are, despite the added costs, work, innefficiency, embarrassment, loss of revenues, and geraerla frustration, a lot more than a handful of complaining reps would be posting on the interenet of the 1700 people employed. If you want to continue your theories for fun, go for it, but I am here to say that they are factually untrue. Nobody is deceiving anybody, that's just silly.
    I never ask a question of a person without knowing the answer, call me cynical but this comes from working in the EW field for the past 12+ years.

    Carlos, the following is your first post. In it you say you have been working for Mueller for 6 months and that was in September 2012, that would be about the same time as when you joined IN. So based on your own words you have been working for Mueller for less than a year. I wish you well and I really do hope that you keep posting even on other threads. With what you see in the field, I'm sure you have some information you can add to the various threads



    #162 (permalink)

    08-10-2012, 08:42 PM

    Carlos Pineiro

    Member
    Join Date: Mar 2012

    Location: Portland, OR

    Posts: 18

    Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Hi...This is my first post here. As a pioneer in the message board world with over 1 million posts since 1993, I can easily say that MBs can be a timesuck. I have hesitated to post here for that reason, but now I'm finally jumping in. I will just shave some FB time down to accommodate IN, lol.

    I have been a FR with Mueller for about 6 months. I love my job. From what I have read in this thread, I can divide the posts two ways:

    GLASS HALF EMPTY PEOPLE:
    1. Pay is low
    2. Mileage isn't paid
    3. QAs only have bad news
    4. Photos take too long to process

    GLASS HALF FULL PEOPLE:
    1. Pay is fair
    2. Mileage is actually accounted for in your pay
    3. QAs are teachers
    4. Photo time is part of the job.

    To expand on that...

    1. People who complain that their pay is low should get another job and quit complaining. Mueller backs up what they promise, which includes adjusting your pay to make your time worth at least what they said they would pay you by the hour. If you are still not making enough money, complaining here will not increase your pay.

    2. I average about 10 miles a day when I shoot houses. If I had any other job with a 5 mile commute, there wouldn't be mileage pay on my paycheck, but I would still be driving 10 miles to work on my own dime. Average out all your pay including mileage. If you're not making enough, it doesn't matter how many miles were recorded, you just need to make more money to be happy, and that's probably working for someone else.

    3. QA people aren't the bad guys. If you don't want so many rejections, stop goofing up so much. One of the great things about this job is that you are not judged by some manager's subjective opinions. Your error % is...what it is. If you have all green stars, you are fine, management leaves you alone, and that's that. If not, Mueller offers training and support to lower your score. It's pretty academic, very supportive, and relieves you of the stress from subjective evaluations that happen other lines of work. The QA people teach me stuff all the time, which allows me to do my job better and make more money.

    4. If you keep the resolution way down in your camera, you will still get great shots, and the photos will upload in seconds. Nobody is shooting waterfalls. Lower the quality setting and the entire time issue goes away.

    I have enjoyed the almost contact of other FRs here, and appreciate the advice I got from reading some of your posts. Thanks for reading this long, first post. I look forward to returning to IN and having more inspection fun. -Carlos


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

  30. #225
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Wink Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I never ask a question of a person without knowing the answer, call me cynical but this comes from working in the EW field for the past 12+ years.

    Carlos, the following is your first post. In it you say you have been working for Mueller for 6 months and that was in September 2012, that would be about the same time as when you joined IN. So based on your own words you have been working for Mueller for less than a year. I wish you well and I really do hope that you keep posting even on other threads. With what you see in the field, I'm sure you have some information you can add to the various threads
    Scott, nothing personal, as I am sure you are a swell guy (I dont know you personally) but I was just taking issue on your posts about how you want to "help" people (who didnt ask for help) by posting about how mueller is taking "unfair advantage" of people. Firstly, I have worked for mueller for over a year, despite your incorrect deductions, and secondly, where does your lofty opinions about my company come from? I like chit-chatting on message forums for the fun of it, but if you dont think that people understand the job they have after a "year" or "two years" unless you explain it to them, (regardless of your actual inexperience with the company), and you dont think that's condescendng, I have to laugh. Your conjecture is based on something you imagined, and posts from a handful of disgruntled people, but we went over that, if you've been following. I dont mind if you want to share your opinions based on actual experience with my company or...facts, but your effort to "help" people comes off as pontificating, and not based on facts. Please tell me how my company is taking advantage of me while I cash my next paycheck, and sketch house number 2000 something, lol.


  31. #226
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Scott, nothing personal, as I am sure you are a swell guy (I dont know you personally) but I was just taking issue on your posts about how you want to "help" people (who didnt ask for help) by posting about how mueller is taking "unfair advantage" of people. Firstly, I have worked for mueller for over a year, despite your incorrect deductions, and secondly, where does your lofty opinions about my company come from?
    I deduced the amount of time you worked for Mueller based on how long you said you have worked for them! I did not make this up, it is from what you posted.

    Again, I never said Mueller was taking "Unfair advantage" of anyone, those are your words not mine.

    I like chit-chatting on message forums for the fun of it, but if you dont think that people understand the job they have after a "year" or "two years" unless you explain it to them, (regardless of your actual inexperience with the company), and you dont think that's condescendng, I have to laugh. Your conjecture is based on something you imagined, and posts from a handful of disgruntled people, but we went over that, if you've been following. I dont mind if you want to share your opinions based on actual experience with my company or...facts, but your effort to "help" people comes off as pontificating, and not based on facts. Please tell me how my company is taking advantage of me while I cash my next paycheck, and sketch house number 2000 something, lol.
    Carlos, as I said earlier.... If you are happy with what you make and do then that is all that matters. Only you know if what you are being paid covers all of your expenses and provides a descent profit for you to put in the bank.

    I wish you the best in your endeavors.

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

  32. #227
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I think Mueller takes advantage of its employees merely by continually adding report requirements without increasing fees. They haven't increased the standard fees in at least 4 years (though some make more).

    And I think the change in our non-taxable mileage was rotten.

    The result is that we make less now than we did a year ago - and the change in non-taxable mileage gives us the illusion we're making more. I don't know if that's why they did it, but I can't think of another reason.

    They are upfront about the pay, but that doesn't mean it's transparent how much someone will actually make. During the first few months it's tough, there's a learning curve. It also depends on aspects of the territory. I found that made a huge difference. There are no regular raises, if any.

    I like my job. That's why people continue to do it - there are a lot of nice things about it. But there's no future in it. My impression is that Scott's right - there's a high turnover.

    I don't see anything wrong with Scott or Gary's comments. They are speaking about an industry, not just Mueller.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  33. #228
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Smile Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    I think Mueller takes advantage of its employees merely by continually adding report requirements without increasing fees. They haven't increased the standard fees in at least 4 years (though some make more).

    And I think the change in our non-taxable mileage was rotten.

    The result is that we make less now than we did a year ago - and the change in non-taxable mileage gives us the illusion we're making more. I don't know if that's why they did it, but I can't think of another reason.

    They are upfront about the pay, but that doesn't mean it's transparent how much someone will actually make. During the first few months it's tough, there's a learning curve. It also depends on aspects of the territory. I found that made a huge difference. There are no regular raises, if any.

    I like my job. That's why people continue to do it - there are a lot of nice things about it. But there's no future in it. My impression is that Scott's right - there's a high turnover.

    I don't see anything wrong with Scott or Gary's comments. They are speaking about an industry, not just Mueller.
    Hi Kristi,

    "Service companies like Mueller thrive on the new hires" and "I hate to see people taken advantage of" were Scott's comments. My response was to point out that that is all conjecture on his part. The first statement is just not true, industrywide or not. There's no conspiracy to flim-flam FRs or any subversity witrh how payroll is handled. Anyone who has questions about how they get paid can write human resources or their manager.

    As far as the claim that they are not transparent about pay potential because of a learning curve, I'm sure FRs aren't working on their learning curve after a "year" or "two years", and that is what Scott also implied. Offering people advice when one doesn't even work for the company and their basis of knowledge is something he imagined is what I responded to. Also, the "Walmart Greeter/McDonald's" comparison is an unfair comparison. We at Mueller may make different wages and Scott has no knowledge of that. In respect to my employment agreement, I don't discuss what my wage is, so anyone's critisizm or comparison is baseless. Whaere I do agree is his summation that "if it's working for you, go for it", to paraphrase. This job can be way different for several reasons for each of us.

    "change in non-taxable mileage gives us the illusion we're making more"

    Nothing about payroll is illusionary. The payroll tab shows any rep the miles, wages, and time involved in black and white. We are not salaried people. Our pay is a little more complicated since it involves three factors (fees time, and miles) but not any more complicated than a commision sales job or tipped positions like bartenders which have different income sources. Unlike a salary position where one gets the same amount each week, our pay varies based on those three factors. One can back out miles and look at the rest, or one can look at the totals and average the pay over time, like a restaurant person would. If one looks at the average hourly wages (with or without the mileage $$ added) and that average figure that they earn is not enough to suit them, they can see if they can get either more cases, better paying cases, or another job. Saying the company is at fault when one isn't making enough doesn't apply here. payroll is a bit complicated, but not subversive and not something beyond basic arithmetic.

    For me personally, I spent most of my life driving to a job like most everybody else. I drove between 10-30 miles a day in my commutes in life. Nobody ever paid me to drive to my job. Every gas tank was on me. My miles with Mueller are about the same as my last job. To simplify my life, I just pretend that I driving to work on my own dime like every other job, and divide my pay by the total time I am clocked in. My average hourly wage is something I can live with, and that's ultimately all that matters...for me.

    I agree the mileage rate being lowered sucked, but who likes making less money? It wasn't a popular move, but it was formally announced and not sneaked in, so at least they are consistent. I had the choice to love it or leave it. And do we make a lot? hell no! lol. I wish they would pay us $200 an hour. Strike that...make it $1000 an hour as long as I'm dreaming. The fact is that we are making what we make, and you are probably right the fees aren't going up anytime soon. I hope the driving improves for you KS, which seems to be a hassel where you are. I still think it would help if you taled to you mgr about assignments, but this time it's me imagining what is doable so with that remark, I will close.


  34. #229
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    To figure hourly wage, one usually divides gross income by hours worked. With a decrease in the portion of wages given as non-taxable income, our gross appears higher, so our hourly wages do, too. Maybe everybody figured that out, I don't know, but that's what I meant by an illusion. At any rate, it means less income supplementation by Mueller for people who are below the base pay they were hired at.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  35. #230
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    To figure hourly wage, one usually divides gross income by hours worked. With a decrease in the portion of wages given as non-taxable income, our gross appears higher, so our hourly wages do, too. Maybe everybody figured that out, I don't know, but that's what I meant by an illusion. At any rate, it means less income supplementation by Mueller for people who are below the base pay they were hired at.
    Well, to be fair, taxes and pay rates differ from region to region, so it's a different story depending on one's locale. I hope things change for the better for those who are dealing with the downside of this work. Either way, the experience will help in the future. CP


  36. #231
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    In general;
    Looking back over the posts can be very interesting.
    I have included some edited (reduced from original) postings and some thoughts/observations..((( and probably (definitely) way to long ))

    This thread began in May 2008 and has had close to 56,000 views on 228 posts, which makes me think that there are many people looking into Inspection Service Companies like Muller on many different levels.

    The person who originated this thread left the forum and deleted all of their posts, which begs the question , why? Leaving only speculation and conjecture that it was company related.

    The number of Muller FRs participating in this thread seem to be few in relation to, according to Carlos, 1700. Given (after a short search) that there seems to be no other forum threads with this number of views. Which makes you think that many view Muller FR view the thread but do not participate. Which is interesting in and of itself.

    Carlos,
    Allow me to preface the following with "bless you heart" we like you, absolutly no malice involved, truly. I hope you can accept it as a discussion and not as an argument. If that were my interest I would go see my Mother In-law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Hi...This is my first post here. As a pioneer in the message board world with over 1 million posts since 1993,

    I have been a FR with Mueller for about 6 months. I love my job. ..........

    To expand on that...

    1. People who complain that their pay is low should get another job and quit complaining. Mueller backs up what they promise, which includes adjusting your pay to make your time worth at least what they said they would pay you by the hour........

    2...... Average out all your pay including mileage. ....

    3. ...... If you don't want so many rejections, stop goofing up so much. .......... If not, Mueller offers training and support to lower your score. It's pretty academic, very supportive, .......... The QA people teach me stuff all the time, which allows me to do my job better and make more money.
    I have to say on a few levels that your proclamation " a pioneer in the message board world with over 1 million posts since 1993, ..." is interesting on three levels, 1) "1 million posts" the number itself , 2) the fact that you actually track the number and why., 3) that you are a pioneer in the message board world, sounds a little like All Gore inventing the internet. But we all have our hobbies.

    The rest of your observations on the company after only 6 months on the job is fascinating. Few could profess such a deep understand of the operation. Congratulations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    ...

    ....I don't believe a conspiricy to trick FRs is a reality, and there should be no surprises about how we get paid, or how wages and fees are taxed. ....
    Seems that you see a conspiracy to trick FRs where I just see philosophy and methodology of manipulating the FR's work structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    ......My personal involvement there is unimportant and...personal. ......

    ......wondering how you think ,,,,,us field reps are being duped into a job by this unfair, subversive company, ........
    Seems that you down play your involvement and personal connection to the company. There is nothing wrong with personal involvement and that you feel the involvement is important. It is not uncommon for an employee make a personal connection to a company, almost like being in a family. Especially in the first few years. Where there is a learning curve taking place. The person initially has psychological blinders on as they are indoctrinated by/into the company. Over time the fog lifts and you actually have a wider vision of the company.

    A defensive reaction to a perceived attack on the company tend to be exaggerated. A simple factual statement is converted into some kind of malicious and personal attack on the company as an instinctive reaction to a threat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Ok, I accept that, and agree that being taken advantage of is not good, but that requires deception, and I don't see the deception with a company that pays what they say they are going to pay. After a couple of weeks in the field, any rep pretty knows the time and miles involved, ........Assuming that most reps work more than a couple of weeks, the labor force is attainable and people must be ok with their jobs. ......
    Your agreement that being taken advantage of is not not good is defensible, especially if you are the one in the lessor position.

    Being taken advantage of does not require deception. It just requires positional leverage or a greater knowledge/ability in an area. You equate that there has to be deception to gain advantage which is not true and skews your argument and perception.

    Consumers and employees are typically in the position of lessor advantage in most business dealings. The company has the experience and resources to position itself for advantage in its dealing. The company has the ability (advantage) to orchestrate how it disseminates information, along with how much information is given. Every company sells itself to its advantage and operates first and foremost to its own advantage. Just a fact of like. Not saying good or bad, only stating a fact.

    You do show naivety or ego that only after a few weeks a new hire would "After a couple of weeks in the field, any rep pretty knows the time and miles involved,...". There are two many variables to be understood in just a few weeks.

    As to the concept that those that stay with a job after a few weeks may be only due to hoping that things will improve as they become more experienced. Which I am sure is the company line. I am also sure that you believe that you compensation will increase over time as you become more experienced and figure better ways to perform the job assignment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    ....interweb posts by mostly disgruntled employees............... As a mueller employee, I can tell you that Scott's remark where he guesses that I have been at the job for less than two years points to the absurdity of the mueller online mini review. ....Gee, for the first 23 months, including filing taxes at least once, I didn't notice that my employer was "taking advantage" of me because I am just that dense. ......... I know exactly how much my paycheck is, ....and I am fine with that. .....
    Posting a truth does not make a disgruntled employee.
    Discussing a fact or situation soes not make a disgruntled employee.
    I say that it is raining. That does not make me disgruntled over the weather. It is just raining, an observed fact.

    You tell us when you started with Muller and you then jump to "...the absurdity of the mueller online mini review..." as the source for what ever the review is worth. Then go onto verify exactly what Scott stated. It seems as though you felt the need to be defensive for some reason. No one is attacking you, though you may feel as though you are being attacked by your position being challenged. But, truly you are not being attacked.

    Knowing your paycheck and being fine with it is good and I am happy for you. Few can make that statement. Many of us from years of experience in business for ourselves understand the hidden costs that many do not. How did we come to understand the hidden costs, time and experience and money. How do you come to understand the costs of doing business in less time and with less experience? Someone can tell you or point out things you may not be accounting for in you business plan. Scott, Jerry and others help point what they have learned over time for the benefit of others with no axe to grind on the subject. There are many aspects that transfer from on business area to another. You do not have to be a Muller employee to understand a business system and its compensation methods.


    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Scott,...... I am sure you are a swell guy..... taking issue ......about how you want to "help" people (who didnt ask for help) ........I have worked for mueller for over a year, despite your incorrect deductions, ....... but if you dont think that people understand the job they have after a "year" or "two years" unless you explain it to them,,,,,, and you dont think that's condescendng,...... Please tell me how my company is taking advantage of me while I cash my next paycheck, .....
    Well we all think Scott is "swell Guy" bless his heart.

    As to "...help" people (who didnt ask for help)"..." What is wrong with offering a helping hand to anyone? Why wait to be asked if you can be of benefit? Which is somewhat akin to not expecting something in return as a condition for offering assistance.

    The concept that you know everything about your job after a year or two and have nothing to learn is ego/age driven usually and not realty. The greatest thing that you learn in life is that there is more that you do not know than what you do know. The second thing is that accepting help does not make you less of a person. Also, along the way, the paycheck is not the defining term of your efforts.


    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post

    .....Also, the "Walmart Greeter/McDonald's" comparison is an unfair comparison. We at Mueller may make different wages and Scott has no knowledge of that....., ...

    .....We are not salaried people. Our pay is a little more complicated since it involves three factors (fees time, and miles) ..... our pay varies based on those three factors. ..... average figure that they earn is not enough to suit them, they can see if they can get either more cases, better paying cases, or another job.......
    .........
    I agree the mileage rate being lowered sucked, but who likes making less money? It wasn't a popular move, but it was formally announced and not sneaked in, so at least they are consistent. I had the choice to love it or leave it. And do we make a lot? hell no! lol..........
    I think Scot does have an idea of your compensation. Again from experience.

    Like you say "...We are not salaried people. Our pay is a little more complicated since it involves three factors (fees time, and miles) ..... our pay varies ..." and it you can ask to have things adjusted which demonstrates that it is the company that creates the average income and that it is not a mater of equity. They say you can make $$$/hr when hired, but the FR has to go and ask for the company to make the adjustments to meet what was offered originally as the incentive and it is discretionary on the part of the company. Just like changing the mileage reimbursement methods.

    Now when you say the Muller "..mileage rate being lowered sucked,..." sure makes you sound like a disgruntled Muller employee doesn't it. And the, "... I had the choice to love it or leave it...." , just might make you leave after only 2 years. Where they would just replace you with someone else and train them to complete the cycle. Possibly how you came to be hired.


  37. #232
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    In general;
    Looking back over the posts can be very interesting.
    I have included some edited (reduced from original) postings and some thoughts/observations..((( and probably (definitely) way to long ))

    This thread began in May 2008 and has had close to 56,000 views on 228 posts, which makes me think that there are many people looking into Inspection Service Companies like Muller on many different levels.

    The person who originated this thread left the forum and deleted all of their posts, which begs the question , why? Leaving only speculation and conjecture that it was company related.

    The number of Muller FRs participating in this thread seem to be few in relation to, according to Carlos, 1700. Given (after a short search) that there seems to be no other forum threads with this number of views. Which makes you think that many view Muller FR view the thread but do not participate. Which is interesting in and of itself.

    Carlos,
    Allow me to preface the following with "bless you heart" we like you, absolutly no malice involved, truly. I hope you can accept it as a discussion and not as an argument. If that were my interest I would go see my Mother In-law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Hi...This is my first post here. As a pioneer in the message board world with over 1 million posts since 1993,

    I have been a FR with Mueller for about 6 months. I love my job. ..........

    To expand on that...

    1. People who complain that their pay is low should get another job and quit complaining. Mueller backs up what they promise, which includes adjusting your pay to make your time worth at least what they said they would pay you by the hour........

    2...... Average out all your pay including mileage. ....

    3. ...... If you don't want so many rejections, stop goofing up so much. .......... If not, Mueller offers training and support to lower your score. It's pretty academic, very supportive, .......... The QA people teach me stuff all the time, which allows me to do my job better and make more money.
    I have to say on a few levels that your proclamation " a pioneer in the message board world with over 1 million posts since 1993, ..." is interesting on three levels, 1) "1 million posts" the number itself , 2) the fact that you actually track the number and why., 3) that you are a pioneer in the message board world, sounds a little like All Gore inventing the internet. But we all have our hobbies.

    The rest of your observations on the company after only 6 months on the job is fascinating. Few could profess such a deep understand of the operation. Congratulations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    ...

    ....I don't believe a conspiricy to trick FRs is a reality, and there should be no surprises about how we get paid, or how wages and fees are taxed. ....
    Seems that you see a conspiracy to trick FRs where I just see philosophy and methodology of manipulating the FR's work structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    ......My personal involvement there is unimportant and...personal. ......

    ......wondering how you think ,,,,,us field reps are being duped into a job by this unfair, subversive company, ........
    Seems that you down play your involvement and personal connection to the company. There is nothing wrong with personal involvement and that you feel the involvement is important. It is not uncommon for an employee make a personal connection to a company, almost like being in a family. Especially in the first few years. Where there is a learning curve taking place. The person initially has psychological blinders on as they are indoctrinated by/into the company. Over time the fog lifts and you actually have a wider vision of the company.

    A defensive reaction to a perceived attack on the company tend to be exaggerated. A simple factual statement is converted into some kind of malicious and personal attack on the company as an instinctive reaction to a threat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Ok, I accept that, and agree that being taken advantage of is not good, but that requires deception, and I don't see the deception with a company that pays what they say they are going to pay. After a couple of weeks in the field, any rep pretty knows the time and miles involved, ........Assuming that most reps work more than a couple of weeks, the labor force is attainable and people must be ok with their jobs. ......
    Your agreement that being taken advantage of is not not good is defensible, especially if you are the one in the lessor position.

    Being taken advantage of does not require deception. It just requires positional leverage or a greater knowledge/ability in an area. You equate that there has to be deception to gain advantage which is not true and skews your argument and perception.

    Consumers and employees are typically in the position of lessor advantage in most business dealings. The company has the experience and resources to position itself for advantage in its dealing. The company has the ability (advantage) to orchestrate how it disseminates information, along with how much information is given. Every company sells itself to its advantage and operates first and foremost to its own advantage. Just a fact of like. Not saying good or bad, only stating a fact.

    You do show naivety or ego that only after a few weeks a new hire would "After a couple of weeks in the field, any rep pretty knows the time and miles involved,...". There are two many variables to be understood in just a few weeks.

    As to the concept that those that stay with a job after a few weeks may be only due to hoping that things will improve as they become more experienced. Which I am sure is the company line. I am also sure that you believe that you compensation will increase over time as you become more experienced and figure better ways to perform the job assignment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    ....interweb posts by mostly disgruntled employees............... As a mueller employee, I can tell you that Scott's remark where he guesses that I have been at the job for less than two years points to the absurdity of the mueller online mini review. ....Gee, for the first 23 months, including filing taxes at least once, I didn't notice that my employer was "taking advantage" of me because I am just that dense. ......... I know exactly how much my paycheck is, ....and I am fine with that. .....
    Posting a truth does not make a disgruntled employee.
    Discussing a fact or situation soes not make a disgruntled employee.
    I say that it is raining. That does not make me disgruntled over the weather. It is just raining, an observed fact.

    You tell us when you started with Muller and you then jump to "...the absurdity of the mueller online mini review..." as the source for what ever the review is worth. Then go onto verify exactly what Scott stated. It seems as though you felt the need to be defensive for some reason. No one is attacking you, though you may feel as though you are being attacked by your position being challenged. But, truly you are not being attacked.

    Knowing your paycheck and being fine with it is good and I am happy for you. Few can make that statement. Many of us from years of experience in business for ourselves understand the hidden costs that many do not. How did we come to understand the hidden costs, time and experience and money. How do you come to understand the costs of doing business in less time and with less experience? Someone can tell you or point out things you may not be accounting for in you business plan. Scott, Jerry and others help point what they have learned over time for the benefit of others with no axe to grind on the subject. There are many aspects that transfer from on business area to another. You do not have to be a Muller employee to understand a business system and its compensation methods.


    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Scott,...... I am sure you are a swell guy..... taking issue ......about how you want to "help" people (who didnt ask for help) ........I have worked for mueller for over a year, despite your incorrect deductions, ....... but if you dont think that people understand the job they have after a "year" or "two years" unless you explain it to them,,,,,, and you dont think that's condescendng,...... Please tell me how my company is taking advantage of me while I cash my next paycheck, .....
    Well we all think Scott is "swell Guy" bless his heart.

    As to "...help" people (who didnt ask for help)"..." What is wrong with offering a helping hand to anyone? Why wait to be asked if you can be of benefit? Which is somewhat akin to not expecting something in return as a condition for offering assistance.

    The concept that you know everything about your job after a year or two and have nothing to learn is ego/age driven usually and not realty. The greatest thing that you learn in life is that there is more that you do not know than what you do know. The second thing is that accepting help does not make you less of a person. Also, along the way, the paycheck is not the defining term of your efforts.


    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post

    .....Also, the "Walmart Greeter/McDonald's" comparison is an unfair comparison. We at Mueller may make different wages and Scott has no knowledge of that....., ...

    .....We are not salaried people. Our pay is a little more complicated since it involves three factors (fees time, and miles) ..... our pay varies based on those three factors. ..... average figure that they earn is not enough to suit them, they can see if they can get either more cases, better paying cases, or another job.......
    .........
    I agree the mileage rate being lowered sucked, but who likes making less money? It wasn't a popular move, but it was formally announced and not sneaked in, so at least they are consistent. I had the choice to love it or leave it. And do we make a lot? hell no! lol..........
    I think Scot does have an idea of your compensation. Again from experience.

    Like you say "...We are not salaried people. Our pay is a little more complicated since it involves three factors (fees time, and miles) ..... our pay varies ..." and it you can ask to have things adjusted which demonstrates that it is the company that creates the average income and that it is not a mater of equity. They say you can make $$$/hr when hired, but the FR has to go and ask for the company to make the adjustments to meet what was offered originally as the incentive and it is discretionary on the part of the company. Just like changing the mileage reimbursement methods.

    Now when you say the Muller "..mileage rate being lowered sucked,..." sure makes you sound like a disgruntled Muller employee doesn't it. And the, "... I had the choice to love it or leave it...." , just might make you leave after only 2 years. Where they would just replace you with someone else and train them to complete the cycle. Possibly how you came to be hired.


  38. #233
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Laurinburg, NC
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    I think Mueller takes advantage of its employees merely by continually adding report requirements without increasing fees. They haven't increased the standard fees in at least 4 years (though some make more).

    And I think the change in our non-taxable mileage was rotten.

    The result is that we make less now than we did a year ago - and the change in non-taxable mileage gives us the illusion we're making more. I don't know if that's why they did it, but I can't think of another reason.

    They are upfront about the pay, but that doesn't mean it's transparent how much someone will actually make. During the first few months it's tough, there's a learning curve. It also depends on aspects of the territory. I found that made a huge difference. There are no regular raises, if any.

    I like my job. That's why people continue to do it - there are a lot of nice things about it. But there's no future in it. My impression is that Scott's right - there's a high turnover.

    I don't see anything wrong with Scott or Gary's comments. They are speaking about an industry, not just Mueller.
    That's a big issue, and I'm surprised I don't see it here more. There are constantly new requirements being added, but no compensation for the additional time those requirements take. I have no problem getting extra pictures, and looking up more information about a house, but I certainly feel like I should be compensated for that additional time. In my mind, every time they add a requirement, but don't increase the fee, it's the equivalent of giving me an hourly pay cut.


  39. #234
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Dalessio View Post
    That's a big issue, and I'm surprised I don't see it here more. There are constantly new requirements being added, but no compensation for the additional time those requirements take. I have no problem getting extra pictures, and looking up more information about a house, but I certainly feel like I should be compensated for that additional time. In my mind, every time they add a requirement, but don't increase the fee, it's the equivalent of giving me an hourly pay cut.
    Hi Joe,
    I'm still not sure what "extra requirements" are being asked of people since our job descriptions may not match exactly. I have gotten memos to record things differently, but my job is basically the same. I haven had anyone ask for "extra" photos where I work, although I get second look and photo only cases and they are paid cases with mileage like any other case.

    As far as income appearing like something it's not, it really isnt once you just look at how you're paid, and average the money, miles and time. Other jobs, like bartending for example, have a slightly complex system. It appears that you made $100, but that's before you tip out your barback 15%. There's nothing illusionary about it, you just have to do the math. Deceiving people, like multi-level market schemes, are one thing. Nothing Mueller does is illegal. You (one, not you) either accept the compensation or you don't.


  40. #235
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Laurinburg, NC
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Pineiro View Post
    Hi Joe,
    I'm still not sure what "extra requirements" are being asked of people since our job descriptions may not match exactly. I have gotten memos to record things differently, but my job is basically the same. I haven had anyone ask for "extra" photos where I work, although I get second look and photo only cases and they are paid cases with mileage like any other case.

    As far as income appearing like something it's not, it really isnt once you just look at how you're paid, and average the money, miles and time. Other jobs, like bartending for example, have a slightly complex system. It appears that you made $100, but that's before you tip out your barback 15%. There's nothing illusionary about it, you just have to do the math. Deceiving people, like multi-level market schemes, are one thing. Nothing Mueller does is illegal. You (one, not you) either accept the compensation or you don't.
    Things like asking for extra photos (which I get plenty of), and filling out extra, insurance company specific forms, are all added time on my end, for which I do not receive extra compensation.

    I don't think anyone is claiming Mueller is doing anything illegal, but they are certainly saying that the way that their employees are compensated is not appropriate for the work they do. I agree with you, however, when you say that we either accept the compensation, or find a different, better paying job. I suppose it may be the result of an employers market, but who knows.


  41. #236
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Dalessio View Post
    That's a big issue, and I'm surprised I don't see it here more. There are constantly new requirements being added, but no compensation for the additional time those requirements take. I have no problem getting extra pictures, and looking up more information about a house, but I certainly feel like I should be compensated for that additional time. In my mind, every time they add a requirement, but don't increase the fee, it's the equivalent of giving me an hourly pay cut.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Dalessio View Post
    Things like asking for extra photos (which I get plenty of), and filling out extra, insurance company specific forms, are all added time on my end, for which I do not receive extra compensation.

    I don't think anyone is claiming Mueller is doing anything illegal, but they are certainly saying that the way that their employees are compensated is not appropriate for the work they do. I agree with you, however, when you say that we either accept the compensation, or find a different, better paying job. I suppose it may be the result of an employers market, but who knows.
    I guess I feel like the situation is equitable for me. I clock in for every extra form, etc, and when we got the 21st century photo thingy instead of the 1995 model, my work was faster afterwards. There's nothing I do off the clock, and my all my mileage is paid so maybe our locales have different rules. Anyway, a lot of my post was replying to this entire thread, not just your post, btw. I'm just happy for waterproof paper and homes on flat ground.


  42. #237
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I have worked for Mueller for almost 3 years now. Its a part time gig I can do at my own pace and when I want to. I average about $20 an hour with the mileage, my car is small, gets good gas mileage and didn't cost me much or cost me too much to drive.

    The job is a lot of fun, I see some cool properties and meet a lot of really neat and interesting people. I'm a people person so its part of the fun. I almost feel sometimes like I'm getting paid to have fun and hang out with people and BS because a lot of that is part of the job.

    I work on average about 2 days a week out in the field and by days I mean about 5 hours each day and then about one day maybe 6 hours at home uploading the stuff. I am very good at it and have cut corners everywhere possible to get the job the way they want it with as little effort as possible.

    Sometimes it sucks when your in a muddy back yard full of dog crap and its cold, windy etc but its better then being stuck in an office somewhere in a highrise in my opinion. Again its a part time job.

    I have thought about quitting but its constant income and I can adjust the amount of work up and down as I see fit. They don't mess with me because they know they can count on me. Its not for everyone but if you think you may like it I say ignore everything and give it a good 2 months then you can decide if its right or not but you won't know until then as there is a learning curve.

    Don't do any more then whats on the first page as far as what they want. I give them exactly what they ask for and no more. On high values I interview the customer and fill in all the blanks as much as they know then take pictures of everything, measure the house and leave, I figure it all out at home. I'm in and out, wham bam! I don't waste any time worrying about anything, if its not in the picture then too bad. I rarely get anything kicked back from QA. I have a work sheet for the narrative that I cut and past and make a few small changes based on the client.

    Its really very easy but again I have been at it for almost 3 years. I make about $15,000 a year doing it as a part time job maybe 15 hours a week. where else can you make that kind of money part time with those hours and work at your own pace? If its raining or the weather is bad I stay home. I love it!!! Will I get rich? No but again its a part time gig that I can take into retirement for pocket change. Its a great fit for me right now where I am in my life! When an inspection comes up I put Mueller on the back burner. Cheers!!

    As for the person why said they ask for more forms or more photo's etc and there is no compensation for the extra work you must not work for them or something because you charge your time based on how much time it took you to do the job from start to finish so if they add 20 more forms and it takes you an extra hour you charge them for the extra hour do you suck at math?

    You get paid based on how much time you work and how many miles you drive so the time you spend driving is paid at the hourly rate as well as the mileage. I prefer far away inspections as I get the mileage both ways and the windshield time pay too. Lets look at a High Value job 60 miles from your house.

    You drive 120 miles round trip to do the job and it took an hour each way, you spend 1.5 hours at the house interviewing, taking photo's, measurements etc. You then drive home and spend another hour uploading the job. You spent 4.5 hours total and drove 100 miles right?

    Lets say your making the typical $13 an hour. You made $58 for your time including drive time and $48 for the mileage. That is $106 total with $48 of it being tax free and not counted as income. If you did two that day you would have over a $200 day times that by 3 days a week and you are making $600 a week working part time. Again your not getting rich but your making pretty good money doing easy work at your own pace and out on your own with no boss breathing down your neck and your not looking at and dealing with the same losers everyday. This is just an example of course it all varies but for some people this is a good deal in my opinion.

    Last edited by Jim Starkey; 03-29-2013 at 05:16 AM.

  43. #238
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Laurinburg, NC
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Starkey View Post
    As for the person why said they ask for more forms or more photo's etc and there is no compensation for the extra work you must not work for them or something because you charge your time based on how much time it took you to do the job from start to finish so if they add 20 more forms and it takes you an extra hour you charge them for the extra hour do you suck at math?
    That's true if you're getting paid hourly rates - some reps are only paid the fee, and nothing more, regardless of how long it takes - so if you spend more time working on a case because they are requesting more photos/forms/etc, you make less per hour - it's as simple as that. You don't get to "charge them for an extra hour".


  44. #239
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Thanks for posting, Jim. It could have been my post. I drive about 100 miles a week these days. If it were another job that doesn't pay for your car expenses (like most jobs), that's like a ten mile commute over 5 days. Since I would normally pay gas out of pocket to get to work, I just take the entire oaycheck and divide by the total hours and it's about the same as yours. That's not bad considering how easy the job is, how easy the schedule is, and the autonomy involved since my boss is miles away and not hulking over me. Keep your stars green and nobody bothers you. Self employed people make more, but have much more responsibility and don't get cases handed to them. Add to that: driving is a hobby for me, and the gas money is more than twice what my car actually uses.

    I am about to shoot 11 houses this afternoon, from suburban hillside 2 stories to farmhouses where dogs and cats will follow me around and wonder what kind of toy my stick thing is. Every day there are animals. I didn't have that back when I had an office gig.


  45. #240
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Dalessio View Post
    That's true if you're getting paid hourly rates - some reps are only paid the fee, and nothing more, regardless of how long it takes - so if you spend more time working on a case because they are requesting more photos/forms/etc, you make less per hour - it's as simple as that. You don't get to "charge them for an extra hour".
    BINGO! I was IC for 7 yrs, handled over 15,000 surveys, with NO FEE INCREASES, EVER, even considering the precipitous spike in fuel costs over that time period. This is a comically flawed business model.

    I brought this up to each one of my 6-7 managers during that time, and they all responded by throwing their hands up in various fashions, many of the responses almost Stepford-like.

    - "Hey, some of the field reps haven't had increases since 2005..." (umm..OK...I fell better now)

    - "You don't get paid more for a woodstove on an interior because you're already in the house..." (oh....I'll tell my tile guy doing the bathroom to just go ahead and start on the kitchen as he's already in here, then)
    - "I see you've handled over 12,000 cases for u. I'll see what I can do..." (queue crickets)

    The bottom line is each region has its own budget, and the gross fees are the prime component obviously. If you handle 3,000-4,000 surveys a year with an increase of only $1 each, that's a decline in profitability to the manager without any changes in volume. Given adjustments for cost of living, the $13 exterior fee originating in 2006 translates to about $10 in 2013 money....unconscionably low fee for the ever-increasing amount of work involved in filling out duplicative and poorly engineered forms. Thus, if you're just starting out as a field rep as an alternative to fast food or minimum wage, you will enjoy the benefits. If you are a high-volume veteran with a proven track record and spiraling expense costs eroding your margins year after year, companies like Mueller are better off in the rear-view mirror.


  46. #241
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Good points, Joseph, but while the actual basic pay rates might be debateable, the other idea discussed in this thread is the suggestion that the company decieves people. While that isn't the case in my area or with me, it might be possible elsewhere. Using outdated software and having minimal communication with staff and making your payroll complicated to analize may be poor business practices, but it's not deception. Telling someone flat out there are yearly raises (for instance) and then not paying them is deceptive. Muller may not make anyone rich, but all you have to do is look at your paycheck and decide if it's worth it. If not, work for someone else or yourself, right? Anyway, good point about regions having different budgets. It changes a lot about the job depending on where you live.


  47. #242
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I believe that several of the comments are made in attempt of making Mueller a better place to work. I agree that Mueller FR are being asked to do more and more without compensation. An example would be brush reports. You are required to take an additional 4 photos, import those and document the directions along with a very long and detailed report pertaining to the brush exposure. From my experience this doubles the time that you are spending on importing a report without any additional compensation for the work. With other companies they will pay you additional fees for that Brush report where Mueller does not.

    I am sure that many of the FRs have made calls several calls for inspections, then contact the agent for assistance and the insured either does not return the calls or refuses the inspection. With Mueller you are expected to absorb the time that you have spent as part of being a F.R. The other companies that I do business with at least pay you a fee for attempting contact with these individuals while Mueller does not.

    Where Mueller does good is when they require one of those mandatory classes that we have all taken. As long as you are on the conference call and participating they generally pay you as long as your manager is on the ball. Good for Mueller, some of the other companies do not do this.

    Most of the FR have now received keys for the new program that Mueller is implementing concerning foreclosed homes. In reviewing all of the material that has been supplied thus far, there is one major thing that has not been addressed. The pay. Remember there are two versions of Mueller pay. Those who document their hours and travel and those under the flat rate fee. As I look at the requirements that are being requested of the type of inspection and the number of photographs including attics and crawl spaces is Mueller going to step up to the plate and offer fair compensation? I do not know. One thing that concerns me and should concern all FR is the 24-48 hour turn around. What happens if you check your assignments at 9:00 AM and you live in an area where you typically drive 30-45 miles one way to conduct inspections. You return and find an assignment that came in for the Foreclosure inspections, after you left your office. Now you are under the gun to either turn around and re-drive that distance (Gas at nearly 4.00 a gallon) or get those not so friendly notes that you have not complied with the initial turn around. Do you have an option to opt out of the Foreclosure inspections and continue doing your regular residential inspections, something to think about.

    Again giving credit to Mueller at least they are looking at other options for the FR, however just remember the wages associated with the inspections need to be fair or you will loose those good inspectors who have devoted their time and expertise to Mueller.


  48. #243
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    If I was only making the $13 or $26 fee for the survey's I would have never done it to begin with. I get paid by the hour and by the mile and its barely worth it. Its only worth it because there is lots of work and if I want to make more money I can work more. I do it part time just to fill in lulls in my home inspection business due to the slow housing market which has picked up and I have cut back on Mueller stuff but I am having a hard time letting go because as soon as I do, there will be some terrorist attack or something and people wills top buying houses again and I will be out two sources of income.

    All I can say is it is what it is, if you don't like it then don't do it. Its surely not for everyone but for some like myself and a few others I have got doing it, its a pretty good deal as like I said I can work it into my current job/schedule and keep both as well as the draw inspections, equipment inspections and other stuff I do. Multiple streams of income my friends, this is a small stream but viable, doable and can follow me into retirement for pocket money along with the draw and other inspection stuff I do that is quick and easy.

    Cheers!


  49. #244
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Taylor View Post
    I believe that several of the comments are made in attempt of making Mueller a better place to work. I agree that Mueller FR are being asked to do more and more without compensation. An example would be brush reports. You are required to take an additional 4 photos, import those and document the directions along with a very long and detailed report pertaining to the brush exposure. From my experience this doubles the time that you are spending on importing a report without any additional compensation for the work. With other companies they will pay you additional fees for that Brush report where Mueller does not.

    I am sure that many of the FRs have made calls several calls for inspections, then contact the agent for assistance and the insured either does not return the calls or refuses the inspection. With Mueller you are expected to absorb the time that you have spent as part of being a F.R. The other companies that I do business with at least pay you a fee for attempting contact with these individuals while Mueller does not.

    Where Mueller does good is when they require one of those mandatory classes that we have all taken. As long as you are on the conference call and participating they generally pay you as long as your manager is on the ball. Good for Mueller, some of the other companies do not do this.

    Most of the FR have now received keys for the new program that Mueller is implementing concerning foreclosed homes. In reviewing all of the material that has been supplied thus far, there is one major thing that has not been addressed. The pay. Remember there are two versions of Mueller pay. Those who document their hours and travel and those under the flat rate fee. As I look at the requirements that are being requested of the type of inspection and the number of photographs including attics and crawl spaces is Mueller going to step up to the plate and offer fair compensation? I do not know. One thing that concerns me and should concern all FR is the 24-48 hour turn around. What happens if you check your assignments at 9:00 AM and you live in an area where you typically drive 30-45 miles one way to conduct inspections. You return and find an assignmnt that came in for the Foreclosure inspections, after you left your office. Now you are under the gun to either turn around and re-drive that distance (Gas at nearly 4.00 a gallon) or get those not so friendly notes that you have not complied with the initial turn around. Do you have an option to opt out of the FoHreclosure inspections and continue doing your regular residential inHispections, something to think about.

    Again giving credit to Mueller at least they are looking at other options for the FR, however just remember the wages associated with the inspections need to be fair or you will loose those good inspectors who have devoted their time and expertise to Mueller.
    Hi Robert,
    Well, what can I say? You talked about being asked to do lengthy brush reports but nit get paid for them. Where is your territory? China? I clock in for every house, every report, every photo and every phone call. If your manager is expecting you to work for free, well, that's illegal. Maybe there's a renegade Mueller district that still practices slavery and I just don't know about it. All I know is that I work for a company who has never lied to me about my pay, and has paid me for every mile and every minute clocked in. I pay my mortgage with this job and I only work 20-24 hours a week. It's safe to assume that diferent districts have different budgets, but postung that the company doesn't pay you for some of the time you work is nuts. Being asked by a manager to do brush reports for free is something I would talk to the NY office about, unless you like working for free and just want to complain here about it. Also, the forclosure key program hasn't started yet, so assuming that reps will be in attic spaces is something you just imagined, not read or was told, unless the entire company changed their policy on this.


  50. #245
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    PS: To be specific, if you take an average 15 min, say, to do an exterior, and you are suddenly being asked to do a brush report with photos, and you clock in for the extra time to do this, and your manager denies you the pay for that time, call your regional manager. Posting that you aren't compensated for work done is illegal. If any company actually does this, it's a much bigger issue than just an internet forum complaint post.


  51. #246
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    The way I under stand it is you can take either the hourly pay and mileage or the base rate which ever is better for you. Some guy's that live in say New York city can do a but load within 2 or three miles of their house really fast since its so densely packed and actually make more taking the base pay so its an option from what I have heard but not 100% sure on that. Ask and maybe you can find out.


  52. #247
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    The issues regarding compensation presented in this thread largely pertain to the Independent Contractors who work(ed) w/ this vendor.

    The flat rate per report remains just that, regardless of increasing information demands, mileage driven, or personal time and expense incurred. I had a hard time believing that the gross fees to the clients were not increased over a 7 year period, and increases not passed down to the field rep performing the work. Among the uncompensated service increases mandated during my tenure:

    - interior inspections suddenly requiring invasive kitchen & bath photos in addition to the standard elec & heating components
    - daily call-log entries becoming more and more the norm
    - address verification photos on every survey, even if insured interviewed
    - photo labeling becoming more and more the norm
    - increased time service demands
    - multi-family homes requiring each apartment inspected
    - Dwelling condition reports increasingly disguised as nominal fee "occupancy checks"; same info, half the fee

    Many other vendors I work with now have time-service incentives, extra photo fees, which can add up over the course of a month. This is the business model I would create if I built my own company.

    No one in the field ever got "rich" just doing inspections, but everyone has a right to feel justly compensated providing the services that ultimately enrich the pockets of the business principals.


  53. #248
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Laurinburg, NC
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Veteran Field Rep View Post
    The issues regarding compensation presented in this thread largely pertain to the Independent Contractors who work(ed) w/ this vendor.

    The flat rate per report remains just that, regardless of increasing information demands, mileage driven, or personal time and expense incurred. I had a hard time believing that the gross fees to the clients were not increased over a 7 year period, and increases not passed down to the field rep performing the work. Among the uncompensated service increases mandated during my tenure:

    - interior inspections suddenly requiring invasive kitchen & bath photos in addition to the standard elec & heating components
    - daily call-log entries becoming more and more the norm
    - address verification photos on every survey, even if insured interviewed
    - photo labeling becoming more and more the norm
    - increased time service demands
    - multi-family homes requiring each apartment inspected
    - Dwelling condition reports increasingly disguised as nominal fee "occupancy checks"; same info, half the fee

    Many other vendors I work with now have time-service incentives, extra photo fees, which can add up over the course of a month. This is the business model I would create if I built my own company.

    No one in the field ever got "rich" just doing inspections, but everyone has a right to feel justly compensated providing the services that ultimately enrich the pockets of the business principals.
    Yes - the "occupancy checks" are my biggest annoyance. It's a blatant lie to call those "occupancy checks" when in reality they are nothing less than an "exterior, no diagram" that you get paid half as much for. I remember when occupancy checks first started, they were very simple - take a picture of each side of the house, check if anyone lives there, fill out a form with 3 or 4 check boxes. Done. Now it's find and document all hazards, conduct a full at door interview, take extra photos, and answer a form that's just as long as the exterior, no diagram.

    Carlos, you keep bringing up them lying about pay. You are right - they don't lie to anyone, but that's not what people in this thread are really talking about. They are talking about not being fairly compensated for an ever increasing workload. We are all aware that we are free to leave anytime, but I think to most of us, this may be more an opportunity to vent our frustrations - why would a company be so stingy - they are just asking to loose a great deal of veteran field reps who are good at what they do. The only reason I can think of is that they have somehow figured out how to make it cheaper to just hire new people than to keep the good ones. Somehow I doubt it though - the problem more likely lies with the people at the very top being unwilling to pay the long time employees what they deserve.


  54. #249
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Dalessio View Post
    Yes - the "occupancy checks" are my biggest annoyance. It's a blatant lie to call those "occupancy checks" when in reality they are nothing less than an "exterior, no diagram" that you get paid half as much for. I remember when occupancy checks first started, they were very simple - take a picture of each side of the house, check if anyone lives there, fill out a form with 3 or 4 check boxes. Done. Now it's find and document all hazards, conduct a full at door interview, take extra photos, and answer a form that's just as long as the exterior, no diagram.

    Carlos, you keep bringing up them lying about pay. You are right - they don't lie to anyone, but that's not what people in this thread are really talking about. They are talking about not being fairly compensated for an ever increasing workload. We are all aware that we are free to leave anytime, but I think to most of us, this may be more an opportunity to vent our frustrations - why would a company be so stingy - they are just asking to loose a great deal of veteran field reps who are good at what they do. The only reason I can think of is that they have somehow figured out how to make it cheaper to just hire new people than to keep the good ones. Somehow I doubt it though - the problem more likely lies with the people at the very top being unwilling to pay the long time employees what they deserve.
    Well, in the case of 1099 people working for a flat rate and being asked to do more without being compensated, that sucks. And I understand that this forum is the place for some people to vent about their job or pay. It's the same for any forum about any industry. My answer to that is still the same: if you don't like the job or pay, get another one. Mueller isnt the last employer on earth. Without the boring details, I can write about several other industries I personally know of that constantly add new and different responsibilities for the same money. It's not fair, but it's how those businesses do business. The state of the entire country is subjects to this inequity for a long time, not just home inspectors or mueller reps.
    What can you do about it? Not much. Can you truthfully say that this company is deceptive as I have read in a few posts? No. Being deceptive and paying low wages are two different things.
    Anyway thanks to those here how helped me see how different regions have different operating budgets and pay scales. It's all very interesting. If I was offered the compensation some people here have claimed, I wouldn't have taken this job. I can choose to do that. Some people are in the financial position that leaves them with few choices. We all have different pay rates, needs, and demands from our jobs. It doesnt make much sense to compare them here because of those differences, but the ifo is good to know, so thanks.


  55. #250
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    (This post is about fee-based employment.)

    If you don't like it, get another job
    The above has been said many times now. I don't think it's helpful because it ignores several issues:

    - it can be very difficult and daunting to find a job, especially these days
    - just because someone sees the negative in something doesn't mean they are ready to give up on it entirely - but the negative is still there
    - people are talking about their perception of a systemic corporate injustice(s), and finding a new job doesn't stop that injustice, it only makes it fall on someone else
    - not everybody experiences the perceived injustice(s). Unless they are subjected to it day in, day out, how can those who don't experience it judge what it really feels like?


    "Without the boring details, I can write about several other industries I personally know of that constantly add new and different responsibilities for the same money." (Carlos)

    We're not talking about the same money. In a fee-based system, if you spend more time on something you make less per hour. Is it fair to have to work longer to make the same pay? I would like to hear about an industry that constantly adds requirements resulting in lower pay, never gives raises, and hasn't changed its pay scale in 7 years...in other words, you could work there 7 years and have your hourly pay consistently decrease over time. Would you be content? (I certainly wasn't happy to have my hourly income drop 15% for 3 months just because someone quit and I had to take over their territory. My option was to work for a flat hourly of $12/hr.)

    There isn't only geographic variation in pay, there's variation from manager to manager. You can have your income change just because you get a new manager, and that is not right.

    Here's what I consider a deception: The average desk + site time for HVs is 120 min., interior/exteriors is 45 min., exteriors is 30 min., and OVs/ext. with no diag. is 16 min. This is what my former manager told me. I'm sure some people do have averages around this, but if these were real averages, a) the average hourly income for fee-based FRs would be far higher, and b) the numbers would be far less neat. One average of exactly 2 hours is highly unlikely, but taken all together the numbers are so improbable they become laughable.


    Even though there are some things I think Mueller could improve on, I like my job and I'm going to stick with it for now. There are plenty of positive things about it, and many people in this thread have enumerated them - this hasn't been entirely about complaints. However, there are some complaints that come up again and again, and a company with wise management would pay attention to that (especially since they are totally dependent on us to produce quality reports!). The fact that the workforce is so spread out, the employees so isolated from each other, gives a company a tremendous advantage over its employees because it's very difficult for the latter to communicate with each other about their grievances or show a unified front when confronting management.

    The perception among many FRs is that Mueller takes advantange of them and only sees them as cogs in a machine. In some industries this would be par for the course, but Mueller is entirely dependent on FRs to produce quality reports. QA can find some problems, but an FR can cut many corners QA would never know about. The fee-based system and the lack of effort Mueller makes to inspire loyalty or a sense of quality consciousness makes employees more likely to cut those corners and produce a lower-quality report. I don't do this because I want to be fair to the homeowner, and ultimately to everyone out there who buys homeowner's insurance. We perform an important function.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  56. #251
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Well, everyone has their own opinions and view of the world, so there is no right and wrong when it comes to how one feels about their job, but this much is true: 1. No one can accurately assume anything about me, what I earn, how many times I have had to seek employment, or what the job market is in my area, because I dont talk about those specifics online. 2. If you dont like your job, you dont have to look for another one, you can just go online and complain about it. Some people here do that. 3. Sure it sucks when mileage rates go down, and I mentioned that in response to someone who brought it up first. Everyone has things about their job they dont like, that doesnt makebthem "disgruntled employees". I have yet to meet someone who likes absolutely everything about their job. I like my job. 4. Employers may make decisions that people dont like, but they have that right. No one is making people survey for mueller. If people want to complain, they have that right, too. And while certain employers can be critisized for underpaying people based on industry standards, they arent doing anything illegal, and they are not decieving people, except those who cant add and subtract to figure out their paychecks. If people want to come here to bitch, I can tell you as a NYMets fan that people on the Mets forums are experts in bitching about this team in forums since the internet was invented. The same thing applies: You may not like the way the Mets play ball, but no one is forcing you to be a fan. If people want to complain about how mueller pays people for the sake of complaining, go ahead, but if people say that they decieve people to make money, that is debatable, as well as illegal.


  57. #252
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    One of the by-products of a) being a veteran inspector, b) being affiliated with some vendors long enough to perceive lack of fee increases as a real problem, not just an annoyance...I learned long ago which "corners to cut" to stabilize my margins while still providing a quality, defect-free report to the client. Mueller and others would of course frown upon this strategy, but my skills are evolved enough to never have this be an issue.

    I fully understand businesses working to maintain profit margins within a competitive industry during a particularly challenging economic climate, but I am absolutely baffled when a company doesn't institute across-the-board fee increases over a 7 or 8 year period; especially when the gross fees charged to the client HAVE HAD TO be increased several times in that period.

    I have been on the corporate/admin/bureaucratic side of this business....NO ONE, ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET is charging clients "2005 fees" in 2013...it's simply not realistic that the vendor in turn expects the field staff to operate profitably under the same economic conditions.


  58. #253
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    " ...if people say that they decieve people to make money, that is debatable, as well as illegal"

    Only if it's untrue!

    Well said, Veteran! I wish I knew better what corners to cut without compromising the report. After 7 years it must be second nature. I would love to have that kind of knowledge and experience under my belt. Although, part of the fun of the job is seeing new things - strange little gadgets in old houses or whatever - does that become less common over the years?

    BTW, as I understand it, most Mueller FRs are employees, and most are fee-based (though that may be changing?). I'm an employee. I'm not sure what the difference is - whether contractors don't go through the training? Maybe it's a different one. I don't know. It's odd.



    I for one didn't come here to bitch about the company. I originally came to learn and talk to other FRs because I felt isolated as a newbie in the field. Then I became interested in what others had to say about Mueller; a range of views were presented, positive and negative. There were complaints, though, that came up over and over, not only about money - in fact, I think for many people the money itself isn't the root problem, it's that they feel unappreciated and taken advantage of. This is something the company could start to change at little cost, if only they had a little imagination. I believe they are making changes for the better. I would have loved some field training when I started; isn't that the norm now? And I have a manager an hour away!

    Some people are venting because they are frustrated and feel isolated. Others talk about this stuff online as a way of trying to anonymously communicate to Mueller brass. Still others share their experiences for the benefit of potential FRs. It's not (always) a matter of simply complaining for the sake of complaining; for me it's about identifying what seem to be weaknesses in company policy in hopes that something is done about them, even if I'm gone before it happens.

    If the complaints voiced here were enough to make everyone up and leave their job, half the fee-based FRs would be gone!


    Here's a gripe, but it's a valid one and one that Mueller should take note of: there are so many new requirements for individual companies that it's getting hard to remember them all, and the way they are arranged on the tickets is inconsistent and makes no sense. This would result in increased errors, costly all around.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  59. #254
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    " ...if people say that they decieve people to make money, that is debatable, as well as illegal"

    Only if it's untrue!

    Well said, Veteran! I wish I knew better what corners to cut without compromising the report. After 7 years it must be second nature. I would love to have that kind of knowledge and experience under my belt. Although, part of the fun of the job is seeing new things - strange little gadgets in old houses or whatever - does that become less common over the years?

    BTW, as I understand it, most Mueller FRs are employees, and most are fee-based (though that may be changing?). I'm an employee. I'm not sure what the difference is - whether contractors don't go through the training? Maybe it's a different one. I don't know. It's odd.



    I for one didn't come here to bitch about the company. I originally came to learn and talk to other FRs because I felt isolated as a newbie in the field. Then I became interested in what others had to say about Mueller; a range of views were presented, positive and negative. There were complaints, though, that came up over and over, not only about money - in fact, I think for many people the money itself isn't the root problem, it's that they feel unappreciated and taken advantage of. This is something the company could start to change at little cost, if only they had a little imagination. I believe they are making changes for the better. I would have loved some field training when I started; isn't that the norm now? And I have a manager an hour away!

    Some people are venting because they are frustrated and feel isolated. Others talk about this stuff online as a way of trying to anonymously communicate to Mueller brass. Still others share their experiences for the benefit of potential FRs. It's not (always) a matter of simply complaining for the sake of complaining; for me it's about identifying what seem to be weaknesses in company policy in hopes that something is done about them, even if I'm gone before it happens.

    If the complaints voiced here were enough to make everyone up and leave their job, half the fee-based FRs would be gone!


    Here's a gripe, but it's a valid one and one that Mueller should take note of: there are so many new requirements for individual companies that it's getting hard to remember them all, and the way they are arranged on the tickets is inconsistent and makes no sense. This would result in increased errors, costly all around.
    It would be nice if there were less choices and forms were simpler.
    Funny thing...whenever I get lazy and don't log drive time, I just go by google miles, which is easier, but I lose money. In the google world, the drive time is so fast, there's never any traffic, and you don't stop at red lights. Basically, it's like I clock out at red lights.


  60. #255
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    " ...if people say that they decieve people to make money, that is debatable, as well as illegal"

    Only if it's untrue!

    Well said, Veteran! I wish I knew better what corners to cut without compromising the report. After 7 years it must be second nature. I would love to have that kind of knowledge and experience under my belt. Although, part of the fun of the job is seeing new things - strange little gadgets in old houses or whatever - does that become less common over the years?



    Here's a gripe, but it's a valid one and one that Mueller should take note of: there are so many new requirements for individual companies that it's getting hard to remember them all, and the way they are arranged on the tickets is inconsistent and makes no sense. This would result in increased errors, costly all around.
    Kristi - that "7 years" I originally quoted...that's with one vendor. All told, I am 25+ years, 100,000 surveys done. Yeah, Ive seen all the industry changes, most of them good, not all of them benefiting the lowly field rep however....{sighs}

    The main difference between the IC and the employee is the tax status of the employee, and the fact that employee "tops out" at whatever hourly rate he is afforded by the vendor. A contractor is topped out only by other logistical limitations such as area density and volume, and his/her own efficiency. {and driving habits of course!) For example, I did 12 reinspections for a national client in a dense urban setting this past summer. IN ONE HOUR. Several on the same street. That's $120 gross for that hour. That rate is impossible to sustain of course and represents the high range. I keep a lot of statistics and I would typically gross $75/hour after all is said and done. Then after all the "office admin", the net fee approximates half that....still not too shabby, but I was making more net fees per unit back in 2002, even with daily trips to CVS to process 35mm fotos! On a heavy Saturday, I would easily make $350-$400 in extra photo fees ALONE! Not any more. Since I departed from Mueller, my hourly rate and unit fees have increased 32%, although at admittedly lower volumes. This is supplemental income, so feeling fairly treated and having more time for a life are more important to me than gross income while miserable.

    And yeah it does feel like you reach capacity on industry knowledge for the most part after so many years, unless something new comes along in the the way of building materials or techniques. The only real changes are the ever-increasing and myriad client requirements.
    My favorite of all time: "LOOK IN WINDOWS IF NECESSARY TO CONFIRM OCCUPANCY"




  61. #256
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    "LOOK IN WINDOWS IF NECESSARY TO CONFIRM OCCUPANCY"

    Hee hee! That's excellent. My newest occupancy verification requirement is to take photos of every visible roof plane to look for hail damage.

    Wow! 25 years. You are indeed a veteran FR! I'm sure things have changed a lot over the years. So is it generally true that these inspection/estimates are becoming more common?


    "The main difference between the IC and the employee is the tax status of the employee, and the fact that employee "tops out" at whatever hourly rate he is afforded by the vendor. A contractor is topped out only by other logistical limitations such as area density and volume, and his/her own efficiency." (Veteran Field Rep)

    I meant, I didn't know how ICs are distinguished from employees at Mueller. What determines who has the status of IC and who an employee?

    I'm an employee, and I don't get an hourly, I top out as you describe for a contractor. I'm fee-based, piecemeal, whatever it's called. That's why I ask - what is different about the way you interact with Mueller from how I do? The IC/employee distinction is a legal one that determines tax status, it's not defined by it.

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  62. #257
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    17

    Talking Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post

    Wow! 25 years. You are indeed a veteran FR! I'm sure things have changed a lot over the years. So is it generally true that these inspection/estimates are becoming more common?


    "The main difference between the IC and the employee is the tax status of the employee, and the fact that employee "tops out" at whatever hourly rate he is afforded by the vendor. A contractor is topped out only by other logistical limitations such as area density and volume, and his/her own efficiency." (Veteran Field Rep)

    I meant, I didn't know how ICs are distinguished from employees at Mueller. What determines who has the status of IC and who an employee?

    I'm an employee, and I don't get an hourly, I top out as you describe for a contractor. I'm fee-based, piecemeal, whatever it's called. That's why I ask - what is different about the way you interact with Mueller from how I do? The IC/employee distinction is a legal one that determines tax status, it's not defined by it.
    Having not been anything other than an IC, I assume Mueller has more "control" over an employee administratively. Also, I am given a 1099 as an IC, and have no benefits. I imagine an employee may be restricted on doing inspections for competitors. During lean times in a down cycle, I was told that employees get "first dibs" on new assignments over ICs.

    Biggest change from the underwriting side over the course of my career is that actual replacement cost metrics now take a back seat to hazards and conditions. There is enough municipal data available that an underwriting division doesn't need to pay a FR for on-site measurements; as long as Coverage A is materially correct (typical guideline = 90-95% accuracy), they need assurances on upkeep and common hazards. (decks, trees, dogs are currently "hot" industry topics). You can't tell if a homeowner is breeding Rottweilers from GoogleEarth or online municipal records, so, there will always be a need for on-site inspections services we provide.


  63. #258
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    I personally do not believe that Mueller is being deceptive, however there are times that communication could be improved. Some of the problems come from frequent changes in your supervisors and some can be attributed to the numerous changes that occur daily in the reporting requirements for each company that we do surveys for.

    When I was hired I was promised an hourly wage, instead I was told I was a flat rate FR. This was contrary to what was in the agreement upon hiring. I was also promised a territory which would have allowed me a greater ability to conduct surveys closer to my office, however without any communication my supervisor changed my area which now results in a greater travel distance daily. As a result of being an flat rate FR, I spend more time on the road and more fuel and vehicle repair cost than what was promised.

    I could have taken this as deceptive, or argued what was in the written agreement, however I have chosen to serve the territory I was given and after some time have seen some benefits related to the flat rate fees. Where it really hurts is the lack of increase in the flat rates over years of service. It also hurts when you are given the extras that are not normally in the exterior observation reports such as the Brush Supplements. These take substantial amount of time to do correctly and you are not compensated like the hourly FRs are.

    Another problem that is common related to flat rate is the set amount per report, frequently you will see that rate decreased when your reports are assigned. You then have to call your supervisor and ask him to correct the amounts that are listed. If you fail to catch it prior to submitting the report you are paid the lesser fee. Are they being deceptive, don't believe so, I would believe that they have someone else in another area that is taking these surveys for less than what I am getting, and trust me the amounts that I am getting are low compared to other companies in my geographical area.


  64. #259
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Taylor View Post
    I personally do not believe that Mueller is being deceptive, however there are times that communication could be improved. Some of the problems come from frequent changes in your supervisors and some can be attributed to the numerous changes that occur daily in the reporting requirements for each company that we do surveys for.

    When I was hired I was promised an hourly wage, instead I was told I was a flat rate FR. This was contrary to what was in the agreement upon hiring. I was also promised a territory which would have allowed me a greater ability to conduct surveys closer to my office, however without any communication my supervisor changed my area which now results in a greater travel distance daily. As a result of being an flat rate FR, I spend more time on the road and more fuel and vehicle repair cost than what was promised.

    I could have taken this as deceptive, or argued what was in the written agreement, however I have chosen to serve the territory I was given and after some time have seen some benefits related to the flat rate fees. Where it really hurts is the lack of increase in the flat rates over years of service. It also hurts when you are given the extras that are not normally in the exterior observation reports such as the Brush Supplements. These take substantial amount of time to do correctly and you are not compensated like the hourly FRs are.

    Another problem that is common related to flat rate is the set amount per report, frequently you will see that rate decreased when your reports are assigned. You then have to call your supervisor and ask him to correct the amounts that are listed. If you fail to catch it prior to submitting the report you are paid the lesser fee. Are they being deceptive, don't believe so, I would believe that they have someone else in another area that is taking these surveys for less than what I am getting, and trust me the amounts that I am getting are low compared to other companies in my geographical area.
    If your not making money then quit and find something else or ask for what you need to make it worth your time and if you don't get it, quit.

    Nobody makes anyone do the work but you. I'm personally not afraid to ask for more money if I feel its not worth it. I will also reject work I don't want due to how far it is etc. Send me work I will do or don't send me work period! If I can't make money doing the work, I'm way to lazy to do it for free. I need motivation, its pretty simple and that would be money!


  65. #260
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Mueller Services Inc. - Insurance Loss Control Surveys

    Sorry some things seem to change for you, Robert. I dont know if it's because of your regional mgr, or corp policy. If a company has poor communication skills it's upbto their hr dept to improve that, but if people are purposely told something in an interview that they knew wouldn't be clearly understood, then that's classic bait and switch. I don't think mueller is the latter because it would be too obvious for little gain, poor ee relations as a common result.

    It's difficult when there's the disconnect of your supervisor and employer being miles away from day 1. Miscommunication is so much easier when you have to rely on email and text for basically every communication. Phone calls dont even provide the human interaction the way in person hr does. After all that's why they call it hr.
    I like the iphone / tablet software thing coming up. It's about time. The current ancient sketch tool and having to use IE to sketch is my biggest gripe. S l o w motion.


Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •