Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)

 
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:12 PM   #1
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Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


got a few of these today..typically if they ask quick and keep it short i answer and act nice.....tonight had a guy who is buying a house asking me legal questions about the plumbing, asking me about septic issues....i am annoyed instantly....i answer question #1 with ''i have no idea'', question #2 ''call your cities inspector'...then comes question #3 and were now at 5 minutes...he just keeps talking....i decide to get rude and tell him that my business is not a free advice line and that it is for customers....then he says question #3 was going to lead into how much for me to do it?.....i explain i dont do septic work and most plumbers dont dig up driveways and back yards..........and remember he doesnt own the house...its just one he is looking at...

its a crazy world....if im looking at a used car from an individual would i consider calling a chevy dealer and asking them questions of how to fix the problems on someone elses car i may purchase?

where do people get these idea's that a plumber is a free advice phone #? my time is free i guess

how do you handle these situations?...i just get rude...these people dont stop talking long enough to be nice...you just have to stop them mid sentence and ask them if this is a job or are they looking for free advice?
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:27 PM   #2
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


"Sir, I'd be happy to come out and discuss these issues with you for my usual service fee of $XX. I can take your credit card information right now and we'll set up the appointment."

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Old 04-05-2017, 08:44 PM   #3
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


Some guy called me because he has a cottage with a giant boulder on the driveway. He wants to pave the driveway and leave the boulder there and pave around it. His question for me was will the boulder eventually heave? I said I don't know. He says "well its so heavy, there's no way it will move right?" My reply "mountains move..."
He got the hint and hung up.

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Old 04-05-2017, 11:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaFixer View Post
"Sir, I'd be happy to come out and discuss these issues with you for my usual service fee of $XX. I can take your credit card information right now and we'll set up the appointment."
This is exactly the approach.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:27 AM   #5
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


I don't mind providing advice to family, and that's about it. I like the script above about charging a service fee
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:01 AM   #6
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


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where do people get these idea's that a plumber is a free advice phone #?


From plumbers that give it.


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Old 04-06-2017, 09:36 AM   #7
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


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Originally Posted by FloridaFixer View Post
"Sir, I'd be happy to come out and discuss these issues with you for my usual service fee of $XX. I can take your credit card information right now and we'll set up the appointment."
this, plus sometimes I will add that we will discount the consulting fee from the final payment

I am surprised how often I hear, ok, when can you come out?
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:43 AM   #8
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


I used to get those calls from real estate agents with tire-kicker buyers looking at homes. "How much to do a basement...how much to replace a bathroom....how much to know out 'just one' wall between the kitchen and dining room"? The odds were not in my favor with tire-kicker-non-owners, so I nipped it in the bud. No more.

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Old 04-06-2017, 03:20 PM   #9
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


but see they dont just say --- i am looking for free advice

they start talking and you cant tell---are they a customer rambling on or are they looking for free advice???

once you realize it you just stop them and ask for $$ ?

this guy even used the trick when i asked if he was a customer or asking for free advice --' yes i am going to have you bid on a job' but in reality he wasnt...he doesnt even own the house yet and may never....

in their mind i dont think they realize what there doing is wrong or sneaky...i think they feel if there is potential for future work that you should just help them in return for an opportunity some day for some future work...i dont think they feel they are trying to scam me.

i figure most of the time its younger people w/ no $$ or experience in anything...looking for someone to help them and advise them
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Old 04-06-2017, 04:57 PM   #10
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


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i figure most of the time its younger people w/ no $$ or experience in anything...looking for someone to help them and advise them
I doubt that. Young people would know to try something like asktheplumber.com. It's probably the older people picking up the phone and you're probably right that they're not intentionally trying to scam or take advantage of you.

By the way, asktheplumber.com will actually bring up a help site which is something you may want to remember.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:20 PM   #11
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


If someone catches me on the phone ill give them the best advice I can, but I dont return calls when they say anything about selling or buying the house, or submitting a bid or were taking bids or quotes or anything like that.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:10 PM   #12
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


I will usually give them a couple minutes of my time and see what they are about.

If it's a quick question that doesn't require me to do much I help out in hopes they may refer me to someone else.

Once it goes beyond a quick question and becomes they want me to do something for free I let them know what I charge hourly and when I can fit them in

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Old 04-06-2017, 10:12 PM   #13
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


Quote:
Originally Posted by battering ram View Post
but see they dont just say --- i am looking for free advice

they start talking and you cant tell---are they a customer rambling on or are they looking for free advice???

once you realize it you just stop them and ask for $$ ?

this guy even used the trick when i asked if he was a customer or asking for free advice --' yes i am going to have you bid on a job' but in reality he wasnt...he doesnt even own the house yet and may never....

in their mind i dont think they realize what there doing is wrong or sneaky...i think they feel if there is potential for future work that you should just help them in return for an opportunity some day for some future work...i dont think they feel they are trying to scam me.

i figure most of the time its younger people w/ no $$ or experience in anything...looking for someone to help them and advise them
ask a couple qualifying questions before they even start rambling.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:03 AM   #14
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


It's really hard dealing with these kinds of questions because they require your expertise without paying for it. It's somewhat different for me. When people call asking for granite and quartz countertop features, or anything about kitchen cabinets, I cannot avoid but to give examples from our showroom. I just reference to our products, services, and prices all the time. Sure, they may go and shop somewhere else, but I agree to take this risk. So maybe, when they ask questions, you can start explaining and then say: "I do it by like this .... and charge the fee of..." Not sure if this is possible but they should get the idea they shouldn't do it by themselves and that you're the best person for the job.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:29 PM   #15
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The key here is to know when you are putting to much effort into free advise.

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Old 04-11-2017, 08:14 AM   #16
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


I’m reminded of a quote from Malcolm Forbes:

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him”.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:33 PM   #17
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To do something for someone without telling a soul about it, builds true character.


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Old 04-11-2017, 04:46 PM   #18
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


One can be of sound character and not let themselves get taken advantage of with too much of this. (Sorry for the poor sentence structure.)

When they preface with "Don't worry...I won't hold you to it..", I don't hold my breath, either. It's tire-kicking.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:42 PM   #19
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When they preface with "Don't worry...I won't hold you to it.."
Funny, the one that causes me to run (and quickly) is one I fortunately haven't heard in a while but it's in a bit of a different context.

The words, "Don't worry, I'll take good care of you," mean you can absolutely, positively count on getting screwed.
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Old 04-12-2017, 01:29 PM   #20
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Re: Calls For Advice (not Actual Work)


Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaFixer View Post
"Sir, I'd be happy to come out and discuss these issues with you for my usual service fee of $XX. I can take your credit card information right now and we'll set up the appointment."
Precisely. Cut it off quickly, get to the point of what you offer. If they decline the call ends.

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