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Fridge Fire

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:28 PM   #1
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Fridge Fire


Not really a question, but had to share. One week after reinstalling customers existing fridge it catches on fire. They want me to repair/replace. I point out that all we did was move it and that contract states that i do not warranty any salvaged or reused fixtures. They reply unless you can show other cause its your responsibility. They still owe me 18,000
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
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Re: Fridge Fire


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Not really a question, but had to share. One week after reinstalling customers existing fridge it catches on fire. They want me to repair/replace. I point out that all we did was move it and that contract states that i do not warranty any salvaged or reused fixtures. They reply unless you can show other cause its your responsibility. They still owe me 18,000
What's more exspensive? the fridge or legal fees?Thinkin I'd buy the fridge..Unless it's an 18,000.00 fridge..So really ..what's the fridge cost?

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Old 02-21-2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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Re: Fridge Fire


i know i am going to end up eating the cost of the fridge, but am tired of having to fight for every nickle and then having to give away dimes because the cost of defending yourself out ways wether your actually inthe right. By the way several articles online about ge profile fridges catching fire
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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Re: Fridge Fire


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Originally Posted by peakecg
i know i am going to end up eating the cost of the fridge, but am tired of having to fight for every nickle and then having to give away dimes because the cost of defending yourself out ways wether your actually inthe right. By the way several articles online about ge profile fridges catching fire
I dont think Id pay for a fridge if all I did was move it. Even if you decide too, turn it into your insurance.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:03 AM   #5
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Re: Fridge Fire


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I dont think Id pay for a fridge if all I did was move it. Even if you decide too, turn it into your insurance.
Not for $1800 bucks...

It's a write off...

Just part of the game....

PS: are they using vaseline?

Last edited by griz; 02-22-2012 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:03 AM   #6
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Re: Fridge Fire


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i know i am going to end up eating the cost of the fridge, but am tired of having to fight for every nickle and then having to give away dimes because the cost of defending yourself out ways wether your actually inthe right. By the way several articles online about ge profile fridges catching fire
However, If you politely explain (with documentation) that it's not your fault.That it has happened before. Then say you are willing to split the cost, not necasarily 50/50 (with the expectation of paying full cost) maybe you can pay part and keep the customer happy for referals..Whatever I wouldn't let a grand stop me from gettin 18.....you left too much on the table for final payment.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:36 AM   #7
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Re: Fridge Fire


I would make a call to GE and find out who the lawyer is for the upcoming class action lawsuit if this fridge is known to catch fire...something tells me if worded correctly GE will be delivering a Maytag fridge tomorrow afternoon
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:02 AM   #8
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Re: Fridge Fire


Have they called they're insurance? Have you called your insurance? Fires cause more than just the fridge damage. Your dealing with odor issues that need to be professionally handled with the right type of equipment. Let the insurance dual it out, one of them will subrogate against the other. Most of the time it's against the manufacturer when an appliance is faulty, very hard to blame a contractor for an appliance being faulty. Had similar issue with a bath remodel we wrapped up last week, customer tried blaming me for her water heater going out. $150 letter from my attorney cleared the issue up.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:13 AM   #9
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Re: Fridge Fire


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Originally Posted by peakecg View Post
i know i am going to end up eating the cost of the fridge, but am tired of having to fight for every nickle and then having to give away dimes because the cost of defending yourself out ways wether your actually inthe right. By the way several articles online about ge profile fridges catching fire
If you did something wrong then you pay the money and move on. If you didn't, they have to prove that you did and the fire was the cause of your negligence (which if you did, you should know you did something you shouldn't). Other then that, if they don't pay you money owed per contract, you go after them for the whole amount of contract... Because they breached your agreement, and they looking to get a new Fridge.

I was in the same situation years back with a painting, that was supposedly worth 3k, we did remodeling, painting was part of it and after it was done, HO asked to hang the pictures back, we did on the same hooks, and one of the hooks snapped in the middle of the night, broke the frame, teared the painting, the 3k picture turned out to be almost 6k with restoration. They didn't owe me 18k, the balance was only $1,800 and I took them to court for breach of contract... they filed a counter lawsuit for 6k+ attorney fees and guess what, they lost, because I did not install the hook, I only hung the picture back on the existing hook and the hook just snapped for no reason, other then being old. I didn't get all but got what was owed, court cost and attorney fees. Because what I have learned, the court's duty is, to make you whole in cases like this, not allowing you make a killing on the case, theirs case was simply thrown out. Before the trial, theirs attorney, tried to settle for this and that, I just stood my ground, because I've done nothing wrong.

If you think about it, unless you cut the wire or if you installed a receptacle that caused that fire, not to mention that you didn't build that fridge, so if there was an electrical problem, or the motor got hot and set that thing in flames...How is this your fault? Therefor you did nothing wrong and you don't owe anything...go and get your money... Unless of cause you want to give up your hard earned cash, that is your business.

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:16 AM   #10
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Re: Fridge Fire


Who is to say they will pay you the 18k after you buy the fridge?
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:12 AM   #11
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Re: Fridge Fire


Even though it goes against every principle I believe in, if I was in a crunch and I really needed to get the money and close out the job right now, I'd buy the fridge.. especially for $18,000.

If I didn't need the money right now, I'd definitely sue them if they held out on the final payment.

It would be one thing if you moved a range or an oven and somehow it caught on fire the next time they cooked a turkey. You can almost give them the benefit of the doubt even if it was a manufacturer defect and not something that you did. But the fact that the fridge caught on fire.. when refrigerators don't normally catch on fire.. had to just be a freak coincidence.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:47 PM   #12
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Re: Fridge Fire


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Even though it goes against every principle I believe in, if I was in a crunch and I really needed to get the money and close out the job right now, I'd buy the fridge.. especially for $18,000.

If I didn't need the money right now, I'd definitely sue them if they held out on the final payment.

It would be one thing if you moved a range or an oven and somehow it caught on fire the next time they cooked a turkey. You can almost give them the benefit of the doubt even if it was a manufacturer defect and not something that you did. But the fact that the fridge caught on fire.. when refrigerators don't normally catch on fire.. had to just be a freak coincidence.
The problem is not 18k, if $1,800 in question for the new fridge, why not cut him a check for $16,200 and hold $1,800 until this matter is resolved.

They holding 18k, simply to get a free fridge out of him and nothing more. If I was in his shoes I stick that fridge up theirs A$$ and get my money and then some... Because $1,800 will cover my monthly tax payment or will almost cover my kids monthly College payment,etc...and I'm sure he can also put this money to a much better use...

In addition I find this amusing how fast someone is giving advise to give up others hard earned cash.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:41 PM   #13
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Re: Fridge Fire


Greg is the voice of reason AND WISDOM, on this one
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:57 PM   #14
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Re: Fridge Fire


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Greg is the voice of reason AND WISDOM, on this one
Sam,

The voice yes, but far from wisdom and the reason... Been doing this long enough to know better when you give and when you take whats yours
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:29 PM   #15
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Re: Fridge Fire


Thanks everyone for your input, its nice to vent to someone other then my wife, and to no that I am not alone. It would take too long to give you all of the pertinent details so I'll forgive those who just assumed I should by the fridge.

Greg thanks for the moral support. My entire involvemnet with the fridge consisted of unplugging it and unhooking the ice maker, moving to the other side of the house for storage with an appliance dolly and moving it back when the new kitchen was completed.

As for leaving too much money on the table, it was a $200,000 second story addition and kitchen remodel. Ten percent of the job is all that is owed, and they have not said they wont pay me but I'm pretty sure they are going to hold back something.

I almost walked from this job in the design phase, next time I will follow Gregs Motto .
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:59 PM   #16
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Re: Fridge Fire


I would gather whatever info you can on the GE issue and pass it on to the client. I'd also do as Greg suggested and get as much of what is owed as soon as possibly leaving only a balance large enough to cover the cost of the fridge until the issue is resolved.

I get the whole idea of trying to keep a customer happy, but I've learned over the years that some people will never be happy. How much of the $1,800 goes to the client for the fridge should be directly proportional to how happy they are going to be. (Your gut often answers this, and over the years you get better at determining this. Fortunately I have only had a few experiences like this.)

The guy who is going to be pissed that the fridge broke wether you pay for a new one or not should get jack.

Offering something to a client who is reasonable about the issue, might be a good token and go a long way toward keeping good relations and getting referals.

What says it all, in this situatuion is, "I almost walked from this job in the design phase."

Even in typing this post I have just convinced myself to stop in the middle of the project I was currently bidding. To many issues already and I know better.

Thanks,

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Old 02-22-2012, 05:49 PM   #17
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Re: Fridge Fire


200k remodel with the kitchen and they are using the old fridge??? Just kidding
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:55 PM   #18
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Re: Fridge Fire


They wanted to reuse the cabinets and the sink and disposal but I talked them out of that.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:31 PM   #19
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Re: Fridge Fire


Did you have any electrical work done during this addition that tied into the existing house?

That would be the only 1/2 leg I can think they'd have a chance of standing on.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:31 PM   #20
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Re: Fridge Fire


Consumer Reports magazine has an article in the current issue about all the appliance fires that are happening due to all the electronics and also cases of cooktops and ovens turning on by themselves and starting fires.
Make the customer aware of that and for the $18,000 I would file a claim against my insurance.
At least you didn't finish the job and have the refrigerator burn the whole house down.

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