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Cheap customers trying to scam the system


czizzi's Avatar
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04-19-17, 09:39 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Cheap customers trying to scam the system

I am a certified installer for Amazon. People can therefore, as and example, order a light fixture and its installation at the same time. Check it out in your area next time you order something. Recently, I have noticed a trend. Specifically to swing set installs. Customers will order a swing set off a 3rd party site and then go to Amazon and order just the Installation. Amazon scales installation based on the size of the project, in this case swing sets. What I have found is that people are ordering the basic install for these elaborate sets that take days to install. You show up on site and you are looking at days to build instead of hours. Really frustrating, so I have started to refuse these orders to install based on lack of product information. I did one install based on a "basic" install that took 60 man hours to assemble. Do people think we are dumb? I don't like having to represent Amazon and have to renegotiate a price after a job has been awarded. Why do people not understand that time is money and a fair wage for the job given. I have a job nearby that has been offered 7 times to me and I refuse because of no product information. The 8th time it came through the price had gone up so I know it is going to be a monster install. Frustrating.

 
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czizzi's Avatar
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04-19-17, 09:57 PM   #2 (permalink)  
As long as I am venting, I had a client order up to me a shower head replacement for $75.00. Seems simple doesn't it. But I took the liberty to ask him for more information on his replacement. The system he ordered was a LED shower head with changing colors, a hand held, new diverter valve with multi function diverter and 6 shower body sprays. Basically a complete bathroom remodel..for $75.00. Are these people for real or what. I had a long talk with Amazon support and told them there is no way to satisfy this order and to remove it from my account. They agreed, but their solution was to just put it out for claim again. I hung up the phone with support and my phone alerted me to another order available in my area. It was a shower head replacement for $75.00. I ignored it.

 
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04-19-17, 11:15 PM   #3 (permalink)  
I learnt first time never take a job installing a swing set. Spent far more time then I bid. What really held me up was one part. I thought it was the wrong part. Finally third call to Toys or Us got someone who admitted the piece had to be bent about 30 to fit.

Even worst is those little garden sheds that come knocked down in a million pieces. Bad enough instead of neoprene washered screws for the roof they give you sheets of plastic washers you have to tear each washer out of and then put on the screw.Of course if you work alone as I almost always did it gets worse because there is no real frame.

Had a customer long after I'd made a never again rule ask me to do one. He said, "How hard can it be? It's only 3'x6'. I'll even help you". I warned him but he had been a good customer for several years and had helped me in the past. By the time we got through he was cussing his wife who had bought the shed saying to her "never again".


I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

 
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04-20-17, 12:10 AM   #4 (permalink)  
I didn't realize that with Amazon installs.

I was doing install work for Stanley. They're into alarms, powered gates, card access and those type installs. They pay a set price based on the item.... not the install.

They key word here is was.


~ Pete ~

 
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04-20-17, 04:00 AM   #5 (permalink)  
Home Depot has/had their installation service and asked me to participate. I got the real skinny on it and stood back in amazement. They would quote the installation price and take 20% off the top, then you had to give the customer a quote, sight unseen. Falling off a turnip truck is easy, but I ain't the one. Oh, and even if you do a job through HD's system and that customer likes your work, and wants you to do more for them after that job was completed, HD "owns" that customer relationship and you have to pay them an percentage forever.

 
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04-20-17, 05:08 AM   #6 (permalink)  
WOW. Never knew that's how store installs worked.

 
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04-20-17, 05:18 AM   #7 (permalink)  
I knew that is how HD installs work and also knew most of the contractors that took that work were the ones that for whatever reason couldn't get work on their own. Personally I have a problem with seeing the customer charged more, me making less and not having as much control over the job [price and materials] as I'm used to. None of the good contractors [various trades] I've worked around would have anything to do with big box jobs.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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04-20-17, 05:50 AM   #8 (permalink)  
There are number of companies getting into the middle-man business for towing services, too. I think I've vented about it here before and I refuse to take their calls. They are smartphone-based (and some are simply 1-800 numbers to call) and what happens is, the driver puts in his information and the job gets sent out basically for bids - either electronically or with a live operator - to tow companies in the area. The middle man company then replies back to the driver with the "winning" [read: "low"] bid PLUS whatever they tack on for their fee. The tow company doesn't get to talk to the driver until getting awarded the job. I'm not even sure you get to talk to the customer until you arrive on site. My first run-in with a call like that, when I got to the job and got hooked up I asked for the credit card to run and when I told the customer the charge he said, "but I already paid $25!". Sorry, but you just wasted $25 by having someone else look up my phone number for you; I didn't get a dime of that $25. Amazing what people will do with a smart phone without thinking of the cost.


Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

 
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04-20-17, 08:15 AM   #9 (permalink)  
I sub for a national corporation. It can be frustrating.
Most jobs you go into site unseen. The customer might also be expecting the sky or worse yet, already be upset with corporate over some miscommunication before the job even starts.

We have a lot of happy customers but the work performed to make them happy is no where near what they paid for.
I think the term is I'm footing the bill


Brian

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04-20-17, 08:42 AM   #10 (permalink)  
Famous dreaded words: "Well since you're already here why don't you also...". Then when you say that will be extra they give you a look like you just tried to take advantage of the.

Worst one was spent the day working in a hot attic. When I handed him the bill he said: "But you ate lunch with us that makes us friends. Friends don't charge friends". Yes, he was serious. So was I. I offered to deduct lunch from the bill. He actually had the nerve to call for more work a couple of times. Unfortunately I was always fully booked and not taking new jobs.


I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

 
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04-20-17, 09:46 AM   #11 (permalink)  
I'll bet some Installers are also called in to do the job "only" after the Owner has already attempted to do it themselves, lost parts, or thoroughly gaffed the whole deal up . . . . that sounds like something I might do !

 
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04-20-17, 11:32 AM   #12 (permalink)  
Back when I was turning wrenches I don't know how many cars towed in because they got in to far and didn't know what to do.

 
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04-20-17, 12:19 PM   #13 (permalink)  
Last month, I got a call to assemble a treadmill. Easily 200 pounds. I work alone. It was sitting in his garage, on a pallet. He pointed to a set of stairs and said he wanted it assembled in the room over his garage. Had to explain that the installation included assembly only and moving the unit was not included. I ended up having to drag a buddy out there to help move it up the stairs. The guy threw a pretty major stink about the whole thing, spent the better part of a hour complaining to Customer Service while my buddy and I stood outside in the dark in his driveway. When we were finally finished I pulled out my phone, opened my app to complete the job only to find that the customer used some sort of a coupon - His final total cost was.....$15.00. What a crock, kind of like haggling with the cashier because she rang up your tomatoes at the wrong price and the difference was a dime. As expected, the guy did not tip me for my troubles.

 
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04-20-17, 06:03 PM   #14 (permalink)  
It was sitting in his garage, on a pallet
Just a tip, I rarely do it. If a customer has an appliance that was truck delivered, call the delivery company and tell them where you want it (after the fact).
I have had them come back at no cost, and explain to them you don't set a 300 pound double oven in someone's downstairs when they are equipped to move it somewhat easily.

They have been helpful to me a couple of times.


Brian

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04-21-17, 05:04 AM   #15 (permalink)  
These items are shipped LTL by common carrier as opposed to an appliance store that is local. In every instance, the customers are told by the carrier they are not authorized to take it any further.

 
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04-21-17, 05:27 AM   #16 (permalink)  
Sometimes it is even "tailgate" delivery, and you have to figure out how to get it on the ground if the truck doesn't have a lift mechanism.

 
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04-21-17, 05:44 AM   #17 (permalink)  
I once (40 years ago) had a large TV delivered by "freight" when shipping was included in the price; but because Teamsters brought the parcel inside, the shipper began billing us for the extra costs of putting it inside the door, chased us for well over 2 years, and then turned the charge over to a collection agency which dunned us for nearly 5 or 6 more years before relenting. In the end, that charge grew to something in excess of $325; but my arms were never broken and I didn't pay one more cent . . . . just directed them back to the Seller,

 
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