Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the prelude: the customer is NOT right

It's been -10 to the mid twenties for the last month.
Except for the couple days at freezing that I got out
to stretch the legs.
Five people occupy this small house, not including all
the four legged things.

Problem: The hot water heater started seeping last week.
Problem #2: I am not comfortable sweating pipes, and I
don't take chances with the gas line.
When you know the problem, the solution is usually easy
to slove. Usually.

I made a call to the best plumbing company. "$1350 installed."
It was almost laughable, but I wasn't laughing. This thing is
gonna blow anytime.

So I go to Lowes. $398 for the water heater, and $280 for the
install. That sounds alot better. I load it onto the cart and
head to check out.

"There's an additional $300 for a permit fee, required by the
city" the associate says.

"Are you f@ckin kidding me? The plumbing company told me it's
actually $15 but they charge $30. Not $300!"

"Sorry, the computer and my manager say it's $300."

"Well, you can keep your stuff then."

I check online with the city permits. Homeowner pays under $20.
The installer licensing is $300 for a 'B' permit - which they
should already have.

Call a different Lowes. Get a manager on the phone.

"It's anywhere from $120 to $300 if you live in the city"
she rudely says, as I question the permit amount.

This thing is gonna blow soon.

Call plumbing company back.
"How much just to have my hot water heater swapped out,
just the labor?"

"$125 for the first hour, $95 every hour after, $30 for
the permit."

Go to another store. Buy the water heater for $400.
Carefully drag the fat bastard down to the basement.
$168 later, I have hot water. But that was the biggest
pain in the ass. You screw with customers, you may make
some money, but eventually you'll loose more than you

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