Learned lesson on water damage

Discussion in 'Water Damage/Fire Restoration' started by aspenedelen, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. aspenedelen

    aspenedelen FatCat Player

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    I completed a Cat 3 loss in a basement a little more than a month ago and the job went from good to somewhat bad due to a breakdown in communication.

    I have been doing WDR for a long time so you would think I would have everything nailed down pat by now. It first started with me telling the client to go to a hotel for the night as I would not want them be watching what is currently in tbe air in their small 1800sq ft house.

    After the after hours tear out if drywall, drywall and walls of a small bathroom, hall and bdrm the client asked me what the cost ballpark would be. Without Xactimating anything I opened my mouth and said $2500 to $3k. After I did my xactimate sketch and estimate the total cost came to just over $5k which is what there total payout is.

    Go forward, job is completed and client has bill. On the bill the client sees a dump fee of $250. The husband approaches me saying if he would have known how much the dump fee would have been he would have done it himself and saved that money (second break down in communication). The second to last breakdown in communication came when the job was done and client asked if we were still going yo do the air duct cleaning even though it wasn't on the bill. I told them due yo the budget constraints I decided not to clean the ventilation system as that would save you $450. I told them to buy hepa filter and I would be more than happy to install it at no charge. The last breakdown in communication came last week when I received a text from the client saying that the check from the insurance company was in. She then asked me if I am still going to pay for their hotel room (I offered in the beginning but they said it was no problem and that they will cover it).

    Job was performed to IICRC and my own professional standards. We used lots of poly, air scrubber, dehus, etc but in the end the client wasn't prepared for such a small loss to cost upwards of $4k+ and very little money to rebuild.

    Lesson learned! Always, always, get the estimate the next day to insurance and client. Make sure everything that is expected is written and signed (I now have a work authorization form).

    This client went from happy client to a distraught then to a angry client all due to My breakdown in communication. Learn from my lesson and get your ducks in a row.

    Oh, they had suspected asbestos floors but decided to not do testing and to seal the floor themselves (with my donated sealer).
     
    Torrey W likes this.
  2. Steve Toburen

    Steve Toburen FatCat Entrepreneur

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    Wow. Been there.. done that, buddy! :)

    My favorite restoration principle? "No good deed goes unpunished."

    Hang in there with your sweet family!

    Steve

    PS It is good that you are taking responsibility on this and "tuning up the hot rod" (changing your Service Circle) so it NEVER, ever happens again. Heck, I've even got a free Special Report on avoiding these unhappy Insureds. (Which leads to unhappy adjusters!)
     
  3. 0331grunt

    0331grunt FatCat Player

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    I've noticed this to be true, more so lately. I've also learned lessons like this the hard way, too!
     
  4. Torrey W

    Torrey W Syndicated Entrepreneur

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    Torrey Whitaker
    Good stuff.

    It stinks when you offer something and they verbally seem to turn it down then later ask for it.
    Kinda a hard spot. Especially with them being the real victim of a bad situation having this happen to begin with. Many good people grow little horns when their money and possessions come into play.
     
  5. Spotman123

    Spotman123 FatCat Member

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    Thanks for sharing Anthony. It's amazing on how little the customer knows about costs of restoring things.
     
  6. Steve Toburen

    Steve Toburen FatCat Entrepreneur

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    You are right, Torrey. Sometimes people do try to take advantage of the situation. But more often I found we would inadvertently create a negative Moment(s) of Truth and then eventually they will get their pound of flesh.

    I'm proud that Anthony is perceptive enough to not just blame the customer but instead simply analyze how he can avoid this in the future. The boy is going to go places!

    Steve

    PS One of the very best ways to increase communication on a loss AND give the insured the all-important "Illusion of Control" is to set up a password-protected, online "Shared Folder" with them. This way you have an online record of all your conversations and commitments.
     
  7. aspenedelen

    aspenedelen FatCat Player

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    Steve, it amazes me the plethora of concise and exact information that you provide.
     
  8. Steve Toburen

    Steve Toburen FatCat Entrepreneur

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    Wow. "plethora of concise and exact information"- Anthony, were you an English major in a previous life? Those are some pretty fancy words for a "rug sucker"! :) Even so, I will take them and say thank you!

    Let us know your progress up there with your family.

    Steve

    PS Our mission for SFS from Papa Nick 18 years ago was very simple. (But not easy.) "Help our industry." And that is what we've been doing over the years and yes, it is working. We've put over 3,000 cleaning and restoration contractors through our five day SFS seminar. But still- we think that is too slow.

    So therefore SFS.JonDon.com Over 900 articles, systems and procedures- all ready to read/download for free and without even having to attend SFS. Just use the search box in the upper right hand corner to find answers to virtually any questions. For example, HERE are 27 articles/ideas on "traumatized insureds"!
     
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