Is it immoral to soak the repairman for info and only pay for one
In the thread I posted a while back, but can't find, about the friend
who had no heat, this is the part that the repairman installed:
Exactly the same 8 pages as came in the box with the part.
She paid 425 or 460 or whatever I said.
It's too late now, but would it have been immoral or cheaper
if she'd let the guy on his first trip tell her what the problem
was and then bought the part herself?
I assume there was a part number on the original part, but if not,
finding the replacement might be hard, but knowing what I know now,
there are replacement parts ranging from $39 inc. shipping to 120. Any
of them woudl be a savings, i think, even when paying for the first
service call. But regardless of savings, would you consider it
immoral? OTOH, would it be immoral for the repairman to come,
determine the replacment part number and refuse to tell the customer,
so she couldn't buy it without him?
On the second trip it was a simple replacement taking less than 10
Cheaper yes, immoral no.
If she paid for the service call to get a diagnosis, then the technician
was compensated for his knowledge. At that point she had a choice to let
him fix it, using parts supplied by herself or him. The parts would not
have been warranted by the installer, but they also wouldn't have been
marked up either. Some companies won't install user supplied parts, so
she could have called around to find one that does. No harm done to the
one that diagnosed it if he was compensated for his expert opinion.
I met a guy today who said he was addicted to brake fluid!
But he says he can stop anytime.
As that is similar as to what hapened to me this summer. The air
conditioiner was not working. Called service and was told it would be $ 90
just for the man to come out and look. OK, not too bad. He was there about
5 minuits and said a bad capacitor and it would be $ 300 and some dollars
for that part. I knew that $ 50 would have been a fair price for one
allowing for a markup to have the part at hand. Took 5 minuets to goto the
truck and get one and install it.. I did get a good education out of it and
also had him to clean the coils for $ 100 more while he was here.
I did order a capacitor and relay for about $ 30 total off the internet so I
am ready if either go bad again.
Had it not been Saturday, I would have just gave him the $ 90 and went to a
local supply house and got my own capacitor.
LOL, not the first time I've seen huge markups on cheap parts.
Back when I was in the industrial battery repair business, I never
minded if the customer wanted to do it themselves.
Most if the time they screwed it up and I got additional billings.
Paying $90 for the service call *is* paying for knowledge. It's certainly
not immoral. It's less than they'd like to charge but I assume it's set
where they generate enough business that any loss at $90 is recouped in a
repair or replacement.
Shopping at Best Buy to look at cameras in person and then buying one
on-line from some other story is far less "moral" in my eyes.
Here's the old engineer's joke about the cost of knowledge:
There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things
mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily
Many years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible
problem they were having with one of their multimillion dollar machines.
They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine to work but
to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had
solved so many of their problems in the past.
The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the
huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a
particular component of the machine and stated, "This is where your problem
is." The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.
The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service.
They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded
"One chalk mark $1. Knowing where to put it $49,999"
On Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 12:59:32 PM UTC-5, Micky wrote:
No more immoral than for the serviceman to charge her $300 or whatever
price he felt appropriate for the one emergency service call to diagnose
Facts left out:
No one there was able to diagnose a simple problem, so who was going
to put in the new gas valve and do it safely? Knowing what's involved,
I seriously doubt it was just 10 mins from the time the guy got out
of his truck. Plus there is travel time. If she paid for the one
emergency service call, obtained the part, hired another licensed plumber
to put it in and not blow up the house, what would that have cost?
Nice that you can get a $39 price on the internet, but could you get
it the same day like the service guy did? What would it cost if you
went to the local supply house, assuming they would even sell it retail?
This is like being broke down at the side of the road, getting towed
to a dealer, paying $400 for a quick professional repair, then finding
that the $250 part they charged you for can be found on Ebay for $50
and speculating on all the what if's.
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