Can't Win 'Em All...

Some clients show their appreciation for the smallest things you do at an inspection. I love the praise my clients give to me because it builds my confidence and makes me want to be even better at the next one.

So today through me for a loop. Yesterday I get a call from an angry client that her furnace stopped working. Its been about -40F here all week. She wants the warranty company to pay for it. I explain that the unit is 15 years old, and that she was told about the 10 year limit at the inspection. She then tells me to pay for it. I tell her I can’t do anything until a tech comes out to diagnose the issue. Tech comes in and tells her the heat exchanger is cracked. The cost? $2006.00 plus tax. She looses it on me and then again on the REA. So I called Nathan at Residential Warranty Services to see if the warranty will cover anything. Even though it didn’t even come close to being covered because its 15 years old, the report stated it needed maintenance, diagnosing the heat exchanger is a technician level job (must be licensed here) and well beyond the scope of practice, etc. Nate offers to kick in money for the repair. Before that, he recommends having another company come in to have a look as the quote was a bit high. I agree.
The next guy comes in that i called, smoke bomb tests, inspects the exchanger and dismantled the whole damn thing. Result? Heat exchanger is fine. The heat didn’t work because a $12 switch was dead. Total cost of repair was $100 with the part and labour. I decided to step up and pay for the repair because I deal with the agent, as well as several other agents in her office often. She was singing my praises for over 15 minutes on the phone because of it. Nice feeling! She even offered to pay half and email everything that happened to all of her colleagues to show how far I go for my clients. Score. I tell her that’s its on me, and to remember me when the next client comes in.

And then there’s the client…who I saved over $2000 in a bogus repair AND paid to have the proper item fixed and got her back into her house which was now nicely heated. She calls me pissed off and tells me she wants me to pay her the $110 she paid for the service call from the first idiot who through me under the bus and tried to screw her over.

Can’t win 'em all I guess…

Tell her to send bill to the first tech since he tried to screw her for $2000

The agent snapped on her and told her to send me a thank you card and understand that she is now a homeowner, not a renter

Bravo to the agent

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Dumb question from an inspector in Florida, where we don’t have a lot of gas furnaces, but how would a cracked heat exchanger shut down or prevent a furnace from operating?
Seems the initial diagnosis was woefully inaccurate and should have raised eyebrows.


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Nathan is 100% correct with regard to location and functionality of those switches. Rollout is a common characteristic of a cracked heat exchanger. The rollout safety switch prevents fires and shuts the unit down, including the gas valve.

In truth, however, without disassembly and/or using a chemical additive and checking for it at the supply registers, roll-out alone is not necessarily a definitive diagnosis. Some techs temporarily block the flue to eliminate the possibility that a down-draft is causing the problems.

It’s easy for a tech to call out a cracked heat exchanger. Less work and more money to simply state that the furnace is shot.

Good job to all!

Great story!

A good reason to develop a relationship with a reputable Hvac company.

I was surprised at Nathan’s knowledge about the system while speaking to him on the phone. Even better was his coaching on how to approach the situation, and his willingness to cover some of the cost when not obligated. A great guy to have around when you need him. I know that the issue was never mine to pay for. Nathan knew that as well. The client was incredibly unreasonable throughout. This became a fight to save the relationship with the agent and her office who refer me. She was taking the brunt of the clients aggression. Following Nathan’s advice helped to protect my business relationships and saved the client (although ungreatful) over $2000 that she obviously didn’t have.

My advice: Love him or hate him, Nathan is a great guy to have on your side. He replied to me immediately and when he called, already had an action plan ready to deploy. I love the warranty. Having Nathan around when I need him is the bonus.

Thank you again my friend. You are very loyal to your customers and in this day and age, it was refreshing to see someone go the distance.

Customer for life right here

Absolutely! This guy told me that the problem with most HVAC contractors is that they have more salesman than tradesman. If they have a showroom…run!

Where our profession is heading? :cool:

A few around here have been blacklisted because of referral deals with local contractors. Turned out to be a not-so-profitable venture for them

Sad part is you paid for anything at all. I understand you want to keep the agent, but it is bad we are put in these positions. Most other type of professions could easily told her to take a hike.

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Yep, now you know why I joined Nathans ReCallChek team.
It is a winner.

What kept me away at first. The same bull crap that is on going sense I arrived.
I do not understand why certain members, THAT WE ALL KNOW, post defamatory comments and even down right disdain at Nathan Thornberry and others playing in the InterNACHI sand box called the MB…

Stephan Tremblay, I see a designation next to your name. Astute inspector I see.
Another issues that pretentious inspector place upon the MB for no reason at all is aimed at OUR CMI.

I wounder if they understand that there are no bad inspectors.
The ones that go the extra mile to insure everyone is included during a transaction seem to be less hungry.

We all learn by our mistakes.

Best regards Steven.
Happy everything worked out.

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It’s any business that has to step up every now and then. To keep business moving forward, you have to show people you care. $100 just got my name and praise infront of more agents than any other marketing I could do. $100 is nothing to get that kind of exposure directly in the minds of the people who will send me the most business. It was a win-win at the end of the day.

An excellent idea Nathan.
The MB does seem to be much less rigorous a course to navigate in 2014 but I surely made some big mistakes that will cause me to push a larger bolder uphill to rid the albatross on my name.
Lets hope my new branding and attitude works.

Click on the links below my signature Nathan or here.

It a work in progress.
I took your idea “right from the start” in a thread where you were talking to me not at me.
now I go WordPress, I have had enough of businesses harvesting my meta and words.
Too bad.
So sad.

Any grammatical and spelling errors are not mine. Even the best makes errors.
I will sort it out over time.

I hope you enjoy the beginning of my site.
Best regards.

I have to call Mike tomorrow and see if my first try at ReCallCheK was OK.
Its a great service.