** **I have read both of the client pledges closely and compared the two of them. The Client Fidelity Pledge listed at www.trustyourinspector.org is a very clear, single purpose pledge that has been written with the purpose to protect my private and personal information by agreeing to not sell it off for any type of compensation. ****
** **On the other side of the field is the pledge written by the vendor who supplies products for you to sell to consumers so both you and the vendor can profit from this. As I read this pledge it appears to be diametrically opposed to the simple pledge created by your peers and intended to protect my private information. The creator of this pledge claims that all of the Home Inspectors that are participating in his programs are in full compliance with this pledge. I just don’t see how that is possible given the questions I have below. For those of you who participate in this vendor’s programs if you would like to answer these questions possibly I’ll have a better understanding? ** **
Please keep this discussion centered on the questions and concepts below and refrain from any confrontations between the two schools of thought. As for the vendor he, nor any of his staff, are not welcome to answer as they have already demonstrated they intend only to cause thread drift and to bury any constructive dialog.
** The vendor’s pledge wording is in italics below with my questions under each section. At the end I ask additional questions. **
CLIENT SAFETY & FIDELITY PLEDGE
My clients and the clients of those agents that refer me are important. I respect their rights to privacy and respect the fact that it is I who serve them and keep them safe while delivering exceptional value.
How do you keep them safe? Simply providing a report for recalled products, something I can do myself, means little to me as a consumer.
How do you deliver exceptional value over another Home Inspector who may well be more competent and charges the same fee?
They have entrusted me with their inspection, including ancillary services that may not be available from other inspectors, and I intend to deliver more than is required of me in every transaction.
What do you “intend to deliver more” of that another Home Inspector does not that is of “exceptional value” over other Home Inspectors deliver?
Do ALL of you Inspectors who believe and have signed this pledge offer ancillary services?
As such, I believe I owe my clients an absolute right to know that their personal and private information is safe with me, my software providers, and partners in my business that help me deliver exceptional value to my clients.
Therefore, I promise that I will not provide to any third party any personal or private information about my client(s) or information about the property I have inspected for them, in exchange for compensation that I might receive, either directly or indirectly, from anyone.
For those of you that are participating in this vendor’s programs you are apparently being indirectly compensated by the vendor in the form of this Inspector referral service WEB site, marketing consultation/materials/advice, free WEB site reviews (SEO and content), the vendors own admitted 800,000 email marketing blitz to Real Estate Agents to use you, as well as other services the vendor provides with your agreement to sell their product and provide your client’s “private information” to him, for him to market other products and services. Whether you pay this vendor some menial amount for the product or not, the value of your compensation from this vendor is greater than the dollar amount of the product you give your client’s. If you attempted any of this on your own, even in your small geographic area, it would cost substantially more than any menial amount you pay for the reports or warranties you hand your client’s. With all of these benefits this vendor provides you you are in fact being indirectly compensated for selling his products! How does your arrangement with the vendor comply with this last paragraph?
I also promise that my inspection agreement will not include any clause(s) or language that could, in any way, be considered by anyone to waive any rights of privacy that my client might have, inclusive of any waiver of rights or restrictions relative to telephone contacts, e-mail communication, or solicitations from commercial and private enterprises of any type whatsoever outside of myself and the partners I work closely with to provide exceptional service to my clients.
The definition of exceptional means “well above the average”. Again how are you providing “exceptional service” when all you are doing is jotting down a few model and serial numbers and handing them, and my private and personal information, to a vendor to generate a report of information I can obtain easily myself? As for the warranty program all you are doing for that is again handing my private and personal information to this vendor to issue a 90 day warranty that might not have any value to the consumers. How does that equate to “exceptional service”? Why then is this paragraph suppose to be such a consumer protection action when the other pledge promises not to hand out my information for any compensation?
I will not participate in referral programs that result in commissions to myself, and I will not create any conflict of interest wherever avoidable.
*The client has the right to know, ultimately, who they are entering into agreement with and how that may affect their rights to privacy. I stand by these principles. *
If “The client has the right to know, ultimately, who they are entering into agreement with” then why does this vendor not change their required verbiage you must have in your contract to state specifically who you are giving this information to and who the vendor may give it to? If you read the privacy policies on many, many corporations WEB sites they do just that so what makes this vendor special and not need to? By not telling the consumer specifically who will have their information what makes this pledge section worth having?
I therefore acknowledge that if I willfully violate this pledge, it may be construed as misuse and may also constitute false and misleading marketing or advertising. I take my clients rights to privacy seriously.
I further promise that the safety of my clients is paramount. Therefore, I promise that I will find recalled items where reasonably identifiable, including major appliances and heating & cooling systems, and assist my client in getting those items repaired free of charge by the manufacturer before any potential fires, water damage, or electrocution hazards arise.
In this paragraph you claim you will “assist my client in getting those items repaired free of charge”. Are you actually acting as an intermediary between your client and the manufacturer to ensure the manufacturer repairs these items? When the repairs are performed are you going back out to the client’s resident to inspect the repairs and make sure they are performed properly? Are you doing all of this for no more than the cost of your original inspection fee in other words no additional charge? Are these what you are calling “exceptional value” to your services?
I realize my position in the real estate transaction is to report on defects- not to scare client. I pledge not to use alarmist tactics
First off why is this and the following items even in this pledge when it has nothing to do with privacy and safety?
**What are alarmist tactics please define them? **
*, and to do my best in ensuring that I obtain the buyer’s permission (where applicable), to get documentation to any and all interested parties including the agent who represents them so well. *
**Why are you only trying “to do my best” when you should not release any of my information to anyone without my approval, period, end of story? **
I realize that creating unnecessary friction in a real estate transaction is a disservice to the clients I share with the real estate agents who represent them, and I promise not to diminish, degrade, or make any derogatory comments about an agent to their client, whether that client was referred to me by the agent or not.
What do you define as “unnecessary friction”? Is there any such thing as “necessary friction”? Again what has this got to do with my privacy rights and safety? If you do your job properly and find many safety issues with the home, or refuse to provide my Real Estate Agent with any information since you did not obtain my approval then you are going to cause friction. To prevent any friction does that mean you will soften your report verbiage and freely give up information without my approval?
This is my Pledge.
I do have additional questions.
- How many people have actually signed this pledge?
- Has this pledge been made mandatory in your contracts with this vendor?
- Where can the consumer find a list of those who have signed this pledge? Without a list of names to verify who signed it then what value does this pledge have?
- Why do you Home Inspectors feel the need to make additional untold sums of money off of me, the consumer, by having backdoor kickback deals such as these? Are you not charging me enough for your services already?