Would you pay off customer?

I had a customer call me today quite agitated that i did not specifically remark that the hot and cold water supply pipes under the kitchen sink should be replaced. I typically don’t miss things like that but the house was riddled with hard water problems. I indicated in the report the water softener did not appear to be working and that all the faucets and plumbing fixtures need to be replaced apparently due to the quality of the water. this all stemmed from a leak which was found in the boiler room which they claim i should have suspected because there was a bucket in the boiler room. At the time of inspection there was no leak in the boiler room and I have no idea why the bucket was there.

Anyway, the plumber indicated the pipes under the kitchen sink were in bad shape and needed to be replaced. I went there with the plumber today and, although the pipes had corossion on them, there is no way i could readily ascertain their quality. Anyway, the plumber told me it would be a $150 bill to replace the hot and cold wated supply lines. Plumber was pretty good about telling me about his dicussion wioth the owner and, once he saw my report, commended me on the items i did pick up and report on. He did admit saying to the owner (yesterday) that I should have mentioned something abpout the pipes under the sink.
Owner is a real drama queen, perhaps the witchiest female i ever met (even worse than my ex-wife). I am considering paying the $150 bill but am afraid it might set a precedent and cause further grief down the road.

I know in my area we only see a few inches of the supply line under the sink. If you do choose to pay be sure to get the report back and release of any future liability.

Good Luck

You have a signed contract right?
Don’t pay.

If you do believe you “missed” them, consider paying to keep your unhappy client happy, even if she is a hellhound.

Sounds like you alerted your client to probable systemic plumbing difficulties. If the affected risers are still working (not leaking at installed fittings/valves/fixtures, not supplying inadequate flow, etc.), consider pointing-out to your client that you did alert her to the systemic problems, and that you absolutely cannot be held specifically responsible for individual things that might go wrong with the home’s plumbing system as a result of the systemic issues that you’ve already identified for her.

Only you know what’s right or wrong, 'cause only you were present at the inspection. If it feels like she’s right, you should probably do the right thing…for her. If it feels like she’s wrong (regardless of her dramatics and histrionics), do the right thing…for yourself.

I think that you covered your behind well enough. Paying is an admission to guilt. I would not pay no matter what. You did your job, found deficiencies, saved hed money, so your job is complete. Move on to the next one.

What Greg said. And paying is not an admission of guilt, unless you are catholic.

A few other points … there was no contract … Realtor needed this done quickly, client was out of town, she overnighted a check to him to have this done …

Additionally, i really don’t care if i please her any longer …I am out of the HI business because NY state screw-up … ( I could not be grandfathered into licensing, despite my 20 year experience building houses for the US NAVY, Nuclear handling facilities, etc) and the schools are just now starting to become available

I will probably pay the bill … even though I did alert to other problems caused by the water condition … just to try to obtain some sort of release from future liability …

thanks for the replies

TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME OR MAY CONCERN, KNOW THAT your client , as the RELEASOR, for good and valuable consideration received from abc inspections, as the RELEASEE, the receipt and adequacy of which is hereby acknowledged, each hereby releases and discharges the RELEASEE, each of the RELEASEE’S subsidiaries and their respective principals, affiliates, related entities, shareholders, officers, directors, agents, employees and their respective heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns from all actions, causes of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, controversies, agreements, promises, variances, trespasses, damages, judgments, extents, executions, claims, and demands whatsoever, in law, admiralty or equity, which against the RELEASEE, the RELEASOR and the RELEASOR’S heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns ever had, now have or hereafter can, shall or may, have for, upon or by reason of any matter, cause or thing whatsoever from the beginning of the world to the day of the date of this RELEASE solely in connection with the home inspection services performed by abc inspections arising out of that certain home inspection dated date of inspection.
Whenever the text hereof requires, the use of singular number shall include the appropriate plural number as the text of the within instrument may require.
This RELEASE may not be changed orally.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the RELEASOR has executed this RELEASE on the ______day of ________________________, 2003.
**(For a Corporation)
___________________________ By: ______________________________________
Attest: Name:
(For an individual)
____________________________ ________________________________(SEAL)
____________________________ ________________________________(SEAL)
Both Releasor and Releasee will sign, in the form required (corporation or individual)

Sounds like you covered yourself with what you said in the report. Why even bother with the contract? You brought the matter to her attention in the report, she failed to act on your advice. Or maybe the pipes leaked before she had a chance to replace them, how is that now your fault?

For $150 she should chalk it up to homeownership woes, she has finally taken your advice and has begun upgrading and replacing the noted faults in your report. What a go girl!

Brian; hope you are fine.

What does the comment if you are Catholic have to do with it, cause I am one.
Just curious, nothing else.


Hire your own plumber to do it at a cheaper price.

Bad joke.

Going out of business, sorry to hear that.
Don’t pay.

Thanks for the concern ,… You showed more than NY state ever did …

I would pay the $150 only after having her sign away any future liability. I would not hire a plumber to do the work. She will only find a reason to blame you for “bad” plumbing by YOUR plumber.

This could be the cheapest insurance you every purchase.

I guess if you are going out of business anyway, I would have to agree with Brian, don’t pay, but point out the fact in writing to her that you did report on the systems as a whole, that there were problems or potential problems due to water quality.
and if you decide to pay definately get release of further liability signed