Should I pay to refinish her table?

Discussion in 'Lets talk Business!' started by joe2014, Jun 12, 2016.

By joe2014 on Jun 12, 2016 at 9:02 AM
  1. joe2014
    joe2014

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    I cleaned for an elderly lady in a mobile home a few days ago. She was happy with the work, but six hours after the cleaning she called at 8pm to tell me that I had left a Febreze oil warmer on her $1,800 entry table and she demanded that I pay to have it refinished. Now I know not to put an oil warmer on a table and I’m very careful about things like that so I went to her house the next day to take a look. When I saw the warmer plugged into her wall I specifically remember leaving it plugged in and unplugging the lamp cord over top of it and draping the cord over the warmer to keep it off the carpet so that I could clean the carpet under the table. (I needed the outlet for my RotoVac.) I don’t want a bad review online but I also don’t want to pay for something that I didn’t do. Assuming that the cost to repair is several hundred dollars… How would you handle this?

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Discussion in 'Lets talk Business!' started by joe2014, Jun 12, 2016.

    1. Mark Saiger
      Mark Saiger

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      Did you see a Mark that would resemble having set an oil plug in there?

      Did she find that plug in there after you were gone?

      Anyone else in the home?


      Those would be my "internal" questions to try and figure out and then work to have a conversation.....

      And that conversation can then maybe lead to a resolution with her...

      And also maybe help her to figure out who in the home would have put that thing on the table....


      Or...you figure out if you are really getting ripped off...

      Now to maybe fix it... A Mr. Eraser Magic Eraser dry could maybe help or fix it and some wood wax.... But don't touch it again and really own the problem...
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    2. joe2014
      joe2014

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      Her husband lives there and has dementia, but she blames me. The finish melted down to the wood. She sent me the first 2 pictures and I took the 3rd when I went to see it the next day.

      IMG_0340.JPG


      IMG_0341.JPG

      20160608_151244.jpg
    3. joe2014
      joe2014

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      I think I'm getting ripped off because I remember hanging the cord over the device to keep as much off the floor as possible. Plus, I know better than to put something that can leak sideways on a table. I'm very careful about these things.
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      Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
    4. FredC
      FredC

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      :headscratch:

      Why would you drape the lamp cord?
      Why would dementia man choose that day to unplug the oil warmer?


      unless you tabbed the table and he had reason to be down there...

      sorry, I find it far more likely you unplugged it
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    5. mirf
      mirf

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      Did you see the mark there while you cleaned?
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    6. joe2014
      joe2014

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      I draped the lamp cord to keep as much off the floor as possible for cleaning.
      Maybe he was down there to plug the cord back in?
      I don't know, it doesn't make sense to me. I really remember draping the lamp cord.
      Thank you for your honesty.

      I did not see the mark there as I was cleaning and I'm sure that I would have since I passed by it probably 30 times.
      It's possible that the box to the right was over it at the time.
      I'm sure that I would have seen the warmer there as well.

      Not that it proves anything but I’ve serviced more than 4,800 customers over the past 11 years within a 30 mile radius and there was 1 customer out of them all who really stood out as someone who took advantage of me. This happened last year and it just so happens that she and this lady are both neighbors!
      Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
    7. Mikey P
      Mikey P

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      why is it always THOSE tables.


      I had a very similar story happen.


      Years of the maids scratching the finish was now all of a sudden done by me in one visit
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    8. Mark Saiger
      Mark Saiger

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      This is going to be a difficult one.

      Either way you are probably not going to be doing work for her again and not going to get a good review.

      I think you are going to be paying for a table refinish and it does look like a quality piece from the quick look on my phone.

      This might involve HER having it fixed by a person of her choice and you paying the bill.

      Sorry this has happened... One of those things we take a chance for being in business... And trying to charge a decent rate in anticipation of situations like this

      Still a rough thing to have to deal with
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      Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
    9. Mikey P
      Mikey P

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      does somebody who owns a table like that leave reviews online?
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    10. Papa John
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      I would think he draped the cord to keep the rotovac from eating the cord.
      maybe the old man saw the cord draped over the plugin and removed the plugin to put the cord back on the floor-- a sign of dementia is putting things where they don't belong.

      I would think a judge would blame the old man more then you.. CUZ u have NO reason to Unplug the Fabreze-- its not in the way of the carpet cleaning process.
    11. FredC
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      Yeah.....except it was be just as easy to put the cord on the table..................why "drape" it so it can still get snagged..........except maybe laziness....which does seem to be indicated by the pic :D

      just as likely he unplugged the febreeze to plug in the rotovac................ wouldn't be the first time a carpet cleaner did just that
    12. Papa John
      Papa John

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      I SEE your point--- most techs don't have the finesse that draping would take, and would just go for the easy route.
    13. joe2014
      joe2014

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      I'm the owner and I'm the one who draped the cord.

      The table is right at the front door. IF the diffuse was on the table when she paid me, it would have been very hard to miss. It's a very small place. Yet she called me 6 hours later.
    14. WillS
      WillS

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      Oh man that sucks. When I first started cleaning (second week in) I did this. I put it on a wood table that looked just like this. After we left the customers house got a call 10 mins later that it had leaked on the table. A mistake I will NEVER make again and I always tell my technicians this story. It cost me $500 to pay to have it refinished. Your going to have to take the hit.
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    15. Desk Jockey
      Desk Jockey

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      I think you'll lucky to get away with only $500.00

      Whether you did or didn't is irrelevant to anyone but yourself. She believes you did it and no amount of explaining will change her mind.

      That only leaves you with 2 options.
      1) Bite the bullet and pay to have it repaired.

      2) Deny any responsibility, risk Social Media exposure, small claims court.

      I'd reluctantly pay it and move on.
    16. FredC
      FredC

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      Do like Will S

      1. Pay it
      2. Don't put those things on tables anymore
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    17. Desk Jockey
      Desk Jockey

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      LOL
      You're so certain he did it. :lol:
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    18. Papa John
      Papa John

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      Have you No simpathy!?- Haha

      If you truly believe you didn't do it-- then test her conviction that you did it-- stand your ground and gladly await your time in court.

      Or just pay to fix it-- and let karma take over.-- if her husband is at fault, the universe doesn't allow unearned riches.
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    19. FredC
      FredC

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      probably the mustache......wouldn't surprise me if Cobb was there helping him fook that poor lady's table up
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