Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
 
Old 19 January 2008, 05:29   #1
Member
 
Country: UK - England
Boat name: Seashell
Make: Redbay
Length: 7m +
Engine: Inboard diesel
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,263
Invoices - what do you do?

What do people do (and indeed where does the law stand) when you get someone in to fix something, they are unable to fix it, but they still charge you a small fortune just to tell you they don't know whats wrong.

My current situation with with my engine. As some people might remember I had a bit of trouble with it last October. Turned out that the priming bulb had killed itself and little bits of rubber where blocking the flow of fuel. At the time I got a marine engineer in to have a look. He had a look and a fiddle and told me he wasn't sure but it might be the thermostat.

In the end I found the problem and fixed it my self.

He has just sent me an invoice for 90 for his time. I resent paying this because he really didn't get anywhere with the repairs!

By contrast, when my hard drive went wrong a couple of years ago, I took it to a computer shop for them to recover the data that was on it. They were unable to, but despite having spent many hours (so they say) working on it, they only charged me 30.

So, what would you do?
__________________

__________________
Tim M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 January 2008, 06:07   #2
RIBnet admin team
 
Nos4r2's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: The wilds of Wiltshire
Boat name: WhiteNoise/Dominator
Make: Ballistic 7.8/SR5.4
Length: 7m +
Engine: Opti 225/Yam 85
MMSI: 235090687/235055163
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 12,645
RIBase
If you're ever likely to need to use him again I'd pay up. Might be worth trying to negotiate a discount though.

<edit>
Saying that, if his basic checks don't extend to the primer bulb and filters I wouldn't use him again.
__________________
Need spares,consoles,consumables,hire,training or even a new boat?

Please click HERE and HERE and support our Trade Members.

Join up as a Trade member or Supporter HERE
Nos4r2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 January 2008, 06:20   #3
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Make: HumberOceanOffshore
Length: 8m +
Engine: Volvo KAD300/DPX
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 4,962
It's a common situation. Fortunately, I diy most stuff so I've not had to deal with it often. However, speaking for myself, I'd expect to pay for the call out to the engine and the time trying to diagnose the problem but I'd resist paying for work which was unnecessary and that would include a wrong diagnosis and the associated work and parts. But, if I chose to accept the parts, as in not removing the replacement themostat, I would pay for them. Would I pay for the fitting time? I don't think so. I'd balance the engineer's time to remove the unnecessary parts, which I definately wouldn't be paying for, with his fitting time. If he/she was being reasonable in attitude, I'd be tempted to negotiate. If not, it would be a case of reinstate the engine to the condition you found it.

I know a few folk who have had protracted vehicle work and they are charged for each attempt at a fix even when the engineer's diagnosis is wrong. In all the cases I'm aware of they've just accepted it and stumped up the cash.

I guess you need to be sure of the terms of work and clear about exactly what you ask to be done. If you ask for particular work to be done, you need to pay for it.
__________________
JW.
jwalker is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19 January 2008, 07:38   #4
Member
 
Hightower's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Fareham
Length: 6m +
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 7,855
Tricky to get out of paying without going to Court. I'd have thought that he might stand his ground with regard payment as I guess most of the cost was labour. How long did he work on the engine for and did he use any parts?
__________________
Andy

Looks Slow but is Fast
Member of the ebay Blue RIB cover club.
Hightower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 January 2008, 08:26   #5
RIBnet admin team
 
Poly's Avatar
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: imposter
Make: FunYak
Length: 3m +
Engine: 2 stroke YAM 20 HP
MMSI: 235089819
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 10,114
The question is - was it reasonable for a competent engineer (charging 40-60/hr) to spend 1.5-2 hours trying to diagnose the fault. Unless the true fault was common or very obvious then actually it might have been. It sounds like you paid him to do 1/2 a job (diagnose a possible fault) - I suspect he might have been more willing to discuss the fair cost if he had been paid to fix the fault.
__________________
Poly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 January 2008, 08:41   #6
Member
 
Bigmuz7's Avatar
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Glasgow
Boat name: stramash
Make: Tornado
Length: 5m +
Engine: Etec 90
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 5,068
I think thats a bit of a brass neck. You are supposed to be paying for his experience, not reward him for failure. If I was the engineer I'd be too embarassed to charge. And I would have protected myself from any dilemma by not attempting to repair something I didnt know enough about to start with. I'd tell him that, and offer something out of good will, incase he might be the only guy with the bolt or washer that saves your next day cruising. His service did not solve your problem. Why do these guys earn a living from not having experience
__________________
Bigmuz7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 January 2008, 09:40   #7
Member
 
Hightower's Avatar
 
Country: UK - England
Town: Fareham
Length: 6m +
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 7,855
depends on how reasonable he is to talk to! If he sticks to his guns and charges you the time and parts he actually spent on the engine and won't shift on it, then I think you'll have to pay up or face legal action. His argument could be that the thermostat was in fact faulty and needed replacement anyway.

I guess what you'll have to do is phone him and ask. Was he aware that the problem turned out to be a fuel related one?
__________________
Andy

Looks Slow but is Fast
Member of the ebay Blue RIB cover club.
Hightower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 January 2008, 10:33   #8
RIBnet admin team
 
Poly's Avatar
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: imposter
Make: FunYak
Length: 3m +
Engine: 2 stroke YAM 20 HP
MMSI: 235089819
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 10,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmuz7 View Post
I think thats a bit of a brass neck. You are supposed to be paying for his experience, not reward him for failure. If I was the engineer I'd be too embarassed to charge. And I would have protected myself from any dilemma by not attempting to repair something I didnt know enough about to start with. I'd tell him that, and offer something out of good will, incase he might be the only guy with the bolt or washer that saves your next day cruising. His service did not solve your problem. Why do these guys earn a living from not having experience
I think it is worth remembering there are two sides to every story. I am not suggesting that Tim is deliberately misleading us - but we don't know exactly what the engineer was asked to do or exactly what he told tim the next stage should be. For example - there is a big but subtle difference between,

"I have spent two hours looking at and testing your engine, and I can't find a fault, but the symptoms you reported might be a thermostat problem and my next step would be to take that off to test it - but its going to cost you another 40." AND

"The problems with your thermostat".

For example, in the original thread, Tim insisted he had already changed all the fuel filters (which presumably he told the engineer) - but it transpired that there was actually a filter Tim didn't know existed. Similarly it might be reasonable to assume that the main filters should have caught the crap that was causing the problem - but Tim then revealed that he had bypassed them for a short spell. Would the engineers have know this?... if not it may have made a significant difference in where they were looking for the fault.

Bearing in mind that two different engineers tried and failed to diagnose the fault it was perhaps not as simple as is suggested.

If you contracted him to fix it (without an unreasonable restriction on time / parts to do that) then he didn't do as you requested. However if you contracted him to take a "look at it" as suggested in the original thread then he was doing what you asked. Would you have been happier if he spend another 2 hours, actually fixed the problem and charged you 200?
__________________
Poly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 January 2008, 10:57   #9
Member
 
Country: UK - Wales
Town: swansea
Boat name: Too Blue
Make: BLANK
Length: 8m +
Engine: Suzuki DT225
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12,791
Does a doctor still get paid when his patient dies??? Of course itf it's a simple fault that is missed it's a different story.

We get this all the time with computers. Today is a classic example. We were up all night setting up a brand new Dell server - the software is pre installed and normally we wouldn't trust it and set it all up again but they wanted it installed today. We took it to the factory this morning and it all went pear shaped. Needs a complete reinstall and we have to stay up all night and go in tomorrow as well. That's about another 16 hours work to set up Exchange - ISA server and all the rest.

Who should pay? Technically it's Dell but will they? We will of course invoice the company but will they pay the extra? We have been caught out so many times - would YOU work for nothing? That's why we are quitting computer work!!!
__________________
codprawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 January 2008, 11:03   #10
RIBnet admin team
 
Poly's Avatar
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: imposter
Make: FunYak
Length: 3m +
Engine: 2 stroke YAM 20 HP
MMSI: 235089819
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 10,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
Does a doctor still get paid when his patient dies???
Gets extra for doing the death certificate doesn't he? Not sure I understand the analogy.
__________________
Poly is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 18:11.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.