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(NJ.com)   Can't pay the "emergency pricing" surcharge to have you home generator repaired during a government declared state of emergency? No problem, the repairman will waive the charge...and by waive they mean they'll pull out the new part and leave   ( nj.com) divider line
    More: Dumbass, authors, waivers, pricing, emergency pricing  
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13516 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Nov 2012 at 8:12 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-11 09:15:27 PM  

KrispyKritter: one should expect a different price level for scheduled service as opposed to emergency service.


Agree , thats how it works . These qualified repairmen are working their asses off as it is . They would have to work even harder if they worked for every "nickle and dimer " in town . I'm sure they would rather be at home with their family's than to deal with these people .


/HVAC repairman
// Have no problem sitting around drinking beer and watching cartoons in my underwear than deal with cheapskates .
 
2012-11-11 09:15:32 PM  
During the aftermath of a storm is a great time to hide a dead body...

/just sayin
 
2012-11-11 09:15:33 PM  
It's more than "invasive," consumer law attorney Ronald LeVine said. He said once the part was installed, it became the property of the owner, and removal of the part is a "clear Consumer Fraud Act violation," he said.

It seems to me it becomes the conusmer's property after it's been paid for.
 
2012-11-11 09:15:45 PM  
Emergency services cost more and the responding worker is over tired. He has no need for bullsh*t and what gets him/her through the ordeal is knowing that he/she will be compensated. You call them out and then can't pay what's expected? F*ck you for wasting time.
 
2012-11-11 09:17:45 PM  

get real: It also raises the question of what does FEMA do with all the generators and emergency supplies after a disaster. I have to assume there is a warehouse full of supplies that are really needed and should have been brought in before the storm.


Why? Bringing them in before the storm risks them getting *Damaged by the storm*. If they did that, you've be biatching that FEMA wasn't careful and let equipment get wrecked by teh very storm they sought to help people from! "Didn't they know there was going to be a hurricane and flooding?! How could they have been so careless to put necessary supplies right in the path of destruction!"
 
2012-11-11 09:17:50 PM  

ultraholland: "If you allow so-called price gouging, then you're actually working in favor of the poor," said James Stacey Taylor, an associate professor of philosophy

whatisthisIdon'teven


It's the reverso-world a lot of Conservatives are living in these day. Any criticism of their politics (or economic policy or, well, anything), gets bounced back onto whatever they see as their opponents (Democrats or liberals, for example). I call it the "rubber-and-glue strategy."
 
2012-11-11 09:17:59 PM  

titwrench: As someone that used to do service plumbing I know that if I installed a part and the customer couldn't pay it was illegal for me to remove it.


Right. Same as shutting off heat and water to a non-paying renter. You gotta go to court for relief.
 
2012-11-11 09:18:39 PM  
Plus, during a large scale emergency you're looking at a ton of OT for the workers. As others have said, he agreed to the bill then decided afterwards to try and weasle out of some of it. Not often a company charging people more in a disaster area seems to be in the right, but this appears to be one of those times.

/Removing the part though? Not so much
 
2012-11-11 09:18:45 PM  

orclover: [happilyamerican.com image 500x331]
You have to remember to negotiate. Especially if its a emergency and your families life is on the line, not just comfort. If your life truly hangs in the balance and its not just a matter of irritation, then you can always find a way to negotiate the price and find something the person with what you need really holds valuable.


I agree!

gunpundit.comView Full Size
 
2012-11-11 09:20:50 PM  

ZzeusS: enry: ZzeusS: I read the article, and most of the comments on their forums. Sounds like the client was a dirtbag.

We have a service business. I've learned to verbally give rates over the phone and get their OK, before we roll a truck. If the new client seems hesitant but moves ahead, we take a rate sheet, which has their address and a spot to sign. If they don't sign; we walk. It's worth losing the time to/from then to get caught up in BS later on down the road.

Sounds like this guy tried to weasel out of his bill - again.

Maybe they should have declined to service the generator rather than try to gouge them.


Why? The client gave the OK to the work and decided to not pay, after. I'm not in the habit of declining paying jobs, either. Now, in this case, with a client that apparently was slow pay no pay, in an emergency situation, I would have asked for cash, or cash up front. Or Credit Card. No gouging, of course, but skin in the game.


Yeah, but they were already a problem customer. If I had two customers in front of me needing service and I knew one would pay the bill I gave him and the other might take a while, the only reason I'd take the one that paid later would be if it was worth it.

Given the comments on the site, they couldn't have been hurting for customers, so it's not like they were sitting around with nothing to do. So at some point a decision like this had to be made.
 
2012-11-11 09:21:53 PM  

JPSimonetti: I don't understand why they're treating electricity like water, food, or shelter.


Well, electricity may well impact your water and shelter, so while I wouldn't call it essential it can certainly make a big difference in some cases.

If you're on well water and can't run your pump, you no longer have water outside of bottled water. Some friends are still dealing with that. We have city, so thankfully that wasn't an issue. All our water was cold (electric hot water heater), but at least we had running water.

In our case, the lack of electricity meant we had no heat, which meant for bitter nights, especially when the snow came. You can always pile on more blankets, but we had an elderly family member with us who had to flee her house (it was destroyed), so that cold was a concern.

You can certainly make do without it -- we did our nearly two weeks and made do -- but if you have the means to give yourself a supply I don't see why you wouldn't do it.
 
2012-11-11 09:24:20 PM  

Vangor: Of course it is contrary to supply and demand. Emergency situations are recognized as reducing supply and substantially increasing demand while placing consumers in a position where health is threatened and therefore money becomes less important. Price gouging laws recognize and seek to prevent this.


JosephFinn: Which, of course, ignores basic human decency of not raising your prices just because there's a disaster on and gouging people.



THIS.

That "emergency surcharge" is why good states like New Jersey have the anti-gouging laws on their books.


Gyrfalcon: If you've got a part or service that you're pretty sure a) everyone desperately needs and b) will never ever need again once the crisis passes, then by all means, charge whatever you can get for it. You're going to need the money, because once the crisis is over, everyone will remember how you acted, and they're not going to use your business or service ever again.


Didn't work so well for the guy that tried it in Georgia. He ended up taking a huge net loss for his principled stand for the market. If the anti-gouging laws existed there, he would still be in business. 

/serious or not, gouging during a disaster is wrong.
 
2012-11-11 09:26:56 PM  
democraticags.orgView Full Size


This is Roy Cooper. He is attorney general of NC. He, like his predecessors, has a lot of experience preventing this kind of thing. Roy loves putting gougers in jail.
 
2012-11-11 09:27:48 PM  
I'm fairly certain that if Pink Floyd pulled into town the price of acid will increase.
 
2012-11-11 09:29:12 PM  
On the one hand, I like free things. On the other hand, I knew there would be money or a strong angry man involved.
 
2012-11-11 09:31:18 PM  
Taking advantage of people against their will for personal gain is my definition of evil.

Nothing in the article suggests the repair company had any problems answering the increased demand, apart fromalleged "dangerous road conditions." Nothing suggests they had trouble meeting demand. Most businesses would be thrilled to be kept so busy. Where I live, auto body comapnies live for the winter, when demand goes through the roof. They don't suddenly charge "winter rates" just because more people have wrecks. They work longer hours, hire more employees, and cash in on increased business. There is increased demand, but that doesn't mean they have to gouge.

FTA: " "Our technicians understandably did not want to work with the dangerous road conditions. We offered them double time," Leckie said. "On Wednesday, we made a business decision to absorb all overtime, double time and travel time without passing it on to our customers." "

What they did pass onto their customers was an opportunistic, artificially inflated rate because they figured they could get away with it because people were desperate.

FTA: "Former Consumer Affairs chief Levin said he found it interesting that the company only charged the emergency prices on Tuesday, while conditions and power outages remained a big problem throughout the week."

Before the part was even installed... FTA: "They were given a bill for more than $500, which reflected what the tech called "emergency pricing": $150 for the service call, plus $320 for labor, which accounted for a two-hour minimum."

[...]

"Three days later, two technicians installed the part, and the fix worked. The family was given a second bill: $160 for labor and $78 for the part."

Great. More than $700 for a $78 part, and undoubetedly far less labor and time than they billed for. In violation of state law. During a disaster. Nothing evil about that.
 
2012-11-11 09:32:13 PM  

JPSimonetti: I don't understand why they're treating electricity like water, food, or shelter. I bet there's at least 25 homes within a square mile of them without electricity. This was a generator. A luxury item. It's like comparing sleeping on the floor to sleeping on a mattress. Most people don't have generators. I don't know anyone in this neighborhood who has one. You can't say that taking away the mattress is basically sending them back to the stone age. Same goes for electricity. All their neighbors probably think they're a bunch of assholes for crying about having to eat off glassware instead of fine china while they eat off paper plates. It's just electricity, people. My power's been knocked out for 3 weeks. It sucks. Every try keeping a 7 year old non-verbal autistic kid happy for 3 weeks without electronics? Not cool, man. But, it's still not a necessity. If you're not a moron, it really is just a luxury that's pretty easy to live without for a bit. Just takes some creativity.


Electricity is not a "luxury" in any developed country. The fact that lots of other people in the neighborhood don't have it is irrelevant, there was a hurricane. There's a reason they call it a state of emergency, not a state of normalcy.
 
2012-11-11 09:33:06 PM  

demaL-demaL-yeH: Lady Indica: EnderWiggnz: i think the problem here is the "emergency pricing" surchage, and i hope that any icehole that price gouges is shown that its illegal. by the courts.

Except it was their regular emergency rates, the same shiat anyone pays if they want someone in the middle of the night, instead of waiting. They didn't gouge. And I felt the article explained their side very convincingly.

The ones that do however? I'm in full agreement with you.

Three days later?
The customer accepted the bill under protest, and the company hit them with yet another bill for the service they'd billed before and failed to complete. Then they yanked the part out of a working generator? That's a suing. With damages.


One of us is misreading the article, I think.

They came out in the night, in dangerous conditions, at rates LISTED BY THEM AT THEIR BIZ AND ON THEIR SITE. These rates have been in effect for years. The clients were informed of the rates BEFORE they came out (per the biz, client claims no...but really...they're going to go out at night in the storm, in dangerous farking weather without knowing the homeowner is even there or will accept the work? Give me a farking break. I don't buy it personally, I believe the biz here). They accepted the bill 'under protest' and agreed to have the work done.

They didn't refuse the work, accepting the emergency bill for diagnostic in the middle of a farking storm at night, and refusing repairs. They didn't refuse to have the part ordered.

They simply refused to pay. And the biz owner, who wasn't gouging by definition, and wasn't gouging in any sense IMHO, removed the part the owners refused to pay for and they had just installed.

NOW, that might be illegal. I don't know. But that doesn't even seem unreasonable to me. They've had problems with these asshats before with their bills. They're refusing to pay. It's an utter pain in the ass for any biz to take this shiat to small claims court, which is where they end up. They lose even more time and money. So I sympathize with the biz saying it's just easier to say 'fine fark it' and take back their part.

That may not be allowed though, but honestly it doesn't even seem unreasonable to me, if they're only removing the part they provided and wasn't paid for. But doesn't matter if I think that's reasonable if it's illegal. That could have been avoided if they'd showed up and demanded the money BEFORE installing the part based on this guy's asshattery. But that might not be legal either, I don't know.

My entire sympathy in this case is surprisingly with the biz. Seems like the customers in this case were not just in the wrong, but really suck.
 
2012-11-11 09:34:19 PM  

shoegaze99: They did not owe us that, even if they did screw up their reservation list.


Anyone can take a reservation. I can take reservations all day. It's keeping the reservation that counts.
 
2012-11-11 09:37:26 PM  

itsfullofstars: This is Roy Cooper. He is attorney general of NC. He, like his predecessors, has a lot of experience preventing this kind of thing. Roy loves putting gougers in jail.


Any proof of that state's strong anti-gouging laws being used?
 
2012-11-11 09:37:36 PM  
Its funny that all of the Union supporters who want high paying middle class jobs get really, really angry when they are faced with high prices for emergency work done on their generator.

Also, if this was company policy from BEFORE the storm, it kinda hurts the whole "price-gouging" nonsense.
 
2012-11-11 09:45:19 PM  

Cobataiwan: Its funny that all of the Union supporters who want high paying middle class jobs get really, really angry when they are faced with high prices for emergency work done on their generator.


Gouging is gouging, doesn't matter who is doing it.
 
2012-11-11 09:46:52 PM  
It's the time of year for my favorite Craigslist rant! You can buy a turkey fryer or you can suck my dick! (NSFW). Not completely applicable here, but close.
 
2012-11-11 09:48:57 PM  
Doesn't FEMA reimburse the cost of a generator?
 
2012-11-11 09:50:13 PM  
Missing from this discussion is this, FTA: "Elizabeth Yamashiata left a message at the store at 10 a.m. on Oct. 30, and while she said no one returned the call, a technician arrived two hours later. In 20 minutes the technician determined a new part would have to be ordered.

They were given a bill for more than $500, which reflected what the tech called "emergency pricing": $150 for the service call, plus $320 for labor, which accounted for a two-hour minimum."

1/3 of an hour = 2 hours. Which they didn't have the opportunity to discuss, because the call wasn't returned. How is that not gouging?

And, really? $160 an hour? A lot of doctors don't charge that. Car mechanics don't charge that. Most mechanics will diagnose a problem for free, or a nominal charge, expecting they'll get the business for the repair. Handing someone a bill for more than $500, just for showing up and taking 20 minutes to find the problem is outrageous. To slap another $138 on top of that for the actual part and labor is beyond the pale. Where I live, any business that operated like that would last exactly as long as it took for word to get out about them.
 
2012-11-11 09:51:42 PM  

JosephFinn: chrylis: ultraholland: "If you allow so-called price gouging, then you're actually working in favor of the poor," said James Stacey Taylor, an associate professor of philosophy

whatisthisIdon'teven

Short answer: The law of supply and demand doesn't get suspended when a product is hard to find, and artificially keeping prices low removes a major incentive for people outside a disaster area to go to extra trouble to bring in supplies--thus gas and similar shortages.

Which, of course, ignores basic human decency of not raising your prices just because there's a disaster on and gouging people.


What makes you think that was happening? What exactly are you imagining here? It's not like there's a warehouse of robotic repairmen, owned by an evil mustachioed millionaire, who get activated when thousands of people try to start up their generators for the first time in months or years and discover that they won't work. Prices signal scarcity. The number of generator repairmen is what the market will support in an ordinary, non-emergency situation. Because of the storm, these guys have undoubtedly been working very long hours in unpleasant conditions to get people's stuff working. I think it's only "fair" that they get to "gouge" a little bit for their trouble. And when the dumbass state government enacts anti-gouging laws because people like you who apparently understand nothing about economics demand them, it guarantees that the number of repairmen in the area isn't going to increase to alleviate the temporary shortage.
 
2012-11-11 09:52:49 PM  

AssAsInAssassin: Most businesses would be thrilled to be kept so busy. Where I live, auto body comapnies live for the winter, when demand goes through the roof. They don't suddenly charge "winter rates" just because more people have wrecks. They work longer hours, hire more employees, and cash in on increased business. There is increased demand, but that doesn't mean they have to gouge.


Except that in cases like this, they don't have the ability to hire more employees, nor would they want to given that the relatively brief amount of time when their service is going to peak. Instead, the ask their employees to work longer hours which, of course, requires pay them overtime. Add on to that the hazardous conditions and the business has decided that their emergency rates will be double the normal rates. That's not gouging, especially when the rates were established well before the storm. I'm sure the business was happy for the increased demand, but not if that demand means taking a loss on their labor costs.

FTA: " "Our technicians understandably did not want to work with the dangerous road conditions. We offered them double time," Leckie said. "On Wednesday, we made a business decision to absorb all overtime, double time and travel time without passing it on to our customers." "

What they did pass onto their customers was an opportunistic, artificially inflated rate because they figured they could get away with it because people were desperate.


Did you even read what you pasted? They had to pay their workers extra in order to get them to work in the dangerous conditions. They passed that cost along to the customer because otherwise they would lose money, which means they wouldn't offer any emergency services and nobody would get help.

FTA: "Former Consumer Affairs chief Levin said he found it interesting that the company only charged the emergency prices on Tuesday, while conditions and power outages remained a big problem throughout the week."

Before the part was even installed... FTA: "They were given a bill for more than $500, which reflected what the tech called "emergency pricing": $150 for the service call, plus $320 for labor, which accounted for a two-hour minimum."

[...]

"Three days later, two technicians installed the part, and the fix worked. The family was given a second bill: $160 for labor and $78 for the part."

Great. More than $700 for a $78 part, and undoubetedly far less labor and time than they billed for. In violation of state law. During a disaster. Nothing evil about that.


I can't speak to the actual labor or to the laws, but none of this sounds odd. Their policy is that they have a two-hour labor minimum. This policy is known well in advance and is not unreasonable for this type of service. Their labor rate is $80/hour, which is pretty standard and they double that for emergency calls. According to New Jersey law, it's only gouging if you raise the price higher than what you charged before the emergency was declared. This business didn't do that, hence, they didn't gouge.
 
2012-11-11 09:53:43 PM  

AssAsInAssassin: Most businesses would be thrilled to be kept so busy.


We had a guy come in to install new insulation after the flooding. He had given me the best quote of all the people I called, and my conversation with him was good -- plus all estimates in writing up front, etc etc etc -- so I recommended him to my neighbors who needed the same work done. He got several calls from my block. As a way of saying thanks to me for referring people to him, he knocked another 10% off the price, which was already a few hundred lower than everyone else.

That's a good guy. He could have charged more considering how many people needed his services. Instead, he went the opposite way. I'll for sure be passing his name around some more.
 
2012-11-11 09:54:04 PM  

JohnCarter: If a generator costs $400 and there is great need for them, if I can only sell them for $440 what is the incentive to make arrangements, extend credit, pay extra trucking etc to bring these into a disaster area.


What.

You're making more money per unit, and you're basically guaranteed to sell every unit you bring in. How is it NOT worth your extra effort to get the extra business?
 
2012-11-11 09:56:05 PM  
They were given a bill for more than $500, which reflected what the tech called "emergency pricing": $150 for the service call, plus $320 for labor, which accounted for a two-hour minimum."
"Three days later, two technicians installed the part, and the fix worked. The family was given a second bill: $160 for labor and $78 for the part."


Why were they charged for a 2 hour minimum for the first service call but not for the second one?

Their normal rate is 80 bucks an hour, the first service call the technician was only there for 20 minutes but they got billed double-time for a 2 hour minimum = $320 for labor, for a 20 minute visit.

The second service call there were 2 technicians and they billed for 1 hour at 80 bucks an hour each = $160.

Why didn't they charge a 2 hour minimum the second time? I suppose because of the hurricane not only did they double their rates but they also instituted a 2 hour minimum. Seems a little over the top to me.
 
2012-11-11 09:56:08 PM  

Lady Indica: They came out in the night, in dangerous conditions,


Are you certain I'm the one with reading comprehension problems?
FTA:
"Elizabeth Yamashiata left a message at the store at 10 a.m. on Oct. 30, and while she said no one returned the call, a technician arrived two hours later.
In 20 minutes the technician determined a new part would have to be ordered."


Noon, and they were billed for two hours for a service that wasn't completed.
FTFA:
"They were given a bill for more than $500, which reflected what the tech called "emergency pricing": $150 for the service call, plus $320 for labor, which accounted for a two-hour minimum."
Also:
Under normal conditions, emergency service rates apply nights and weekends, she said.

So it's Tuesday noon. They accepted the bill, but protested the "emergency pricing."

FTFA:
"My husband notified the technician that it was against the law to profiteer during an emergency and accepted the bill under protest," Elizabeth Yamashiata said.
Three days later, two technicians installed the part, and the fix worked. The family was given a second bill: $160 for labor and $78 for the part.


Billed twice for the same service. I'd be pissed, too. Then the technicians yanked the part out of a working generator.

Lady Indica: at rates LISTED BY THEM AT THEIR BIZ AND ON THEIR SITE.


That must be really easy to read when your electricity is out. Hell, you can't even read it when you have electricity and are accusing me of failure to comprehend TFA.

The Yamashiatas will win. And they'll deserve to win. And the company should go out of business, which it so richly deserves.
 
2012-11-11 09:56:18 PM  

Lady Indica: demaL-demaL-yeH: Lady Indica: EnderWiggnz: i think the problem here is the "emergency pricing" surchage, and i hope that any icehole that price gouges is shown that its illegal. by the courts.

Except it was their regular emergency rates, the same shiat anyone pays if they want someone in the middle of the night, instead of waiting. They didn't gouge. And I felt the article explained their side very convincingly.

The ones that do however? I'm in full agreement with you.

Three days later?
The customer accepted the bill under protest, and the company hit them with yet another bill for the service they'd billed before and failed to complete. Then they yanked the part out of a working generator? That's a suing. With damages.

One of us is misreading the article, I think.

They came out in the night, in dangerous conditions, at rates LISTED BY THEM AT THEIR BIZ AND ON THEIR SITE. These rates have been in effect for years. The clients were informed of the rates BEFORE they came out (per the biz, client claims no...but really...they're going to go out at night in the storm, in dangerous farking weather without knowing the homeowner is even there or will accept the work? Give me a farking break. I don't buy it personally, I believe the biz here). They accepted the bill 'under protest' and agreed to have the work done.

They didn't refuse the work, accepting the emergency bill for diagnostic in the middle of a farking storm at night, and refusing repairs. They didn't refuse to have the part ordered.

They simply refused to pay. And the biz owner, who wasn't gouging by definition, and wasn't gouging in any sense IMHO, removed the part the owners refused to pay for and they had just installed.

NOW, that might be illegal. I don't know. But that doesn't even seem unreasonable to me. They've had problems with these asshats before with their bills. They're refusing to pay. It's an utter pain in the ass for any biz to take this shiat to small claims court, which is where they end up. They lose even more time and money. So I sympathize with the biz saying it's just easier to say 'fine fark it' and take back their part.

That may not be allowed though, but honestly it doesn't even seem unreasonable to me, if they're only removing the part they provided and wasn't paid for. But doesn't matter if I think that's reasonable if it's illegal. That could have been avoided if they'd showed up and demanded the money BEFORE installing the part based on this guy's asshattery. But that might not be legal either, I don't know.

My entire sympathy in this case is surprisingly with the biz. Seems like the customers in this case were not just in the wrong, but really suck.


Yes. Clearly one of us IS misreading the article. They called at 10AM and left a message. At noon with no warning someone showed up and started working. That's not a night rate. Its in broad farking daylight. $500 in labor for 20 minutes work and no repair? No, not gouging at all. *eye roll*
 
2012-11-11 09:57:13 PM  

AssAsInAssassin: Great. More than $700 for a $78 part, and undoubetedly far less labor and time than they billed for. In violation of state law. During a disaster. Nothing evil about that.



Well hell, I guess next time Mr. Yamashiata could just fix the farking thing himself and avoid the evil altogether.
 
2012-11-11 09:57:41 PM  

AssAsInAssassin: Missing from this discussion is this, FTA: "Elizabeth Yamashiata left a message at the store at 10 a.m. on Oct. 30, and while she said no one returned the call, a technician arrived two hours later. In 20 minutes the technician determined a new part would have to be ordered.

They were given a bill for more than $500, which reflected what the tech called "emergency pricing": $150 for the service call, plus $320 for labor, which accounted for a two-hour minimum."

1/3 of an hour = 2 hours. Which they didn't have the opportunity to discuss, because the call wasn't returned. How is that not gouging?

And, really? $160 an hour? A lot of doctors don't charge that. Car mechanics don't charge that. Most mechanics will diagnose a problem for free, or a nominal charge, expecting they'll get the business for the repair. Handing someone a bill for more than $500, just for showing up and taking 20 minutes to find the problem is outrageous. To slap another $138 on top of that for the actual part and labor is beyond the pale. Where I live, any business that operated like that would last exactly as long as it took for word to get out about them.


I don't know where you live but every small business charges an evaluation charge, why in the hell would they tell you what is wrong so you can shop around?
 
2012-11-11 09:57:57 PM  
should have read the manual and ran it on a weekly/monthly basis.

fark em.
 
2012-11-11 09:59:07 PM  

Lady Indica: Except it was their regular emergency rates, the same shiat anyone pays if they want someone in the middle of the night, instead of waiting. They didn't gouge. And I felt the article explained their side very convincingly.


AssAsInAssassin: Missing from this discussion is this, FTA: "Elizabeth Yamashiata left a message at the store at 10 a.m. on Oct. 30, and while she said no one returned the call, a technician arrived two hours later.


Dark of night at noon.
 
2012-11-11 09:59:22 PM  

rugman11: According to New Jersey law, it's only gouging if you raise the price higher than what you charged before the emergency was declared. This business didn't do that, hence, they didn't gouge.


Maybe NJ needs laws against being huge douchebags. Of course, then they'd have to charge everyone...
 
2012-11-11 10:00:50 PM  

Lady Indica: demaL-demaL-yeH: Lady Indica: EnderWiggnz: i think the problem here is the "emergency pricing" surchage, and i hope that any icehole that price gouges is shown that its illegal. by the courts.

Except it was their regular emergency rates, the same shiat anyone pays if they want someone in the middle of the night, instead of waiting. They didn't gouge. And I felt the article explained their side very convincingly.

The ones that do however? I'm in full agreement with you.

Three days later?
The customer accepted the bill under protest, and the company hit them with yet another bill for the service they'd billed before and failed to complete. Then they yanked the part out of a working generator? That's a suing. With damages.

One of us is misreading the article, I think.

They came out in the night, in dangerous conditions, at rates LISTED BY THEM AT THEIR BIZ AND ON THEIR SITE. These rates have been in effect for years. The clients were informed of the rates BEFORE they came out (per the biz, client claims no...but really...they're going to go out at night in the storm, in dangerous farking weather without knowing the homeowner is even there or will accept the work? Give me a farking break. I don't buy it personally, I believe the biz here). They accepted the bill 'under protest' and agreed to have the work done.

They didn't refuse the work, accepting the emergency bill for diagnostic in the middle of a farking storm at night, and refusing repairs. They didn't refuse to have the part ordered.

They simply refused to pay. And the biz owner, who wasn't gouging by definition, and wasn't gouging in any sense IMHO, removed the part the owners refused to pay for and they had just installed.

NOW, that might be illegal. I don't know. But that doesn't even seem unreasonable to me. They've had problems with these asshats before with their bills. They're refusing to pay. It's an utter pain in the ass for any biz to take this shiat to small claims court, which is where they ...


Actually if you read the article, the serviceman apparently came out in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. Not at night.

Apparently the company charges what they call an "emergency rate" for evenings and weekends as part of their normal business practice. Which is fine, because it is really an off hour surcharge that has nothing to do with a state of emergency. If it did it would be illegal. Apparently though they decided to start billing that surcharge during normal hours because of an actual state of emergency, and to me that looks like it would actually be illegal. They were not billing it because they are servicing the generator during their off hours. They were billing it as a way to gouge customers during an actual emergency.

Then they removed the part after it had already been installed, which apparently is absolutely illegal on top of being total dickery.
 
2012-11-11 10:01:24 PM  

denbroc: After Superstorm Ivan in 2004, a local tire company in Pensacola fixed all flats for a week after the storm that were caused by nails, tacks, etc...for free. Even if you bought your tires somewhere else.

They have opened another branch since that time and are going strong at their other stores.


My experience has been that businesses doing this type of thing, going the extra mile and making life better for people in crisis mode, are remembered and thanked.

ElBarto79: JPSimonetti: I don't understand why they're treating electricity like water, food, or shelter. I bet there's at least 25 homes within a square mile of them without electricity. This was a generator. A luxury item. It's like comparing sleeping on the floor to sleeping on a mattress. Most people don't have generators. I don't know anyone in this neighborhood who has one. You can't say that taking away the mattress is basically sending them back to the stone age. Same goes for electricity. All their neighbors probably think they're a bunch of assholes for crying about having to eat off glassware instead of fine china while they eat off paper plates. It's just electricity, people. My power's been knocked out for 3 weeks. It sucks. Every try keeping a 7 year old non-verbal autistic kid happy for 3 weeks without electronics? Not cool, man. But, it's still not a necessity. If you're not a moron, it really is just a luxury that's pretty easy to live without for a bit. Just takes some creativity.

Electricity is not a "luxury" in any developed country. The fact that lots of other people in the neighborhood don't have it is irrelevant, there was a hurricane. There's a reason they call it a state of emergency, not a state of normalcy.


It farking well is a luxury. We don't have to have electricity to eat, sleep, and defecate. We need it for creature comforts and brain deadening. We've lived for millions of years without it. As someone who's been through 2 different Texas hurricanes (Rita and Katrina, living in the deep east texas pineywoods and Houston through both), I went 3+ weeks without electricity the second time, and 2 weeks the first. Life changes, it was stupidly hot and miserable, but I had (gasp) water and food so I lived.

Obvious exception for people who do require refrigeration services, for medication etc. Starbucks is a luxury too, fyi.
 
2012-11-11 10:02:01 PM  
Hey, we all know New Yorkers and people from New Jersey man up and carry the rest of the US, they are strong.
 
2012-11-11 10:05:16 PM  

corpselover: Apparently the company charges what they call an "emergency rate" for evenings and weekends as part of their normal business practice. Which is fine, because it is really an off hour surcharge that has nothing to do with a state of emergency. If it did it would be illegal. Apparently though they decided to start billing that surcharge during normal hours because of an actual state of emergency, and to me that looks like it would actually be illegal. They were not billing it because they are servicing the generator during their off hours. They were billing it as a way to gouge customers during an actual emergency.

Then they removed the part after it had already been installed, which apparently is absolutely illegal on top of being total dickery.


This^
 
2012-11-11 10:05:49 PM  
Remember, this is Jersey.

Quite a few "local" business owners will gleefully screw over the locals as long as they can & then sell the business & retire to Florida.

Some will just dive into bankruptcy & come out with a new name & someone new answering the phone.

Unless it's a seasonal one, then it's screw everyone & then spend the winter in Florida collecting NJ unemployment.

And it also worked for Trump.
 
2012-11-11 10:06:01 PM  

get real: I don't know where you live but every small business charges an evaluation charge, why in the hell would they tell you what is wrong so you can shop around?


Where I live, most small businesses offer free estimates. Even my local mechanic doesn't charge us to hook the car to the computer and give a quick diagnose (though in the case of mechanics, most do). Contractors and repairemen and the like, most do free estimates.
 
2012-11-11 10:06:48 PM  

poot_rootbeer: JohnCarter: If a generator costs $400 and there is great need for them, if I can only sell them for $440 what is the incentive to make arrangements, extend credit, pay extra trucking etc to bring these into a disaster area.

What.

You're making more money per unit, and you're basically guaranteed to sell every unit you bring in. How is it NOT worth your extra effort to get the extra business?


The point is, that at only 10% extra, it's not worth it to rent a truck, purchase gas, take the risk of offering credit (since most people won't have $500 in cash), risking running into trouble with the state for selling merchandise without a business license, and spend a day driving to and selling in the disaster area. Now, let me charge an extra 25% or 50% and it becomes worth it.
 
2012-11-11 10:08:03 PM  

get real: I don't know where you live but every small business charges an evaluation charge, why in the hell would they tell you what is wrong so you can shop around?



Google "free estimate." It's a common practice, used, as I said, to get the business for the actual work. I don't know where you live, but it sounds like a pit full of weasels.
 
2012-11-11 10:13:47 PM  

AssAsInAssassin: get real: I don't know where you live but every small business charges an evaluation charge, why in the hell would they tell you what is wrong so you can shop around?


Google "free estimate." It's a common practice, used, as I said, to get the business for the actual work. I don't know where you live, but it sounds like a pit full of weasels.


It's possible part of their emergency pricing is to charge for an estimate even when they don't normally do so. After all, you don't want to send somebody into the middle of a disaster area only to have the customer decide they don't want to pay for the repair.
 
2012-11-11 10:14:38 PM  
If you're pro-choice and anti-gouging, you're a hypocrite. Anti-gouging laws are another example of trying to legislate morality.

/amidoinitrite?
 
2012-11-11 10:16:30 PM  

the801: When Sandy knocked out power at Michael and Elizabeth Yamashiata's Chester home, the couple needed service to get their generator up and running.

i wonder to what extent the breakdown of modern civilization can be correlated with the misuse of the word 'need'.


WPP
 
2012-11-11 10:17:22 PM  
Gouging laws should all be repealed immediately. Price too high? Don't buy it. Works every time.
 
2012-11-11 10:17:49 PM  

rugman11: AssAsInAssassin: get real: I don't know where you live but every small business charges an evaluation charge, why in the hell would they tell you what is wrong so you can shop around?


Google "free estimate." It's a common practice, used, as I said, to get the business for the actual work. I don't know where you live, but it sounds like a pit full of weasels.

It's possible part of their emergency pricing is to charge for an estimate even when they don't normally do so. After all, you don't want to send somebody into the middle of a disaster area only to have the customer decide they don't want to pay for the repair.



Agreed--that's standard. That business that normally does free estimates--ask them to come out to look at your roof damage at 3am, or to meet you on the side of the highway to eyeball the car problem and give you a free estimate. That's really not how most places work.
 
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