If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(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 66
    More: Dumbass, authors, waivers, pricing, emergency pricing  
•       •       •

13486 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Nov 2012 at 8:12 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2012-11-11 08:40:28 PM
7 votes:
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.
2012-11-11 08:33:10 PM
6 votes:
Maybe a few days before a hurricane is the time to check whether your generator is working.
2012-11-11 08:24:22 PM
6 votes:
Critics say the rule is unfair to businesses, and it's contrary to market forces and the law of supply and demand.

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.
2012-11-11 08:19:08 PM
6 votes:

RogermcAllen: If you can't pay, I'll bet there is a guy down the road who needs the same part (which is probably is short supply) that can pay. Taking things that you can't afford from other people that need it is called stealing.


And posting stupid stuff just to get responses is called trolling.
2012-11-11 08:33:56 PM
4 votes:
I agree with the law but allowing for a 20% markup would seem to be more in line at least on the labor. these folks are coming out in horrible conditions, don't the police and other union jobs get special pay for these types of emergencies?
2012-11-11 08:22:12 PM
4 votes:
"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
2012-11-11 08:57:05 PM
3 votes:

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.
2012-11-11 08:52:23 PM
3 votes:

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.
2012-11-11 08:28:32 PM
3 votes:
YAY CAPITALISM!
2012-11-11 08:25:27 PM
3 votes:
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.
2012-11-11 08:15:24 PM
3 votes:
If you can't pay, I'll bet there is a guy down the road who needs the same part (which is probably is short supply) that can pay. Taking things that you can't afford from other people that need it is called stealing.
2012-11-11 10:30:20 PM
2 votes:
Anti-Gouging laws are making things worse and extending the pain for people in the region. I had looked into getting a load of generators and taking them to Florida a few year ago and passed because of the price gouging laws. We had all the equipment needed between a few of us, the stores here still had generators on the shelves ready to go. Me and a few friends could have had probably 40 generators in Florida within a day but since we couldn't charge enough, it wasn't worth even taking a day off work to take them. But at least nobody had to overpay for them
2012-11-11 09:32:13 PM
2 votes:

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 09:15:27 PM
2 votes:

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 08:54:39 PM
2 votes:
Shouldn't they be allowed to set a higher price, that way the people and businesses that need immediate electricity be able to jump to the head of the line?

Wouldn't that give incentive to electricians outside of the area to temporarily work in NYC?

Why is the free market evil?
2012-11-11 08:53:09 PM
2 votes:

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.
2012-11-11 08:51:12 PM
2 votes:

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.
2012-11-11 08:47:57 PM
2 votes:
So rare for me to side with biz on issues like this, but after reading the article, the clients here sound like shiatbirds. I'm glad they removed the part. They didn't even charge the 10% over they were allowed with Sandy, just 'emergency' rates, which they clearly have listed AND INFORMED THE CLIENTS OF BEFOREHAND.

Don't think they're gonna get much local sympathy if they sue either. Not when there were farkers charging thousands to remove trees.
2012-11-11 08:47:05 PM
2 votes:
one should expect a different price level for scheduled service as opposed to emergency service.
2012-11-11 08:41:28 PM
2 votes:
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'.
2012-11-11 08:36:11 PM
2 votes:
Once it's installed, the generator company can't remove it. That's what mechanics liens are for. You won't be able to sell your house until you resolve the issue, but it keeps someone from 'stealing' the part back.
2012-11-11 08:30:44 PM
2 votes:

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.


They said exactly that at the bottom of the article. Once it's installed, the company can't just remove it.
2012-11-11 08:27:43 PM
2 votes:
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.
2012-11-11 08:18:38 PM
2 votes:

RogermcAllen: Taking things that you can't afford from other people that need own it is called stealing.


Small change, but it makes all the difference in the world. Need is 100% irrelevant. Ownership is what matters.
2012-11-12 11:50:26 AM
1 votes:

fredklein: Your incentives are:

1) to sell your stock
2) to sell your stock for more them usual (hey, $40 more is $40 more)
3) to gain positive publicity
4) to help out your fellow man

If all that's not enough... stay home at let people suffer. Hopefully, they'll do the same for you someday.


Yep,all retailers should place themselves in a position to barely break even or even take a loss during a disaster. That makes it real worthwhile for them to leave their house, family, whatever and come sell their goods. A 10% markup during a disaster may not even cover the additional costs incurred-everything from extra shrinkage, breakage/vandalism, higher credit card processing fess (voice authorizations typically cost more); additional staff for demand, crowd control; additional staff costs for overtime/hazard pay, not to mention you don't have extra money to afford to pay distant suppliers to take the trouble and come in to resupply you.
2012-11-12 11:44:36 AM
1 votes:

fredklein: Or, you know, take the measly $0.05/gal loss, and make up for it by selling other stuff. Like stuff that is not price-controlled. See a possible hurricane coming? Go to the local big-box store(s) and buy out all their tarps/batteries/gas cans/generators/bulk water/etc/etc/etc. Then, stay open. Sure, you'll lose 5 cents on every gallon of gas, but when you're the only place they can get the above items (at a good markup), you'll make the money back and then some. You'll also get a good reputation- "That gas station is the only one that stayed open! And they had the batteries I needed for my flashlight! Next disaster, I'll let my neighbors know they were open..."


Until you get prosecuted for selling that stuff at a markup too.
2012-11-12 09:44:55 AM
1 votes:

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. Same with gas and other supplies. What is my incentive to risk my trucks and cargo if there is no upside for my business?


Your incentives are:

1) to sell your stock
2) to sell your stock for more them usual (hey, $40 more is $40 more)
3) to gain positive publicity
4) to help out your fellow man

If all that's not enough... stay home at let people suffer. Hopefully, they'll do the same for you someday.
2012-11-12 05:32:14 AM
1 votes:
Suppose you have the opportunity to help people in need during a disaster and are assured a 10% profit margin in doing so. If you are the type who would decline because it's not worth your trouble, people who have enacted anti-gouging laws don't want your type of help.
2012-11-12 03:07:39 AM
1 votes:
Price-gouging is just an overly emotive term for supply and demand.
I have something you want, I should be allowed to charge what I like. As the buyer, you have the right to not buy what I am selling, or buy it then never buy from me again if you chose.
This is not a robbery occuring here - its how we trade our goods and services every day.
2012-11-12 01:27:10 AM
1 votes:

enry: 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.


And that point could (or rather, should) have been when they received the call, before they sent out a repairman. Or at least before they installed the part. All I get from reading the comments on that site is that Innovative Electric is trying as hard as possible to do some damage control. There's a bit too much protestation on their behalf (coupled with denigration of the Yamashiatas) for me to easily believe that the company's practices are on the up and up.
2012-11-12 01:08:57 AM
1 votes:

pedrop357: Great Janitor: The difference between a gas station jacking up prices and that being wrong compared to a person who buys gas then sales it somewhere else at a much higher price. Think of it this way:

John owns a store in a disaster area. Those in the area need generators. John doesn't raise his prices. Then he notices that outside companies are coming in and selling generators at three times his prices, so he jacks up his prices. That's a price gouge by John. Hell, even if there were no outside companies and John said "Supply and Demand" and jacked up his prices, that would be supply and demand.

In this case, only outsiders can be compensated for disaster conditions and charge enough to ensure they'll be able to pay higher supply costs. Existing retailers find themselves competing on heavily distorted playing field.

if John wants to convince a supplier to bring new supplies into his area, he has to pay them more. It's not very economical for him to do that if he can't raise prices to match his new temporary increased overhead costs. In the meantime, he's hamstrung to doing only what he used to do while other are free to come from outside and make more money and bring in supplies that John won't be able to afford at the prices he's allowed to charge.

A man buys gasoline in an area where they are selling gasoline. He buys the containers and uses his time and money to fill those containers up with gas and then transports them (a very dangerous task by the way, just talk to a gas tanker truck driver) back to his home neighborhood, which is in the disaster area, he's entitled to raise the price of that gas to what ever the hell he wants. No one is being forced to buy his gasoline. I mean, he is taking the risk of driving in a vehicle full of gasoline in a hazardous area. One person rear ends him and it could be very very bad. Again, he's not price gouging, he's figuring in what that gas is now worth figuring in what he's paid for it, plus hazard pay and his time f ...


Basically we have the same conceptual problem the Soviets did. Those in charge who make the laws think that they could force and economy to act a certain way according to their political theory just by passing enough laws to hamstring everyone. Reality comes along and acts completely differently.

Lawmakers think "price gouging" is "wrong" and try to force the economy to act in a certain way to curtail it. Free people acting in their own rational self-interest totally sidestep what the lawmakers want and you end up with a bunch of useless laws that actually do more harm than good become the economic planners don't really understand that the dynamic nature of an economy stems from individuals acting for themselves.
2012-11-12 12:32:43 AM
1 votes:

pedrop357: Waldo Pepper: I agree with the law but allowing for a 20% markup would seem to be more in line at least on the labor. these folks are coming out in horrible conditions, don't the police and other union jobs get special pay for these types of emergencies?

Yeah. Appparently overtime and hazard pay during a disaster are not considered price gouging. Nor does the government crack down on individuals "gouging" the way it does companies.

When a gas station owner raises gas prices $0.50/gal, the news media is there and various government officials are there to promise all sorts of penalties and investigations. When a group of people buy as much of that gas as they can and then sell it across the street for $10/gallon, not much happens.


The difference between a gas station jacking up prices and that being wrong compared to a person who buys gas then sales it somewhere else at a much higher price. Think of it this way:

John owns a store in a disaster area. Those in the area need generators. John doesn't raise his prices. Then he notices that outside companies are coming in and selling generators at three times his prices, so he jacks up his prices. That's a price gouge by John. Hell, even if there were no outside companies and John said "Supply and Demand" and jacked up his prices, that would be supply and demand.

A company travels a thousand miles into a disaster area to help out via supplies, skilled labor for repair work, etc. Companies normally aren't funded to be charity services, so they figure that to cover hourly wages, expenses associated with travel, hazards, etc, that they need to raise their prices and then MAYBE break even. That's not price gouging, that's business. Unfortunately, as been stated already, the anti-gouging laws may take effect and tell outside suppliers that they must take a loss if they want to help. Well, if a company is Texas is willing to do the work and has the supplies, it's not going to be worth the loss to do it. So the anti-gouging laws will actually hurt more people because skilled laborers and suppliers will stay away.

A man buys gasoline in an area where they are selling gasoline. He buys the containers and uses his time and money to fill those containers up with gas and then transports them (a very dangerous task by the way, just talk to a gas tanker truck driver) back to his home neighborhood, which is in the disaster area, he's entitled to raise the price of that gas to what ever the hell he wants. No one is being forced to buy his gasoline. I mean, he is taking the risk of driving in a vehicle full of gasoline in a hazardous area. One person rear ends him and it could be very very bad. Again, he's not price gouging, he's figuring in what that gas is now worth figuring in what he's paid for it, plus hazard pay and his time for doing it all. Again, this isn't price gouging.
2012-11-12 12:25:34 AM
1 votes:

PlasticMoby: Just more evidence that capitalism is a disgusting sickness that the world would be better without.


Yeah, I'm sure breadlines and government supply stores supplying one type of coffee, one make of shoes, etc. are far better then capitalism allowing myriads choices of varying quality and/or price.
2012-11-12 12:19:42 AM
1 votes:

JosephFinn: 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

Way ahead of me. Saw that and just....eh....what? What the frak is this guy talking about?


If he was not misquoted, he's a lunatic. Price gouging will never help the poor (by definition). The increased interest in higher profits could only bring the price down to an acceptable market level through competition. But the poor, of course, cannot afford the market level.

But I suspect misquoting. I've been misquoted in the press ...
2012-11-12 12:19:11 AM
1 votes:

SevenizGud: Gouging laws should all be repealed immediately. Price too high? Don't buy it. Works every time.


THIS.

If you don't like the price, just pretend that whatever you're looking for has run out. In disaster or short supply situation and price constraints, it will run out and not be resupplied anytime.
2012-11-12 12:11:40 AM
1 votes:

Waldo Pepper: I agree with the law but allowing for a 20% markup would seem to be more in line at least on the labor. these folks are coming out in horrible conditions, don't the police and other union jobs get special pay for these types of emergencies?


Yeah. Appparently overtime and hazard pay during a disaster are not considered price gouging. Nor does the government crack down on individuals "gouging" the way it does companies.

When a gas station owner raises gas prices $0.50/gal, the news media is there and various government officials are there to promise all sorts of penalties and investigations. When a group of people buy as much of that gas as they can and then sell it across the street for $10/gallon, not much happens.
2012-11-12 12:09:11 AM
1 votes:

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.


Yeah, price gouging laws also make it less worthwhile for people to leave their own families to help others. They encourage or at least fail to curb hoarding and they eliminate most incentives for people to spend extra money over time to ensure that supplies are available during a disaster.

Only someone led entirely by short term feelings and/or without an understanding of basic economics would support "price gouging" laws.
2012-11-11 11:36:11 PM
1 votes:

Rakishi: accelerus: The 10% price gouging rule only makes those with supplies NOT want to move them to where they are needed the most.

You're not getting them where they're needed the most, you're getting them to those who are willing to pay the most. A rich guy being comfortable is not worth more than a poor guy freezing to death. We have all sorts of safety laws and minimum wage laws because as a society we recognize that there is a line.


And the first come, first served rule in place under anti-gouging laws doesn't "[get] them where they're needed the most" either, it gets them to the first person who gets in line (or to whoever is willing to pay under the table to skip the line). Scarce resources can be distributed based on time or price. The former results in shortages and means that people with true needs are unable to get the resource regardless of price. The latter usually results in resources being available to those who need them, even if it's at exorbitant prices.
2012-11-11 11:32:32 PM
1 votes:
Price controls... the wonder of them. First businesses can't raise prices so those who can spend their day in line try to get as much as they can before it's all gone. Now there is a shortage. Because the prices are controlled nobody from the outside bothers bringing stuff in except as charity. There is no motivation for people to displace materials and labor to the region because there's no extra profit. That 10% is more than consumed in the process of sending people and product. Now the politicians can say "the market failed" and tell people how only the government can save them.
2012-11-11 10:45:22 PM
1 votes:
I wonder if you would run afoul of anti-gouging rules if your business were explicitly set up as a type of auction site with reserve pricing. Under normal circumstances, it would act just like "Buy it now!" on Ebay, but when demand goes through the roof, winning bidders would get parts and service first.
2012-11-11 10:36:06 PM
1 votes:

ricbach229: Anti-Gouging laws are making things worse and extending the pain for people in the region. I had looked into getting a load of generators and taking them to Florida a few year ago and passed because of the price gouging laws. We had all the equipment needed between a few of us, the stores here still had generators on the shelves ready to go. Me and a few friends could have had probably 40 generators in Florida within a day but since we couldn't charge enough, it wasn't worth even taking a day off work to take them. But at least nobody had to overpay for them


It's a shame those laws prevented you from your noble, selfless efforts. Better luck next time, o' Knight of Knights.
2012-11-11 10:24:55 PM
1 votes:

kroonermanblack: ElBarto79: 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..


Anyone who requires refrigeration services? You mean like anyone who has perishable food? Gee how many people would be in that boat... We also lived for millions of years without mechanized transportation, telephones and modern medical care. Are these things "luxuries" as well? I suppose at one point we all lived in caves and crude huts and foraged for food so anything beyond that is a "luxury" by your definition.

You sound like Rush Limbaugh criticizing poor people for collecting government benefits when they have the "luxury" of a refrigerator and telephone.
2012-11-11 10:14:38 PM
1 votes:
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 10:00:50 PM
1 votes:

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 09:56:18 PM
1 votes:

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 09:56:08 PM
1 votes:

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 09:53:43 PM
1 votes:

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 09:52:49 PM
1 votes:

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 09:51:42 PM
1 votes:

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 09:50:13 PM
1 votes:
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 09:45:19 PM
1 votes:

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 09:31:18 PM
1 votes:
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 09:26:56 PM
1 votes:
www.democraticags.org

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 09:17:45 PM
1 votes:

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 09:13:39 PM
1 votes:
We lost our cars in Sandy (among other things). Called the day the storm subsided to get a rental, but by then then waiting list was already gigantic. They were bringing in cars from as far away as Indiana to meet demand.

Hey, no sweat. That wasn't surprising. We had our reservation numbers via our auto insurance, and Enterprise said they'd call when we came up on the list. I figured no worries, we'll be patient. A lot of people are in the same boat. Times like that are no time to be an impatient dick.

A week later and a call or two later to check on our status, still no call from them. We get through to them the week after the storm and ask if we've got a car lined up yet. Oops, they said, they accidentally skipped us on the list. Now we're #206 or so on the list since they had to re-add us.

But, they say, "Tell you what, come down now. We have a car that came in this morning you can take." Great!

We get there thinking we have the car, but it turns out the rate is more than our insurance covers because it was a mid-size and we're covered for compacts. It's only $3 a day more, but it's still more and we're buried under cleanup costs, especially since both our jobs were wiped out for at least two weeks each, so at first we balk. They say they have no idea when a car for us will come in that fits what our insurance is covering. Could be a day, could be a week.

So we ask, politely, "We've already been passed over on this waiting list already, our reservation calls for a compact, can you just waive the extra money and call us as soon as a smaller model comes in? We'll come right in and switch them."

No, they said, because they can call anyone on their list right now and they'd be happy to pay the extra to have the car. If we won't pay, someone else will.

Which is true. They were under absolutely no obligation to waive the cost above what our insurance would cover, and I didn't argue or begrudge them that. They did not owe us that, even if they did screw up their reservation list.

Just thought it was kind of shiatty customer service is all.
2012-11-11 09:12:10 PM
1 votes:

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.


ITG or Troll?
2012-11-11 09:03:56 PM
1 votes:
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.
2012-11-11 09:03:39 PM
1 votes:
Why didn't they try it a few days before the storm came?
Mine, tests itself once a week.
2012-11-11 08:59:38 PM
1 votes:
Every year everyone has to run out and buy up all the snow shovels, generators etc. Where in the hell do all those end up that you can't use them the next year? Same with boots, gloves and driveway salt.
In the spring there is not a huge buy out of leaf blowers, shovels and lawn mowers.
We put the generator in working order in the garage when winter is over so we are prepared.
2012-11-11 08:56:13 PM
1 votes:

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.
2012-11-11 08:48:01 PM
1 votes:

Satanic_Hamster: RogermcAllen: If you can't pay, I'll bet there is a guy down the road who needs the same part (which is probably is short supply) that can pay. Taking things that you can't afford from other people that need it is called stealing.

And posting stupid stuff just to get responses is called trolling.


crab66: RogermcAllen: If you can't pay, I'll bet there is a guy down the road who needs the same part (which is probably is short supply) that can pay. Taking things that you can't afford from other people that need it is called stealing.


Wearing your thinking cap tonight I see.

[silverclaygifts.com image 300x200]


I'm not trying to troll, maybe I am just not explaining things well.

Situation 1: A man steals a loaf of bread from a fully stocked bakery to feed his family.
Situation 2: A man steals a bakers last loaf of bread while hungry customers wait in line to purchase that last loaf.

I think most people can agree the first guy is stealing, but it isn't really that bad in the scheme of things.
The second guy is stealing, but on top of that he is a dick for taking something that other law abiding customers need to feed their families.

If the part was in short supply, he is a thief (special order leads me to think it was in short supply, labor was definitely in short supply).
If the part was off the shelf and the repairman could have been helping other customers instead of removing the part, then the repairman is a dick.
2012-11-11 08:42:18 PM
1 votes:
What type of customer doesn't get an idea of pricing beforehand? What shady "professional" doesn't offer one without being asked beforehand?

I am assuming, of course, that the customer was all sorts of surprised to find out the price after the work was done.
2012-11-11 08:36:18 PM
1 votes:

Waldo Pepper: I agree with the law but allowing for a 20% markup would seem to be more in line at least on the labor.


10% is the allowed increase over net cost which I'll venture to say includes hazard, overtime, etc., pay.
2012-11-11 08:32:37 PM
1 votes:
FTFA:
"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 at the College of New Jersey.

Translation: "I am suffering from cranio-rectal impaction, and I'm enjoying it."

/Don't quit your day job, J. Stacey.
//Because people are going to hoard generator parts.
2012-11-11 08:27:15 PM
1 votes:

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


Way ahead of me. Saw that and just....eh....what? What the frak is this guy talking about?
2012-11-11 08:22:27 PM
1 votes:
Depends on the situation.

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.

However, if your business or service is local, or something that people are going to be using regularly after the crisis is over, you probably will want to moderate your prices. People will remember how they've been treated, and you may want the repeat work later on.
 
Displayed 66 of 66 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report