A Transformative Incident

, , , , , | Right | June 5, 2018

(We’re performing spring maintenance on one of our outdoor lighting systems. This involves cleaning fixtures, changing lamps, and a general tidy-up of the system. One of our new hires accidentally breaks a fixture that we don’t have parts to repair.)

Me: “I’m sorry about the damaged fixture. At the moment, we don’t have the proper parts to repair it. But I can make a note of it on the invoice and we can send someone back as soon as possible to fix it.”

Client: “Oh, that’s no problem. I’ll have my electrician look at it. I guess someone forgot to mention to you that those fixtures aren’t part of your system; you don’t have to worry about servicing them today.”

(We finish up, and as she said, we don’t do the other fixtures. I still make note of the broken one on our paperwork just to have record of it, along with what she said about having her electrician fix it. Fast forward a couple weeks, and I’m working a day with our service tech. He has a work order for the place with the broken fixture, saying the system isn’t working at all now, along with a bunch of accusations about our shoddy work. We arrive and I notice the fixture we broke has been repaired. I take it out of the ground and immediately see the problem.)

Me: “Hey, [Tech], I found the problem. Remember how she said her electrician would fix this? Well, whoever fixed it crossed the wires and shorted the system.”

Tech: *laughing* “Yeah, that’ll do it. Let’s find the transformer so we can reset it.”

(I fixed the wiring and we reset the system. Everything worked perfectly. The tech made a note on the invoice for this visit that it was not our work that was faulty and therefore wasn’t under warranty. She later called to complain that she had to pay and claimed nobody else works on the system besides us, despite the four of us that were there that day stating she told us her electrician would fix it. The office ended up crediting her account just to shut her up. From now on, I plan to get this sort of thing in writing.)

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