Author Topic: A rusted out LG washer and a ton of Kitty Litter..  (Read 1177 times)

Offline nolazach

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A rusted out LG washer and a ton of Kitty Litter..
« on: June 27, 2012, 10:48:27 PM »
So, I own my own company but recently have been taking 5-6 subcontracting jobs a day.  Mostly warranty work, but one or two direct collect calls through them a week.  So I get a call for an LG washer.  Usually not too hard to diagnose, especially with the manuals from this great website, and knowing how to enter diagnostic mode.  The customer has an oE error code.   
  This is one of those jobs were you just shake your head.  4,500 square foot house on the lake, and the entire thing is full of cat piss.  My eyes were watering the whole time.  In front of the washer was one of those automatic kitty litter boxes, just overfilled with litter.    I moved the box outside, and went to work on opening the dryer front.  Which I was unable to do as the bottom right tab is rust-welded to the front.  I could only bend it down.  I have seen twenty year old units kept outside in a lean to in better shape than this unit.  Had he been MY customer I would have refused the job.  But wanting that 65% of the ridicoulous rate my Contractor charges was too tempting.  I had an LG pump in stock, so I swapped it out.   


   Went through diagnostic with no issues.  But maybe I rushed through because I just wanted to escape that smell.  The lines were full of hair, dog, cat and human.  I even snaked the drain line eight feet.  I leave, as the owner wasn't home I told him just to call the office later and pay by CC.  Well when he calls its to say that the washer is throwing out an oE code again and he isn't paying until the unit is working.  Now it is MY part, and my time, but the companies money.  Of course I want the part fixed, but if it turns out to be another issue then I don't to be held liable. 


    His old pump is no good and I can bench test to show him that. 


     I just wish I didn't take this job.  Sometimes I hate these front loaders and all the electronic issues they have. 


I can honestly say I have no idea what to do next.  Would it be wrong just to swap his old pump in, and tell him we can't fix it?  He has already paid the service fee, but not the repair fee.  I feel at this point its going to be a control issue or a plumbing issue, neither of which he will want to hear.


  Oh well, got to keep the customers happy, even the ones who don't clean up after themselves.


Offline Wedgeman55

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Re: A rusted out LG washer and a ton of Kitty Litter..
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2012, 02:19:59 AM »
     Love those jobs with cats and hair.   One of my regular clients is a horse boarding and equestrian stop.  About once every year,  I have to take the Whirlpool duet washer ,  and take it apart.    Full of horse hair.    I take a garden hose (Washer is near a drain).  and have to flush the tub,   drain line,  and pump.    Smells wonderful.   I always bring my wader boots and get into the job.    Its located in the stables,  and there is a drain close.   
     One other job that comes to mind with your post is a job I had about 5 years ago.   Got a call that a Maytag Washer with Orbital transmission would not work.   Upon arriving at home,   I walked in and right away smelled a heavy amonia smell.   Turns out the lady rescued cats,   and had 35 of them in there.    Guess where all the litter boxes were located.    Yup,  you guessed it...................... in the laundry room.      It was so bad,   I made quick diagnosis of a timer.   Wouldn't advance.      Pulled the front off to check as I always do,   and found the water spotted black ring around inside of cabinet that indicated a stem kit and bearing replacement.         I got a service call,  and advised her to replace the machine as it was badly rusted out at the base.    She wanted to fix it.   After leaving,  called her and told her I couldn't return as I was allergic and the cats were affecting me.    It was a lie.   I just couldn't see spending an hour or more smelling that amonia smell.        I told her to call another company.   How do people live like that.   
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Offline wildimaginations

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Re: A rusted out LG washer and a ton of Kitty Litter..
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 12:20:05 PM »
I had one of those kinds of jobs and simply walked out the door telling the customer to clean up the mess.  Not worth it.
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Offline AJ

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Re: A rusted out LG washer and a ton of Kitty Litter..
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 12:30:14 PM »
I only ever walked out on one job when I was working for the man. Cats and mouse sh!t all over. It was the only call I had in the area that day and must have drove a hour one way to get there. I looked at the dishwasher and then the washing machine. As I was looking at the washer I thought screw this! Picked up my tools walked past the customer without saying a word and drove back to town.

Told my boss the story and the secretary asked what she should say if she calls back. My boss did not say anything and I told the secretary I did not care what she told her, but I was not going back in that house.

I had worked there a long time and I think they both knew that it must have been really bad if I walked out because I had never done anything like that before over the years. Funny thing is the customer never did call back to the shop, lol...

I have a feeling I was not the first service guy to walk out of that house.

It was and still is the only place I have ever walked out of in the 25 years of doing service work.
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Offline dab147315

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Re: A rusted out LG washer and a ton of Kitty Litter..
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 04:37:49 PM »
Been doing this over 30 years.Sometimes you get a gut felling about a job and your gut felling is most of the time right.Sometimes its better to walk.

Offline nolazach

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Re: A rusted out LG washer and a ton of Kitty Litter..
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 09:04:37 PM »
I went back today.  Let me preface by saying I just got out the urgent care center.

  I was repoing out new pump because I found the pump and the board to be bad and he "aint paying for that <stuff>"  So I told him, just to put the washer on the curb and buy a used one from craigslist.

  Also giving him a lesson on LG diagnostics, even gave him the cheat sheet from this forum.  I was already upset because I was missing the draft party at a friends house, and we have the #1 pick today.  I  was putting the rusted out cover back on, when I slipped and gashed my arm on a big chunk of rusted metal.   So I just did an hour and a half of work for free, and got a couple of stitches and a tetanus shot.    Not in the best of moods now.  Just got back in. 
  Then have to go to a hell customer for 7:30 tomorrow.  As soon as the warranty company let her know the part was in, she called my office line eight times in the first hour.  Well my secretary is part time, so we work on voicemail usually.  I usually don't miss calls, but of course she filed a complaint with AHS about me not installing her part the day that I got it. 

    I honestly texted her a pic of my entire inventory and said " I have to install all of this first and then I will get to you"    Its a captive customer anyway, and 9 out of 10 of my customers love me, the ones like her, and cat-pee guy, I just don't care.

    I was going to start a thread about a repaet customer named Mike, who gives me about a job every other month.  I decided to be nice and sell him a control board at cost, well its a rare maytag board, and it may take 14 days to come in.  He has been calling me every day since day four asking about it.  Today I mailed him a refund check, I can't wait for him to see how good of a deal $200 was for that board when the cheapest people have it for $245.  Its  what I get for helping people.  The customers I over charge ( not over, but you know) are the ones who tend to like me the most.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 09:07:03 PM by nolazach »

Offline Wedgeman55

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Re: A rusted out LG washer and a ton of Kitty Litter..
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 06:51:47 PM »
Another job came to mind while reading this.   I have been doing this for (doesn't seem this long) 39 Years.   Started in 1973.  Got a call from a guy maybe 8 years ago,  and said his refrigerator wasn't working.   At the end of the call,  he warned me that he hadn't cleaned his house in 20+ years.    Made me wonder,  but the end of the day I headed over there.    Upon walking in,  I noticed one path through living room.    It was a Hoarder house as in the TV program.   He told me his wife was a clean freak,  and when he got divorced he swore to himself he would never clean his house and he didn't      Had one tiny area cleaned out in living room with a small tv and recliner.   I walked into the kitchen,  and it was a disaster.   Old food all over everywhere,  dishes in sink for god knows how long.   There was no way to pull out the refrigerator.   I heard the hum/click indicating a bad relay,   but I had to get out of there fast.  I told him compressor was shot,   got a service call and got the hell out of there.  The smell was also horrendous.     Aahh............................what we servicemen have to put up with.   
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

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