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Discuss Easy money.....but I just couldn't take it! in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

kingeri

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Got a call late last night, old lady saying her lights had stopped working. Whilst on the phone, I asked her to check her breakers and she said they are all on. It was 11.30pm and I was contemplating passing out, but I just felt sorry for her so decided to go round (was only 15mins away). When I arrived I found her on the floor unable to get up. She had fallen and broken her hip. Called ambulance and her daughter, got her off to hospital. Her son-in-law stayed with me while I had a quick look at her lights. The breaker was off, seems that it was only a bulb that had blown and tripped it out. Replaced bulb and went home.

Anyway, gets home today and there's an envelope on my doormat. Cheque for £100 and a thank you card.

Been looking at the cheque all evening, could really do with the money, but I don't feel right taking it. What do you guys think??
 
Take it, there obviously thankfull and want to pay you. You need the money, and its your job.


Could lead to the aqward "No I cant take it" "Please take it, where thankfull" "No I cant it, its ok honestly" "Please we want you to take it" and on and on lol
 
S

SKY

Hard one! - I would take it and get a get well soon card and flowers for the lady.
 

telectrix

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hm, awkward. perhaps accept the cheque, send a note round with a sort of credit note, saying ther next call out (up to a sensible hour or so on site) is on the house.
 

kingeri

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  • #5
I don't mind getting paid for the work I did - but I wouldn't charge £100 for changing a light bulb. It's more the thought that they are trying to reward me for my actions towards the lady, something I would hope any of us would have done without expecting payment!
 

telectrix

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if you take things to a logical conclusion. those ambulencemen were paid for turning out. maybe indirectly, but paid all the same . what's different about you?
 

kingeri

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if you take things to a logical conclusion. those ambulencemen were paid for turning out. maybe indirectly, but paid all the same . what's different about you?
True. I like your idea about the credit note. And SKY's idea about the card. Might pop up and see her with both when she's home again. For now, that £100 will see me through til pay day!
 
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nickblake

Im at the mo standing up applauding yo my friend , instinct ,dont you just know when you need to go and you doing so could well have saved her life , im a bit of a softy in situations like this ,what i would do is get her a get well card and send the cheque back i know it may hurt but the amount of work you will get from it will be worth it and the best advertising is word and mouth , I have an elderly lady who had lost her electricity shot over there found a supply fault so contacted the DNO said it was an elderly lady and they were there like a shot didnt charge her for the call out ,didnt have the heart but 3 jobs from her friends and family well covered the call out
 

ruston

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As nick say's you may have saved her from serious complications and her family are obviously so grateful and may be offended if you do'nt take payment.
Go with the previous suggestions and maybe a donation to a charity if you feel compromised.
 
S

Swicade

Get wll card,flowers,credit note (or something like that) and cash the cheque.

Sending the cheque back could possibly offend the customer and likely make them feel uncomfortable about contacting you for future work.....but do as many have suggested (card/flowers/etc) and you can always gradualy knock off the £100 gained overtime to ease your guilt trip.
 
O

oldtimer

Take the money or repay 25% because the bit your missing is the mentality of the old dear ie in the hospital and telling her son mind pay that nice electrician who came out last night plus hand it back and she will think you have taken pity on her and the last thing she will want is your charity so give her £25 back saying you overpaid me thats the compromise for both sides.Trust me been there
 
You didn't ask for the money, so you aren't ripping anybody off. The family obviously value the fact that apart from everything else that happened, you were willing to help an old lady late at night who was in distress.
Take the £100, as I think you earned it, and obviously so do they. To refuse would be insulting what they think of your kindness and professionalism.
 
S

Snapester

I think guitarist hit it on the head, you went out to the callout unbeknown that the old dear was on the floor and in a situation!
But out of the kindness of your heart you went over to solve the problem and found her, she is indeed lucky! And you then went on to rectify the issue and without asking for any payment or applaud! And then they have sent you this cheque and a card for their gratefulness, i think you should take it and like you say pop up and see her when your she home, maybe upgrade the MCB on the lighting circuit to a type C to stop it tripping when a lamp pops! Check the disconnection times of course! I think she would appreciate that!
 
M

mogga

AS OLDY SAYS 25% ( as returning payment may offend old dear Iv done "homers" for mums friends well in the past ect who have blown a fuse ,tripped am MCB Normaly dont ask for payment but get a note or 2 thrust in my hand Along with a phone call from another for a socket replacement ect ect )return along with card possibly a wee bunch of flowers
You know that recomendations are hard to come by n this lady and family WILL recomend you every time
 
If I told my mum once I've told her a 1000s times when you do the old I fell over trick .........your not suppose to send payment will she never learn ......................

Seriously well done Sky and a credit to yourself and our profession. Often especially in today,s world families are separated and it's nice to know that there are still guys, in all trades who are genuine and caring.

Makes a change to hear about this rather than a Dom littlewood telling all the world about how a bunch of crooks we all are
 
1

1shortcircuit

Congratulations:thumbsup

It's a tricky one regarding the money but these old folk are often disgusted when they offer a reward for services and you do not take it so I guess it would be rude not to.

At the end of the day, you have saved her life through your actions so a reward is most definitely deserved.

I think you've just earned yourself a few customers for life there and the word of mouth should do wonders for you in the future. Not only did you promptly resolve the issue but you saved a life too... Money cannot buy that sort of advertising:thumbsup
 
Cash the cheque then make an appointment to go back around to fit an emergency light for her free of charge so she will have light if a rcd/mcb trips again. For the cost of twenty quid and an hour or so, it will gain you extra brownie points on the word of mouth advertising.
 
Cash the cheque then make an appointment to go back around to fit an emergency light for her free of charge so she will have light if a rcd/mcb trips again. For the cost of twenty quid and an hour or so, it will gain you extra brownie points on the word of mouth advertising.
It's a great idea, but be prepared for her wanting to pay you if you do. She sounds like someone who won't want charity.
 
Ah but if he says "you overpaid me first time so I think this is a great idea for you and we'll be quits after this....."
Then no one is offended
 
T

thekingiam

right so first of all take the monney,then pop around and give her some elecy work for free. next when she is out of the room take all the cash and jewelry you can find.
if she could afford a ton for changing a light bulb she must be loaded.
 
C

chrisgc

Mmm Do'nt think the money was for changing the lamp do you ?
Exactly.

I say take it but buy a thank you card.

At the end of the day she could have been in serious need of help but you went round there even though you was contemplating not to - but you still decided to go around to the ladies house and help her out as you was not to know what you would find when you get there.

You helped someone in need and you cant put a price on that.

The £100 cheque you were given was not for changing a bulb it was for your help and honesty.
 
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nickblake

one thing you could do with the money is stick an emergency light on her staircase just in case it happened again price they are today even with labour you'd still have so left to cover your costs
 
M

MNR

I had the same sort of thing before I was employed by a company doing upgrades in council houses. We got to one at 13:00 and knocked on the door heard shouting from the back went round to see what was going on. Back door was opened wondered in poor old lady laying there helped her up made a cup of tea and called her family.

Ten mins later they are there more than thankful we carried on with our job, then the apprentice comes in with the lady following him trying to give him a £20 note as we where employed we was always told not to accept gifts.

But she would not give up even left it in our tool chest so in the end told the apprentice to go to the shop and get her some flowers a get well soon card and some nice biscuits.

The apprentice comes back gives her the card etc. then on the Monday we get a letter forwarded from the housing association singing our praises and to me and my boss that is worth a lot more than £20.

The other one was an old boy we done some work in his before. Got to the front door it was open as always shouted see if anyone was in, he shouted back come to the toilet and help me I've only gone and fallen off the toilet you could tell he was hurt but laughing his head off we picked him up made him a cup of tea. He don't have much family in the area so I used to pop in when I was round the area con a cheeky cup of tea out of him. Sad really when a man gets to that age and he enjoys it when you come round to chat to a male because his daughter once a week and a female nurse are the only people he sees .
 
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baldelectrician

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Cash the cheque then make an appointment to go back around to fit an emergency light for her free of charge so she will have light if a rcd/mcb trips again. For the cost of twenty quid and an hour or so, it will gain you extra brownie points on the word of mouth advertising.
I was about to suggest exactly the same thing, I would go down the route of you having one in the van and thought it may help out as a foc item
 
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nickblake

Post #22

Great minds and all that nick :)
mine not great just very confused lol , how did i miss that ,tut beat me to it lol , i do get call outs 2 two elderly ladies infact i was at one of them today canging a light fitting , it is so sad to see them some times ,poor thing with her today was she was upset and sat in the corner sobbing her eyes out , whilst i did the job , that was before i gave her the bill , when i left she came up to me still sobbing and asked for a hug , i left the house really upset its heart breaking to see them like that so i went home and contacted her so and asked him just to call her so so sad
 
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Post #22

Great minds and all that nick :)
Don't confuse people on here Guitarist by saying I've got a great mind the same as Nick. I may be in the same league but I'm in the bottom half of the table in comparison. (And that's been honest Nick).
 
A

alarm man

i do quite a few service calls for the older generation,not a better set of people you will meet,most are alone having lost husbands and wives,jobs that take 30 mins turn into 1 to 2 hours just chatting,if anyone gets the chance just sit and talk to them after the job is done,their stories of times gone by are worth it alone,the likes of which we have never seen,it makes their day to sit and chat,whats an hour of your time to a generation whos values we will never see again
 
Don't confuse people on here Guitarist by saying I've got a great mind the same as Nick. I may be in the same league but I'm in the bottom half of the table in comparison. (And that's been honest Nick).
I could have quoted the other one... "fools seldom differ". You choose :)
 
S

SW1970

kingeri, the fact you've even asked this question shows you are a top chap. Good for you. The world needs more people like you. If just one young apprentice sparky reads this thread and understands it you've done a great thing.
 
S

sedgy34

If it were me I would bank the cheque you don't want to insult them by refusing the payment and then send a card and flowers to the old dear in hospital
 
Kudos for a job well done! Beyond the call etc. I hope if my old dutch is ever in the same boat she gets someone like you who'll go the extra yard.

As suggested before, a GWS card and a bunch of flowers - and the em light is something I hadn't thought of but sounds great.

Then, if you're still feeling all guilt ridden, once payday comes and you're flush again, write a cheque for the balance and post it to me, I'll look after it for you...
 
A

alarm man

the older lot can be offended by gifts,why not just call round for a cuppa and a chat'how are you doing' and all that,and id bet my last pound she will still be hobbling around to get the kettle on,with a 'you just sit down son do you want milk and sugar'.... they dont make them like that anymore..thats for sure
 
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sedgy34

Actually bank the cheque if you feel it's not deserved donate to help for heroes it's well deserved there
 
S

sparks1973

Got a call late last night, old lady saying her lights had stopped working. Whilst on the phone, I asked her to check her breakers and she said they are all on. It was 11.30pm and I was contemplating passing out, but I just felt sorry for her so decided to go round (was only 15mins away). When I arrived I found her on the floor unable to get up. She had fallen and broken her hip. Called ambulance and her daughter, got her off to hospital. Her son-in-law stayed with me while I had a quick look at her lights. The breaker was off, seems that it was only a bulb that had blown and tripped it out. Replaced bulb and went home.

Anyway, gets home today and there's an envelope on my doormat. Cheque for £100 and a thank you card.

Been looking at the cheque all evening, could really do with the money, but I don't feel right taking it. What do you guys think??
may be worth asking the old lass if its a regular occurance....the MCB letting go every time a lamp goes....may be worth dropping in a c type.....just be sure to check Zs first though wont you....
 
Here's a silly idea that just might work for everyone:-

Cash the cheque, go to the cash point and take out £100. Go to the ladies house and hand her/the family every single pound she paid you + 100 business cards. Thank them for the payment but under the circumstances you feel that it would be better to give the money back but for them to hand out your cards to their friends so you can get some more new business. I'm sure they will bring you in more work worth a lot more than a tone in your back pocket.


Ok get her some followers and a card, its only right.
 
Thing is though Paul, if she's anything like my mother was she'll take the cards pass them out to all and sundry singing his praises and still beg and plead and arm twist and emotional blackmail till he takes the cash
 
Thing is though Paul, if she's anything like my mother was she'll take the cards pass them out to all and sundry singing his praises and still beg and plead and arm twist and emotional blackmail till he takes the cash
Hence why I said give it back in cash. If she forces it back onto him, he can post it back through the letterbox five minutes later.

Word of mouth backed by 100 business cards within the elderly community after such a nice deed after breaking an hip will go a hell of a long way.
 

kingeri

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I'd like to thank everyone for the responses to this. Some great ideas. I am planning on calling in at the hospital today with a card and flowers. I've paid the cheque into my account. Have arranged with her family to fit an emergency light whilst she's still in hospital so she can't say no, also gonna improve the lighting a bit generally as it's very dingy in places. The MCB doesn't often trip so no need to do anything there. The daughter has already got me a job for a weeks time, CU replacement and partial rewire, so it's all good. :smile5:
 

baldelectrician

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I'd like to thank everyone for the responses to this. Some great ideas. I am planning on calling in at the hospital today with a card and flowers. I've paid the cheque into my account. Have arranged with her family to fit an emergency light whilst she's still in hospital so she can't say no, also gonna improve the lighting a bit generally as it's very dingy in places. The MCB doesn't often trip so no need to do anything there. The daughter has already got me a job for a weeks time, CU replacement and partial rewire, so it's all good. :smile5:
Clients for life.

Well done
 
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