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Old 09-07-2019, 07:19 PM
 
16,093 posts, read 13,848,155 times
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I would first contact the service companies and see what mark down they will provide, they usually have some sort of leak adjustment thing they offer. However, this is for leaks, they may not give an adjustment for something like this.

From there, lay out all the pricing, use your usage history, and come up with something like he is responsible for 80% of the extra costs. Provide this to him in a cordial manner, and say you want reimbursement of this expense, and it can be all service, all money, or a combination.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:09 PM
 
852 posts, read 236,059 times
Reputation: 2220
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
If I lived there full time, I would definitely do it myself, as I have in the past. As I explained in my OP, this is not our primary residence. We currently live outside the country; my furniture and worldly possessions live at the house with the pool, which I visit just a few times a year.
Why not shut down the pool completely while you are living mostly away?
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:31 PM
 
5,269 posts, read 2,564,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
Sounds like you understand why I'm feeling so conflicted. As you say, he's young and this expense may be a hardship for him.

Good idea about a timer for the valve. I'll have to search and see if such a thing exists.

For now, I was going to suggest as a "fail safe" that he put his truck keys by the hose spigot, so that he couldn't possibly drive away without thinking about that spigot. However, I suspect he'll never, ever forget again, at anyone's pool, for as long as he lives! (I say that based on the obsessive routine I go through to prevent locking my keys in a car, after doing so 30 years ago causing massive inconvenience. Never again!)
Maybe meet with him, provide documentation of the cost so he is aware of it, forgive the mistake, and tell him the story of paying it forward.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
6,191 posts, read 3,451,189 times
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I would wait until you know the entire cost and I would definitely make him be responsible for the entire cost, but if you would like to cut him some slack as well as show him that you don’t intend to fire him, you could spread it out over many months maybe ask him to deduct $50 or $100 off of your monthly bill until it’s paid. That way he’s not eating it all out of pocket at one time and he’s also still getting some cash flow from your business while he’s paying it off.

If you want to help him out that would be a nice way to do it, imho.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,772 posts, read 49,532,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
I would wait until you know the entire cost and I would definitely make him be responsible for the entire cost, but if you would like to cut him some slack as well as show him that you don’t intend to fire him, you could spread it out over many months maybe ask him to deduct $50 or $100 off of your monthly bill until it’s paid. That way he’s not eating it all out of pocket at one time and he’s also still getting some cash flow from your business while he’s paying it off.

If you want to help him out that would be a nice way to do it, imho.


Not that I don't disagree with your proposal, but as previously mentioned- business is business! If he's a legitimate "business" he should have general liability insurance. This would be a perfect scenario where a claim could be made against his policy.

If he doesn't have GL- well, the OP hired the wrong person. Hopefully it's a lesson learned!

Kinda makes you wonder who really made the "expensive mistake"...
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
6 posts, read 913 times
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I sympathize but feel that you need to hire a professional estate management corporation if you want financial compensation for mistakes made by household staff in your absence. Employers can't legally or morally request financial compensation when employees make a costly mistake. It doesn't matter if the employee is rich or poor, or if the loss is thousands or millions. It's the kid's fault he left the water running and it'd be reasonable to fire him, but it's your fault that you leave the property unattended for so many days.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:54 PM
 
Location: California
1,681 posts, read 484,445 times
Reputation: 3051
He likely doesn’t have any insurance or he would’ve offered it already. The suggestion of monthly credits to your future bills seems reasonable, but it should be the 100 per month as even then it’ll take almost a year for him to pay this off. Sounds like in your area a good pool guy is hard to find, so yes as you mentioned that’s a consideration, especially since you live out of the country.
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Old Yesterday, 03:56 AM
 
955 posts, read 643,646 times
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I would let it go, its a mistake he will never forget. I would split it up taking 100 a month for a year , as someone else said he still makes some money at the same time so it keeps him wanting to keep coming back. When your working for free (even if it is to pay a bill off) you lose your spirit of doing a great job! Just my opinion. I would buy an outdoor camera you can monitor the spigot. That way if you see it isn't turned off you can call Brian.
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Old Yesterday, 05:29 AM
 
1,909 posts, read 658,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
The young man (Brian) who takes care of our swimming pool once a week was adding water to our pool with the garden hose, and he forgot to turn it off when he left. I arrived at this home 5 days later, saw the water running, and knew we would have a very expensive bill.

When the water bill came, it was for 48,000 gallons (we normally use 1000 gallons or less because this is not our primary residence), at a cost of $418, which I let Brian know. He offered to give me one month of free pool service, but that is only $200. I told him I would see if the water company would give me a price adjustment (they did, down to $225).

Then a couple weeks later I remembered that our billing for water and sewer had recently been changed, and is now administered by two different companies. Our sewer bill arrived, and it was for $550! So I called Brian back, and told him about the additional $550 but that I would apply for a "pool fill credit." (still waiting to hear back about that). Brian just said something vague like "Well, hopefully we can work something out." He has never offered to cover the bills whatever they are.

THEN I realized that the day the water meter was read was on the third day out of the five that my garden hose was running non-stop. This means my NEXT month's water bill and sewer bill will also be extremely high. (And the price adjustment thing can only be requested once per year, so they will be due in full.)

I hate that the expenses I'm reporting to Brian just keep growing and growing. He's a very nice and polite kid (probably 20-something) who is trying to get this new pool business going, and I'm going to have probably over $1000 of bills, because he forgot to turn off our water. I'm bothered by the fact that he hasn't offered to pay whatever the water and sewer bills are for the two months. But I am currently living out of the country, good pool guys are hard to find (he's good other than this one lapse), and I probably need him more than he needs my business.

Should we insist he pay the total bills (minus a small portion for our household water use the few days we were there)? Or perhaps split it 50-50 as a gesture of goodwill since we do want to keep him as our pool guy? Why am I feeling guilty for expecting him to pay? (Ah, I know the answer: because we are older and financially secure, and the thousand bucks will hurt him a lot more than it would hurt us. Should that be relevant?)
Wondering if you called the sewer department to explain that the excessive water usage was a result of filling a pool?

Sewage costs are based on water usage that get piped away in the sanitary sewer system and treated in a waste water plant treatment plant. If you explain that the excessive water was used to fill a pool, they might reduce the sewage invoice significantly.
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Old Yesterday, 06:05 AM
 
1,088 posts, read 512,333 times
Reputation: 4216
I know, I know. Business is business and money is money. But you've been given an opportunity here to do something for this ambitious young man that he will never forget. You will never forget it either. And you both will look back on this forever as a moment in your life when you took the highest road you could take.


Make believe he is your son and let it go. As someone else posted, pay it forward. It's not easy out there these days. You will be a hero to Brian forever. IMO, that is priceless.


(I just finished reading "The Cellist of Sarajevo" by Steven Galloway. One of the themes of this based-upon-fact novel is human kindnesses extended towards others during the siege of Sarajevo where the consequences were much greater, yet these kindnesses were extended daily. It's what kept those suffering under the siege feeling that they were still human. This may seem to be OT, but I think it addresses why you're feeling a bit of guilt.)

Last edited by LilyMae521; Yesterday at 06:13 AM..
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