Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.Ephesians 4:29
Thursday was an interesting day with the children. Of course, they all are! I’ll include some photos at the end, but I particularly wanted to share the story of our main waterline break, because I believe it has an important point for all of us.
Three months of extra high water bills (the third being triple normal usage) got my attention, and then constant water on the front sidewalk confirmed we had an issue. So I called a plumber and several hours of digging revealed saturated soil and water coming from our main supply beneath a massive tree.
The line was irreparable so so we had him complete a temporary bypass pending a complete fix. The quote was $6,500. Panic.
I had another plumber take a look and his quote was a similar number.
So I called the city. “Looks like you’ve been paying for one of those ‘HomeServe’ water line replacement agreements,” they said. “Wait a moment and I’ll connect you.”
Turns out we did. Oh joy! A few days later their plumbing contractor came out and took a long look. “That’s right,” he said, “the entire line needs replacing.”
However, when HomeServe called me about scheduling the work they explained that the service agreement was nullified the moment I had another contractor perform any work.
So I appealed. My appeal was rejected. I appealed again. Same.
“I need to talk with someone with the authority to override the ‘letter of the law,'” I said. “No disrespect to you, but let’s move it up a level.”
Here’s the point of this post; this is important. First, the supervisor pointed out the fact that the service contract was null and void because I had another plumber begin the work. Then this is what I said:
- “I understand. I know I don’t have a leg to stand on legally. However, I do believe there is a moral contract in play too.”
- “Our goal is always customer satisfaction,” she said.
- “Thank you,” I replied. “And to that point I believe it is in the best interests of your company, and its relationship to clients such as the town of Wake Forest, that we come to a mutually agreeable solution.”
- “I agree,” she said. “But the contract is clear.”
- “I completely understand,” I continued. “I know you get a lot of difficult customers, and I want to assure you that I will never be rude, or belligerent. However, I will be persistent – because I believe your responsibility here is clear. I think that if you talk with your plumber on site he will agree that we had no choice but to go with the temporary fix when we did.”
- So she agreed to call and talk with the plumbing contractor.
The next day I got a call from HomeServe. “The plumber explained things to me,” she said. “I’m pleased to let you know that we are prepared to take responsibility for the line and complete the work.”
Courtesy, kindness, respect.
I know this is a long post. But this is a critical point if we are to get beyond this acrimonious place we have landed in as a society. Courtesy. Kindness. Respect.
I can’t say this any better than the apostle Paul in Ephesians: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Building others up. Listening. Understanding. Peaceable communication.
It’s just the right thing. Sometimes it can save you more than six thousand dollars! – DEREK
Now some other pics too: