Thank you for taking my call yesterday. As discussed, I apologize if there has been confusion regarding the booking and billing of your services with us this past season.
I did not feel our conversation on the phone went well, as there are a lot of issues that seem to be needing to be addressed. I wanted to clarify in writing how everything has been handled to this point to provide service as well as follow up to collect payment. Working through this timeline was important so that I could see if there was anywhere in our process where we need to focus more training.
May 2, 2019 - You called into our office and spoke with one of the ladies in our office. You were not a customer in our system, so a customer record was set up for you at that time and a Silver Service Package was set up and scheduled for May 21, 2019. The office would have communicated to you the difference in pricing and details of a service call vs a package and let you choose. At that time, the lady in our office booked you for a Silver Package. You did not pre-pay for the package when you booked it. At this time, you were sent an email from our system that would have included the Invoice for the Silver Package (we normally require pre-payment but often waive this for new customers to build trust), as well as an email confirming the package you were purchasing and outlining that your package included Start up, Winterization, and that additional parts and labour would be charged for any repairs needed.
May 15, 2019 - Our system sent a reminder that we had you booked for start up service for May 21. This reminder again outlines the service we are coming out to complete and that there would be additional charges for parts and labour for any repairs.
May 20, 2019 - Our system sent another reminder that we had you booked for start up service for the following day.
May 21, 2019 - Lucas came out to complete the work for you. He clocked into his work order from 8:45 - 9:09 am to complete the start-up portion of the call. He then clocked into the repair work order from 9:10 - 9:42 am. We use two different service requests so that we can clearly maintain a distinction between the start up and the repairs.
Invoice notes: Replaced 1 12 inch head in front garden. Replaced rotor in front yard and 2 4 inch heads in backyard. Replaced 3 nozzles and straightened 1 head. Zone 4 solenoid requires replacement but customer decided not to replace it.
Internal Notes from Technician to Office: Customer will probably dispute price as more heads needed replacement than he thought. I believe he thinks repairs are included in price of startup which I told him they are not. Solenoid on zone 4 was dead, customer asked me not to replace as he doesn't run that zone.
May 31, 2019 - The invoice for the Silver Package was re-sent by email.
June 3, 2019 - You paid the invoice for the Silver Package on-line by credit card.
July 23, 2019 - You were billed for the parts and additional labour associated with the May service call. The invoice was sent out by email that day.
August 21, 2019 - The invoice was re-sent by email.
September 6, 2019 - An email was sent with your scheduled winterization date. The winterization is included in the Silver Package that you paid for. The email asked for you to either confirm your scheduled date, or gives the option to request an earlier or later date for this service.
September 9, 2019 - Another email was sent requesting confirmation for your scheduled winterization date.
September 14, 2019 - A third email was sent requesting confirmation for your scheduled winterization date.
September 24, 2019 - A letter was printed with your scheduled winterization date and requested that you confirm the date. (It's not clear if the letter was mailed, as the blow out was cancelled later that same day).
** Our many attempts to contact you for winterization may seem excessive. However, this is such an important maintenance service for an irrigation system, we want to be sure that our customers (especially those that have pre-paid for the service) are aware that we are coming to complete the work. Most homeowners are not home when this service is completed and must prepare for our technicians before we arrive by turning off the water. We want to make sure that there is no confusion about the date we will be coming out. It also provides customers with ample time to notify us if they have made other arrangements. Winterization service is only pre-booked for those that have paid for the service, or those that have purchased in previous years and asked to be on a renewal service.
September 24, 2019 - At 5:40 pm You used our on-line system to Cancel your winterization and request your account be inactivated.
November 19, 2019 - Our office began collections on all customer accounts and the invoice was re-sent via email.
November 19, 2019 - You sent us an email response to the invoice you received questioning the invoice and timing. Several emails were passed back and forth that day regarding the invoice. Our office explained the charges on the invoice and answered your questions.
December 9, 2019 - Our office re-sent the invoice again.
January 6, 2019 - Our office re-sent the invoice again.
January 6, 2019 - We received another email from you stating your desire not to pay.
January 6, 2019 - Lisa called you regarding your invoice and your questions. At that time, she noted that you cancelled the winterization that was booked with your Silver Package. She stated she would add the difference of the winterization as a credit on your invoice. There were additional concerns raised on the call:
1. You stated that the technician that came out to your site was a sub-contractor and that this was wrong of us to send him and that he didn't know what he is doing. You indicated that he stated that "Prestige does the billing and that if you had issues you would have to talk to them".
Lucas is a Certified Irrigation Technician with the Irrigation Association. He was employed by our company, and using our tools and equipment to complete his job. The technicians do not do any billing on site as it is complicated with over 100 different parts that are available in their vans and sometimes many line items to be invoiced. The office handles the billing so that it can be double checked by a manager for accuracy and then sent out by email.
2. You raised a concern about receiving the invoice and follow up calls to collect on the invoice so many months after the service.
I apologize that the invoice for the repairs was processed in July when your service was completed in May. At that time of the season, it is very crazy for our entire team. While we make every effort to keep up with the billing of our work, our first focus is on service delivery. We have many customers to see in a short period of time, and a small team to complete the work. Your invoice was missed for billing, which is why it was completed and sent out in July. Again, I am sorry that it took us so long to get the invoice out to you.
Our team is always focused on service delivery. Most of our work is completed from May - October. During those months, we send out the invoice once it is generated and expect that this should be enough for customers to then turn around and make payment. Once the craziness of the season calms down and our office team has a little more time (November), we begin calling customers to remind them of outstanding invoices. Our office hours are shorter and our team are only in for a few days a week during the winter months. Our goal is not to harass people for payment and upset them, but we do want to be paid for the work that we have completed and the parts that have been left behind on the system.
3. You have commented several times regarding the legitimacy of booking customers for a service they did not request and then expecting them to cancel. This is not the case here. I apologize if there was confusion regarding the services you ordered. We have gone out of our way to communicate to our customers in many formats (email, text, phone, mail) to ensure that we give them choice and control for their services, and that we are not completing work that has not been requested. For our team, all we see is that you purchased a package which includes the winterization service. Again, I apologize if there was confusion as to what you had booked, but for us, we were only looking to provide the service that was ordered.
We are a small family run company (10-12 employees during high season). We do our best to treat our Team and our Customers like family. We stand behind our technicians and our office staff always and know that they mess up sometimes and when they do, we are quick to do the right thing. We are not in any way out to take advantage of our customers by over-charging or being devious with our pricing or service model. We have worked hard over many years to make sure we have a qualified team, that we are providing great service, and that we charge fairly. I have looked at every piece of communication (emails, logs, cc transactions) associated with your site to see if there are any red flags. All I can see is that my team has communicated effectively to you.
As discussed on the phone, I have adjusted the outstanding invoice to include a refund for the cancelled winterization. I apologize that this wasn't caught sooner and adjusted for you. I have attached the revised invoice to this email for your convenience.