I think the point should he clear. It’s not whether or not you caused damage but rather the fact that you took a risk with the customers property and you decided that risk on your own.
I once hired a house cleaning company to clean my home. The sent a lady out and she was cleaning our master bathroom. My wife has a nice vanity stool that has a suede padded top that I bought her as a Christmas gift. Not it’s not high dollar as I’m not a big dog but to us it’s nice and it was what I could afford and I bought it with my hard earned money and gave it to my wife as a gift.
When I walked by the bedroom I saw her standing on the stool using it as her step stool to clean the lights above the sink. Was she damaging it? No. But it pissed me off. Why? Because it wasn’t hers to choose to use as a common tool for her cleaning purposes. She didn’t ask to use it. She just presumed that she could use it if she felt it was ok.
The use the the stool pissed me off but it wasn’t just the stool itself that pissed me off but the mindset and atittude. If she felt the freedom to use the stool as though it was her own to choose to use it then what else was she doing when I want looking.
You have to understand that it’s not JUST a tile floor. It’s a tile floor that the homeowner dreamed for years of owing and they worked hard and saved to purchase and she felt proud that she could call it her own. She probably had the tile installed herself and spent hours picking out the right one. Do you get the point. To you it’s just tile. To the homeowner it’s their dream. It’s their baby (metaphorically speaking of course), it’s their own and it’s not anyone else’s to take risks with.
When a homeowner see you taking risks with their property it doesn’t matter if your damaging it or not. In their mind they see the risk and it makes them uncomfortable and they don’t like it and they have a right not to like it and it doesn’t matter if you agree or not. It’s jot yours to make that decision with. I can tell you countless stories of weird quirky things that customers protective over when I could see that there was no risk at all. I’ve learned that it’s not the item or property that is important but the principle of respecting the customers right to feel a certain way about it.
I once broke a $2.00 picture frame on a guys desk in a commercial job. As soon as I broke it (complete accident) I knew it I picked it up and looked at the photo and I saw the look on his face. I knew it wasn’t the frame itself but the sentimental value attached to the picture that was irreplaceable.
You might think I’m just being a dick but I’m not. When I read the nonchalant comments saying “oh big deal! That’s just a dribble” I cringe. For me any water that gets inside is a big deal. It’s not the amount of water but the instant thoughts that go through the customers mind when they see any amount of water coming into their home. Is it going to happen? Yes. But it’s also the attitude in which you address the issue that matters most (given that their is no real damage). In the mind of the customer it should ALWAYS be a big deal because it’s not your property. It’s theirs and it generally has sentimental value.
If their is potential for water penetration you always make the customer aware of the potential and your plan of action to address it. Anything short of that tells the customer you have decided for yourself what the value of their property is band it screams a lack of respect to the homeowner. Like it or not that’s what the customer sees. Are their exceptions yes but that’s not for you to decide if it should be an exception.
Sorry for the rant. I just thought it was important to clarify where I am coming from.