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How to politely say.... and whether or not to charge.

2277 Views 20 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  seelite
I had an odd ball today.
Government funded non-profit org reached out to me to do an "inspection" of a home that had been "flood damaged". I told them my rate would be the same as for troubleshooting, and they agreed to it.

Went to check out the house today, and it's a 25+ year old mobile with an 80 y/o lady with dementia living in it. Her answers to what happened are less than reliable, but the long and short is that the roof leaks and someone cut off her power because its unsafe.

I spent about 15 minutes looking at the outlets on the wall with the leak, and besides being gross as hell, they obviously all should be replaced. They're the "quick install RV" style outlets. The walls and floor are very soft, I almost stepped through the floor twice.

I have no intention of taking the work. I know a can of worms when I see one. What is a polite way to say that I'm not interested in the work, and should I still charge for the "inspection".
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I was glad to see a preponderance of answers to the effect 'if it's not safe - run, don't walk". In my area of rural NY State so called electricians are greedy to take on any, even unsafe work. Prior to retirement I had a rep for turning down unsafe jobs & got ribbed a lot. BUT - - - I turned 85 yesterday and while not rich, I ain't broke either. Best news is I'm still alive. While I would have walked away feeling bad (sad?) for the old lady, I would have sent an invoice along with a brief description in laymans terms of the non-electrical condition. Fortunately NY State now requires ALL work in Mobile homes to be done by specially licensed contractors who have to attend yearly training. Not just electricians but all trades repairing, installing, whatever, mobile homes. Not saying that New York is perfect (or even ideal) but the government here cares about occupants safety followed closely by safety to tradespeople. Stay well gang and keep turning out quality.
 
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