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Jim Katen

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Jim Katen last won the day on August 8

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  1. I don't mind paying well for a good service or product and I'm happy, even eager, to pay even more for services or products that are local to me. Doing so boosts the economy and helps make our little financial world spin. The problem that I have with credit card companies is that they charge what amounts to an exorbitant rate (thank you Jerry) for a service that costs them nearly nothing. Like the lilies of the valley they toil not neither do they spin. Instead of boosting the economy, they're a drag on it, making everything more expensive.
  2. It's just your average crappy dryer duct installation as Jim & Les said. The duct should be as short and straight as possible and air-tight (or nearly so). If lint is getting out, so is water vapor, which will cause condensation problems in the winter - unless you live in Denver or someplace like that. As for the lint, it's not particularly dangerous. It's just really little pieces of your clothing.
  3. In my area, chimneys didn't start to have liners till about the '60s. Most of the houses that I look at are older than that.
  4. *Real* chimneys don't need no stinkin' liners.
  5. How long ago was that? For the past several months, clients are surprised when I tell them that I don't charge a processing fee. It's becoming common enough that people are starting to expect it. I just found out that one of my partners has been adding a surcharge for years. When it came time to pay, he'd tell the customers that he would add a 3% fee to the bill. When they balked, he said, "that's fine, just pay with a check and there's no fee," then he handed them an invoice and a self-addressed stamped envelope. He said that in years past it worked great because basically no one would pay by card, but lately people are fine with it and willing to pay the fee. And she didn't mind? The difference is that you don't use the van only with certain customers who desire it. Would you accommodate customers who ask you to drive a special rented van to their inspection? Raise your prices across the board to cover it? Or would you say, that's fine, but it costs extra for me to show up in the special rented van?
  6. Bob is a good guy and has been a fixture in the home inspector insurance scene forever. His move to InspectorPro is one reason that my company is considering moving to them this year -- if Aaron's quote is good . . .
  7. I just added up my numbers for July. I actively discourage clients from paying by card, but they sometimes insist, so I accommodate them. In July, 9 of them succeeded in getting me to accept their cards. The fees on those 9 transactions added up to $265. It might not seem like much, but it comes straight out of my wallet and I resent giving $265 to the pig/dog credit card company so that my clients can get a small bump in airline miles.
  8. The $19.95 doesn't all go to Pair. When I asked them about it at the conference, they told me that their system automatically adds 4% to every charge. About 3% of that goes to the credit card company and 1% goes to Pair. Several other companies do the same thing. The credit card companies used to prohibit you from doing this, but a Supreme Court ruling several years back determined that they could't stop you from adding an extra charge for taking credit cards. Since then, it's starting to become the norm. I must admit that I don't appreciate paying for my customers' airline miles. With our fees, the average credit card bite is $20-$30 per transaction. That adds up to some serious pocket change over time.
  9. I see it very often and lightning is almost unheard of here. When we get lightning, it makes the front page of the local paper.
  10. I remember an explanation about it from a materials scientist many years ago. As I recall, the visible patterns reflect stresses in the plastic, but I'm less sure about why the dust sticks to some area more than others. Static charge seems like a reasonable explanation. The areas under stress might have a slightly different charge than the areas around them. I know I can just wipe it off with a finger and see absolutely no other evidence of a pattern in the plastic.
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