Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Miser Flag

"Hi, this is Bill." "I'm John, do you install marine electronics?" "Yes that's what I do, how can I help you?" "Well Bill, a couple of years ago I had a guy install a Sparrow fish finder on my boat, and it only works when I go real slow." I just bought a used Chartomatic Five inch combo sounder/GPS on sale off the Internet, Flag but this time I want it installed by a professional. So I called the manufacturer and got a list of six certified installers, and your name was first on the list. I want only the best to do the work."

"Well thanks John, but I suspect the list was alphabetical, and I don't think all of them actually live in Sarasota, but anyway tell me what you need done." "Well Bill, I want the Sparrow unit and transducer removed intact because I want to sell it on Ebay, Flag and have you install the new to me Chartomatic and transducer on the boat." "I can do that, John, what kind of boat is this?" It's a Magnifico 30 go fast boat." Flag Flag Flag Flag "I'm familiar with that boat John, where does it live?" I don't want to tell you that yet." Flag "Well that's fine John, is it on a trailer or in a marine facility?" "Ah no it's on a boat lift, and you will have to bring a boat to install the transducer, or do whatever you guys normally do to install these things. The water is only five feet deep at low tide, you could do it in the water." Flag Flag "Okay John this is possible."

"Bill how much will you charge me to do this?" Well it's hard to say John, I haven't see the boat, but normally on most boats it would take about three hours at $70.00 an hour to do this from scratch. That would be about be about $210 but like I said I haven't seen the boat. It might be less if the transducer wire pull is easy, but the transducer will be much more difficult to do on a lift." "Three hours? Flag You charge $70 an hour? Flag That's outrageous, I'd  rather do it my self." Flag, Flag, Flag, Flag, Flag, Flag
"Well you said you wanted a professional John. I'm certified, insured, bring all of the tools required for the job to you, guarantee the performance of the system, and teach you how to use it. I can't get a plumber to show up for less than a $100 at my house, and that's before he picks up a wrench. You apparently didn't have a professional install your Sparrow fish finder or it would have worked in the first place, and in the end it will cost as much to uninstall the Sparrow as it cost you to buy in the first place." "Well thanks for the advice Bill, but "I'm not one to just throw my money around. I think I will keep shopping around." "That's fine John, If you need me I will try to help. I will flag your number in my phone directory so I will recognize your call."

"I wanted to make real sure I was too busy to take that call if it appeared. It fortunately hasn't happened yet, and I'm delighted. I'm pretty sure he has a difficult time hiring a plumber. Sheesh!


  1. Sheez! I guess cheap people have money because they're errrr? Cheap!

  2. I'm going to have to sit on the fence here, Bill, because I've paid to have the job done improperly too often. It may be different in terms of professional accreditation or some kind of BBB thing in Florida, but here, any dope can call himseld a marine installer, even if that's basically "I did a GCFI outlet in a boathouse once...hasn't burnt down yet!"

    Still, a funny story.


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