|Date||Wed, 7 Dec 2005 09:38:16 -0500|
I completely concur. My personal thoughts on how to handle both aspects (the waiver and the educating) is to properly research the subject of fabricating debris (using the work already done by Dan Fields) and create some sort of written documentation, separate from the waiver and based on facts only, to provide the customer at the same time the waiver is being presented.
If the WC in question is truly an expert, perhaps verbal is a safe way to go … but the average novice (with regard to fab debris not window cleaning as a whole) risks crossing themselves up by presenting it in various ways or, again, in trying to explain themselves in greater detail if the customer doesn’t understand. By creating correct documentation, not professing to be an expert and letting the documentation itself do the educating one can ensure against contradictions and other such problems (of course care has to be taken in the creation of the documentation to ensure against the same problem). The key is keeping the documentation separate. Should someone ever find a way to view the documentation as incorrect, not thorough, contradictory or confusing … at least it won’t have been part of the waiver. If the waiver is general, using only the term fabricating debris without actually explaining it and the waiver does not indicate that you take responsibility for educating the customer … it stands on its own. Any documentation you did provide to educate the customer was purely out of courtesy and had nothing to do with the agreement.
I personally would never attempt to explain fab debris to my customers verbally on a job where I feared the problem might be present. In so doing I would have to take at least some responsibility for what I’ve said and, if I’m wrong, I am then at least partially responsible for any problems that can be construed as resulting from that misinformation. I would be willing to say that such a problem exists, that it is a problem that is created during the manufacture and that it can cause glass to be scratched during any scraping or scrubbing process … but I would not be willing to try to get into more detail verbally. I will work on a brochure, unless I hear Dan is going to do one. The brochure will be as thorough as possible using direct quotes of facts only and to any questions the customer might have … I would simply tell them that the brochure contains all the facts I am aware of and that I really do not feel qualified to further define or add to it.
Ideally, I’d love to see Dan create a brochure for the purpose and make it accessible as a printable file online. He could even charge for access to the file. That way we could all have documentation published by the most knowledgeable person available and could be more certain that the facts were being properly presented. There is much to be said for the idea that we would all be educating our customers with correct, precise and identical information too.
Michael D. Brinegar
Pride Master, Inc.
>>> Be specific but be brief and, while it would be wise to educate the customer about fabricating debris at the time you're getting the waiver signed, don't take any responsibility for doing so in writing. -- Michael D. Brinegar<<<
It's interesting to see so many different approaches.
I'm not a lawyer, but I agree that you can get in more trouble trying to explain.
Dan Fields tells me that his waiver is as simple as yours, because he makes a point of educating the builder, but the waiver he recommends to others is wordier, because the education aspect is so important.
I also worry - when I don't see any detail in the waiver - whether the window cleaner can adequately explain the issue to a builder. And if the window cleaner cannot, then possibly neither the builder nor the window cleaner understand what they are signing.