Ruined Thermador vent: who pays? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I have this PITA (yet totally cool) vent for my cooktop that is actually in the counter then raises when in use. The top is pretty narrow - about 1.5 inches wide but the length of the cooktop (36") - when my maid was cleaning the cooktop she got oven cleaner on the vent - it made marks. We have no idea why since it is stainless steel. After several tries of getting it off she said she'd replace it - I suggested to try more to kind of even out the spots. I didn't care if the entire thing was lighter but the spotty effect looked bad. Well, it made it worse. She feels awful and said she'd pay and check with her insurance.

Well, the part is only $130 (assuming I can install it) plus shipping so she won't go through insurance because that's much lower than her deductible. I'm thinking we split the cost to replace. It was an accident - she wasn't negligent, it just happened. She wants to pay the full amount. Or should I just pay the entire thing?

What do you think?
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#2 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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I think that if she wants to pay I would let her unless you think it would be a tremendous hardship for her financially. If I were your cleaning lady, I would feel horribly guilty if my client paid for a mistake I made, even if it was an innocent accident.

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#3 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kittynurse View Post
I think that if she wants to pay I would let her unless you think it would be a tremendous hardship for her financially.
That's just it, for me I'm not going to notice $130. For her...I imagine it is quite a different story.
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#4 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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Sounds like 50/50 is a good compromise and it's very kind of you to do that!
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#5 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 06:21 PM
 
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i mean this in the gentlest manner possible...she's a maid, you are the owner...i think you should pay for it if you want it replaced.

i would feel horrible taking even 1/2 from a maid (how much do you pay her per cleaning? is that one cleaning? how long does she work each cleaning? 4-5 hours? so she will have to work 4-5 hours to replace something in your home? that just wouldnt feel good to me).

ive had ppl clean my home before..i consider accidents part of the deal, if ykwim.
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#6 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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I have to agree with the above poster. Also, I wonder if this were something that you caused if you'd bother to replace the vent? I mean, I don't know how bad the spots look, but are they really worth the trouble?

I can understand expecting a worker to pay for something that they broke through negligence- - this is why they have insurance, etc, etc. But some spots on the narrow strip of stainless steel.....idk.
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#7 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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I too consider accidents part of the deal. I've had glasses broken, and things ruined in the laundry. Unless a cleaner were ignoring my very clear instructions (example: check the bag on the vacuum before each use, if it's "this" full, change it, and she doesn't change it, uses the vacuum with overfull bags and the motor dies), I generally grin and bear it.

I've also done away w/most of the cleaners that can do any damage (bleach, oven cleaner, other caustic stuff) in favor of things less likely to be misused, and do certain things myself.
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#8 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 11:40 PM
 
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I would pay for it. If she insists or just hands you the money, I would give her a bonus for her birthday, St. Paddy's day, or because it's Friday to even things out. I wouldn't do it because I *had* to, but because it would be a kind thing to do.

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#9 of 26 Old 02-27-2009, 11:46 PM
 
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Have you tried a Magic Eraser? They're very inexpensive, and I was able to get stains from a carpet cleaner solution off my brushed stainless steel trash can with it. Good luck...

And if I were in your situation, I would either replace the part myself, or split it with the maid and then give her a $65 bonus on the first possible occasion (like when is St. Patricks Day?)

She is already working very hard for her money and you said that you wouldn't even notice that amount gone.

But...good luck with the Magic Eraser. I hope that solves the problem, rendering my other suggestions moot
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#10 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 12:02 AM
 
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The very first time we used our cleaning company, in the process of cleaning our venetian blinds, the cleaner(s) managed to smear dirt from the blinds ALL OVER the freshly painted walls on most sides of three of our windows. The marks were very noticeable and on quite a large area too. After the cleaner(s) tried on three separate visits to remove the staining, the company paid for repainting of the affected walls. It was not our fault that they were so negligent and we should not have to live with those marks.

Now, our cleaning company has insurance that covers things like this, which was one of the requirements we had when choosing a cleaning service.

HOWEVER, for something that is $150 to replace, for an independent cleaner that I had a good relationship and track record with, I would be happy to cover the $150 or go with the 50/50 deal, but I would worry that it may set a bad precedent in the case of a larger accident. BUT if she is properly insured, I think that's not so much of a concern?

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#11 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 12:38 AM
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Have you tried following the care directions in your user manual:

http://www.bshextranet.com/files/tec...VM30FS_U&C.pdf

Quote:
Polish with Stainless Steel Magic® and a soft cloth. Remove water spots
with a cloth dampened with white vinegar. Use Cameo Aluminum and
Stainless Steel Cleaner® to remove heat discoloration.
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#12 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 12:42 AM
 
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I would pay for it.
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#13 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 12:48 AM
 
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i would thank her so much for offering, but would not take her money. i'd pay. she didnt know that'd happen, and it wasnt negligence. let it go. and tell her not to worry about it any more.

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#14 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 03:04 AM
 
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I think everyone has misinterpreted my reply!

I was trying to think of the incident from the cleaning lady's perspective and how I would feel if I were in her shoes. Personally, I would not be able to let my employer pay to fix that.

I didn't think of the bonus idea - I think it's excellent! Everyone wins.

Martha
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#15 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I'm going to pay for it. Total accident - just read the manual and that part is actually aluminum. Why they'd put aluminum right next to ss where the cleaner can easily spray over I have no idea. I'll have to have her open the vent while cleaning the cooktop from now on.

Anyways...now I have to figure out how to get her to let me pay for it.
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#16 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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Tell her you're not going to replace it, then replace it when she's not around.
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#17 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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It seems like you have worked out a solution. Generally I would say that your actions should depend on whether she is bonded and insured. If this is her actually business, and she has insurance, than it might be an expected cost of doing business for her. If she is somebody who does this off the books and gets paid under the table, then as the employer you are choosing to take on the risk of hiring someone without insurance and you should be prepared to cover the cost of accidents or breakage. Cleaning people in the former category can usually charge more money because they can offer the people who hire them this sort of protection.

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#18 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
Yeah, I'm going to pay for it. Total accident - just read the manual and that part is actually aluminum. Why they'd put aluminum right next to ss where the cleaner can easily spray over I have no idea.
maybe because you are supposed to use 409 and not oven cleaner?
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#19 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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Can I just say........ am I the only one who wants to see pictures of your cool kitchen???
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#20 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
Total accident - just read the manual ....

Anyways...now I have to figure out how to get her to let me pay for it.
I would replace it as soon as possible and not mention it again.
If she brings it up, then I would emphasize:
"Oh you shouldn't pay. It was my fault. I should have read the manual and given clearer instructions." Then qickly move onto another topic, thus not requiring her to respond.

If she still then insists on paying, then I would let her... recognizing that she feels very strongly, and not denying her the way that she wants to make amends. This then avoids being a control issue.
If she insisted, and then paid, I would then within a month or so, give a bonus of that amount for some non-holiday as a pp suggested (that I wouldn't usually gift for... like first day of spring or some such).
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#21 of 26 Old 02-28-2009, 07:49 PM
 
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How about telling her you weren't going to replace it and then order the part. Replace it without her knowing it and if she notices say your girlfriend told you to try *fill in the blank* and it worked!
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#22 of 26 Old 03-01-2009, 02:37 AM
 
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However kind, I think it would be condescending to lie about not replacing it and then do it anyway.

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#23 of 26 Old 03-01-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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Doesn't she carry insurance on herself to cover this kind of problem?
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#24 of 26 Old 03-01-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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I just wanted to pipe in that I'm so glad I read this thread (even though I have no idea what a Thermidor vent is.) It's really nice to read so many posts about just doing the kind thing. : OP, way to go for being generous.
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#25 of 26 Old 03-01-2009, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She does have insurance but the item is way less than her deductible so it isn't worth going through insurance.

The nice thing is that I pay her with a check so I can just not deduct the money - she'll argue a little but that's ok. I just didn't feel right about her offer to pay. When DH got home he completely agreed - even though the man had not noticed the damage that has been there for a month.

Thanks for all the opinions!
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#26 of 26 Old 03-01-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
That's just it, for me I'm not going to notice $130. For her...I imagine it is quite a different story.
If it was an accident, and not just negligence on her part, I would probably pay for it, if it would cause a hardship on her. I would consider it good karma. If you have a good relationship with her and she isn't careless, it would be very kind and generous of you to pay for the total. However, if that stresses her out, like, if she is too proud to accept that, I would try to at least pay for half for her. I think you are great to take her needs in to consideration :

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