. We are not trying to practice law here but rather to
accelerate the awareness of the need for waiver protection during the
practice of the legitimate business of carpet cleaning and restoration.
There is a lot of mythology out there that says that waivers are not
worth the paper they are written on. That is not really true. While the
waiver means nothing to the judge who smells negligence or fraud by
the carpet cleaner, the right waiver in front of the right judge during
the right case is likely to be very valuable.
. Where the waiver works impressively and can be effective is
when it is called to a crooked customer's attention that this language
is on their copy of the work-order and that it was signed and accepted
by them. They know they are trying to steal from you and it makes
them think that the system is wise to them before they even begin to
think about going to court and conning a judge who may not know
about carpet cleaning from flying airplanes.
. We are not experts on law, judges, courts or anything legal
but we have had some experience working with them in the late
1970's. We were involved in assisting carpet cleaners with preparing
for their cases in small claims court. We know from first hand
experience that waivers can be effective in small claims court
processes where the judge's philosophy is to hold waivers in high
standing and they are inclined to believe the carpet cleaners story.
These courts can consider a waiver to be the clincher. We have also
seen judges who seemed to think that neither party should win and all
parties should get something. There was one case where I doubt if
the judge was ever fair to a businessman in his life. He hardly listened
to the cleaner's story. This carpet cleaner was really innocent of
negligence and deserved a better judge. The carpet cleaner did not
have a waiver in that case but I doubt if it would have made a
difference. It is all up to the judge's discretion but a waiver might
have "scared off" this crooked customer before he got his nerve up to
go to court
WHAT THE WAIVER CLAUSE IS NOT:
1) It is not a protection against negligence, stupidity or fraud.
2) It is not an attempt to practice law.
WHY CONSIDER INCLUDING A WAIVER CLAUSE ON YOUR WORK-ORDER.
1) Doctors, hospitals or even appliance repairmen will require some
type of waiver before any operation /job can proceed.
2) Just as the doctor and lawyer “practice” their profession, the
carpet cleaning technician’s business is also a professional practice
that deserves protection.
3) Unintended consequences are normal during any professional
practice where elements of the practice are outside of the
technician’s “care and control" (This is the magic phrase that lawyers
and insurance companies like to use so learn it and use it).
WHAT THE WAIVER CLAUSE OFTEN DOES DO STRATEGICALLY:
1) It tends to establish that an explanation of unintended
consequences and their causes were present for the customer to
read had they chose to before they signed and accepted it.
2) It tends to ward off the unfair occasions when a dishonest
customer attempts to get “a new carpet”, etc. at your company's
expense after you have performed an honest and professionally
. The following was not advised or written by an attorney nor
has ever been examined by an attorney that we know of. We in no way
warrant the value of it and we strongly suggest that you obtain an
attorney's opinion before using it. Again, we are not trying to practice
law here but rather to help honest carpet cleaners to avoid being
victimized by every crook who wants a new carpet.
HOW YOU MIGHT INCLUDE THE WAIVER CLAUSE ON YOUR WORK-
. Waivers can be printed on the back or across the bottom of
your work-order. It is very common for repair technicians of all types
to say “okay Mrs. Lady, please sign my work order and I’ll get to work”.
This offers the customer a legitimate chance to read before signing
but does not create an awkward moment.
Suggested language for a waiver of unintended consequences
We are aware of our professional responsibility to bring a workmanship
level of cleaning equipment, cleaning products and techniques to our
customer’s premises to perform our service. The customer also has two
important responsibilities. One is to furnish carpet suitable for
conventional cleaning methods and the second is to furnish air suitable
for drying. For example, a building that is tightly closed without
ventilation after cleaning will often result in reactive problems with
embedded chemistry or bacteria that can produce mold and
discolorations that are out of the carpet cleaners care and control. About
the same as if wet clothing was put into a plastic zip bag. If the seams of
the carpet or the carpet itself have been glued or if the tackless strips are
not secured properly, cleaning may result in the seams opening or the
carpet to come loose from the floor. These conditions cannot be
determined with an inspection before cleaning and are therefore outside
of our “care and control”. Since our process is done with the carpet or
fabric in place we therefore cannot be responsible for repairs or
replacement that may be necessary as a result of such condition or any
chemical reaction caused by faulty manufacture or extraneous
substances unpredictably present at the time of cleaning or any other
conditions beyond our control. It is common for discolorations to occur a
day or two after drying and while we are often able to treat these issues
we are in no way warranting such attempts nor do we therefore assume
responsibility for extraneous results from the corrective attempts. We
are implying no warranty for shrinkage, fugitive dyes, fragile dyes, dye
loss, fabric separation, change in texture, reactions of any type or kind or
any other conditions or results out of our care and control. We
guarantee only to give our customers the benefit or our best technical
knowledge, experience, professional equipment and expendables. No
verbal statements shall have standing and the work is to be done subject
to the above.
26202 West Seven Mile Road - Redford, MI - 48240
Speciality Chemicals since 1978
fax (313) 538-5324
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