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Work done on a rig without consent.

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Hi. I'm wondering what the convention is for work done on a rig without the owner's consent? Like, if during an inspection or repack a rigger identifies an issue that needs attention, will he go ahead and make repairs and then charge the owner, or first ask if he should do the work and if the charge is agreed?

Even if the work is essential for the airworthiness of the rig, it occurs to me that the owner might choose just to retire or sell the rig rather than fund repairs, right? And since most rigs have a near endless list of repairs/improvements that could be made, but aren't essential, a rigger could otherwise go ahead and do $100s worth of work on pretty much any rig that comes his way.

What's the deal here? If "essential" (if there is such a thing) work was done without asking me first, how am I supposed to proceed? I don't want to piss off the riggers but if I didn't ask for it, and didn't approve it, it seems a bit unreasonable to be charged for it without my go-ahead.

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Same post, new user name? Interesting...:|

So what was the agreement going in?

Both sides have a stake in having a fair agreement; if a rigger's halfway through an I&R (which typically has a fixed price assuming there are no repairs needed), he or she has invested time and effort, and there's a cost to stopping that work mid-stream to try to get hold of the owner. They want to be protected for the time they've already invested.

Owner also wants to be able to approve repairs, that also seems fair.

Which is why there should be an agreement going in. Owner could say "Call me for any repair no matter the cost" but should also understand that may lead to a higher cost and/or having to pay for the rigger's time already spent if the owner chooses to say "no" to the repairs. Owner might say "Anything up to $100 is fine, please call me for anything more expensive." Owner may say "You're the expert, do what you think needs to be done no matter what the cost."

It's all about what you agree to. If there was no agreement, well ... you find yourself where you seem to be today.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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Same post, new user name? Interesting...:|

So what was the agreement going in?

Both sides have a stake in having a fair agreement; if a rigger's halfway through an I&R (which typically has a fixed price assuming there are no repairs needed), he or she has invested time and effort, and there's a cost to stopping that work mid-stream to try to get hold of the owner. They want to be protected for the time they've already invested.

Owner also wants to be able to approve repairs, that also seems fair.

Which is why there should be an agreement going in. Owner could say "Call me for any repair no matter the cost" but should also understand that may lead to a higher cost and/or having to pay for the rigger's time already spent if the owner chooses to say "no" to the repairs. Owner might say "Anything up to $100 is fine, please call me for anything more expensive." Owner may say "You're the expert, do what you think needs to be done no matter what the cost."

It's all about what you agree to. If there was no agreement, well ... you find yourself where you seem to be today.



There was no agreement - it never occurred to me that he'd do things to the rig without me asking him to. I just dropped it off for a standard repack, at the usual $40 cost that was confirmed and agreed, and then it turned out that a bunch of other stuff was done, costing about 20% of the rig's whole value. Money I can't really afford and would not have spent by choice...

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If the repair was needed because it was to effect the airworthiness of the rig, I would contact the owner to confirm the nature of the work required and estimated costs. A phone call only takes a few minutes.

If it is a repair that will not effect the airworthiness of the rig at that point in time and is more of a preventative nature than I would just include it in my report to make the owner aware of the issue.

At the end of the day cost is always an issue for most people and I think it is important to be open about what work is actually being performed. You wouldn't want your mechanic to be doing unauthorized work...

For what it's worth, I hold a foreign (Australian) Packer A, which is similar to the USPA Senior Rigger rating.

Just my 2c worth...

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Which is why there should be an agreement going in. Owner could say "Call me for any repair no matter the cost" but should also understand that may lead to a higher cost and/or having to pay for the rigger's time already spent if the owner chooses to say "no" to the repairs. Owner might say "Anything up to $100 is fine, please call me for anything more expensive." Owner may say "You're the expert, do what you think needs to be done no matter what the cost."




Which is outlined in plain english at the Spaceland loft...

You write up the work order, you authorize any or all repairs up to a certain fee --or not.

And they call you with any questions, comments or complaints.


Good rigger - good system, no surprises & no complaints!
B|










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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Hi. I'm wondering what the convention is for work done on a rig without the owner's consent? Like, if during an inspection or repack a rigger identifies an issue that needs attention, will he go ahead and make repairs and then charge the owner, or first ask if he should do the work and if the charge is agreed? .



My rigger in the UK has a form that people sign when they leave their gear with him. It says something like

"I authorise [the rigger] to complete work up to the value of £XXX (can't remember how much]"

The form is used to record email and phone numbers of customers.

The rigger contacts customers as necessary. If people don't want to sign the form, I believe he calls them before doing any extra work.

The form takes 2 minutes to complete and makes sure that everyone avoids nasty surprises.

(I have heard complaints about other riggers that customers take their gear for $XXX of work and on collection find that other "essential" work to the value of $$$lots has been carried out. I know some people get upset about that).

***********************************************
I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example

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it turned out that a bunch of other stuff was done, costing about 20% of the rig's whole value.



Were the repairs needed to make the rig airworthy? If so, the simple solution is to sell the rig and pay the rigger with the proceeds. Sure, you end up with no rig, but if the rigger had no done the repairs, you would have ended up with a rig that wasn't airworthy, which is the same thing as no rig.

Truthfully, I don't think any riggers are out there 'making up' work just to stick the customer for the bill, especially one who still charges $40 for an I&R. IF you rig needed some work done to be safe, then he did what he had to do to complete an I&R. The 'R' part requires him (or her) to seal the reserve and sign the card, both of which deem the rig 'airworthy'. If the rig couldn't be deemed 'airworthy', then the 'R' couldn't be completed.

Have you talked to the rigger about making some payments on the work? Maybe over the course of a couple of paychecks? I think if you explain that you didn't realize the extra work was needed, and the costs involved, and that you only have a fixed amount of money to spend on jumping, they'll be understanding and let you pay it off over a couple of paychecks or so.

To address something you said upthread 'Every rig needs some kind of work....', no, they don't. Case in point, your rig is currently not in need of any work, and is signed and sealed as airworhy and ready to jump.

It might not have been a cost you were expecting, but just bite the bullet and get it over with. The end result is that your equipment is squared away and ready to jump.

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Truthfully, I don't think any riggers are out there 'making up' work just to stick the customer for the bill,



Riggers are like any other group of people, there are good ones and bad ones, honest ones and dishonest ones.
Recently had a rigger demanding that my BOC be replaced because "it's gonna kill someone." Other riggers scratched their heads at that comment (rig had around 500 jumps on it). Manufacturer looks a the BOC and says "what's he talking about , this BOC is fine for several hundred more jumps?" Rigger insisted the designer/manufacturer of the rig (who was PIA Tech Chair) 'didn't know what he was talking about."

A rigger should not be doing work beyond the requested work without first communicating with the owner of the rig, regardless of whether the work is required to make it airworthy or not. The rigger can ground the rig if it's not airworthy.

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Let's imagine a customer leaves his rig, saying, "Please repack my rig. I need it for the competition this coming weekend." Unfortunately, the rigger finds there is more to do than just a fluff-and-stuff, but is unable to contact the customer. Now it's Friday, and the rigger has to make a choice: do the (unauthorized) repairs and have the rig ready to go, or leave the customer without a rig for competition. What would you do?

(Sorry, for the purpose of this thought experiment, there are no other choices such as finding a rig for the customer to borrow.)

Mark

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Don't charge people money without authorization.
Period.

We have phones, emails, im's, facebook, dizziedotcom, friends, the DZ, etc...TALK to your customer before screwing them out of several hundreds of dollars.

Or I find a new rigger. With a quickness.

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Don't charge people money without authorization.
Period.

We have phones, emails, im's, facebook, dizziedotcom, friends, the DZ, etc...TALK to your customer before screwing them out of several hundreds of dollars.

Or I find a new rigger. With a quickness.



I'm going to count your reply as a vote to disappoint the guy who needed his rig for competition.

Mark.

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When I worked in Square One's loft in Perris Valley, California, every customer had to sign a work order. Small print (on the work order) included " ... I authorise the loft to do $25 worth of repairs without calling me. Any repairs over $25 will need my approval. ..."

That allowed riggers to quickly do minor repairs without wasting half the week on the telephone.
Do you really want a rigger charging you $25 per hour while he pays phone-tag?

The worse case scenario collapses when you arrive on the DZ Saturday morning - keen to jump - but your rig is in pieces on the loft floor. When you angrily demand to know why your rig is not ready to jump, the rigger replies "There was an outstanding Service Bulletin and you did not answer any of my phone calls."

Riggers are not very patient - by nature. If they are going to make a living rigging, they need to inspect, repair and repack one rig, then promptly start inspecting the next rig. Waiting for customers to return phone calls just slows down the flow of rigs through the loft.

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Don't charge people money without authorization.
Period.

We have phones, emails, im's, facebook, dizziedotcom, friends, the DZ, etc...TALK to your customer before screwing them out of several hundreds of dollars.

Or I find a new rigger. With a quickness.



I'm going to count your reply as a vote to disappoint the guy who needed his rig for competition.

Mark.



The guy who needed his rig for a competition shouldn't have waited until the last minute to get his reserve repacked. Or should have had a backup rig available.

What would have happened if the work was going to take longer? Or if it needed parts that would have to be shipped?

I won't do any extra cost work without specific approval from the customer. Period.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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The guy who needed his rig for a competition shouldn't have waited until the last minute to get his reserve repacked. Or should have had a backup rig available.

What would have happened if the work was going to take longer? Or if it needed parts that would have to be shipped?

I won't do any extra cost work without specific approval from the customer. Period.



I'm going to count your reply as a vote to disappoint the guy who needed his rig. The score so far is: work 0, disappointment 2.

Mark

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The rigger should always ask first before doing work that is not pre-approved. Same as auto repair shops, which if they find additional work that needs to be done,they have to get permission first.



^^This.
If your rigger did work that you didn't pre-approve and wants to charge you for it, shout the riggers name so we'll know who to avoid or who to make double-damned sure knows, "Doandodat."

In my book, it's totally dishonest.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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Let's imagine a customer leaves his rig, saying, "Please repack my rig. I need it for the competition this coming weekend." Unfortunately, the rigger finds there is more to do than just a fluff-and-stuff, but is unable to contact the customer. Now it's Friday, and the rigger has to make a choice: do the (unauthorized) repairs and have the rig ready to go, or leave the customer without a rig for competition. What would you do?

(Sorry, for the purpose of this thought experiment, there are no other choices such as finding a rig for the customer to borrow.)

Mark



No contact, no repairs, no competition.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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I'm not a rigger and obviously a newbie. But I wouldn't be "guesing" the right call. My answer would be "I called multiple times, no answer. We all know what assumptions lead to" also, why would a reputable rigger put themselves in that spot? On the line for unauthorized repair. Just sounds shady.

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I'm not a rigger and obviously a newbie. But I wouldn't be "guesing" the right call. My answer would be "I called multiple times, no answer. We all know what assumptions lead to" also, why would a reputable rigger put themselves in that spot? On the line for unauthorized repair. Just sounds shady.



Let me up the stakes for you.

You've got your skydiving vacation planned. Non-refundable airplane tickets, hotel reservations, etc. -- the works. You drop by the dz go to pick up your rig on the way to the airport, and your rigger says, "I'm sorry, I was unable to get hold of you to get authorization to fix something that in my professional judgment you need for your rig to be airworthy."

See, the problem is that there isn't a right answer. Your rigger has to make a decision based on limited knowledge, and whichever way he chooses, sometimes someone is going to be unhappy.

If you do not trust your rigger's judgment, if you do not believe he has your best interests at heart, why did you bring your rig to him?

Mark

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You've got your skydiving vacation planned. Non-refundable airplane tickets, hotel reservations, etc. -- the works. You drop by the dz go to pick up your rig on the way to the airport,




That's a stretch isn't it?

I gotta say, in that scenario you've screwed yourself by waiting for the last second to pick up the rig.

Surely if one had bought tickets etc. to go on a skydiving vacation they would have enough foresight to call a few days prior to make sure the rig would be ready.

I mean what if the rigger had been in an accident or had health problems and could get the rig packed...you're in the same situation by waiting until you're on your way out of town, and you have no one to blame but yourself.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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skydiving vacation planned. Non-refundable airplane tickets, hotel reservations, etc. -- the works.



Is it the riggers problem he could not get a hold of him? How would the rigger know about his so called plans, personally know him and told him about it? Then the rigger probably knows how to get a hold of him, or knows somebody who does at the DZ. Either way, it's not the riggers problem.

If you just randomly show up to a rigger that you don't know/ haven't used before and don't give any good options on how to contact you, then it's your fault, not the riggers.
We're not fucking flying airplanes are we, no we're flying a glorified kite with no power and it should be flown like one! - Stratostar

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