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Compensated for Our Inconvenience!!!

Hi!  I will update all of you baby lovers about Baby BFS super soon (she’s just past 7 weeks old, wowza), but I had to pass along a money thing ASAP.

Long story summarized, our sweet next door neighbors are having a pool installed.  We gave their pool company permission to shortcut through our back yard to dig the initial hole.  Crap happened.

The First Screw Up

On Day 1, the digging crew shredded our fiber optic internet/cable line with the sheer weight of the Bobcat hole-digger.  AT&T was way behind on appointments and couldn’t make it out to run a new line for us FOR 6 DAYS.

The Second Screw Up

Then, after those 6 days and only 4 hours after AT&T ran a new line for us, the pool company’s fencing crew re-installed the fence section and DROVE A NAIL THROUGH THE NEW LINE.  It was another 2 days before AT&T could make it out again.


That’s 8 days without the internet.  Our very apologetic (and truly thoughtful since I would not have come up with this idea) neighbors bought a WIFI extender so we could use their internet in the northwest corner of our house.  But that still means we had to use extra data from Ting anywhere else at home.  We also couldn’t log on to do anything work-related from Len’s desktop upstairs.  You know, the machine that Quickbooks is on…

And side note, it was truly upsetting not to have access to Netflix in between our 3 week old’s crying jags…we really, really need to be able to relax when we can.  We are not amazing people when sleep deprived and totally stressed under new conditions…

My Invoice

We were frustrated when our internet line was shredded.  But we didn’t get flat out angry until the fencing crew took out our line too.  I lost it.  The mad was real.  Yet, I waited for it all to be fixed again before taking a few deep breaths and typing out the email below to the neighbor’s pool company.

Dear *company owners*,

My husband and I are the neighbors of your pool clients, *neighbors’ names and address*, who allowed your company access to our backyard for the beginning part of your pool building process. We were assured of your professionalism and that our property would be brought back to its original condition once you were done with it. We understood your machinery would cause some damage to our grass and our fence parts would be removed and returned.

We did not expect our fiberoptic internet and cable line to be shredded by your machinery since the operators failed to lay down any weight dispersing apparatus.

We were frustrated and were without our high speed connection from Thursday, June 28 through Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 2pm.

Then, your fencing crew proceeded to bend, kink, AND DRIVE A NAIL through the newly laid fiberoptic line a mere 4 HOURS LATER while my husband and I were out to our first dinner alone together since our baby was born 3 weeks ago.

I cannot politely describe my anger at that point.

It did not help that throughout both ordeals, our extremely kind and caring neighbors apologized profusely and helped us in any way they could, obviously embarrassed on behalf of your company, BUT we never heard from you. Not one knock on the door, email (you have our address from the letter we sent approving the use of our backyard), or call with an apology.

Thankfully, we “only” had to wait 2 more days to get the line repaired again. It was back up and running as of this afternoon, July 5, 2018. The line is now spray painted neon orange just in case it needs to be extremely visible until it can be properly buried again on July 11.

Given the whole situation, I am requesting the fair compensation of $381.45 for our inconvenience and loss of use of our own resources for the last 8 days. Here is the breakdown:

AT&T Fiberoptic Internet and Cable – $141.45
Extra Data Use from Ting Wireless – $40
Inconvenience Charge of $25 Per Day – $200

The AT&T $141.45 charge is our actual total for this month of our services. I assume that is acceptable due to the ridiculous nature of the second situation by the fencing crew.

The extra data from Ting is the exact amount we’re being charged (actually minus the little in extra taxes) for the 3472 mb of data we used over those days (normally less than 100 mb thanks to our wifi). Ting operates on a “bucket” system…you get charged on what you use based on what bucket the amount falls into. This extra $40 was simply the extra data charges for the 3000-4000 mb data bucket, no more or less.

Finally, the $25 a day inconvenience charge is based on what I could find online for similar cases when a value had to be assigned. It is actually the lowest amount I could find for similar situations. It’s like a financial tilt of the hat for making our lives harder than necessary. We are fully self-employed from home, so internet access isn’t a luxury for us. Our blogging business is 100% online and our pet sitting business is about 50% online…these last 8 days were difficult. We couldn’t accomplish everything from our phones and are now playing catchup through no fault of our own.

I’m truly hoping you can understand and fulfill our request given the circumstances. I am intentionally striving to overcome my negative emotions to look at this as fairly as possible. I truly believe that direct supervision of both of the work crews would have avoided all of this. But now that it has happened, we rather just be fairly compensated and move on.

Thank you in advance for your attention on this,
Crystal Stemberger

PS If compensating by check, please make it out to Crystal Stemberger, thank you.

Inconvenience Compensation Received!

Within half a day, we received an email back from the pool company saying that they were sorry for our inconvenience and the check was on the way.  We soon received and deposited the $381.  I’ll admit, my husband and I were both pleasantly surprised for different reasons.  He thought we would be denied outright.  I thought they would try to counter with a lower offer.  But I knew my request was justified and reasonable, so YAY!!!  I’m glad they agreed.

Just wanted to share.  Hopefully you never have to be in a frustrating situation like this, but if you are, keep your inconvenience compensation request polite but firm…and maybe don’t ramble like I did there in that last part, lol.  Good luck!!!

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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5 thoughts on “Compensated for Our Inconvenience!!!

  1. @Money Beagle, me too!

    @Steveark, “Budgeting in the Fun Stuff” is a title that sounds like the definition of a blog only about first world problems… 😉 Seriously though, I work hard to make sure that 90% of our problems are first world problems. Rather not deal with the rest and usually enough financial padding means we don’t have to…can’t avoid the tragic all-human crap like miscarriages and death though. But I blogged enough about those in 2016-2017.

    @Revanche, yep, I did it and it worked! Woot!

  2. Grrrrr! It’s making me furious just to read this Tragedy of Errors. Those chuckleheads!

    IMHO you’re too generous with these folks. You are running a business out of your home offices. How much do you figure your time is worth while you’re online? And when you can’t get online, it’s presumably worth $0, right?

    Being the crabby type, I would’ve asked them for $60/hour, 8 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week for the time the system was down. Because as a practical matter, when you’re self-employed you get to work any 18 hours of the day you please, charging them for a mere 8 hours a day would be a lagniappe for them. So restrained, eh? 😉

    Seriously, it was generous of them to cover the costs you asked for. But they probably figured if they didn’t, you might take them to small claims court to collect.

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