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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-28-2005, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Need some advice...

Ok, these people I've been pet sitting for this entire month are coming back tomorrow afternoon. They've been in Africa since the 4th. They have two dogs (one inside, one outside) and four cats. I never mentioned anything about cleaning and they never asked... but as you can imagine, there was quite a bit of hair/mess all over. So today, I vacuumed everything (including this one "high traffic" rug by the litter box for like 10 solid minute) and mopped all the hard floors. I cleaned off the counter tops and even swept up the deck and back walkway area outside. Basically, the house looks cleaner than when I FIRST went in.

Anyway - they also paid to have their two dogs bathed. I got that done tonight, but in the process the cord from the hair dryer knocked over a glass ornamental jar thing holding some fake flower petals. It shattered.

Now... I'm making up my invoice along with a letter describing what all went on while they were gone and how everyone was doing. I'm going to mention that I broke the jar thing, but what else? Do I offer to replace it? Pay for it? Take off some of the bill?

I mean, I did a LOT of extra stuff and think I went way over the top preparing their house for them to come home, and to think that this one little thing happened the very last night is killing me.

What would you do? Or if you were coming home to a situation like this, what would you expect?


"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-28-2005, 11:25 PM
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That's a tough situation.

What I would do is explain to them when and exactly how it happened so that they can imagine it. This might make them a bit more leniant. Then I would ask them how they would like to be compensated for it.

If they're nice people they'll tell you not to worry about it.. or they could say the thing cost them five bucks so that's what it'll cost you.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 08:37 AM
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If an object is damaged while you're carrying out a duty they engaged you to do, and you weren't really negligent, then I'd be astounded if they felt you should reimburse them. In any case their household insurance should cover it if they're really bothered - that's what it's for.

You could of course just say one of the dogs knocked it over.

Not sure your extra cleaning is really relevant - especially as they might feel you did it after the breakage as some sort of compensation, so it wasn't really 'spontaneous'.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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I basically just explained in my letter that while I was washing one, the other dog had jumped up and it fell. Honestly, it could have happened. When I reached for the blow dryer, I don't remember where the cord was... but I'm so used to having to deal with the clutter in my bathroom that I'm always used to moving the cord before I start so I don't knock anything over. I think I would have seen it if I thought it would be a problem. Plus, the other dog WAS getting into everything. We had to keep the trash cans up and watch her like a hawk. She even kept getting into the roll of toilet paper and carrying it around the bathroom.

I hope they don't think the cleaning was after the fact. I kinda of went in order of how things played out, so that the vase thing breaking was very last (it was the last thing that happened, except for anything I'll be doing today). I did offer to reimburse them or replace it and apologized a LOT. I honestly was planning on going out to find something to offer them except that it happened so late last night...I may still go out tonight and find something similar for them.



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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2005, 12:59 PM
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I really wouldn't worry too much about it. I think it would be best to honestly tell them what happened. It was an accident, and the chances are it was not a valuable vase: just an inexpensive piece of decor.

If I were the owner, I would be more focused on the wonderful cleaning and care you went through, rather than a broken vase. Maybe that is just me. There are not many things in my house that are that valuable, and the items that are of value are safely put away in my curio, my hope chest or my china cabinet. A vase that was not an heirloom or a collector's piece wouldn't matter to me at all...even if it was of value, sentimental or financial, the fact remains that it was an accident and not an intentional act. Besides, someone who has that many pets in their home is well aware that things can get broken and usually puts anything of value away in a safe place.

Try not to worry about it. I don't think rushing out to buy a replacement or a 'compensation' item is necessary. I still suggest that honesty about how it happened would be the best way to go...more people are annoyed by someone trying to 'pass off' an accident than they are the accident itself.

It will be okay.
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