Psychic Surgery Leak Repair
In the early 70's, a strange, new Filipino surgical procedure was heralded by some patients as miracle medicine. Tumors on major organs, diseased glands were being removed by doctors using no medical implements, no anesthetics, no nursing staff and left no scar, no need for antibiotics. It was revolutionary medicine and it was reported that Americans were flying in by the hundreds.
The news program 60 MInutes featured some 'clinic' supplied grainy film footage demonstrating the procedure for prospective patients. A 'doctor' dressed in street clothes simply worked his bare hands over the patients exposed stomach and appeared to reach through the skin and into the body. Almost immediately a small amount of blood appeared. The doctor opened his hand to show something white and wet. The tumor, he announced had been removed! Huzzah!
60 Minutes own film footage, taken by a correspondent working undercover was both clearer and more revealing. Viewed frame by frame, it was obvious that the doctor merely made a fist instead of reaching through the skin. He transfered a small bit of meat (later determined to be chicken) from one hand to the other and a broke a small vial of blood. A quick swipe with a hand towel, a brief reveal of the tumor and the surgery was complete.
Amazing that this scam went on for years. Amazing that so many seemingly intelligent and wealthy people fell for such a simple dirty trick. Certainly people have become far too sophisticated and worldly to fall for such a scam today.
Well as it turns out, No. Bad Karma occurs everyday in the pool business.
Over 98% of leaky pools can be repaired with a simple service call. Unfortunately, franchisee leak repair companies can't survive on simple service call charges and so, must make the repair seem much more complicated than it really is to justify their exorbitant fees.
(photo right) A major leak repair company (American Weak Detection) charged this apartment complex over $800 to 'repair a broken pipe under (this) skimmer'. As you can see the deck has not been opened and the deck is 12' wide, so any repairs to the plumbing was a clear case of 'psychic surgery'. A newly applied dab of pool putty at the skimmer opening was more likely the repair and should have been done as a simple service call, hardly worth the $800 dirty trick they pulled.
One homeowner realized he was adding water daily and called a local leak repair company to check out the problem. He watched two guys spend all of one morning earnestly searching for the leak.
It wasn't until he'd gone to the grocery store that they'd had any luck in finding the problem. When he returned home they showed him a small hole in the deck and described in great detail how they had replumbed a broken PVC fitting and how happy they were that the leak was now fixed ! Huzzah!
The problem was that the pool continued to leak after they left and they wouldn't return his phone calls.
We found and repaired a leak in the light conduit and the owner stopped having to add water. But what was this pipe leak he'd paid to have repaired?
We noticed immediately that the deck repair hole wasn't more than 6" square; certainly too small to work through, so we punched out the new repair, removed the dirt with post hole diggers and took a look. As far as one could see, the piping was all original. Nothing had been changed, nothing had been repaired. The customer had clearly been ripped off and, either out of embarrasment or ignorance, still would not complain to anybody about being scammed.
It may be a big town, but it's still a small world. Word always gets around and rip- off artists like this don't usually last long in any business.
When you have leak work done, it's only prudent to watch the pool for a few days to determine that the leak is indeed repaired before you pay. And if someone tells you they have to repair a pipe under the deck, they then have to either make a hole in the deck, chip out the wall fitting or tunnel in from the back. Leak repair is tough work, so when someone tells you they have a miracle solution to your problem, the repair is usually an illusion.
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