September, 2007
You Tell Us
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Get Well, Mel


To the editor:

One of our long-time members, Melvin Jacobs, was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm, which required urgent surgery. After much research, surgery in the States was out of the question due to the outrageous costs involved, as he does not have medical coverage. Mel departed for India, accompanied by his son, on July 9. The surgery was a success, with no complications. After only two weeks in India, he was given the clearance to travel home. Mel is now recovering at home and his family and friends are so glad to have him back. He has been told that it will be a minimum of 90 days before he can return to work.

Mel has served ASHI at the chapter and national levels. He is immediate past-president of the Great Lakes Chapter, and served two years as a group leader for the Council of Representative. Also, he chaired the Director Nominating Committee for several years.

If you would like to send Mel a get-well card, his address is 22225 Nixon, Brownstown Twp., MI 48193.

If you would like to learn about efforts being organized on his behalf, contact Carol Batko, Great Lakes Chapter executive director,

Kurt Salomon, ASHI Secretary

Difference of opinion about “The Dreaded Phone Call”

To the editor:

The Dreaded Phone Call” (April 2007) article offers bad advice in that it encourages the inspector to pay for something he was clearly not responsible for. Heat exchangers are excluded in the ASHI Standards. Going to a complainant with a check in hand sets a precedent for the consumer and real estate agents to expect payment even when the inspector is clearly innocent.

Next time, consider responding to the complainant by explaining your actions and by showing them the ASHI Standards. Ask them what they think or want. If they ask for money, ask “why?” Let them tell you: “This was not your job, but I want you to pay” or “Oh, I see, that is not included. OK.” Inspectors must stop responding to complaints they are innocent on with cash offers without at least defending the ASHI Standard. If you choose to give a payment when you are innocent, it should only be after you clearly establish the fact you were innocent and that any such payment is a good-will gesture.

John Cahill, ASHI Certified Inspector
Cahill Inspection Services
Plano, Texas

The ASHI Reporter welcomes letters up to 300 words. All letters must include the writer’s name, address and e-mail address. Letters become the property of the ASHI Reporter, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters and the right to edit them for clarity, length, content, grammar, punctuation, etc.