My heating oil supplier refused to supply us with any heating oil last week because the fuel tank vent whistle indicating when the tank was filled was not working: that is, it was not whistling when the tank was being filled, the whistling sound stopping when it was completely filled. He referred me to Domenico Miele of Miele Mechanical Services L.L.C., located in Kensington, Connecticut, to repair the whistle on my oil tank, adding that his pricing was reasonable.
So on Saturday I called Mr. Miele and asked him how much it would cost to replace the fuel tank vent whistle on my oil tank. He assured me that the maximum cost would be $150. Taking him at his word, assuming him to be an honest and honorable person and businessman, I engaged him to replace the whistle.
When his service man arrived, he informed me that he had brought the wrong whistle with him since our oil tank whistle required a combination whistle and fuel gauge. A combination whistle and fuel gauge is not uncommon. In fact, in every home in which I lived, every oil tank had a whistle and fuel gauge. Virtually all homeowners have a fuel gauge in order for them to determine if they need oil.
When the service man returned within 20 minutes with the combination whistle and fuel gauge, he installed it within 15 minutes time, and then presented me with a bill for $227.88, not $150.00 as quoted as the maximum cost, explaining that the difference in cost was due to the difference in price of the whistle/gauge as opposed to that of just a whistle.
Conducting a Google search on the internet, I found an advertised price of $31 for the whistle gauge that I had mounted on my oil tank today. I then googled the price of just an oil tank whistle without the gauge, and found an advertised price of $18.
As a Certified Public Accountant, when I quote a price, and I assure my client that it will not exceed a certain amount, I live by that price. My word is my reputation; it is the cheapest form of advertising of which I am aware. My word, and my reputation, are worth more than $13, or $77.88.