Best way to replace borrowed tool?
April 20, 2012 1:36 AM Subscribe
How should I handle the reimbursement/replacement of a tool I borrowed from a friendly neighbor then broke.
posted by Ommcc to human relations (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was working in my front yard as daylight was fading when my friendly neighbor offer to let me use his portable work/flood lights.
I took him up on the offer and worked for few more hours well after it was dark with the aid of his handy lights. The light, more specifically the tripod light stand, broke when I tried to collapse it. I loosened one of the fittings on the stand to collapse the telescoping section of the stand. The fitting released completely and suddenly and gravity took over. The telescoping section was about 18 inches long so this was about the equivalent of dropping the stand 18 inches (but evenly distributed on the 3 legs). The stand could not take the force and the plastic hub that connected each leg to the shaft shattered. There is no way a product that is meant to be used on job/construction sites should brake so easily and I don't feel I am at fault.
All that being said; I like my neighbors and I don't think returning a broken item and telling them to buy better quality tools or passing the blame on to them is a good way to thank them for being generous and helpful.
So how should I go about making this right? The item costs about $40 at a big box store. But it is not obvious they need the light (it could have just been used for a projected they finished) and perhaps they would just rather have $40. However I am concerned they would refused either if asked. Lastly, assuming I fully replace the light or give the money to replace it would it be poor form to keep the light I borrowed (it separates from the now broken stand and is in fine condition) ?