This seems to be a chapter from An Idiots Guide of what not to do when moving a pool table.
It has come to our attention there are those in the billiard industry prepared to cut a deal with their customer and save a buck for both parties by having their customer assist them in moving a pool table or games table. Are you kidding me?! This is a huge mistake and there are so many things that can happen that I want to address this for both parties – just to inform you of the pitfalls and legal implications this creates for everyone.
First and foremost, if the contracted business does have commercial insurance (would you hire somebody that doesn’t?), that insurance is alerted to a higher level of scrutiny towards the labor business contracted (the professionals) with a higher onus or accountability standards. And in case of injury the contracted business is generally held liable to any legal issues while on site. The request to assist is evident with younger companies starting out:
- The risk implications associated with the service of dismantling and removing a pool table from the seller’s premise can be a loaded gun. If any component(s) or part is damaged (or broken) during the removal, the labor business’ commercial insurance will not cover any such damage(s). The insurer requires the business contractor to utilize only their own skilled workers to complete the contracted work while on site or between locations. The buyer could be deemed liable for any damages incurred to the premise or product while on site at the sellers residence. This opens a huge can of worms. Who covers the cost of wall or floor repairs? Again this would be the responsibility of the buyer since they decided to help the contractor. Further, if the seller did not see any damages occur to their premises during the removal rather after the fact it could be difficult to cast blame for damages and recover cost. If no one acknowledges fault, it leads to the potential for the court to decide fault between seller, buyer and labor business. So this is the one and only – Rule #1: This all can be avoided with leaving this to the trained, bonded and insured professionals to complete this process for the table buyer. The bonus for the seller is the process is worry free.
- The risk is worse for the seller allowing the table buyer into their home and complete the process all themselves- DIY. The seller has invited them into the home (occupiers liability act) and they get hurt well its not too hard for a lawyer to prove some form of negligence. A homeowners insurance policy could end up paying out in that case. The seller is 100% exposed to the risk of injury, household damage and the table they just sold to the buyer. Remember the damages are not only within the home but also can affect the exterior as well. The sidewalks, driveways, front entrance landing, railings or landscaping are to be considered at risk. See Rule #1.
- The buyer should understand moving a pool table is not easy work. It is heavy and awkward – there are many parts to a table. The most difficult component to handle and easiest to damage is the slate. Pool table slate is cut into 3 equal size pcs.; a standard pool table is 4 x 8′. Each pc. weighs between 200 – 250 lbs. (approx.) depending on age and thickness and the bigger tables the bigger the slate and the heavier it gets. As you move each pc. the process slows down because this is work that you are not accustomed to and this is when damage can happen or injury to you or the helper (or contractor). Again see Rule #1.
- The risk any buyer should strongly consider before they help with the table move is bodily injury. A worse case scenario that can happen during a move is an accident with the slate. If it is dropped and you were injured what if it affects your ability to get to work or your day to day at work. Sorry but hands and feet can be job injury collateral to untrained billiard technicians. Now is the cost savings worth it? Do I need to remind you to see Rule #1?
Bottom line is the risk element is far too great for both parties to consider before they enter into the agreement to buy and sell the pool table. The best advice is the table buyer should choose the qualified business with all necessary commercial insurance (and WCB) coverage to move the pool table. Ask them when calling to get prices; it’s worth the inquiry. The table seller should ask the potential buyer if they are getting a professional service to complete the move with qualified people. Both the seller and buyer need to think twice about moving the pool table themselves as there is too much at risk. No qualified, professional billiard business will offer the option of a cut-rate in return for client assistance, and no customer should ever consider it just to save a few bucks. Again it’s not worth it! It is best to leave this type of work to trained professionals supplied by companies with commercial insurance and proper vehicles to handle these tables safely from pick up to destination. A completed precision installation for fair market prices is money well spent. And you’ll avoid the “oops… did they really do that?”.