Today, I was scheduled to have a new catalytic convertor put on my car. As the mechanic was using a side grinder to cut off the old one, he accidently nicked the drain pan that held the transmission fluid. Of course, this caused all of the transmission fluid to drain out and cost me a couple of hours of time.
This was an inconvenience, to be sure. However, I remained calm as he explained the situation to me. Prior to him cutting into the transmission fluid casing, the job was to cost $180.00.
Well, the job still cost me the same dollar amount. He could not ethically charge me for the new transmission filter, gasket and fluid. So, that was free. And the kicker of it all is, as he thanked me for not flipping out when he made his mistake, he agreed to install a 3"-diameter, 12" long, alloy-finished tip on my exhaust pipe to match my alloy wheels, for only $30.00. This was a job that I had been wanting to get done anyway. When you factor that he will have to cut off the exhaust pipe, bend it in two places, weld the tip on, then weld the exhaust pipe on--plus the cost of the tip itself, he won't be making much profit at all. However, he will be earning my patronage as a loyal customer.
So, basically, if you just play it cool and relax when people make honest mistakes, they are likely to appreciate it. Probably all of you already knew this, but this is just a case in point.