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#173245 01/06/08 11:13 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 23
HEI_Inc Offline OP
In August, new customer called, got my number from an existing customer. Kitchen remodel job. So I meet with the HO to look at the project. Nice people.

So I email my proposal to them and then I follow up with phone calls. They said they were reviewing my proposal and would get back to me. They called back and said OK.

So, I send them a contract to sign but they never sent it back. They did call and asked if I would send my information to the village to start the permit process. I did without having a signed contract (never again). A month passes and I call again and they said they are trying to find a contractor for the demo/drywall repair. OK, call me when you're ready. Another month passes so I called them yesterday to touch base. I asked if I could stop by to make some measurements for the new service. This was my attempt to verify that I was still the EC for the project. So I bring another copy of my contract with me, meet with them, get my measurements and then I said, "OK, now I just need your signature and a deposit."

So the HO signs my contract but adds a clause that states that if the contractor responsible for removing the soffits and repairing the walls does not start his work within 30 days MY contract is void. Now I know why the HO is trying to add this but I wanted him to explain. So I said, "I'm confused. Why would you want to cancel MY contract if someone else fails to perform their work ? I can still do my job."

I knew the reason why. The HO wanted an out in case he found a better price from another EC. He could delay the start of the demo work and thus would be able to exercise the cancellation clause he added. I explained that my name is on the permit and if I wasn't doing the work I would pull my name off the permit Monday morning. I further explained that I have spent money to provide bond, license, etc. to the village. He reluctantly agreed. The HO then confessed that a carpentry contractor had a friend who is an EC and that's why the HO wanted the clause added to MY contract, in case the other EC was able to provide a better price.

So now I ask for my deposit ($800.00). The HO requests that my deposit be reduced to the amount of money I have spent for bonds, license, etc. I said no. We require 20%.

I also added a cancellation clause to my contract. They agree to pay me $200.00 should they request cancellation of the contract.

I drove straight to the bank and deposited the check.


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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,370
Likes: 1
Cat Servant
I once had a customer like that ... ask him a question, you'd never get a straight answer. What kind of work did he do? Why, he was a 'businessman,' he 'worked deals,' etc. He carried on like he was Donald Trump. In the end, it turned out he had a small dry cleaning business. Poseurs! frown

It amazes me, the arrogance of some. Without a seconds' worth of training or experience, they are instant experts, and have no intent of actually learning anything. I've had all manner of folk try to BS me into thinking they're lawyers, accountants, "connected," whatever.

Then, there's the chameleon. This is the person whose answers are determined by what they think you want to hear, what seems advantageous to them at the moment, what they think you need to know, and any other factor that has absolutely no relevance to the task at hand. "Where the bath mirror will be mounted," and how large it is, they consider unnecessary for you to know ..... then raise Cain when the receptacle is placed in the way .... even though they deliberately gave you incorrect information. Grrr.

That's why I focus on serving proven, reliable customers. That's why new customers pay full price. That's why others pay extra. That's why a few are refused.

My job, my trade, is to make the lights bright and the motors spin. It is not my job to play baby-sitter, sit in courtrooms, or stand around arguing. I have better things to do. Most important .... much as folks really hate hearing this .... just because YOU have a crisis, it doesn't always follow that I have a crisis. Poor planning on your part is not my responsibility. If your drawing shows two receptacles on the floor - and you wind up needing 10 at counter height - too bad.

Look at it this way: game playing at the start seems to guarantee 'extra innings' when you present the bill. A contentious job also seems to result in the maximum amount of come-backs and warranty claims. Even worse, the jackalope may encourage his buddies to call his latest victim - you.

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 265
I love working in a small town, everybody knows everybody else, there are no contract disputes. The first yer I was in business I never got anybody to sign a contract(stupid I know) now I get them signed on every job, usually with no trouble unless I miss something in my scope of work.


Life is tough, Life is tougher when you are stupid

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