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invoice dispute #202610
08/13/11 01:12 PM
08/13/11 01:12 PM
jay8  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 183
Vancouver, BC

I made the mistake of verbal scope of work on a recent job - mainly because I had worked with the customer many times before, but this time there were partners involved.

A bunch of extra work comes along outside the scope of the verbal agreement, so now customer/partners are disputing the invoice I gave them for these extras, claiming it was work that was agreed upon in my initial verbal quote.

This is Canada, so laws will be different but any words of wisdom on how to handle this situation?

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
Re: invoice dispute [Re: jay8] #202611
08/13/11 01:54 PM
08/13/11 01:54 PM
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,185
I guess you might be eating this and calling it a learning experience.
It does point out the need for well defined scope of work in any agreement, written and signed.

BTW these days recording these verbal agreements is fairly trivial I imagine ("pen" recorders, smart phones etc). Just be sure you disclose it is being recorded before you do it, that is law in a lot of places.
It can be as simple as just saying "OK I am recording this so I don't forget to do anything we agree on" and then identify the parties, date, lay out the scope of work, the terms and have them agree.

Greg Fretwell
Re: invoice dispute [Re: jay8] #202612
08/13/11 06:14 PM
08/13/11 06:14 PM
Tesla  Offline
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
Sacramento, CA
Extras are ALWAYS touchy.

If you end up picking up the tab... you'll start going broke.

In today's business climate the original bids are brutally low.

So the only way to make the grade is to do so on the extras.

That's true whether you're in residential, commercial or institutional.

Re: invoice dispute [Re: jay8] #202614
08/14/11 02:40 AM
08/14/11 02:40 AM
twh  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 928
Regina, Sask.
My employer works on verbal contracts quite often, but he's really good at collecting money for extras and gets paid every time. I'm really bad at collecting money for extras, so I itemize the work in advance.

Your incentive to get good at collecting money is to look at your kids and tell yourself that someone is going to go without, and it won't be your family. Then, go see your customer, look him straight in the eye, and tell him you want your money. If you don't get paid, then go home and explain to your children why their lives aren't better.

Good luck!

Re: invoice dispute [Re: jay8] #202617
08/14/11 05:44 PM
08/14/11 05:44 PM
Obsaleet  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
Jay, Start by have a friendly discussion with ur original customer. Find out who is writing the check. He may not even know u r having trouble. Partners r many times married by money only not business practices. I have similar situations and just a well placed did you recieve my invoice for the xxx work? If yes then say is there a problem, because its not like u to be late. You get were I'm going. If no then say, Oh really well me get u a copy. I would be prepared to have one handy.

Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.
Re: invoice dispute [Re: Obsaleet] #202620
08/14/11 06:37 PM
08/14/11 06:37 PM
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,349
who introduced the extra's would be my q......~S~

Re: invoice dispute [Re: jay8] #202621
08/14/11 09:10 PM
08/14/11 09:10 PM
jay8  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 183
Vancouver, BC
thanks for the input guys. When I priced the job I was shown an empty warehouse. Three weeks later when they told me to proceed I show up and there is new equipment on site. I advised them right then that the scope had changed.Also equipment specs were not forthcoming until half way through the job. At least so far I did get the money for my original quote. Original customer and partner both advised of the change in scope and I am working on the tactful approach for the time being.

Re: invoice dispute [Re: jay8] #202648
08/16/11 02:47 PM
08/16/11 02:47 PM
LK  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
I can just imagine what the partners were thinking, can you believe we have sone guy showing up to work without a contract, let's get all that work we can't afford before he wakes up. Just try to present your position as entering a verbal contract under good faith, and hope they are a decent group

Last edited by LK; 08/16/11 02:51 PM.


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