Unreasonable Customers

 
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:51 PM   #1
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Unreasonable Customers


We got a lead on home adviser for a deck. After meeting with the customer she signed a contract to build a 8x40 covered deck.
We usually only work on a turn key basis but in this situation the customer already had a big stack of composite bamboo decking that she had aleady purchased so we agreed to furnish everything except the decking itself.
Then the next day she called and canceled (state of Texas has a 3 day right to rescend law)

A few days after she canceled she called back and wanted a price to just frame the deck and roof so that she and her husband could screw down the decking and save some money. We agreed on a price and scheduled the work.

The deck frame was to be on 12" centers for the bamboo decking and with a "ladder" for a picture frame.
The decking was to run the 8' direction perpendicular to the house.

All the decking is 7' give or take 1/2"
We allowed an inch for over hand (deck is getting skirted) and 2" to run the deck wild and cut it off.

The work was completed this past week and she is now raisin Cain because we shorted her 3" of frame and her boards don't fit. I explained how to run them wild and snap a line but she wasent having it because she doesn't want to have to cut any boards. She is also mad that the joist aren't exactly 12" on centers, a few are 12.5"-12.3/4" It is the most rediculas thing I think I have ever heard.

She was supposed to pay me tomorrow so I am very curious how all this is going To play out. Probably will end in small claims if I don't get a check.
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Old 10-15-2017, 10:45 PM   #2
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


is it possible the 12-1/2 or 12-3/4" is 12" at the ends but bowed in the center a tad?

this is just my opinion, don't let your customers change your job. it's Houston and there's a lot of work, you get a few crazies who are trying to install decking but not willing to use a circular saw, then those are the same kind that will slam you in social media and write bad reviews.

funny story, a local acquaintance wanted to do aspects of his own bathroom remodel and had the new granite installed on the vanity's when he decides to take down the mirrors. the mirror drops and breaks off the corner of his 4 day old granite vanity...glad it wasn't me. point is putting the decking down is the most important part (the part the everyone sees) and letting the HO do this step can turn out bad.

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Old 10-16-2017, 09:47 AM   #3
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


That had red flags all over it. Home Advisors for one. After the cancellation that should have been it. She's now trying to get the work for free and it may end up that way.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:00 AM   #4
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


Show her the contract... If the contract specifies she hired you to do the framing and not the decking, she's just trying to get a freebie and you have no reason to give it to her...

Tell her you've already advised her for free on how she could use the materials, but if she doesn't want to cut boards, that's what hiring contractors is for, like she did with the framing...

As to the OC issue, while it's really a non-issue, if she tries to use it as a reason not to pay you, remove it as an issue, and tell her you'll take care of it right now (if it's only a few should take too long depending on location and cascading effect) and to have full payment ready when you are done... tell her this will also give her time to contemplate whether she wants to hire you to cut and install the decking or whether she will do it herself....

Last edited by KAP; 10-16-2017 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:39 PM   #5
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by RangoWA View Post
That had red flags all over it. Home Advisors for one. After the cancellation that should have been it. She's now trying to get the work for free and it may end up that way.
Red flag #2 Customer wants to install decking. Bamboo at that.

We do the whole job or you do the whole job yourself. We don't farm half of the work out to the customer....are you crazy?

Whenever someone changes their mind about anything regarding a job it can spell trouble...but a cancellation?....Goodbye
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:55 PM   #6
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


There's a little known legal maneuver in contract law known as "anticipatory repudiation"

This is Kings English for I intended on f**king you before we ever got started. If it can be proven, it changes the whole game
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:03 PM   #7
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


I'm with home advisor also. What ever you do. Don't let HOME ADVISOR talk you into arbitration. They seem to side with the customer to keep them happy. I would take it to small claims court. Keep good records, take pictures under the deck, side, top, bottom, and, every little detail you can get! Believe me it will help keep your company in good standards. PICTURES help big time!
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:12 PM   #8
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


Why not but the joists at 12" on center and offer to come back and make the cut for free or better yet tell her you'll come back to make the cut to make up for the 3" she feels you shorted her on the framing.

I've found it's often easier with something like this to just give kill em with kindness. Learn you lesson about screening potential customers better and stop using Home Advisor. HA is crap!

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Old 10-18-2017, 12:04 AM   #9
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


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Originally Posted by NJGC View Post
Why not but the joists at 12" on center and offer to come back and make the cut for free or better yet tell her you'll come back to make the cut to make up for the 3" she feels you shorted her on the framing.

I've found it's often easier with something like this to just give kill em with kindness. Learn you lesson about screening potential customers better and stop using Home Advisor. HA is crap!

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Not with this one. The cuts won't be square - you owe me for all the decking you screwed up!
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:56 PM   #10
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishslave View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RangoWA View Post
That had red flags all over it. Home Advisors for one. After the cancellation that should have been it. She's now trying to get the work for free and it may end up that way.
Red flag #2 Customer wants to install decking. Bamboo at that.

!

We do the whole job or you do the whole job yourself. We don't farm half of the work out to the customer....are you crazy?

Whenever someone changes their mind about anything regarding a job it can spell trouble...but a cancellation?....Goodbye
Amen!
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Old 11-03-2017, 06:23 PM   #11
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


A person has just got to learn to say "No." and walk away. What should be seemingly an easy thing sometimes isn't and becomes pretty costly.
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Old 11-03-2017, 06:42 PM   #12
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


I would have framed it 12" OC. It's not that hard.

If someone wants to hire me to build a frame, I might do it. If they cancelled a contract, and then wanted me to just do the frame, unless it was a buddy of mine, I'd walk.

I personally won't have anything to do with Angie's list, Home advisor, BBB, type organizations. I'd tell you what I really think about them, but I don't want to make a lot of work for the Moderator Staff, cleaning up the post.

If you have a proper contract, with the dimensions of the deck frame clearly noted, then you can tell the hag to go pour piss out of a boot. If not, you might be SOL.




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Old 11-03-2017, 07:26 PM   #13
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


So how did it turn out in the end.. did you get paid?
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:34 PM   #14
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


This has nothing to do with homeadvisor. That's like blaming the newspaper for the customer you got from the ad you ran. Homeadvisor can bring them to you, but that doesn't relieve you of your responsibility to keep your kook detector calibrated.
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:52 PM   #15
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


I got nothing's other than to say when someone cancels you should count you blessings. I usually left if someone wanted to negotiate let alone cancel a contract.

Take it as a cheap lesson and remember the sting. The school people in business in the trades go through is a tough one, but the education is lasting.
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Old 11-04-2017, 12:48 AM   #16
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishslave View Post
There's a little known legal maneuver in contract law known as "anticipatory repudiation"

This is Kings English for I intended on f**king you before we ever got started. If it can be proven, it changes the whole game
Yes, BUT, the promising party can elect to fulfill the contract and the repudiation is no longer valid. A retraction of the repudiation restores the proming parties obligations.







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Old 11-04-2017, 02:41 AM   #17
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by KAP View Post
Show her the contract... If the contract specifies she hired you to do the framing and not the decking, she's just trying to get a freebie and you have no reason to give it to her...

Tell her you've already advised her for free on how she could use the materials, but if she doesn't want to cut boards, that's what hiring contractors is for, like she did with the framing...

As to the OC issue, while it's really a non-issue, if she tries to use it as a reason not to pay you, remove it as an issue, and tell her you'll take care of it right now (if it's only a few should take too long depending on location and cascading effect) and to have full payment ready when you are done... tell her this will also give her time to contemplate whether she wants to hire you to cut and install the decking or whether she will do it herself....
I think this is the best solution. Just smash them around till on center
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:30 AM   #18
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


I would calmly explain that even if everything is 12 inch on center and perfectly lined up, it is more than likely that the decking won't be. that is why you made it a tad short, so you would be able to cut the boards to fit. Every run of decking I have seen, has varying lengths. Like you said, They vary by up to a half inch. How does one lay out for that without using a saw?

If she don't like that, then just stop returning her calls. I would think any arbitrator/judge would expect a decking installer, even a customer/homeowner to use a saw to make them fit.
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Old 11-04-2017, 07:03 AM   #19
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kowboy View Post
This has nothing to do with homeadvisor. That's like blaming the newspaper for the customer you got from the ad you ran. Homeadvisor can bring them to you, but that doesn't relieve you of your responsibility to keep your kook detector calibrated.
It has a lot to do with Home Advisor, low quality customers. Been there done that.
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:31 PM   #20
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Re: Unreasonable Customers


Go over there with about 6 laborers and dismantle the dang thing as fast as you can. Make an assembly line from the deck to your trailer, load up the wood and peel out. Flip her off as you drive away. Youre not going to get paid anyway.

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