Being Behind Schedule

 
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:47 AM   #1
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Being Behind Schedule


A project was estimated to start in 6-8 weeks. Customer paid a deposit and signed contract. The contract itself makes no mention of timeline but the email it was attached to said we will start in 6-8 weeks. It is now 8 weeks and due to unforeseen complications on other jobs the crew won't be able to get there until two more weeks.

The customer is upset and is talking about canceling and wanting a refund of the deposit if we don't start in the next seven days and there is no way we can start by then. They are saying since we are not on schedule and are not holding up our end of the deal regarding timing we should have to let them out of the contract. They are not just trying to get out of it they want the work done and wish we were there two weeks ago.

Anyone ever dealt with something like this?
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:17 AM   #2
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Well can you blame them? It's not the customer's concern of what's happening on the other jobs.
It's you reputation on the line. Some how get started on the job or refund the cash
Not what your wanting to hear

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Old 09-13-2017, 08:19 AM   #3
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Yep, I don't blame them for being upset. You are not there when you originally said you would be. Sounds like you are too busy anyway, return their deposit and let them get on with it.

Would not recommend putting a shell crew on the job and making another job short handed just to try to please everyone. That rarely works out.

Lastly ..... Never talk to clients about delays or issues on other clients jobs, your employee problems or anything like that. They don't want to hear it and it just makes you look incompetent.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:53 AM   #4
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


I would put my slowest employee on the job to start demo with EXPLICIT instructions to milk the clock. Tell him he is there to stall out until the army arrives. Hopefully you can salvage the job, and start bidding looser on your scheduling.

I always give myself 3 days wiggle room on scheduling the next job when lining up jobs, sometimes a week. It is far better to start early than late.

An old member from here name oconomowic used to say he started scheduling stuff in reverse, starting with fridays and working backwards towards mondays. Even though he did service work the philosophy hold true for larger jobs. Give yourself more breather time.

Right now I have a large remodel going on, 15 apartments that need painted ASAP, and the remodel client just gave me another house to flip (3 days work) and of course it all needs done ASAP. Problem is, there are only 2 of us (me and 1 full time employee). So I am painting apartments, my employee on the remodel, and each day we will meet up after lunch and tackle the third job. And all 3 should remain on schedule. Time management is critical when you have multiple jobs.

If a client insists to stay on schedule, it's on you to make it happen or walk away. I'll work 16 hours days if that's what it takes to get back on track. I've actually slept on site to meet deadline.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:49 AM   #5
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Why did you wait until 8 weeks to bring it to their attention? They're thinking you're calling/emailing to start and instead you're doing so to delay.... Of course they're upset... That contact should have been two weeks earlier, at a minimum... the fact that the 6-8 weeks is not in your actual contract is irrelevant as you represented in writing elsewhere... we've all had scheduling issues... learn from it and move on...

In all our agreements, we provide an estimated start date, which is subject to many factors, and not contingent upon factors that beyond our control (i.e. - Acts of God, delivery delays, inspection delays, etc.) and therefore, as the date gets closer, we tell them in person and in writing when signing that they we will provide the customer with a start date two weeks out.

Gives you wiggle room for situations likes this and removes any ambiguity... but communicating to them earlier probably would have diffused the situation... an in person meeting to explain the delay and to apologize might smooth it out (and see if you can find a way to shorten the two weeks - get the demo going at least, and schedule the trades and rough - will give you some wiggle room)... after all, even if they got out of your contract, they'd have to start all over again, and wait for the next guy as well...
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:42 AM   #6
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Has the deposit already been spent in any form? Special order items and such?

I would consider that as work has started.

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Old 09-14-2017, 10:44 AM   #7
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Thanks for the replies.

No I do not blame them for being upset. We did not just tell them now either with have had almost weekly updates.

We do big jobs maybe only 10-15 a year. It is quite easy to be off on estimating time when the jobs are larger as their is lots that can go wrong or change.

Their job is about a month long deal so them cancelling leaves a big void in the schedule.

I know it is no ones fault but ours we are late but is a start date in 6-8 weeks that changes to 10 weeks that big of a deal? I tried to explain to them that I figured four weeks on their job and if we run into problems or they want to add stuff to theirs like our current customer did that it will make us late to the next job. Stuff like this can and does happen.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:36 PM   #8
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Quote:
Originally Posted by bdog1234 View Post
I know it is no ones fault but ours we are late but is a start date in 6-8 weeks that changes to 10 weeks that big of a deal?
Considering your initial post and situation, this is rhetorical right? It sounds like it matters more to your customers than it does to you... you might want to endeavor to switch that perspective (as well as under-promise, over-deliver) and save yourself a lot of headaches in the future...

Maybe next time you might want to consider adding two weeks onto your two week buffer... it's a rarity that customers will get upset if you start early...
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:49 PM   #9
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Don't sound like reasonable people. My pita alarm won't stop going off . Good luck


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Old 09-14-2017, 02:18 PM   #10
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Just be honest with them and let them know that they will be given the same courtesy if their job goes over schedule for any reason whatsoever. If they won't accept that then you are most likely dodging a bullet.

In the future you may want to communicate your start date more clearly. I typically give a 2 week window and keep the clients updated as the date draws near. I have never had a problem with clients waiting for us a couple of weeks if the current project is experiencing delays.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:57 PM   #11
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Front load your projects with the risky parts, so you have time to recover, or add more float.
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:36 PM   #12
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


You guys act like it's even possible to start a job on schedule!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:50 PM   #13
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


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You guys act like it's even possible to start a job on schedule!!!!!!!!
It's happened before....
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:04 PM   #14
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


I don't have a schedule I started my present job in August the plan was to start in May. There was a time I pushed clients back a full year. I don't take deposits until I start the job. I've never had anyone cancel.

I never give a definite time frame on anything.

Hope you didn't give them a time frame for completion.

Last edited by avenge; 09-15-2017 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:48 PM   #15
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Quote:
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I don't have a schedule I started my present job in August the plan was to start in May. There was a time I pushed clients back a full year. I don't take deposits until I start the job. I've never had anyone cancel.

I never give a definite time frame on anything.

Hope you didn't give them a time frame for completion.
I wish.

Ya I'll be by in about a year to complete that cabling run for you in the mean time keep using WiFi!

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Old 09-15-2017, 06:59 PM   #16
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


I love being week to week. Estimates given next week will be jobs possibly done the following week. I always give my customers an approximate day so I can schedule jobs near eachother and usually contact them to confirm two nights before.

I usually save a couple of days for my regulars so I can squeeze them in within a few days of calling me for gutters. It's worked out pretty well. For some homeowners that request and exact day I have no trouble accommodating them. Weather sometimes screws everything up.


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Old 09-15-2017, 07:06 PM   #17
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


I'm having trouble just going and seeing customers. I am supposed to be installing an IGU and looking at a bathroom floor this evening. Was supposed to do it yesterday evening. Now I'm sitting and waiting for concrete to dry.

Two days ago I had time, but they couldn't make it. Oh, I also have a door to go see why it won't close tonight.

Not sure If I'll make either one. Just means tomorrow will be three jobs to get to again.

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Old 09-15-2017, 07:30 PM   #18
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Quote:
Originally Posted by avenge View Post
I don't have a schedule I started my present job in August the plan was to start in May. There was a time I pushed clients back a full year. I don't take deposits until I start the job. I've never had anyone cancel.

I never give a definite time frame on anything.

Hope you didn't give them a time frame for completion.
Only a year?

Amateur....
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:41 PM   #19
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


Quote:
Originally Posted by bdog1234 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

No I do not blame them for being upset. We did not just tell them now either with have had almost weekly updates.

We do big jobs maybe only 10-15 a year. It is quite easy to be off on estimating time when the jobs are larger as their is lots that can go wrong or change.

Their job is about a month long deal so them cancelling leaves a big void in the schedule.

I know it is no ones fault but ours we are late but is a start date in 6-8 weeks that changes to 10 weeks that big of a deal? I tried to explain to them that I figured four weeks on their job and if we run into problems or they want to add stuff to theirs like our current customer did that it will make us late to the next job. Stuff like this can and does happen.
jesus!
get off your -" I`m so busy , I can`t handle it all" -whiny ass , and hire 2 or 3 guys to start demo,and framing !"
have material sent there

you have a deposit , you are making weekly money .
you obviously have gone through their money
and are looking for us for some kind of validation.

this is what we all want .
stacked up work!
handle it .
llike someobody here said , work nights if you have to
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:10 PM   #20
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Re: Being Behind Schedule


If I say "I will be there in 6-8 weeks" then I make sure it happens what ever it takes. Added man power, split the crew, long days. Whatever it takes.

If I say "it's looking like 6-8 weeks but I will keep you posted" then its life.

I am also not afraid to tell customers they can't add to their project because I have a set schedule. People not taking the time to plan the project they want should not get to negatively impact the next people in line or me.

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