Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines - Business - Contractor Talk

Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines

 
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:02 AM   #1
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Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


Had some interesting conversations about the perceptions of Contractors offering discounts to appease a customer for being late or delayed with the job.

One guy is an AC person who is running the business in overload due to the season. He told me how he handles irate customers for when he needs to tell them he is running late.

Another guy told me how he likes to give discounts to offset negative feelings when his jobs take longer than expected.

I listened to their reasons, but I simply do not agree to give a discount for being delayed or a job taking longer, especially when the job was still done well, and probably cost even more in labor to cover for the extra time.

Contractors tell me things like “my customer was upset since they had to take off work and lost a few hours and wanted me to pay”, so I just gave them some money to get paid and move on.

And I heard enough permutations that I am sure you all can agree you have heard too.

But the reality is, there is absolutely no reason to give a discount simply for running late or taking more time.

Go visit a Doctor’s office, and you sit in the waiting room. I doubt you will get a discount when the doctor runs late due to unexpected patient issues.

Go to an Airline, and it is easy to be delayed due weather, etc. I doubt you will get a discount for the inconvenience.

Ask me for a Marketing Plan, and I may be late a few days to a week while researching. Yes, I will tell you it is taking me longer but I will guarantee you I will not offer a discount.

But compared to all of the above cases, no one is coming directly to the customer except the contractor, so why would you ever give up money simply for being late? The contractor has so many more variables between challenges at the other sites and traffic and truck issues, etc., etc.

Maybe I am more sympathetic and appreciative to contractors who come to my house. In fact, I always offer coffee, drinks, snack, and even to pick up a sub for lunch if it will help out with them working and just sitting at my kitchen table to make up for lost time in the day.

Comments or suggestions for me to share with others?
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:12 AM   #2
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Re: Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


No way. I don't charge premiums for getting there early or finishing earlier than expected, either. There's a reason lots of places only do a 4 hour window (and still can be late), and we all know why.

And there's nothing like agreeing to be there at 8:30, for example, and they left for a short bit to take the kid to school for 20 minutes. Thanks for letting me know.

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Old 08-05-2016, 11:56 AM   #3
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Re: Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


We have all been late before.If it's due to weather or unforeseen circumstances with the job then hell no.

If it is due to my scheduling or some fault of mine I will do something extra for the HO myself on my dime.Not a discount but something extra I do myself to smooth things over for a delay on my part.Usally does not happens but when it does it keeps them happy and they think I'm a stand up guy to throw in a bit extra to make things right.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:07 PM   #4
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Re: Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


Timely topic, my schedule is running way behind. Some reasons are jobs running over, weather, and me picking and choosing jobs.
I have several customers being impatient, I do not promise first come first served because in most cases my customers are not urgent or an emergency of any sort. Some jobs have deadlines and usually those take priority.

I like the idea of doing a little something extra just to make a positive impression instead of them remembering it taking so long for me to get to them.

No discount though.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:15 PM   #5
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Re: Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


If you want a discount for my being late, then pay me more when I get done ahead of schedule.

It's a two-way street.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:37 AM   #6
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Re: Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


Got so many varying replies on different forums for this topic, but they all generally agree to not discount because of being late. They also ensure to call customers when running late with other job sites, and definitely seem to be proactive when issues occur that require more labor time.

And a few people seem adamant to providing a discount just to get paid and move on. I disagree with this, but that seems to be the reason, but hard to tell how they run their business to know.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:49 AM   #7
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Re: Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


What's your contract say about being late. Or are we talking about I said I'll be there at 10am and I got there at 10:15. Or are we talking about the job was suppose to take 2 weeks and it took 3 weeks?

Being a few minutes late is just the perils of being a contractor. So many times have I had a client tell me that I was prompt it make me think about the other people that they had tried. I've learned to never promise a time. I promise I will call you when I leave the shop. That way you know I'm on the way and pretty much what time I'll get there. Doing physical work sometimes means you can't stop in the middle. If I'm gluing up a $1000 wall of paneling I'm not going to stop in the middle because I'm going to run 10 minutes late.

As for jobs running late. Why is the cause? If it's weather, there's just about nothing you can do. If it's special order stuff, again, nothing that can be done. If you made a huge mistake and had to do something over again, I'd be sympathetic. Depends on who's mistake it was. Or maybe the client change their mind or maybe you just screwed up. But now you're losing money, and you want to give up more?

Only time I think I might give up money is when I'm just starting out and your reputation is everything. Screw that up and you might as well fold. Mistakes happen. What the outcome turns out to be is what should be remembered.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:10 AM   #8
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Re: Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo G View Post
What's your contract say about being late. Or are we talking about I said I'll be there at 10am and I got there at 10:15. Or are we talking about the job was suppose to take 2 weeks and it took 3 weeks?
These make all the difference in how to answer this question.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:14 AM   #9
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Re: Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


I'll just throw in a reference to queuing theory here. If you schedule 0 time in between tasks, then there will be delays and slips. You can always put enough float in your daily schedule to be on time for everything, but nobody would really want all the non-productive time that you have to build in.

Being on time every day all day costs someone a lot extra. Probably everybody would like it, but few would want to pay for it.
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:05 PM   #10
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Re: Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


I see a lot of comments that seem to deal with home owners, but what about commercial projects where you running late can delay the opening of a restaurant or other business that now business has lost revenue due to you being late. I can see delays due to weather, ect not causing a cost impact on either side, but if you couldn't maintain an agreed delivery date, why shouldn't you be held responsible for cost the owner incurs because of contractor delays?
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:24 PM   #11
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Re: Discounts When Late, Contractors Vs Doctors Vs Airlines


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Originally Posted by beck1504 View Post
I see a lot of comments that seem to deal with home owners, but what about commercial projects where you running late can delay the opening of a restaurant or other business that now business has lost revenue due to you being late. I can see delays due to weather, ect not causing a cost impact on either side, but if you couldn't maintain an agreed delivery date, why shouldn't you be held responsible for cost the owner incurs because of contractor delays?
On commercial work there is , very often, a deadline and penalty clause in the contract-----and a bonus for early completion.

This is a different situation than a typical home remodeling job where a few days delay is not going to cause a financial loss---just an inconvenience---

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