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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone ever watch Corner Gas?

I love that show.

I saw an episode where Emma & Oscar (the older couple) were talking to Wanda about their bathroom needing repair.

Wanda told them she was handy because she used to date a handyman and she absorbed some of his skills. She said would be glad to do the work because she needed the money.

The older woman said, "Well, Wanda, we really need to make sute we get quality work. So, thanks anyway but we want to hire a pro."

Wanda replied, "Really? I'll work cheap!"

"You got the job", Emma said.

This got me thinking about customers and clients, and what they say vs. what they do (sometimes.) And also how they try to take advantage of certain situations.

For example, I know of a contractor who had a client lose her employment. Major income reduction.

It was a "cost plus" job, so costs were billed as the job progressed.

The kitchen remodel was almost finished with the framing stage. It was a major floor leveling and "structural nightmare" type job.

So, he felt sorry, and gave her a break. He finished up the framing for free.

So, she was very grateful. She lavished him with praises.

Then she dumped him and hired some really cheap hacks to finish it. And left him with a pretty hefty unpaid invoice.

So I wanted to start this thread to hear some good stories of clients taking advantage of contractors.

Heh heh.

Got any? :shifty:
 

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I don't really get off on bashing customers, it doesn't make much sense to me.

But most of the problems I think are cause in my opinion that we are all programmed with a genetic defect called the "eternal optimistic belief in the good deal". We all have a gene we are born with that falsely believes there will be no difference in the outcome no matter who we hire. With age and a few painful examples to the contrary the gene is tempered to some degree or another. Still I do swear there are some who's genes are totally resistant to modification no matter what.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't really get off on bashing customers, it doesn't make much sense to me.

We all have a gene we are born with that falsely believes there will be no difference in the outcome no matter who we hire.
Yeah, I agree it's no good to bash customers. And one of the most important lessons a contractor can learn, in my opinion, is to learn how to pre-qualify customers during your sales process so you can make an attempt at screening the "bottom 20 percent-ers."

That said, I always love to learn from stories of past experiences had by other contractors.

Some customers understand business and just "get it." Those are the bread and butter, cream of the crop customers.

And then there are the ones who really will take advantage of you if you're not careful.

For me personally, I just love to hear the stories and learn from other contractors' experience.
 

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Buyer's Remorse.

They hire you to do the job thinking it will give them the lifestyle change they have been desperately seeking for so many years. When the job is finally complete, and you have inconvenienced them for 60 days, they come to the realization that all they really got was just nicer stuff nailed on to their miserable dump of a a home. They try not to pay the final because they have just realized they have made the biggest mistake of their life. That's why I say keep way ahead on the draws so you can walk away from the last one if it ever comes to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Buyer's Remorse.
This chart helps to explain to homeowners the emotional roller coaster they're about to go on. You can print the chart and use it in pre-construction meetings. It helps them realize what they feel is normal.

Of course, I wouldn't show it to them until after you close the sale. ;)
 

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Okay, I made you wait long enough.

I do see that they did all of the interior work and I see that they had a new roof deck installed and they were still happy.



When the heck is the actual ROOF INSTALLATION going to occur?



First time it rains, out flows the thousands of dollars of remodeling just done.



Ed
 

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Preserving the Past
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Buyer's Remorse.

They hire you to do the job thinking it will give them the lifestyle change they have been desperately seeking for so many years. When the job is finally complete, and you have inconvenienced them for 60 days, they come to the realization that all they really got was just nicer stuff nailed on to their miserable dump of a a home. They try not to pay the final because they have just realized they have made the biggest mistake of their life. That's why I say keep way ahead on the draws so you can walk away from the last one if it ever comes to it.
Is this why you don't post pic's of your work?

I'm glad I don't have your hacker mentality!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Okay, I made you wait long enough.

I do see that they did all of the interior work and I see that they had a new roof deck installed and they were still happy.



When the heck is the actual ROOF INSTALLATION going to occur?



First time it rains, out flows the thousands of dollars of remodeling just done.



Ed

LOL. Yeah, good point Ed. Although I think there are a few more items missing than just the roof.

Do we need to put in a qualification for all contractors?

WARNING: Do Not Use the Above Chart As A Checklist for How to Build a House. Or As An Estimating Checklist. Chart Designed to Illustrate a Point About Client Emotions Only. Please Remember to Put On Your Boots and Safety Glasses, As Those Items Do Not Appear On the Aforementioned List.

(Hee hee. Sorry Ed, couldn't resist ribbin' ya. I'm only kiddin, I still love ya, my friend :thumbsup:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Should also mention...I took the idea behind this chart and redrew it for my own use.

I drew it to match my own job procedures, and other hot spots and emotional ups and downs I've witnessed with my own eyes.

And I changed the ending too. ;)

But seriously, it works great. Pull it out during a "client crisis" meeting and say, "Remember this? We are right about here right now." (Point to the low point on the chart.)

They usually feel a little better. You should give it a try.
 

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I like the chart. I don't like to talk bad about customers but I do think sometimes they don't know they are being pita. They think just cuz your handy then you should look at everything that needs a twist or a turn in their house. A change/add order will usually nip that quick.
 

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The one I hate and call them on it every time....

Your on a project that is taking longer then a day or two. Your ending and you have a very good idea when exactly you will be wrapping up. You tell your client when you will be done, and the consecutive days leading up to that day, you make mention of "when we finish on Tuesday" "On Tuesday" "By Tuesday" Tuesday is here and everything is complete, you go over the entire project and are ready to satisfy any concerns the client has. Everything looks great and the client is so happy. You hand them the final invoice for payment and the dreaded, "I don't have my check book" or "My Wife/husband has the check book". Can I send you the payment?? Uhhh, no! It states on our contract, balance due UPON COMPLETION! "I'll follow you to get the check book." If I get a blank stare, it usually gets tricky from there, but I get my check before the sun sets.
 

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When it comes to try to screw people over I get alot of, "ok so you said this much for this" and they quote a totally bogus price thats like half mine, I actually have a contractor that does that, thinks Im just an idiot. Final paymnet or change orders is a big one, I did this insurance remodel once and the insurance covered half well I did one side, then they decided they wanted it all done, so I told them it would cost the same for the other side and they said fine. Then later they said the insurance wouldn't pay for the other side, I was just like no **** sherlock wasn't that just the most obvious thing from day one? I have actually had way more contractors try to screw me and have screwed me. Mosxt my homeowners have invited me in for dinner, made me lemonade, and just we generally nice people. I lose the crappy ones when I give the bid.
 

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It's a business transaction, keep it that way and remember all along that no good deed goes unpunished. I've found that all the free work and extras I've given clients don't mean anything at days end.
 
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