Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just wondering what you guys think. I could be just venting but maybe there is something wrong. I plow snow in the winter and had a disturbing thing happen to me yesterday. I received a call from a potential customer for plowing snow. He says that they have two parking lots that he needs a quote for for plowing and salt.

I go and meet this guy and look at booth parking lots. These are assisted living buildings paid for by the state from tax dollars. When I give the property manager the price he says that I was a little low and tells me to add about $3000.00 to my quote. He says "I don't want you to get hurt".

Then he instructs me to fax over my quote for both properties. Just to qualify this it was about 25k worth of plowing so was definitely an account I wanted. I call this guy yesterday and he says " oh you didn't get a letter, we went with another guy he was less than $500 lower than you" I say "you told me what to quote, my number was lower but you instructed me to quote higher" This guy is employed by the property the head maintenance guy. I hang up the phone and bells start to go off in my head, if so what to do about it.

What do you guys think, am I nuts or do you think I was just used to get the number higher for someone my contact wanted to use.
 

·
Curmudgeon
Joined
·
11,706 Posts
It's called "bid rigging."
Don't know whether you can
report him, since you participated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Report the incident to the Attorney General - maybe ask for immunity in case it comes to "he said, she said". More than likely they will investigate and find more wrongdoings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bid rigging is what I first typed but thought maybe I wouldn't use that term. I do have a call into "chief financial officer", she hasn't called me back yet. If I do talk to her I will tell the story as it happened and let the chips fall. I doubt I will get the work and my contact isn't going to like me much. We just had a huge story here this summer with full page stories on the front page of the local paper and bid rigging was the subject, a few guys lost their jobs over it. Do you think I should pursue it, whats my end game, what the best end result I can expect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
joasis, that was my first thought, but then again the more I "thought about it" the more it pissed me off. I was wrong, I said it "wrong" so I should let it go, another lesson learned the hard way. I just don't see how I can come out ahead at this point.
 

·
Curmudgeon
Joined
·
11,706 Posts
joasis, that was my first thought, but then again the more I "thought about it" the more it pissed me off. I was wrong, I said it "wrong" so I should let it go, another lesson learned the hard way. I just don't see how I can come out ahead at this point.
I think you've got it.
He tempted you, he sucked you in.
You weren't evil, he is, but he
pulled you into his crap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
From the way the OP described the conversation there was no intent to defraud the company, the potential customer was letting him know the job might be harder then anticipated.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
joasis, that was my first thought, but then again the more I "thought about it" the more it pissed me off. I was wrong, I said it "wrong" so I should let it go, another lesson learned the hard way. I just don't see how I can come out ahead at this point.
You come out ahead by getting rid of one more douche who is promoting cronyism and unleveling the playing field for legitimate contractors.

How many more like him are there rigging not only private money but in some cases public tax dollars to be spent unfairly? How many will think twice next time if they see there is a consequence to their actions?

As far as I can tell the guy told you to reconsider your quote because he considered it too low and didn't want you to get 'hurt'. There are plenty of buyers of services that sometimes have to look out for those not smart enough to look out for themselves. The thought process is they want you to charge enough to stay in business so they can benefit from your services. He wouldn't have been the first to be looking out for himself by looking out for you in order for you to stay in business.

However, now you know that wasn't the case, but at the time you didn't.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,078 Posts
I can't tell you what to do.

I grew up in Utica, I know how upstate NY operates. Its like a little mini mafia all over. This guy would probably be shocked if he got in trouble and all his friends would be like, Wow, WTF, that's not right, you were just looking out for Freddy.
 

·
Curmudgeon
Joined
·
11,706 Posts
I don't need a lot of extra drama
in my life any more, so if I could
tip his boss (CFO) anonymously,
I would.
Beyond that who knows what kind
of mess you might be stepping into.
Could even be the guy who got the
rigged contract is the CFO's BIL
and it's all one happy nest of thieves.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nEighter

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Report the incident to the Attorney General - maybe ask for immunity in case it comes to "he said, she said". More than likely they will investigate and find more wrongdoings.
I think you should still report it. I said the Ag because they would (or hopefully), do an independent investigation. As brought up, who knows how deep the web weaves if discussed with the CFO. Also just to clarify, I do not think you were in the wrong at all and agree that it is not uncommon for an owner to offer the suggestion of checking your numbers if they were too low. Thinking about now, I guess it would be a little fishy for someone to tell you a specific number to add, but I like you, would have fell for it too.

Go for it! You will have done the right thing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,242 Posts
be my guess what happened....the "other guy"...and prop manager were in same room when you talked to him...he goes, we'll get him up $3k....you lowball him by $500, i give you the job, you give me $1k.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Thanks guys for your honest opinion, that's what I like the most about this place no punches held. At this point I am still waiting for the CFO to return my call, if she doesn't call me back than you could make some assumptions from that couldn't you. The reason I say this is that I did speak with the purchasing agent after all the prodding by some of you guys and my wife, and I did tell the whole story to him, than I asked
"does this sound ok to you ?" He said " I have no comment and take my lack of comment as your response"
 

·
Vagitarian
Joined
·
3,589 Posts
You got used worse than a $2 hooker. Let it fly and chalk it up for experience. You were in a losing situation from the start.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top