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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How is the way you people deal with a customer who keeps telling you the price?

I have a customer who I started a small job off on contract, had a couple of minor additions no big deal. He then wants more work done so I write up a new contract for the next stage. I get the feeling he is going to neg the price so I add on a bit to my proper price and sure enough he starts to bargin. After some back and forth I lower my price back to where it should be.

Then a 3rd set of work comes up a long list of small and big things electric plumbing demo drywall etc etc. We end up changing the scope of the work time after time after time. Ususally with him thinking he is only going to pay $6000 for $10,000 worth of work. In the meantime contract one is complete the second contract is held up due to additions of work mostly electric. I lined up a sparky to do all the electric, the plumbing is to be done by the ho plumber. Now for 2 weeks I have altered the contract with addon's subtrations, removing work adding work. basically all work has stalled I have wasted day after day because I will not do any new work without a signed contract. I probally have 20 hours in contract revisions alone now.

Since the work have been splintered again it will actually cost even more than if we did all the work under one contract.

I want to walk away but I cannot unless he releases me from contract 2 and he is not going to do that because he thinks I have not done enough work to cover payments. I worked out the time and even with not including the estimate time travel time metting time he owes me over $200 at this point.

I also do not want to leave things the way they are because contract 2 has minor drywall work to be completed and I cannot close the walls up because there is a bunch of non agreeed to electric work that has to be done and if I close the wall up new holes will need to be punched into the wall to run the electric.

I have given long detailed list of work for each contract but I do not break down it into individual prices. HE will then take that list send it back to me with his break down of hours and to top it off not include enough time to do the work will not include the material to complete the work.
Every time I have to take an example and tell him he is missing hours and material to complete the job it seems to sink in but then we go back to square one.

HE has even gone as far to suggest that because I live in a area of town where the average price is $800,000 I should be cheaper then the contractors in his area cause the avg price is $1.5 million. He also suggested that I should not be charging $50 and he should only be paying $35, because the economy is down.


HOw do I deal with this guy I have tried many differnet approaches suggestions excuse the spelling grammer run on sentances I am heading out the door to meet this PITA
 

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I'm a Mac
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5,487 Posts
Since you cannot come to an agreement on price/terms finish contract 2 and be done, he can hire someone else to open the drywall again and patch again.

or

Send him a note saying he has requested additional items which neither of you can agree on, tell once done to notify you so you can finish your work


Personally I like scenario 1 best because there is an end in site, scenario 2 is God knows when.

Stand firm and tall, he's the customer, not your boss
 

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Too bad...you let him take the reins, which is a big no-no. Once you start lowering the price of your work (without changing the scope of the work) you screwed yourself (even if you "built-in" some fluff). That set the tone for the rest of your relationship with the client.

Betchya won't do it again....hopefully. Good luck.
 

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Pompass Ass
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How is the way you people deal with a customer who keeps telling you the price?

I have a customer who I started a small job off on contract, had a couple of minor additions no big deal. He then wants more work done so I write up a new contract for the next stage. I get the feeling he is going to neg the price so I add on a bit to my proper price and sure enough he starts to bargin. After some back and forth I lower my price back to where it should be.

Then a 3rd set of work comes up a long list of small and big things electric plumbing demo drywall etc etc. We end up changing the scope of the work time after time after time. Ususally with him thinking he is only going to pay $6000 for $10,000 worth of work. In the meantime contract one is complete the second contract is held up due to additions of work mostly electric. I lined up a sparky to do all the electric, the plumbing is to be done by the ho plumber. Now for 2 weeks I have altered the contract with addon's subtrations, removing work adding work. basically all work has stalled I have wasted day after day because I will not do any new work without a signed contract. I probally have 20 hours in contract revisions alone now.

Since the work have been splintered again it will actually cost even more than if we did all the work under one contract.

I want to walk away but I cannot unless he releases me from contract 2 and he is not going to do that because he thinks I have not done enough work to cover payments. I worked out the time and even with not including the estimate time travel time metting time he owes me over $200 at this point.

I also do not want to leave things the way they are because contract 2 has minor drywall work to be completed and I cannot close the walls up because there is a bunch of non agreeed to electric work that has to be done and if I close the wall up new holes will need to be punched into the wall to run the electric.

I have given long detailed list of work for each contract but I do not break down it into individual prices. HE will then take that list send it back to me with his break down of hours and to top it off not include enough time to do the work will not include the material to complete the work.
Every time I have to take an example and tell him he is missing hours and material to complete the job it seems to sink in but then we go back to square one.

HE has even gone as far to suggest that because I live in a area of town where the average price is $800,000 I should be cheaper then the contractors in his area cause the avg price is $1.5 million. He also suggested that I should not be charging $50 and he should only be paying $35, because the economy is down.


HOw do I deal with this guy I have tried many differnet approaches suggestions excuse the spelling grammer run on sentances I am heading out the door to meet this PITA
Wrap up all of your work and get out, even the drywall work, he is adding work that is delaying you, which costs you not only time but money as well, get the drywall finished, get out and tell him to hire someone else.

is this client an accountant?
 

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Custom Stuff
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I think I would tell him that the price you give him is your price. If he doesn't like it, he can look for someone else at that lower price. Unfortunately, you have allowed this joker to get one step ahead of you and now you have to undo that. You played the negotiating game and thought you won.

Next time he tears apart your estimate, you should agree with him that your price is higher than he would like to pay but that the price is what you need to operate your business properly and profitably. If he still wants to 'negotiate', ask him what he would like to cut out of the scope or wish him well with the next contractor. Also, don't let him hold your existing contract hostage; get the work done now and let him worry about the 'fix' for other work later.
 

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I agree I would finish contract 2 and be done. If the wiring is a saftey issue and you cannot in good consience cover it up , just let it go get paid everything except the patch and move on. This guy isn't going to give you any referral work anyway, and why would you want to work for him again? As Kenny Rogers said in a song. "You have to know when to walk away, and know when to run" Sounds like it's time to run to me.

Just a thought for next time. Don't write another contract. Use a written and signed change order to ammend the contract. Don't do any additional work until the dollar amount is aggreed to, signed and dated. It should be very specific and also list the revised overall contract price. I call for change orders to be paid in full at the next draw in the contract schedule.
Let us know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ya I understand I F$$$up by letting him get his way.

But it has worked out met with him we split up the cantract again. I added in extra for time and effort. Basically told him to sign the contract at that price or we are done
With only half the extra work being done I ended up charging him for 80% of what it would have cost to do everything on the list.
:clap:
 

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Just a thought for next time. Don't write another contract. Use a written and signed change order to ammend the contract. Don't do any additional work until the dollar amount is aggreed to, signed and dated. It should be very specific and also list the revised overall contract price. I call for change orders to be paid in full at the next draw in the contract schedule.
Let us know how it turns out.
My contract states that I must be paid for change order prior it being performed. I have never called anyone on it. I just billed it at the next pay request. However, it is very important that you do what your contract says to do now. Change future contracts to deal with issues like this.
 

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Ya I understand I F$$$up by letting him get his way.

But it has worked out met with him we split up the cantract again. I added in extra for time and effort. Basically told him to sign the contract at that price or we are done
With only half the extra work being done I ended up charging him for 80% of what it would have cost to do everything on the list.
:clap:
Why did you do that?
 
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