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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I need an independent p.o.v. on an issue.

A customer who has been notorious for not being able to make a decision now has an issue with the color of the tile she has chosen. She went to the tile shop, picked and ordered what she wanted. I picked up and paid for the tile on my way to the job and began to layup the back splash. After 15 or so sq ft she questioned why the color was slightly off from the sample still in the house, I checked the manufacturer and color they match, it is terrazzo and I said they are damp in the packaging and might dry to a lighter color closer to the sample.

I also brought up the fact that it is a natural stone and there will be variation in the color. She does not stop me from continuing just voicing her opinion on the difference. At 5pm as I am wrapping up for the day she says she wants to get a different accent piece that will contrast the stone instead of nearly matching it. This kills the next day and I was headed on vacation so I was not overly concerned and informed her that I would not be back for 1 week and scheduled her for Monday & Tuesday for completing the tile and the punch list of her kitchen reno.

Today I call to ask if she has the new accent or if I need to pick it up on my way on Monday. It seems in the past week she has called the tile shop and the manufacturer and raised hell about the color, they fold and are now searching for a lighter colored lot.

When I said the removal and replacement will be costly she thought we were both at fault for the color fiasco and should be "fair" for removal, repair to the wall and replacement. I assured her that there will be a charge for the change and told her I will figure the cost and send it to her.

Am I in the right or wrong here?
The cost sent to her was for $1400 to pull down old tile, sand down the remaining mastic, skim coat the rock to get it smooth again assuming it will be messed up and reinstall the tile. The area is about 45 Sqft.
 

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how is the color of the tile your fault?That being said you maybe should have stopped your install until you were sure she would be satisfied.
Im sure you always treat your customers ''fair''

good luck:thumbsup:
 

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alright, mr. op....for the love of god...re-post with some paragraph spacing...use the "enter" key every 2-3 sentences...makes for much more readable stuff.

Hopefully you don't communicate the same way with your clients...and I don't mean to bust your balls, but a lot of people who post like this, just don't understand how to communicate effectively...try not to get your feelings hurt, as it's never meant like that.

J
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
alright, mr. op....for the love of god...re-post with some paragraph spacing...use the "enter" key every 2-3 sentences...makes for much more readable stuff.

Hopefully you don't communicate the same way with your clients...and I don't mean to bust your balls, but a lot of people who post like this, just don't understand how to communicate effectively...try not to get your feelings hurt, as it's never meant like that.

J

It should be an easier read now
 

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It should be an easier read now

Much more readable, and kudos to you for taking it the right way. Not that my opinion will hold much weight, but I will offer it....when I'm not doing lawn work (all that comes with that).

Jay

Again, you handled constructive criticism well...and that speaks well for you.
 

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Sounds to me like it's an issue with the retail company.
But the retail company has a point if they say "well we are not going to pay for demo and reinstallation"
because the tiles need to be confirmed as correct by you before installation.
And the second she beefs about it, work should stop until given written authorization by the client to continue working.
It's tough to learn this kind of stuff as you go....
 

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Some people can be real picky when it comes to color matches and I always leave the finished product out for the HO before installation.Learned this the hard way once.

Try and meet the HO halfway,or walk away!

A satisfied HO is your best reference for future work!If you" were both your fault she should share the costs!!

Consider it a learning experience.
 

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What does she look like? :whistling
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some people can be real picky when it comes to color matches and I always leave the finished product out for the HO before installation.Learned this the hard way once.

Try and meet the HO halfway,or walk away!

A satisfied HO is your best reference for future work!If you" were both your fault she should share the costs!!

Consider it a learning experience.
I am trying to make the best of this situation. I do not want an unhappy customer, but I am also losing days of work while she "thinks about" changing the tile. I lost Friday and now Monday & Tuesday. The job that was scheduled to start on Wed is not able to be moved to fill the void. In my mind I am already out 3 days of work and need to find a way to fit the fix and punchout into the schedule without leaving the new job.

Starting demo and then do not return for a few days is exactly the stereotype I have fought to avoid for so many years. Usually I would have some small filler jobs to fit in the void.....not this year.

In retrospect a "tell me now before the glue sets" would have been a good response. She also admits that she should should have stopped me sooner.

I guess I was in a catch 22 and was doomed to lose days either way regardless of when she stopped me. New clause in the contract..."Delays."
 

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You learned a valuable lesson, next time get a sharpie and have the customer sign off on the product before install...

as of right now, I think you handled it well. it's unfortunate that the supplier caved, they know as well as you do that the natural stone (or dye lot batch) changes and cannot be guaranteed to match exactly... but they don't speak for you, install & demo are separate issues. so be clear and firm on this (wishy washy will get you in trouble) Demo will cost x and re install will cost X.

Simple, but your a nice guy so you'll make it seem more difficult than it is.

Good luck!
 

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So I need an independent p.o.v. on an issue.

A customer who has been notorious for not being able to make a decision now has an issue with the color of the tile she has chosen. She went to the tile shop, picked and ordered what she wanted. I picked up and paid for the tile on my way to the job and began to layup the back splash. After 15 or so sq ft she questioned why the color was slightly off from the sample still in the house, I checked the manufacturer and color they match, it is terrazzo and I said they are damp in the packaging and might dry to a lighter color closer to the sample.

I also brought up the fact that it is a natural stone and there will be variation in the color. She does not stop me from continuing just voicing her opinion on the difference. At 5pm as I am wrapping up for the day she says she wants to get a different accent piece that will contrast the stone instead of nearly matching it. This kills the next day and I was headed on vacation so I was not overly concerned and informed her that I would not be back for 1 week and scheduled her for Monday & Tuesday for completing the tile and the punch list of her kitchen reno.

Today I call to ask if she has the new accent or if I need to pick it up on my way on Monday. It seems in the past week she has called the tile shop and the manufacturer and raised hell about the color, they fold and are now searching for a lighter colored lot.

When I said the removal and replacement will be costly she thought we were both at fault for the color fiasco and should be "fair" for removal, repair to the wall and replacement. I assured her that there will be a charge for the change and told her I will figure the cost and send it to her.

Am I in the right or wrong here?
The cost sent to her was for $1400 to pull down old tile, sand down the remaining mastic, skim coat the rock to get it smooth again assuming it will be messed up and reinstall the tile. The area is about 45 Sqft.

Out of curiosity, whose terrazzo tiles were they? Most are made from glass chips and not stone--so the color variation was likely more a matter of the epoxy resin (minor differences is batch lots are common in lighter colors).

I feel for your predicament--protecting yourself from being taken advantage of on the one hand (by a client who seems to be covering for buyers remorse on her accent selection) and on the other salvaging your reputation with her and her sphere of influence.

When she pointed out the difference, did you ask her outright "Are you okay with me continuing?", or did she just point it out and then go quiet?

I've had to eat more than my share of labor dealing with high end finishes. Manufacturer issues end up biting us all in the ass eventually, and sometimes a little bit of flexibility on your part can turn a picky client into your greatest cheerleader.

However, when it comes to giving away your time--there's a valuable rule to business and relationships: "no good deed goes unpunished." If she's notorious for making changes and not accepting the consequences in time and cost--then stick to your guns. (Especially if you gave her a very direct opportunity to stop installing the material, once she noticed the difference, and she told you to continue.)
 

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I wish there was a magic answer, I feel your pain. I'm going through something very similar.
Somehow it came out to being my fault even though the customer admitted the problem as their own:sad:
I'm not mad but can't stand the thought that something like this might turn into an unhappy customer that might even not want to pay or continue with a job.....

I'd say more but have you ever got that feeling one of your customers might be reading contractor talk?
 

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You're in the right, but as usual in business you can be right but if you stick to your guns, you'll be wrong.

In the future you might want to have something in your contract or a separate signing sheet about this stuff.

I have it for wood for cabinets - natural product- hey, it won't look the same, no two pieces of wood react the same..

Granite - oh boy that one is like 2 pages, even clears up how it will be repaired. Had somebody who went balistic over an epoxy repair, they wanted thousands of dollars of granite replaced over a chip. Epoxy repair is the industry standard, now it says it in the contract. Veining- etc... had somebody upset that the fabricator had a big "crack" in their granite. Um... that's why people pay the big bucks for granite to get those veins! :rolleyes: Now the contract says it.

Tile is another one people don't know anything about that V rating system for tile in regard to how it will vary. You might want to get that into your paperwork so this doesn't happen again. Might want to get into the friction rating too.

V-rating
A v rating is an indicator of how much variation in shade and color a ceramic or porcelain tile with have. The lower the V rating the less shade and color variation the tile will have. A v-rating of V1 will have no variation and a v-rating of V4 will have random variation.

Coefficient of Friction
Used to measure the friction or slippage of a tile. The test is always done on a wet version and a dry version of the tile and the two numbers are displayed. The ADA (American Disability Act) has determined that testing results of .60 or better meet their requirements.
 

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She chose, ordered it and watched you install from the get go. Now she wants you to change it for free? Is your customer four years old? Are you supposed to read her mind. In what way are you to be responsible for her not saying she wanted you stop and buy something and install something else? It's time for poor little missy wissy homeowner to accept biggy wiggy grown up responsibilty for her choice.

Of course all that above is in a perfect world. Everyone above is right that even if you make her eat all of the cost you will lose. She'll complain to everyone she knows about how you took advantage of her, brow beat her into paying more for tile she didn't want in the first place yadda yadda. She might even take you to court. Awesome!!! :clap:
 

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I had a customer that decided she wanted the black mulch instead of the red mulch. After I spread 40 yards of the crap. Boy, was that a money maker. Don't let the HO walk all over you. Charge her full price for everything.
 

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I always do a dry layout for them to say Yay or Nay before the first piece is stuck in place. and as I go along I always request positive feedback like this. "This is looking pretty good don't you think?" -or- "Don't you think this tile matches your countertop perfectly?" If I get a yes, I continue. I actually prefer finiky clients because I am just as finiky if not more than most clients.

MZ
 

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This is one of those no win situations. If she is a repeat customer, I would offer to split the cost knowing that it will be made up later. If not, stick to your guns. She was on site watching the entire installation. Explain to her that you have already lost several days worth of work because of her delays. That is all you can afford to eat and stay in business. As for working it back into the schedule, sometime we have to work a few nights or weekends to make things run smooth.
Good luck,
Jeff
 

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From reading everything so far, I might offer her 25% off your normal labor rate to re-do it. If she's just being a pain in the ass, and is going to complain anyway, I'd charge full price.

If she picked out and ordered the tile AND watched you install and never said anything, there's no reason it should come out of YOUR pocket. :no:

Like others have stated, if it's a previous good client whom you will end doing more work for, then it's a different story....you bend over a little further.:laughing:
 
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