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Unread 03-04-2021, 11:45 AM   #1
aerohead
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Unrealistic clients

Ok Guys here is a Question for ya. My client is a repeat customer of mine that has hired me multiple times over the last decade. I have a great relation with them and they have referred me to multiple other people. however this time we installed about 700 sf of LVP and after the job was completed they noticed a small defect in the product. A defect you wouldnt even have noticed until they point it out then you cant help but see it. Fast Forward the manufacturer has agreed and has supplied 100 SF of new product. However while we are in the process of ripping apart the floor to replace the faulty planks my client starts to bad mouth the product they chose and they both continue to hover over us while we work and start nit picking everything we do. It's obvious they are not liking what they baught and have become unable to please. all that is left to do is tuck the carpet at a few doorways. When do I have the right to severe our involvement with them I dont want to subject my guys to that kind of work environment and they have obviously turned against us and are looking to vent. We have gone above and beyond to satisfy and I have had enough. there is a balance of $400 that is no longer enough to make a difference ND I WANT TO TELL THEM TO KEEP IT AND HIRE SOMEONE ELSE TO FINISH. Sorry for yelling. What would you do here? its a loose loose scenario and I know longer care to stay on good terms with them.
Do I have legal rights here to walk? The job overall looks great guys have done another outstanding install.
Any advice would be greatly considered.
Thanks Y'all
Paul J (aerohead)
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Unread 03-04-2021, 02:22 PM   #2
Lazarus
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If you have done all you reasonably CAN do and there is still an issue...I think it is time to step back and tell them that you have gone above and beyond what was asked of you...time to tell them that enough is enough. Any issues they have with your work, please call me and I'll do what I can for you. Aside that, I've done what I can...and perhaps more that I should just respectfully back away....
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Unread 03-04-2021, 05:00 PM   #3
smifwal
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I would tuck the doorways and collect your check(or don't) If they call you for something else then tell them you can refer them someone else (you can give them whatever reason you feel comfortable telling them)
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Unread 03-04-2021, 09:39 PM   #4
aerohead
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Unrealistic clients

Thanks guys, here is todays update. Like I mentioned previously I have history with this client. I purposely did not respond to their call and of course they left a less than favorable voce mail threatening to get another contractor and I quote "to finish this F*#king job!"
So against my better judgement called them after I finished my days work. When I called them on all their shenanigans from yesterday the backpedaled and apologized. I feel this is why I can never seem to thrive in this trade. Even though I will be throwing good money after bad I will end up back out there just because I cant stand having a customer I couldnt satisfy. over 20 years not a single complaint, but at what cost I wonder and who besides me even cares. What good is it to cater to particular people if it ends up costing me money. It seems I have built a business around customer service and I would have been better off focusing on profit margins instead. Really looking back. I fail to see any monetary gain directly attributed to keeping difficult clients happy. Any Thoughts on this?
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Last edited by aerohead; 03-04-2021 at 09:50 PM. Reason: wrong thread title
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Unread 03-04-2021, 10:33 PM   #5
CaliGrown
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You’ve hit the nail on the head “at what cost.” Sounds you’ve got a bad apple or two, and that you’re trying to stay positive. Keep doing so, and truck along a bit wiser.
What you’ve realized, it is not worth your life and efforts to make others “happy” that’s a subjective bastard. IMO, continue to provide your best efforts forward in production and intentions, and if you can sleep well at the end of the day knowing what you accomplished has merit; then F**k the client’s emotional statements...
Don’t let this bum you out of the industry, seems you’ve invested a solid junk of time; hopeful for you to find the right clients who value you for your worth in services
Side note: Last year, I had a bum 9 month job with a nightmare client and lost out on a good bit of cash, and put my family life to the test. Walking away with a solid sub-contractor list and a loyal employee was the profit gained for me on that one. Upon completion, I was so sick of the deal I didn’t bother taking pics, honestly happy to have my sanity and marriage.. Currently dealing with a few warranty items, some sour tastes linger longer than they should
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Unread 03-04-2021, 10:35 PM   #6
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Paul, I've combined you with your previous thread on this problem. If you start a new thread with each new comment, won't nobody have any idea what you're talking about, eh?
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Unread 03-05-2021, 09:33 AM   #7
tilemanct
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In the long run you may find that getting rid of a problem customer for $400 is money well lost!!
The market is being flooded with look alike garbage that we as installers have to somehow figure out how to put a polish on the $urd. I am working with a large format Brazilian tile right now that is pure garbage. Had the customer spent a $1/per sq/ft they could have had a great Italian Porcelain.
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Unread 03-07-2021, 04:40 PM   #8
Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
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It can be a thankless job sometimes
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Unread 03-08-2021, 12:00 PM   #9
KarenA01
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Paul wrote:

Quote:
It seems I have built a business around customer service and I would have been better off focusing on profit margins instead.
I hope my posting here is not an issue....

I just want to say when I hire a GC for my bathroom renovation soon, I hope I find someone like you!

All anyone can ask for is good quality, timely profession work with good attention to detail at a fair price. Maybe I'm being naive, but I have to think that reputation of going the extra mile when needed should earn you (has?) a lot more over time than charging more for every issue that comes up and having more unsatisfied customers.

That said, in just about every profession I have heard contractors/consultants (and this includes programmers) say sometimes you have to fire the customer because they are just not worth it... and doing so once in a awhile does not hurt their reputations...

So I think you just need to decide on a general policy up front how much or under what circumstances enough is enough and be consistent about it.

As a customer I know I am responsible for my choices...

Besides the above, all I would want from a good contractor would be to tell me up-front if they think there are any significant issues with my choices of materials or what/how I want things done and why they are issues...

And if I decide not to follow their advice, and they agree to do it my way, I know any issues arising from my choices are my responsibility.

Customers that won't take responsibility for their choices are the ones to walk away from I think...

-Karen
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Unread 03-08-2021, 04:01 PM   #10
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No issue, Karen. Everybody is welcome here.
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Unread 03-08-2021, 10:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenA01
Customers that won't take responsibility for their choices are the ones to walk away from I think...
I agree. But the culture of personal responsibility has eroded a lot in my lifetime.

It’s ideal for honest contractors to walk away from customers who don’t take responsibility for their choices, but folks with a shameless lack of their own accountability has blown away the inherent balance of fairness to contractors. I wish accountability was more fundamental to our current culture. But when it’s abused, contractors lose money on materials, hired labor, working for free, and reputations unfairly blasted on social media with a colorful, dishonest story. Walking away is too-often worse than grabbing your ankles.

Contracts that cover everything (protecting both sides) are generally good for everybody. But neither side likes the steep investment of time to create them.
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Unread 03-09-2021, 10:43 AM   #12
speed51133
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Enter attorney

Only take one time to make the standard contract for your business
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Unread 03-09-2021, 01:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Only take one time to make the standard contract for your business
And yet, everyone's standards are different. I cannot remember the last time I signed a contract that I've not first required amendments to.

No contract can enforce reasonable conduct by either party.
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Unread 03-09-2021, 02:47 PM   #14
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Since this has been touch on, a contract is a promise that certain things will occur on both ends, and each party has a right to expect that everyone involved will do what they have promised. It's a written handshake.

In fact, every job I did directly for a homeowner involved nothing more than a handshake, which in Texas amounts to a contract. If the job was for a general contractor, a written contract was required.
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Unread 03-09-2021, 05:13 PM   #15
speed51133
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only with a handshake, you have no evidence of what was agreed to. People "forget" when push comes to shove.

A contract memorializes the agreement for later evidence. Plus, you can agree to how disputes are resolved, should there be one.
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