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Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

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  • Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

    I was talking to a plumber the other day and we got on the topic of giving quotes to customers.

    There was a particular situation when this plumber told me that he went out to give a bid and in the process of evaluation and talking to the homeowner...the homeowner says...

    "its a real easy job, I can do it myself I just dont have the time"

    The plumber says he hates when customers say this as if they are insulting him. I run into these comments myself every once in a while and I agreed with this plumber that it is kind of a turnoff.

    But the plumber says that when he gets these kind of comments he jacks his price up even more and walks away not wanting the job, but of course will do it for the big price tag that he just left.

    Is this right or wrong?
    How do you guys deal with this kind of situation?

  • #2
    Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

    I do the same..the other thing that pisses me off is the "i should have been a plumber," or jeez you must mek a fortune. Bought a 2003 ram 2500 keep hearingmust be nice....

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    • #3
      Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

      I call it the sliding scale if a customer is a wanker or an ******* it does end up costing them a little more "qoute wise anyways" i allow for the fact theyll lay paper towels under all your connections and nickel and dime you call u back cause the toilet tanks condenstating "a existing toilet you didnt touch" claiming it never did that before the repipe " and other bogus bs lik that" i also did a job for a young family last week was there three hours when the customer who i know has little money asked me what i owed him as he grabbed his visa cheques i asked him whatt he made he responded 12.50$ / hr so i billed him 37:50$ plus parts. I know id be out of bussisness if this was a everyday occurance but i usually do one good deed a week to people who. Need it ... And tell them not to tell a soul i get a lot of refrences for these good deeds .... Probally horrible busisness ethic but im in a small town and it makes me feel good so fk it.

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      • #4
        Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

        I've made the comment before on here that I feel like I missed out by being a Plumber today. At one time a person hired a Plumber and called him Sir. Now they think you're just some guy there to rip them off. Customers that talk down to me get up-charged, They are paying for the privilege of feeling superior.
        No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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        • #5
          Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

          I don't give a damn what they say as long as they pay the bill. We charge the same price for A-holes that we do for regular folks.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

            Originally posted by dhdc View Post
            "its a real easy job, I can do it myself I just dont have the time"
            The worst possible thing a customer could possibly say to me.

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            • #7
              Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

              Originally posted by dhdc View Post
              But the plumber says that when he gets these kind of comments he jacks his price up even more and walks away not wanting the job, but of course will do it for the big price tag that he just left.
              If they agree with a high price, that is their problem for not shopping around. You are not forcing them to use their services. I look at it like this; I picked up the phone looking for work, I put down the phone, still looking for work.

              What I hate is when a customer tries to get me to use "used" materials or tell me how to do my job. Old lumber, plywood that came from some dudes barn (which incidentally is the wrong thickness) half rotten shiplap siding, it drives me NUTS! I tell them that I will do it, but for a higher per hour price. I still get ones who still think its cheaper to use old SH_IT!

              "The bitterness of poor quality Lingers long after The sweetness of low price is forgotten." -John Ruskin
              We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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              • #8
                Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

                Upon being presented with the plumber's bill, the customer states, "That's more than I made as a doctor", to which the plumber replied, "That's more than I made as a doctor too".

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                • #9
                  Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

                  "its a real easy job, I can do it myself I just dont have the time"

                  i tell them then find the time and stop wasting my time and gas going over there, i also jack up price too they want it or not dont really care.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

                    I'm not sure why anyone would jack up their price because the customer makes a few stupid comments. You jack the price up and all of a sudden you are playing in the same mud pit as they are and word travels fast. Run your business like a professional and treat everyone the same. You can come here and complain about them later.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

                      Dont think its jackIng the price its more teelling them it will be more then it should be as insurance for yourself so that when things do take longer due to their bickering and stupid comments and there uneducated advise and call backs and all the things that usually go with the customer that thinks they could do your job but cant find the time... In my experience comments like that are usually an early sign this job could draw out and become very frusterating like my mechanics door says "im 50$ an hour 75 $ an hour if your watching and a !100$ if your helping its just the way the cookie crumbls.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

                        I tell them, "well I know how to cut my grass too, but I have to pay someone else for that every week, cuz I don't have the time to do that myself anymore either, so I know what you mean".
                        This puts you in the same playing field as the customer. Then I quote them whatever the price is, for anyone. I can tell by talking to the customer for 30 seconds, whether they are in tune with what things actually cost today, or not. If they expect the job to cost $100.00 and the actual cost is $1000.00 or more, I could care less what they think. I will explain nicely, but to be truthful, it don't hurt my feelings anymore, if they think I am too pricey, or trying to rip them off. I just move on to the next job, & forget about it. Getting too old to worry about that stuff any longer. And many times they eventually end up calling me anyway, when they get a dose of reality.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

                          "its a real easy job, I can do it myself I just dont have the time."

                          It's not just you plumber guys that hear that. I think it's pretty universal across all the skilled trades. Yes sir, that's why you just drove 45 miles across two counties to bring me your broke-to-**** generator, right?

                          Back in the 80's I was national service manager for a pretty big chain. Our invoicing system was done by alpha-numeric job codes. E1 was the code for a misc. enviromental fee, so I had them add a special code... E1a. It was my code for "Idiot Fee", and all my techs knew it. Although a scant $1.50 on the invoice, it made my techs feel empowered to bill out the E1a to a "special" customer - knowing exactly what it meant, and knowing that the customer had no clue.
                          "HONK if you've never seen a gun fired from a moving Harley"

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                          • #14
                            Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

                            the best 1 i heard was when the doctor came home to find the plumbers truck in the driveway and said that he hopes his wife is having an affair

                            i rarely get price shoppers as i don't advertise for work. but of course i get people asking what my hourly cost is. i explain my cost and what i can accomplish in that 1 hour. that's usually the deal closer

                            rick.
                            phoebe it is

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                            • #15
                              Re: Business ethics: bidding a homeowner

                              People that tell me it is an easy, or 5 min job get from me, "If it is so easy or only gonna take me 5 mins why don't you do it, ohhh thats right you don't have $60,000 worth of tools and truck in your driveway".

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