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Old 08-08-2009, 03:43 PM   #1
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Default How far are you willing to go to please a customer?

"While you're here, would you mind replacing this screen, cleaning that gutter, rotating my car's tires, walking the dog, and picking up my dry cleaning?"

We've all ran into these kind of situations, but lately it seems to be an almost every day occurrence for me! I have no problem doing the occasional favor for a home owner, especially ones that might have a hard time doing things for themselves. Makes me look good . However, the last job wanted me to get another copy of her door key made while I was out "picking up supplies". The one before that was a mall job, she wanted me to be her project manager and kept asking me to call certain people/trades to line them up or find answers she needed. The previous before that wanted me to give her a price to WEED HER MULCH! WTF??

What have you done for people to keep them happy or for an atta-boy?
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:07 PM   #2
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I personally feel taken advantage of. If they ask.. I will say "after I get done doing ***XX I could probably figure out what that will cost" or something like that. They don't want to work for free and neither do I. In the past I have done different things for people.. but I am so not there now. I have my own stuff to do to my own place, just like if I find a new bad spot or trim that needs replaced, I tell em, then tell em I need a check right then and there to replace it since it is out of original scope. They will walk all over you if you let them. I don't mean you do either.

BTW good to see you round again, been a minute!
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:17 PM   #3
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I tell them I can take care of that, but because this is actually my business and I must actually make a living doing it, the T/M hammer will drop.
Or something to that effect.
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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If the customer is good to me I usually offer to much and then I have to remind myself that this isn't a volunteer service I do believe in keeping the customer happy.. If its some so so customer then good night charlie..
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:56 PM   #5
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I don't like it when they ask. I am more likely to throw in a little iggy on our own. that exterior I posted in the photo section on Belleair Beach, I threw in cleaning and a coat of urethane on the exterior of his front doors. I always make sure to let them know that we are throwing that in at no charge.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:55 PM   #6
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Usually when I bid there are items that are written on the bid showing a "NC" designation. If there are extra's and there isnt any real manhours involved, we usually take care of them....you just need to know where to draw the line and stick to it.

This year has been alot of can you pw and stain the chairs and picnic tables while you do the deck? That's a definite charge.

Can you paint the front door red (how original)? That's a definite charge.

One or two manhours on a job isnt going to kill me...usually two or more accumulated are charged for.
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:39 PM   #7
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Everyone I work for gets good treatment. It they treat me really good and help out as much as they can/ do their part/don't get in the way/ be very friendly, then I will do a lot of things not in the bid.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:49 PM   #8
 
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I am more than happy to give up an hour of my time if i can absorb the cost...If it is a firm bid contract price....Some times ya just gotta do it to keep them happy and a repeat customer.But if it is just a small job,(time and material) I diplomaticly tell the customer that i am on a time schedule and all the small favors can add up to quite a few hours of unpaid time...if they would like to compensate me for my time at a reduced rate, not a whole lot of money I could probably help them out...it has worked in the past for me most times....THEN....other times the customer just wanted something for nothing and I just stuck to my schedule being as polite as possible.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:02 PM   #9
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Quite often ill do something not in the contract because the owner is nice, or itll make my work look better, or just because I want to. But generally speaking, it's always paint related. Ill touch up some trim paint, fix rubbing door, or repair a loose towel bar. But am I a jerk because I refuse to wash their car or braid their daughter's hair?

I feel I'm a paint contractor, i am not a handyman nor do i claim to be a jack-of-all trades. Afterall, they hired me to paint right? I love to be helpful to an owner, but im having to draw the line a lot more often now and sometimes i feel kinda bad for it :/

5 years ago we did, almost exclusively, new construction... man i miss those non-homeowner days!
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:18 AM   #10
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Quite often ill do something not in the contract because the owner is nice, or itll make my work look better, or just because I want to. But generally speaking, it's always paint related. Ill touch up some trim paint, fix rubbing door, or repair a loose towel bar. But am I a jerk because I refuse to wash their car or braid their daughter's hair?

I feel I'm a paint contractor, i am not a handyman nor do i claim to be a jack-of-all trades. Afterall, they hired me to paint right? I love to be helpful to an owner, but im having to draw the line a lot more often now and sometimes i feel kinda bad for it :/

5 years ago we did, almost exclusively, new construction... man i miss those non-homeowner days!
I know it's small but I almost always repaint their house numbers, if they would like them, thats not in the bid, but they seem to like it.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:38 AM   #11
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I do stuff like wash the windows ( not so much anymore ) on an exterior. Paint window locks or polish the brass inside, replace switch plates or clean....little stuff to make it shine. It depends who it is though...cheapskates get nothing.
If they ask for something that will take more than a few minutes it gets added to the bill.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:48 AM   #12
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Really does, as most have stated, depend on the task and the HO

I do many little things directly related to my craft. When covering switch plates, I often get carried away and paint the screws to match the paper. I've stripped and shined the brass around the push button that rings for the maid. If they have the paint, I will sometimes touch up a ding here and there.
And bringing in the paper in the morning is just an automatic habit I have. Couple of times, I've had to shovel the snow off their steps, but that's for MY safety

I will not take out THEIR trash, walk their dog, go shopping, baby sit, or answer their phone. AND I can not remember being ever asked. Although I often have no other choice, I feel uncomfortable signing for a package.

A couple of years ago an older lady with only grown daughters living near by, had a broken handle on her slider. She could not lock it either. I asked her if she wanted me to pick one up if I found one at a Big Box that I had to go to later that day. I took measurements and did find one. It took me all of fifteen minutes to replace and she paid the cost of the item. This lady was a real sweetheart, and it felt good doing something for her.



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Old 08-09-2009, 10:15 AM   #13
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How far are you willing to go to please a customer?

As far as they can afford me.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:19 AM   #14
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some customers are just a pleasure to deal with, those people will get a little extra out of me, just for being a normal , kind human being.

The rest of the psychopaths get charged on every little extra.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:58 PM   #15
 
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I dont tolerate it. I have stopped doing work for the general public. Its a farse. They waste all your time, and favor you to death, call you back for nothing afterwards. I do most of my work for large corporations now. Less hassles and favors, and more core work with less advertising.
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:06 PM   #16
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I dont tolerate it. I have stopped doing work for the general public. Its a farse. They waste all your time, and favor you to death, call you back for nothing afterwards. I do most of my work for large corporations now. Less hassles and favors, and more core work with less advertising.
This should be everyones goal
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:36 PM   #17
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You bet......
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:39 AM   #18
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ive walked dogs, watched kids, all that stuff.

i am a giver,,,,i like to give nice little extras, especially on larger jobs where i can easily absorb it.

i dont care for the people that sense weakness and try to take advantage. i cant even imagine trying to do that to someone.

i do enjoy money though, and will gladly write up estimates for nearly any home improvement project they can dream up.

id feel like a retard if i did $3000 worth of painting, and walked away from a kitchen and bath remodel.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:19 AM   #19
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It depends on how much its gonna cost me. A few hours labor is worth a good name to me, but if its a half day or more then I will discuss compensation. That said some customers won't be pleased no matter how far you go.
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:22 PM   #20
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What extras have I done? I once hung a large picture. But hey, she was pretty, divorced and 28 years old.
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