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Old 03-09-2014, 01:39 AM   #1
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Default Just a general rant...It wasn't a great week.

Started a cabinet repaint job in late January. When asked for a quote, I set my bid for the one bank of cabinets. When I arrived at the job, not only was I informed that the white (ish) cupboards were to be painted along with some shelves that weren't in the original quote, but everything was filthy, greasy-grimey!

Informed customer bid would be at least $200 higher for the extra work, plus some labor. "Carry on!" she said.

She left, and I had to scrub the flat surfaces, they kept gumming up my sander. Removed all 24 doors, along with hardware. Oh...and removed wallpaper border.

Loaded doors into my pickup so I could work on them in a proper environment.

Sanded, primed, painted and sealed the bases, and shelves. Customer came home, said "I didn't realize you would work this fast, I would've cleaned." (Ugh)

Worked on the doors at my shop. Same steps as bases. Brought doors back but couldn't install, as customer wanted to get new hinges and hardware. She just couldn't decide.

The next week: Customer decided on hinges, but not rest of hardware. Could I put the doors back on? Hinges were wrong...But could I paint the ceiling? Sure....That's not in my original quote, though, and will be at least $100 more.
"Go ahead!" she said.

Customer finally got the right hinges. I installed them. Still no hardware. Could I paint the walls? That will be at least $180 more. Go ahead, she said. Could I do the trim too? That will be at least $100 more, I said. Go on, she said.

Hardware came, and I installed. Customer thought she would really like some
crown along the top of her ceiling/cabinets. She picked it up, and I painted and installed it. (And shuddered, as it was oak.)

Could I paint the backsplash? Definitely, but it will be at least $40 plus paint. Oh...the plaster's rotten. Can I fix that? Yes...but...it will be more.

Could I fix that gap the window guys left when they put in the new vinyl inserts? Sure. Could I find something to replace the missing base by the fridge and door? Sure. Could I make a toe kick for those ugly ass kraftmaid cupboards? Sure...(I didn't even figure this into my final bill.) All the while she was telling me how happy she was with it, how pretty it looked....

Finished and knew the job was way more than the original bid for the one bank of cupboards...But I did inform her at every extra step that it would be extra money. Gave customer the bill...$1000 including my excise tax. She said it was way out of her price range. I offered to let her dicker....I would have maybe come down a bit. She paid me however, and stomped back down to the basement. Never heard a peep from her again.

I felt bad...until I saw her rant on facebook. "Just got taken for a real ride with a quote I was given - live and learn - I am just a little slow or too trusting."

Dropped the check in the night deposit that evening. I feel like I went above and beyond...And I know damn well I still didn't charge her enough. But this customer has shown me that I will never ever cut my price again. I'm sure she expected a cheap job. Maybe she should have gotten her son (who lives in the basement) to do some of the piddley crap I got stuck with.

Either way, the check cleared. And I have a rotten taste in my mouth.

Before (minus the doors) and After....Oh did I mention I was stupid enough to pick up the chrome switch plates for her? Pretty sure I'm the stupid one there.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:01 AM   #2
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Detailed written contract for the original scope of the job? Signed additional work orders with copies given to the HO?

I try to never rely on verbal agreements.

IMO she got a heck of a deal.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:10 AM   #3
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All part of the learning process. Welcome to the club!
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:06 AM   #4
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That's looks like some really nice work! What products did you use on the cabinets? Some people are just asses. Nothing you do or say is going to change that.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:15 AM   #5
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agree with RH. Have it all documented before you commence work. We have all been caught out like that.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:27 AM   #6
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well, now you know




and customers can be a**holes
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:50 AM   #7
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Charge more.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Csheils View Post
Charge more.
+1

Certain way to eliminate these cheapskates. And if you have a bit of downtime, try to work part-time for another painter.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happee_grrl View Post
Informed customer bid would be at least $200 higher for the extra work, plus some labor. "Carry on!" she said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happee_grrl View Post
That's not in my original quote, though, and will be at least $100 more.
"Go ahead!" she said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happee_grrl View Post
That will be at least $180 more. Go ahead, she said. Could I do the trim too? That will be at least $100 more, I said. Go on, she said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happee_grrl View Post
Could I paint the backsplash? Definitely, but it will be at least $40 plus paint

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happee_grrl View Post
Gave customer the bill...$1000 including my excise tax. She said it was way out of her price range.
HA!
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:48 AM   #10
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I felt bad...until I saw her rant on facebook. "Just got taken for a real ride with a quote I was given - live and learn - I am just a little slow or too trusting

According to the customers own quote highlighted in red, I believed she herself explained everything. Ssheesh. Seriously, you could of had every add on in writing, but trust me, when handing her the final bill, her response would have been the same. If she truly felt she was ripped off, she would have made it difficult to pay you in full. I think she was just excited to have another useless point to put on facebook! That being said, where do I begin about you ( Happee Girl), giving away all that extra labor for just about nothing. Always stick to what you know your true self worth is as a professional painter no matter how nice the custom is.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:51 AM   #11
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I think we've all been there, once. If it happens more than twice. . . . "Houston, we have a problem"

It just always baffles me how people can add on work, hear that each add-on will cost $100 dollars, and still be surprised when ten of those equals $1000.00

Have you considered going on FB and setting the record straight ? In a nice way.



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Old 03-09-2014, 10:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loaded brush
I felt bad...until I saw her rant on facebook. "Just got taken for a real ride with a quote I was given - live and learn - I am just a little slow or too trusting According to the customers own quote highlighted in red, I believed she herself explained everything. Ssheesh. Seriously, you could of had every add on in writing, but trust me, when handing her the final bill, her response would have been the same. If she truly felt she was ripped off, she would have made it difficult to pay you in full. I think she was just excited to have another useless point to put on facebook! That being said, where do I begin about you ( Happee Girl), giving away all that extra labor for just about nothing. Always stick to what you know your true self worth is as a professional painter no matter how nice the custom is.
$1000 for just the cupboards was low in my opinion let alone all the extras. Don't worry about this lady.. And unfriend her on Facebook
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wje View Post
$1000 for just the cupboards was low in my opinion let alone all the extras. Don't worry about this lady.. And unfriend her on Facebook
Yeah, I was gonna comment on those give-away prices...But she's already had a bad week.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:05 AM   #14
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I wasn't gonna comment on the pricing 'cause I've BEEN there. Very similar scenario. Refinishing cabs, got out of hand - just like Happee described.

Even though this was back in '78, it still feels like last week.

All I felt was empathy.



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Old 03-09-2014, 11:10 AM   #15
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no peronally reponsibility ...........she was givin a bid then added additional work. you did a nice job well within whats considered a reasonable ammount of money for work performed
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:19 PM   #16
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More years of experience will give you a feel for those type of customers and 1) you will learn to bid high to compensate for the hassles 2) you will run as fast as you can away from the customer and you WON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT 3) you will never, ever forget to get those changes in writing so when you have this happen again, you have the means to get what is owed you. That is all.

P.S. I think some people just have it in their DNA that, while you are there, you are the "hired help" and will do as you are told. They get a certain power rush of importance knowing you are "under their thumb."

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Old 03-09-2014, 12:24 PM   #17
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I don't see the problem. Except your change orders were to cheap.

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Old 03-09-2014, 12:27 PM   #18
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Your best friends are on pt not facebook.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:39 PM   #19
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I would've charge her $200 just for the estimate.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:41 PM   #20
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Thanks Gang..I know I didn't do anything wrong. And I guess I won't be doing her exterior trim job this summer. (Which is okay, because that house would be a pain.)

I did work for the painter in town. He passed away a year ago last summer though, and left me on my own. (Please wear masks guys. He was gone in 3 months, cancer in his lungs, and then everywhere else. He never wore a mask or gloves or anything when he was spraying products.) I miss him. He had painted for 30 years, and knew everything! He would've told me not to take the job, I'm sure.

I will always get things in writing now. I will never dock my hours again, either.

You could never get a new kitchen for $1000, but I basically gave her one. I won't say anything on fb, I won't give her the satisfaction.
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