Problematic clients / no written quote

Discussion in 'Job Talk' started by Tom86, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Tom86

    Tom86 Member

    Hi guys, hope you're all well

    Have this client... I did complete bathroom refurb for him recently, gave him a quote before, let's say 3k. His old bathroom was fully tiled so there was no chance to see what's the condition of the wall or walls underneath beforehand. First or second evening after I ripped everything off I showed him the condition of his walls and told him that I can't just put tiles or plaster on it as there are cracks everywhere and we need to stabilize and reinforce that surface first (see attachment). He agreed.
    So I put primer, render mesh and hardwall first where supposed to be just plaster/painted finish and dotted some moisture boards where supposed to be tiles.

    Now, I added it as extra to my final bill and he's acting like very surprised person, saying it wasn't part of the quote.

    Look, I know that I did a mistake, and I shouldn't have done that without something in writing but it happened. He seemed to be a reasonable guy.

    Is there any way out of this? I did not overprice him, just standard London prices, probably even less... there's approx £500 in total on top of quoted price for walls & floor reinforcing and installation of toilet douche spray.

    thanks for replies

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  2. goldenboy

    goldenboy Well-Known Member

    Send him a letter outlining the situation, explain the additional work that was required, reinforce that you kept him informed at all times. Say that you have extras bill by 10% for goodwill. Enclose bill for original quote plus £450.

    If he doesnt pay or goes quiet, send him another asking him how he intends to proceed.
  3. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify - Did you give anything in writing? And if you did so, was it an Estimate or a Quote?
    Legally without a contract then you are entitled to charge the customer a reasonable cost.
    A fixed quote would be different. An estimate would be what it is, an approximate guideline for the customer.
    A quote with conditions that should any unforeseen extras occur, the price will be more, would also cover you.
    Although I am only a plumber and not an expert in legal matters, but that is what I believe is the law.
  4. Tom86

    Tom86 Member

    Like I said, I gave him a quote, detailed quote what I'm gonna do and what is the price of it. Works mentioned above were not part of the quote. I think that price I'm charging is reasonable definitely not overpriced.
  5. jonathanc

    jonathanc Active Member

    your discussion of the extra work created a verbal contract. Write to him and refer to that conversation and that date if possible. do not offer 10% reduction yet but only do that as last resort. give him 14 days to pay, then if he does not send a letter chasing the invoice. if that fails issue small claims papers

    he's trying it on. He is ignoring the details of works in your quote and assuming that it was your risk the state the walls were in.

    next time, i'd put any material variation in writing and if you can get away with it load the variation up. Charging high cost for variations is standard practice for big businesses so why don't you do it when you can...
    kitfit1 likes this.
  6. blannder

    blannder New Member

    If he still won't agree to the pricing, then just charge it to mistake. We really have to be careful in providing quotes and offers especially to new clients.
  7. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Well-Known Member

    Exactly. I think all of us that know that retro-doing anything is always going to take longer and cost more than knowing you have to do it upfront. That cost has to 100% be paid by the customer and not "swollowed" by us.
    OP, if you had a verbal agreement to do what you did, then it is 100% a contract and your customer should just cough and pay.
  8. furious_customer

    furious_customer Active Member

    Customer is being an absolute chancer, I would say stand your ground as I'm sure he knows he is being a chancer and for some reason thinks he's entitled to something for nothing.
    Generate an updated quote to reflect the additional work and make sure that it says that this document supercedes any previous quote.

    One question though, did he know that he was agreeing to an extra £500? Or was the additional cost not discussed at the time?
    Ben48 likes this.
  9. furious_customer

    furious_customer Active Member

    Because it will only undermine your integrity?
    And because 2 can play at that game...If someone did that to me I would not be paying a penny till everything was *absolutley* bang on and would make a very big deal out of the slightest defect or imperfection.
  10. jonathanc

    jonathanc Active Member

    and if a customer tried that with me they would swiftly end up in the small claims court... withholding something for minor defects, fine, withholding everything for minor defects is unreasonable and would rapidly end up in court
  11. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member

    Rapidly for small claims court is 2 years wait.
  12. jonathanc

    jonathanc Active Member

    has it got longer: was 6-9 months a few years ago
  13. furious_customer

    furious_customer Active Member

    So there are chancer cutomers and chancer trades.
    Frankly, they deserve each other - it's the decent trades/customers that get caught in the cross-fire that get my sympathies.
  14. furious_customer

    furious_customer Active Member

    "Minor defect" is a very subjective term, and yeah it would ultimately be for the court to decide. And of course it may go either way in court - not all decisions are correct and fair.
    Heat likes this.
  15. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member

    Just going off what happened to me.
  16. chippie244

    chippie244 Well-Known Member

    Quoted for replacement wardrobes doors today, client wanted 50 quid off and a full length mirror fitted.
  17. seen it all before

    seen it all before Active Member

    I would have given her something off personally. A big f%$k off.
    Jord86 likes this.

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