Have ya been shopped AFTER getting a verbal commitment? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 64 Old 09-14-2010 Thread Starter
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Have ya been shopped AFTER getting a verbal commitment?

I was chatting up a sailor who's boat is in the yard for a repower and bid on both taking the bottom paint to glass and re-doing it right and a complete paint. Saturday he came over and committed to us doing the complete job and I lined up a spot in a building and extra crew to do the gig. Monday I show up to find some youngster eyeballing the boat. After talking with him, I find the customer, who had committed to me, had called him, shopping me around. Not only did he shop me, he gave the topcoat to this youngun and expects me to still do the bottom strip, barrier coat and paint. My crew is PO'd and doesn't want to touch the boat after that little trick. They are of the opinion "Why eat a side when you were supposed to have a meal".

I'm inclined to agree.

What do you think? Should I still trust this guy after a stunt like that?

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post #2 of 64 Old 09-14-2010
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Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
I was chatting up a sailor who's boat is in the yard for a repower and bid on both taking the bottom paint to glass and re-doing it right and a complete paint. Saturday he came over and committed to us doing the complete job and I lined up a spot in a building and extra crew to do the gig. Monday I show up to find some youngster eyeballing the boat. After talking with him, I find the customer, who had committed to me, had called him, shopping me around. Not only did he shop me, he gave the topcoat to this youngun and expects me to still do the bottom strip, barrier coat and paint. My crew is PO'd and doesn't want to touch the boat after that little trick. They are of the opinion "Why eat a side when you were supposed to have a meal".

I'm inclined to agree.

What do you think? Should I still trust this guy after a stunt like that?
Depends on how hungry you are.
This kind of stuff happens here all the time. I used to let my emotions and pride dictate whether or not to deal with people like that.
Lately, not so much.
Work is too scarce.
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post #3 of 64 Old 09-14-2010
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If you dont need the work, i would walk and give him a bill for the time you spent lining up your fellas...if he pays it take the gang out for beers. I dunno what 'youngster' means, but my guess is he is less experienced and will do it on the cheap. if the guy is willing to take inferior craftsmanship on his boat, i be wary that he would balk at a bill from a professional... just my 2(are there not 'cents' buttons on keyboards anymore?!?). a verbal commit is a contract to me...

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post #4 of 64 Old 09-14-2010
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Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
I was chatting up a sailor who's boat is in the yard for a repower and bid on both taking the bottom paint to glass and re-doing it right and a complete paint. Saturday he came over and committed to us doing the complete job and I lined up a spot in a building and extra crew to do the gig. Monday I show up to find some youngster eyeballing the boat. After talking with him, I find the customer, who had committed to me, had called him, shopping me around. Not only did he shop me, he gave the topcoat to this youngun and expects me to still do the bottom strip, barrier coat and paint. My crew is PO'd and doesn't want to touch the boat after that little trick. They are of the opinion "Why eat a side when you were supposed to have a meal".

I'm inclined to agree.

What do you think? Should I still trust this guy after a stunt like that?
I wouldn't. I don't think there's anything wrong with shopping around for the best deal - but when you've committed you've committed.

If you can afford it - call his bluff and walk.

The biggest problem I see is two vendors doing overlapping work. Lots of opportunity for hassles...especially since you're one of the few perfectionists in the world.


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post #5 of 64 Old 09-14-2010
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too much chance for finger pointing and who gets the boat when...especially if it is in your shop/yard....

I would politely ask him what is up and encourage him to take his business elsewhere, if you can afford to...

If not, then a percent of something is better than 100% of nothing..but then you may end up with nothing - even though you did the work.

I would not trust him at all...
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post #6 of 64 Old 09-14-2010
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Just spent one year working with contractors; built a house. so my opinion is not positive.

I see nothing wrong with rebidding / changing before you start working.
your choices are: Rebid, throw a fit and quit, or take the bottom job.

I bet he's got someone else lined to do the job who is just a little higher than you or you'd be fired already. lets be honest and blunt : he has no loyalty to you and you have no loyalty to him : this is buisness not marriage.
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post #7 of 64 Old 09-14-2010
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What do you think? Should I still trust this guy after a stunt like that?
Telling him to take a hike would be satisfying, but may not be in your best long term interests.

I would politely point out to him that he had agreed to have you do the work and that based on that agreement, you had arranged space and crew to do the work. Tell him that if he doesn't want you to do the work as agreed, then you can renegotiate for the work that he does want you to do. Hand him a bill for any real costs you have incurred up to this point.

Then find out what he wants you to do. Give him a written estimate. Once the two of you reach an agreement as to the scope of the work to be done and the price, then have him sign a contract. Do this all very politely. He will get the message that you no longer trust his word but need his signature on a legally binding contract.

The advantage of this, is that you likely will still get some work. You also stand a good chance of impressing upon him your own professionalism, and if you do a good job for him, that may result in referrals. If he realizes he screwed up, but you handle it well, he is likely to appreciate it. He may become a good long term customer. If you tell him to take a hike, he will just tend to blame it on you and you'll have someone in the area telling other boat owners about his "bad" experience with you.

It is too bad. I verbally agreed to have two guys that came recommended commission my recently bought boat for me. We didn't know each other, but knew of each other. They did the work as agreed. I paid them as agreed. Very simple. I just paid a guy to buff and wax my boat while in the water. I got his name from a recommendation. I called him, we agreed on the work, he did it and left an invoice in the companionway of the boat, and I sent him a check. We spoke on the phone 3 times. All very simple and easy. It is much nicer when business can be conducted on the basis of trust and performance.

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post #8 of 64 Old 09-14-2010
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The advantage of this, is that you likely will still get some work. You also stand a good chance of impressing upon him your own professionalism, and if you do a good job for him, that may result in referrals.
Frankly, I would wonder if i wanted referrals from this type of fella... ye ole 80/20 rule...dogs run with dogs

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post #9 of 64 Old 09-14-2010
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lets be honest and blunt : he has no loyalty to you and you have no loyalty to him : this is buisness not marriage.
You make a valid point. But this has happened to me from time to time as well (although in my line of work, there is generally no splitting-up of the job. Either you do it all or you do none of it) and I have come to this philosophy; a guy like this is a douchebag and I don't do business with douchebags. Yes, you may be walking away from a payday (however much reduced from the initial agreement) but you also might be walking away from a deadbeat that you would have to chase down in court or through a mechanic's lien. If the client isn't above screwing you before you've picked up a tool, he won't be above screwing you after the work is done.

I do business based on a phone call or e-mail. I have clients that I have serviced for many years but have never laid eyes on or even actually spoken with. 99% of the time, that arrangement works out fine. I'm sure Cobra Charlie has been around long enough to know that you often get a gut feeling early on about clients. This guy leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I'm 800 miles away! If it's me, I walk away and no remorse. But it's not me.

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post #10 of 64 Old 09-14-2010
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Charlie...

If I understand this correctly:
you quoted
he accepted
he reneged

If I were you, I'd walk away from this guy and make sure he understands why!

Paul
PS I'm in my mid-sixties and was taught "business ethics" by my Father and Mother, who owned and operated their very successful retail business.
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