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I think I just screwed the pooch. What would you do?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by TheSnowman, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

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    I worked on quoting a job for a guy like, 5 months ago. I had the quote, and then I'd try to get a hold of him, and it'd be a month before I could catch him when he had time to talk, or we got together. Well, last time we talked, he had all these trucks he was going to do, and he still wanted the original stuff. He said, can't you do me any better price on all this stuff? I figured, since we were doing so much, I will see what I can do, and I used a little cheaper substrate, and we were good to go. Here's where the problem starts.

    I wrote down (2) 4' X 10' sheets. No problem, the signs are 20' long, so it must have been 2' X 20' signs. I order in my two 4' X 10' sheets, cut them down so that I have (4) 2' X 10' sheets because there are two signs on opposite sides of the building. Last night I went over to match the colors, and sure enough, it should have been (2) 4' X 10' sheets PER SIGN. They are four freakin' feet tall, not two.

    So...I was already getting aggressive on pricing to get the job from the guy since I'm getting into my slow season, now I figure I'm payin' this guy A MINIMUM of $100 since I have a bunch of custom ordered 2' X 10' sheets I'll never use, and that doesn't even include the time I will lose. It's really looking more like a couple hundred I'm gonna lose on it.

    What would you guys do? Call the guy, explain the situation, and see what he wants to do, and if he goes somewhere else, that's fine? Or would you stand behind your quote, even if you are gonna work for free and pay him to make his signs? My price was half what it should have been, plain and simple, time, materials, delivery, etc. Just wanted to get some ideas before I called the guy, or ate the cost.

    The worst part is, it's November...and we are pretty much dead from now till April every year, so a couple hundred bucks I'm gonna feel a lot more now than I would in July.
     
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  2. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    Got to eat it, it's your mistake. That sucks, but it happens.
     
  3. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Sound like you made the mistake, so you should eat it and carry on. Sorry but that is what should be done if you make the error. This is one of the reasons my quotes have on them only good for 30 days.
     
  4. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    I know it sucks, but if you value your reputation you'll make it right, especially if he might do more work with you again sometime.

    Did you QUOTE it as 2' x 10's or 4' x 10's?
     
  5. graphicmaniac

    graphicmaniac Member

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    I say call him...if he's a decent guy, he will understand.

    If he walks.......then at least your not out the misquote $.

    If your up front with him about it and he chooses to make a big deal out of it....oh well.

    Just my humble opinion.
     
  6. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    I can't tell you how expensive this business has been to learn over the span of my career. Been there, done that, and have all the mistakes hanging on the wall :) When life hands you a lemon, turn it into a showroom sample :)
     
  7. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    If he told you the wrong size, it's completely his fault and you can charge him for buying the material again. If it's your fault, nothing you can do but take the lost.

    You could splice the pieces together and still do it. On the back use L-brackets, and cover the front with a large sheet of vinyl to cover the seam.

    Good luck! :thumb:
     
  8. Locals Find!

    Locals Find! Very Active Member

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    Explain to him what honestly happened. If he wants you to eat it well its all on you. We have all made mistakes like that. Don't come across as whining though when you talk to him.

    I have had a few clients over the years that realize they are much better off financially then I have been and they were happy to help me out in similar scenarios. By taking the screwed up pieces off my hands at my cost. Allowing me to at least start the job over without a loss.

    Rare but it does happen. I wish you the best of luck and understand your pain.
     
  9. "Deposit Please"

    "Deposit Please" Active Member

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    Never assume. If it's a job your NOT gonna make money on, why do it. If he is a long time customer of yours, he should be understanding. I'd call him up asap & let him know.
     
  10. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

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    I did quote him 2' X 10' materials, NOT 4' X 10'. That's the only thing that gives me ground to stand on, but I did still use the wrong materials. I may just call him and tell him my quote was right, but my materials were wrong. If he wants to work something out, great, if not...so be it, I will still do the job either way to keep my name clean. What I don't want is to give him a good deal, or pay him to do the job, and still lose him as a customer. I've had that happen before. He's a business man that owns three businesses, so maybe he'll have a heart for the little sign guy.
     
  11. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Get out the Mrs. Dash because you are going to have to eat it.
    Do it right the next time, you won't make this mistake again.
    It sucks, but it's happened to me too, usually when I'm as broke as Shauna Sands' vajayjay.
    I wouldn't even mention it to the guy, just make it right.
    If anything, you'll be able to sell the cut pieces to someone else.
    There are many lessons here; measure twice cut once, make your estimates good for 45 days max, don't come down in price like you did based on the promise of more work.
    That extra padding would have helped you a bit.
    Love.....Jill
     
  12. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    So you made the mistake on the size? Or he gave you the wrong dimensions?
    If he gave the wrong dimensions I would tell him the job was based on his measurements and they were wrong and he can either get it at the new price or not. If it was your mistake, I would would do the job. Either way I wouldn't mention the materials issue.
    I would also look at my pricing, if making a mistake of a couple sheets of dibonfd on a job like that means the job costs you money you're not charging enough.
     
  13. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

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    I am going to do the math and see what I am really going to be out. I also am going to go measure it up again. For some reason, I got a 2' X 20' in my head. I don't know what caused that. I am almost wondering if I measured one sign, and not the other or something, and they are two different sizes. I'm learning a lot on this one. I haven't had to learn anything in a while, and I was really enjoying that! I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes.
     
  14. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Did almost the same thing a couple of months ago....looked that the signs and assumed they were standard 2'x16' signs so I'd get two out of a sheet. The signs turned out to be an oddball 27" instead and there was no way to make the 24" panels work.
     
  15. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    If your quote does spell out 2' x 10' and NOT 4' x 10' then you might be OK if the guy is understanding. Explain your situation to him the best you can and see what happens.
     
  16. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Don't feel bad tho, I just did two 3X8 banners with two color lettering and hemmed, and double sided for only $110 each. Killed myself on those.
     
  17. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    cut them down and make a bunch of 24x26 a-frames to try and salvage some of the money.
     
  18. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    Tell him you screwed up and ask him what he thinks is a "reasonable" approach to the problem.....Often folks are easy to deal with if you do not back them against the wall and let them think they are in charge.....
     
  19. John L

    John L Very Active Member

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    Hand his ash into zoning for having signs too large then, when he has the citation in hand, tell him you have a solution.

    I'm joking of course.

    Think it all out, his likely response, yours, then call him and be straight.
     
  20. Locals Find!

    Locals Find! Very Active Member

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    Why are you lowballing product??? You come on here and tell these guys stuff like that your asking to get beat up.

    Adjust your pricing. I consider myself cheap and I wouldn't have done it for less than $384.00 and then only for a really really good client. Off the street would have been double that. You gave your stuff away.
     
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