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Installers pricing in risk or replacement?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Texas_Signmaker, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Let's say an installer charges $200 to install something, and that something costs $2000. Should the installer be responsible for covering the damage and replacement costs of the $2000 item if something go wrong? Should installers be considering the replacement costs of such items when pricing installation?

    This did not happen to me, it's a hypothetical that crossed my mind.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  2. Adirondack

    Adirondack New Member

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  3. Adirondack

    Adirondack New Member

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    We require our installers to carry their own insurance. BUT... many insurance policies don't cover "quality of workmanship", and how that is defined is debatable (or at least may vary by insurance company). So if the client or you don't "like" the job they did (don't like the position of the installation, etc), it may not be covered by insurance. But if there are damages to the item, for example your $2000 sign, that might be covered. You'd need to talk with an insurance agent to be sure. But a great reason to require your subs to be insured.
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    That's a good one, but normally, most people will quote on the work they are to do and if anything goes wrong, they are not responsible, even if they dropped a sign or a vinyl graphic stuck to itself.

    If you put it in writing up front and tell the company/individual they will be responsible for anything that might go wrong outta their normal scope of work, I'm sure their prices will be much higher, than normal. Insurance of a $2,000 item would be next to impossible with deductibles and whatnot, so most people won't get involved.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    We don't do signs like you but we typically build in buffers for some projects. With some of our subs when we use them we ask them to price with d
    Replacements in mind, but we don't hold them accountable if it's not a problem caused by them.

    Case in point, we recently did a wall job. We tested everything before hand and everything was holding up well. Installers installed the wall and 24 hours later the whole graphic was on the floor. Client was upset and he said he asked for the graphics to be taped and stapled before the installers left. Well we go back out to reinstall and low and behold the client painted the wall. This was not our installers fault but our clients.
     
  6. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Well, I did a job a while back that was Gemini letters. It was installed in an office interior on drywall. The letters had a base that was stud-mounted and then 3/4" acrylic VHB taped on top of the bases. I could only guess they were expensive *** letters. I was only charging about $400 to do the job. The letters had VHB pre-installed so I just peeled and stuck, but the thought did cross my mind of should I be considering the cost of the sign when installing? When I make signs myself, I always make sure I'm at least doubling on material so even if I had to remaking something I'd still be making $$. But what if those letters for some reason failed and they tried to blame me? I know this is all hypothetical what-ifs, but I just figured I would ask.

    I've messed up a few times in the past... Like I was setting a panel on a wrap in the field and it touched itself and messed up, so I just told them to reprint it. They didn't blame me for messing it up and I just consider it just one of those things that happens every now and then and would happen to them so.. One time I completely miss-measured 8 windows and the company had to re-print a BUNCH of perf. Because I was getting so much work from them I just ended up doing the install for free to wash the cost of the mistake.
     
  7. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    If I were a installer, I would never agree to replacement cost. I would think legally it would need to
    be called out in the agreement.
     
  8. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    The installer without having it in writing would be responsible, this is why having correct verbiage in contracts is important.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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  10. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    You don't charge your employees if they screw up, right?

    We outsource installers a lot. If they screw up we replace it free. If they constantly screw up... We stop using them or goto other installers in the area.

    The most important thing when a job goes wrong is getting it right for the customer that's waiting, not squabble who's fault it was.

    Plus... Like you said, when you print something and install it you do 2x material cost, if you outsourced a job would you Only quote based on 1x material cost, and not include the buffer? I know we don't... We still have it baked into our quote. And while it sucks.if something happens, it happens to everyone.
     
  11. I am about to have a conversation with a company about exactly this. We recently got a company to install some printed frost onto 10 interior windows in a city a few hours away. We got a call from our customer who was not happy with the install. He sent pics and there were large wrinkles, creases and a partial splice in 4 of the 10 panels. The installers sent us a bill for the quoted amount. I don't think I should have to pay for at least the 4 windows they screwed up right? We will have to reprint and get another installer out to remove and replace the graphics, so I'll have to pay them. We won't deduct the reprints or anything, just not pay them for their incompetence. Sound reasonable?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    First, you need to ask them..... WHAT HAPPENED ??

    Ask them why they did not communicate with you about all of their problems and who decided it was Okay to give sub-par service ?? Then, to bill you as if nothing went wrong ??

    Get your facts straight, before you start going in other directions. Solve these problems before you might make more. Also, give them a chance to make right what they did wrong.

    I don't like this tactic, but if you hired them to do 10 windows, they need to have 10 windows finished, not half of them. No Pay in my book.

    That's like paying UPS for Red Label and it takes 3 days to get here and they say, well it got there, didn't it ?? You still need to pay it, even if it's just regular ground costs. Nope, there was a reason it went out overnight and you did not do it. I ain't paying a thing.​
     
  13. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    More than likely the management doesn't know about the bad workmanship. I would send them
    the pictures and see what they're willing to do to make it right, they might opt to reinstall free of charge and discount the entire job for
    you inconvenience.
    If they didn't, I would do as you said; only pay a prorated amount and then give them a scathing review with pictures
     
  14. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    If the something that goes wrong is the installers fault, it's absolutely his responsibility. The responsibility of the installer doesn't change based on the value of the sign.

    If the something that goes wrong is beyond the installers control, then no, he shouldn't be responsible.

    As soon as the installer receives the sign, it's his responsibility. That includes uncrating, unboxing or unwrapping it without damaging the contents, transporting it, installing it, protecting the surrounding environment in the process and cleaning it after installation.

    Perfect example in regards to cleaning a sign: I know of an installer that installed a large gloss black acrylic sign with dimensional letters on it. The sign was easily a $2k sign to the end customer. He installed without issue....until he cleaned it. He wiped it down with a rag and the rag had debris in it. It left really bad scratches and swirl marks all over the place that couldn't be removed. The end customer understandably wouldn't accept the sign. The installer admitted to being at fault but refused to take any responsibility. He only said he would replace it with the new sign when ready. That sign company is no longer his customer.

    Perfect example in regards to protecting the surrounding environment while installing: I was installing around thirty 4'x4' cabinet signs that all faced large windows. They were getting installed on the bottom side of a 1/4" thick, square steel beam, which meant drilling around sixty holes for the mounting hardware. I meant to bring moving blankets to drape and protect the windows, just in case a bit broke. I had so much to load up for the day, I completely forgot the blankets. I got on site, realized it and dismissed it because the schedule was already so tight. On the second hole, the bit bound up and shattered. With what sounded like a gunshot, one piece hit the adjacent glass and shattered it. $1500 out of pocket (wasn't worth filing on my insurance). 100% my fault and my responsibility.

    20170718_075641.jpg

    Yes, but only to include extra time needed to protect and safely handle the sign during transport, installation, etc. That may mean special equipment, an extra installer, etc. I don't think extra should be added to the pricing stage because "if I drop this, it's going to cost me $XXX". That's just sounds like an excuse for poor planning.
     
  15. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I gotta disagree. If the sign is $1,000,000 and it takes 2 hours to put it up, and YOUR responsible for anything that could happen between now and then, then you can't tell me you don't consider the exposure and factor that into the price?
     
  16. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    I completely get what you're saying, but that's too hypothetical since I doubt anyone has ever installed a million dollar sign in 2 hours lol. But I get what you're saying. I think realistically speaking, your typical, industry-expected labor rates for signs already take into account, to some extent, not only the cost to operate equipment, cover insurance, wages, etc., but also the care required due to the specific value of the sign.

    I guess what I meant is that sign companies already have an expectation for install pricing for given markets/areas. So if they are accustomed to paying $1000 to install a set of dimensional letters or certain amount of vinyl or any other type of sign valued at $2000 but then you go and charge $2000, I would expect an inquiry. And if the answer to the inquiry is "I added more because it's an expensive sign", I don't see that being received well.

    ...maybe that's not what you're getting at though lol...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. We did talk to them and asked them what went down. They didn't really have much of an explanation except to say the customer said it was okay and he signed off on it. We asked for proof of that and they had none. I also told them that regardless of whether the customer signed off on it....I didn't. We don't do sub-par work, and I don't want to be associated with that kind of installation.

    The fact that they couldn't tell me what went wrong, tells me that I can't trust them to repair the graphics. I really don't want to reprint the panels again if they botch it, not to mention looking worse to a repeat client.

    I wish I could tell them to hit the bricks and not pay them, just for the hassle, but I feel like that will just make it a bigger pain in the ***. We did some larger lit signage there as well and want to get paid for that so we just need this done right.
     
  18. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I think it depends on who pays their lawyers more at the end of the day...
    I will always give nationals two prices on a vinyl print install, your vinyl vs mine. If it's mine, you get the vinyl at a decent price, then the install is a bargain. If it's yours, well I'm going to have to increase the cost to install your vinyl, because I don't want to mess it up and I don't want to know how much it cost to replace.
    If it's a cabinet or something that got dropped, then that's a different ball of wax. My priority is first and foremost safety, followed by the customers best interest. If I drop the sign, but it is still safe to install, then I will install it and do everything I can to hide the damage (not hide from the customer or sign co, just the viewers) and see if it's acceptable. If not, I'll be back to replace this on my dime. Now more often than not, the nationals are just happy to hear they won't be paying me for a second trip. I find the response to the issue dictates how it will be followed up. Ding a plaque, hide it with paint, you'll be paying for everything. Ding a plaque, bring it to the attention of the customer immediately, stress the importance of this one facet of the plaque, then they usually respond with "oh I would never notice that, put it on up."

    So much this^ Seriously, we all look like idiots, especially when people start getting thrown under busses.

    This is the real answer. I think you'll find that unless something was done explicitly wrong, you'll never recoup the cost of the sign, and even worse, you will need to find another company and pay them to fix/reinstall. I think everybody would be best off to offer doing their part free, so we can all get back to making fat stacks.

    Rest assured, at least from my company, if your sign didn't go up right, you get a very long email outlining all the failures of the process of the job as a whole. If the wind caught it and the vinyl stuck to itself, I'll own up to it. If it did this, and I had previously asked for 2 extra prints out of 20, because the job is 2 hours away, then someone's paying me for the drive back, maybe not the stick time...
     
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