Home Forums Chat Forum chasing tradesmen for quotes

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  • chasing tradesmen for quotes
  • fatsimonmk2
    Free Member

    bit of a rant got to get it off my cheast why is it that i have had to chase both the roofer and the sparky for there quote you would think in this current climate that they would be getting qoutes out quick but oh no both of them dog slow both didn’t arrive when they said it would both had to be chased grrrrr

    bigbob38
    Free Member

    If thats the standard of quoting, I would be concerned about the work ethic…

    Liftman
    Full Member

    more of a rantette than a rant

    dropoff
    Full Member

    Maybe they’ve got more work than they can deal with, maybe they don’t want to spend all day working and all night doing quotes that people aren’t going to look at anyway, or maybe they’re just no good :)

    Xylene
    Free Member

    My plumber (he is mine all mine) is working 7 days a week just now, starts around 7 and finishes around 8ish hasn’t seen or felt the recession in anyway, shape or form.

    waynekerr
    Free Member

    Don’t take offence, but possibly they did not fancy the job, or care for you or your attitude, I judge people when I go to estimate job, I’m not saying you fall into this category, but a lot of people out there have terrible attitudes & if I come across one, I hammer the price on as I do not really want to work for them. If they still want to go ahead, fine at least I know I’m getting well paid it, same goes if I can see the jobs going to give me grieve. I do know a few guys who just never bother putting a quote in, just as your experiencing.
    On the other hand if people are really nice when I go see them, I tend to be a more sympathetic when quoting & I get back to them quicker.

    fatsimonmk2
    Free Member

    waynekerr neither have hammered the price and iam always nice to people coming round my house just think that its a bit of a bad show to not produce quotes when you say your going to and yes i do know what envolved in producing quotes as i have to do it all day long for my customers.

    stonemonkey
    Free Member

    Just to let you know that its fking chaos for the trades at the moment with the burst pipes and snow damage to properties.

    Rockhopper
    Free Member

    I’ve had this no end of times both at home and though my work and not just recently. Some of this has been for work valued in the six figure area as well.
    A lot won’t even return phone calls at the very first stage.
    My policy now is I give them one chance, if they don’t perform I move on to the next one on my list!
    I think the basic problem is that many small builders and tradesmen are just very poor at organising themselves.

    project
    Free Member

    as Wayn e kerr says above, its all down to personality of the customer, on big jobs,

    its can you stand to be around them for long periods of time,

    do they come over as knowing more than you,even if they know sod all,

    do they tell you they would do it but dont have time, now theyre formulating a new cure for man flu,or something similar,

    their son would do it with his mates, but he is on a gap year in Slough,

    Do thwey already have a tradesman who has walked off the job, been told to leave the job,

    do they have an obsesive compulsion disorder, everything tidy and no dust,

    In there opening chat do they repeatedly tell you theyre getting a new company car, new holiday, new lcd tv, or anything else new,

    Do they have a wife who hates men, especially tradesmen,in her house,and she shows it as soon as you walk in,

    do they tell you take your shoes off when you walk in,

    do they repeatedly call you mate, and say how much for cash,(well ive been offered sexual favours,instead of cash, but that was a real pain in the bum)

    do they have horrible spoilt kids that scream and shout and ignore daddies requests to not interupt,

    Oh and theres more that customers use to pee the tradesman off, not saying the OP has any of these traits, but a few customers do.

    Oh and theres a lot more.

    flip
    Free Member

    waynekerr + 1

    I quote for jobs daily, if i don’t like people i quote high, some people take it some don’t, if they do i can put up with them.

    You wouldn’t believe how unbelievable some customers are…

    I work for myself for a reason so i’m the boss :wink:

    Not saying you’re a pain but some are, and i go the extra mile for good folks, and lovely ladies 8)

    TheFunkyMonkey
    Free Member

    What wayne, project and flip said

    Drac
    Full Member

    They get a couple of chances from me, if they don’t produce it then they’re not worth bothering with.

    deadlydarcy
    Free Member

    I think the basic problem is that many small builders and tradesmen are just very poor at organising themselves.

    To be fair, this is very true. I’m crap at organising myself, but compared to most small guys I know, I’m a dream. And I bloody hate doing quotes.

    I work for myself for a reason so i’m the boss

    I also think that tradesmen think this just a smidgeon too much. My attitude is that, yes, my time is my own, I can take as long or as short (all within reason) as I want on a job. If I need to be away early on a day or turn up late, then there isn’t really anyone to tell me yay or nay.

    However, I try never to lose sight of the fact that the customer is the really the boss. And some weeks I have the best boss in the world, and some weeks (very very rarely TBH), I have a bit of a crap boss. Crap bosses are only going to be in my life for a few weeks at the most – it’s not like I have to look at them every day for years. Crap bosses also get charged for every little extra not quoted for at the beginning of a job. Good bosses get a detail here, a trim there and an extra hour of finishing thrown in because they were nice, made me feel welcome and we both had smiles on our faces when we met and when we parted.

    That, to me, (the “I’m the boss” bit) is where a lot of tradesmen fall down.

    And:

    Not saying you’re a pain but some are, and i go the extra mile for good folks, and lovely ladies

    This attitude shows that you’re not one of those types 8)

    TheFunkyMonkey
    Free Member

    I would also add that alot of the time, we struggle to be able to get a quote one because we’re so busy. If a tradesmen can get you a quote done very quick and start very quick, it’s probably best to steer clear. This is traditionally the quietest time of year for the trades, but i’m currently telling people it’ll be March before I can start. If you have a good rep, people are prepared to wait

    flip
    Free Member

    That, to me, (the “I’m the boss” bit) is where a lot of tradesmen fall down.

    I mean i’m in charge of my destiny, not that i’m arrogant, i’m really rather pleasant.

    And yes the customer is always right in what he/she wants.

    project
    Free Member

    Oh and another thing certain customers agree a price, have the work done and are then awkward on paying, they find tiny non existant faults, things you havent done, that you said you would never do,

    Then there are the negotiators,who want a huge discount because youve finished early or late, or some who offer you a free meal, for a discount,(takeaway owners usually).

    Channel 5 if youre reading this, please make a programe featuring tradesmen talking about customers , perhaps you could callit “Grumpy old Tradesmen”, it would be a big hit.

    Finally there is a sort of unofficial list of bad customers that we pass around , ones who dont pay, make malicious claioms etc.

    missingfrontallobe
    Free Member

    From a customer point of view, if someone comes out to price a job then doesn’t get back to me, I’ll go to someone else & assume person A can’t organise themselves or can’t be arsed, in which case they don’t deserve the business. I’ve had person A come back to me 2 or 3 weeks later to be surprised that we’ve gone with someone else. I refuse to tell them what I’ve ended up paying, I just describe it as “competitive”, because A will always then claim they could have done the job for less.
    Importantly we’ll give the good guys repeat business.

    Drac
    Full Member

    If a tradesmen can get you a quote done very quick and start very quick, it’s probably best to steer clear.

    Never found this to be true at all the opposite I have.

    TheFunkyMonkey
    Free Member

    If they can start tomorrow, why haven’t they got any work on? The customer I’m working for now waited almost 3 months for me to fit her kitchen. I’d already done a kitchen and bathroom for her aunt and some joinery work for her friend, based on what she’d seen, she was happy to wait. I’m not the cheapest, but nowhere near the most expensive either.

    You’re only as god as your last job and I haven’t advertised for 5 years

    deadlydarcy
    Free Member

    Importantly we’ll give the good guys repeat business.

    I’m sure they’re honoured.

    chewkw
    Free Member

    To OP, they have never had it so good …

    TheFunkyMonkey
    Free Member

    There certainly is more work about now, but there are also more about doing it than ever before too. I probably know of 5 bad ones, for every good one. Which inevitably means more competition for business, therefore lower prices

    cheez0
    Free Member

    clearly wayne and his supporters have the luxury of picking and choosing their jobs.
    as a consumer, i’d like to think that the guy coming to do work actually gives a **** about the task and prices fairly, especially as im paying to keep him in beer/fags and expensive DH bikes for the duration.
    as for quoting higher for ‘miserable’ or ‘ugly’ people, maybe their cautious attitude is about not wanting to be being ripped off by one of those cowboys we sadly hear so much about.
    i dont have an excuse as to why ugly people are ugly. :D

    Drac
    Full Member

    If they can start tomorrow, why haven’t they got any work on?

    I never mentioned when they could start, I mean giving me an idea of cost and when they can start.

    TheFunkyMonkey
    Free Member

    I always give a rough idea of cost and approximate start date on my first visit

    geoffj
    Full Member

    I had this on an extension we had done last year. As a professional project manager, I *thought* I understood how the process would work.

    Send plans / spec to builder and wait for them to get back to visit.
    Wait for them to quote according to spec.
    Assess quotes and decide, based on price, references, ability to get on with them.

    Not like that at all.

    I ended up with a Polish guy who quoted according to spec (not some random combination of tasks some of which were not requested or needed) and within a reasonable timescale.

    What I can’t understand is that there were several firms that came, spent quite a while and just never submitted a quote. Not a ridiculously high one, just not one.

    Oh and all this being too busy to quote bollox, get a grip. Get tooled up with a smart phone and the software and you should be able to send the quote within 5 minutes of seeing the job 90% of the time. if you don’t fancy it, double the price, but at least have the courtesy to do something that you have agreed to.

    Oh and the Polish bloke did a top notch job, according to spec and budget.

    deadlydarcy
    Free Member

    being ripped off by one of those cowboys we sadly hear so much about.

    Cowboys are only there because people want work done on the cheap and think they’re going to get a bargain.

    Get tooled up with a smart phone and the software and you should be able to send the quote within 5 minutes of seeing the job 90% of the time.

    Utter bollocks. Quotes don’t take 5 minutes – especially not for a reasonably complicated extension.

    but at least have the courtesy to do something that you have agreed to.

    Nobody’s obliged to do anything for you. Sometimes I just don’t want to have to tell the prospective clients what a roosters I thought they were. It’s kinder all round to ignore them.

    Oh and the Polish bloke did a top notch job, according to spec and budget.

    Well, bully for you. Stop bloody whinging then.

    geoffj
    Full Member

    Utter bollocks. Quotes don’t take 5 minutes – especially not for a reasonably complicated extension.

    I said 90% of jobs. How difficult is it to calculate the area of a floor, add on a bit for tricky corners and then a premium for the bolshyness of the customer?

    Nobody’s obliged to do anything for you. Sometimes I just don’t want to have to tell the prospective clients what a roosters I thought they were. It’s kinder all round to ignore them.

    You really think that? It’s kinder to give them a 2 minute call and say you don’t fancy the job and they’d be better off asking someone else.

    Well, bully for you. Stop bloody whinging then.

    Moi – whinge 8O

    :lol:

    TheFunkyMonkey
    Free Member

    Geoff, you’re a project manager?!

    geoffj
    Full Member

    Geoff, you’re a project manager?!

    Yes, a fully paid up member – but not on construction projects thankfully (probably best for all concerned really).

    Having said that, providing a quote isn’t rocket surgery is it?

    I suspect that the failure to quote by some tradesmen is to do with them wanting just be allowed to get on with the job and then invoice the customer afterwards. That’s fine if you’ve got trust in the person doing the work, but if you haven’t it can be difficult.

    deadlydarcy
    Free Member

    I said 90% of jobs. How difficult is it to calculate the area of a floor, add on a bit for tricky corners and then a premium for the bolshyness of the customer?

    A little bit longer than 5 minutes, let me tell you. But don’t let that stop you being patronising. Being a bit slow, us tradesmen need to double check all our calculations. I can ballpark a customer on the spot if he really wants. Ballpark only though.

    You really think that?

    Well, no, not really. I was kinda trolling there. I have been guilty of simply ignoring people once or twice. But only if they’ve been proper PITAs.

    geoffj
    Full Member

    A little bit longer than 5 minutes, let me tell you. But don’t let that stop you being patronising.

    Fairymuff, but surely if you have the templates set up properly in Excel or something and you pick and choose which tasks, dimensions and materials are relevant to the job, it shouldn’t be an onerous task should it?

    Seriously – what bits of the process am I not understanding properly?

    trusslebabes
    Free Member

    When i did up our house and needed tradesmen i was told by my plumber that if they didn’t even turn up on time (unless they’d phoned to say they were late) then think twice about using them. We used various tradesmen throughout the job and there are only 3 i would use again happily, one being my plumber, i can always get hold of him either straight away or by leaving a msg and getting a call back same day, always turns up when he needs to and is pleasant. The joiner and his friend who laid our wood floor and then built kitchen and is now making some cupboards and a window, was always great on comms, quality of work and timekeeping. We got chatting about biking and we have become very good friends and ride/compete together now.

    I am a tradesman (Farrier) and i always give customers good comms and service even if they are nuts (currently dealing with one at mo) because i know then i’ve done everything right from my side and so can sleep peacefully :D I agree with with the comments above, if it is going to take more time than necessary etc then charge accordingly, but always give a good service and communication :D

    deadlydarcy
    Free Member

    but surely if you have the templates set up properly in Excel or something

    :lol: You really are a project manager. (only joking really ;-) )

    My jobs are varied and complicated. I really do wish I could plug figures into a template and come up with a figure that would be fair to both myself and the client but it’s never that simple. My sites can be anything from a new build to a few centuries old Georgian house. All requiring slightly different approaches.

    chickenman
    Full Member

    Costing the materials is the easy part of estimating; no amount of spreads sheets is going to help with the crystal ball part of the exercise; namely how easy are certain aspects of a job going to be when the variable cannot be assesed untill you strip out what’s there now.
    Plus, I would’t know how to set up a spread sheet; my skills are in the joinery dept, not IT. I guess I’m not alone in this.
    IMO where tradesmen let themselves down is when they don’t turn up when they say they will: People sometimes take annual leave in order to be home to let tradesmen in, so, no-show is not a good move.

    deadlydarcy
    Free Member

    IMO where tradesmen let themselves down is when they don’t turn up when they say they will: People sometimes take annual leave in order to be home to let tradesmen in, so, no-show is not a good move.

    Agreed. This is unforgivable. I tend to always make my appointments to be at my clients’ convenience, not mine. A no-show without letting them know is just horrible.

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