Member Discussion

Integrators, Why Do You Turn Work Down?

Meaning when you have a job offered and you have to tell the prospect/customer no.

Why do you so? Any good examples / stories?

Do you do it once a day, month, week, year or never?


Only been in the industry a few months, but the first and only time recently I've heard us say no is when a client wanted a security camera installed in an elevator.

The amount of time, working with the elevator company and working around the client's schedule, and past history of them turning down quotes because it was not cost effective at the time. Would just be a headache and more trouble than it's worth.

This may not be quite the same as directly turning work down, but many integrators who often work in the bid market, will go to a pre-bid meeting and then decide to not bid the job--due to a variety of issues, including:

  • shift requirements of the job
  • belief that the consultant/owner has not properly spec'd the job
  • review of the site reveals conditions the integrator does not want to tackle - high ceilings, poor ability to run wire, weak IT infrastructure, etc...
  • Product mix is such that you are weak compared to competitors (i.e. you don't have the level of pricing or certification to be competitive for a specific vendor--say Axis), or so open that you can see the bidding will become a "free-for-all."

In the Chicago Area I quit doing anything with the Chicago Public School system because it was not worth the hassle and constant " FAVOR" requests...AMF lol...and my life is so much easier...Also I stay away from Car Dealerships Hotels and Mini Marts...Too much BS, Prcie shopping etc...

We regularly turn down work for ethical or culture mismatches.

If someone asks if they can selectively delete video... we decline.

If company has a culture that rewards unethical behavior we dont agree with, we decline.

If the expectations dont match the budget... we decline.


If someone asks if they can selectively delete video... we decline.

Just for asking?

I guess maybe you mean when someome calls out if the blue and asks if you can delete specific footage.

lol, i read it like you were talking to a prospect on a big job and they asked about capabilities...

Not generally that quickly, but that question is usually followed by clarification that confirms they arent someone we want to do business with. Last time that happened was with a car dealer that had just had over a dozen vehicles stolen. 6 Months later the place closed down and there was a local news story about their insurance and loan fraud.

I have recently turned down a customer on a ludicrously quick turnaround quotation due to regulatory requirements, though it would have been profitable for us. This client has previously circumvented us to hire a trunkslammer to do the work, which we inevitably are called back to repair. The initial quote detailed intentionally vague information on the components we were to provide/install. It was more of a "we'll bring you into compliance, here's your price" quote. At that point the potential client started asking for spec sheets and part numbers, which were completely useless to the client. It was clear I was making a shopping list for someone else.

On public bid jobs I have passed when the information as in the specifications are so muddled or vague that to bid would result in enormous risk to my employer. Thankfully, I have not had to do work on public bids in a few years.

No, aka: Bye Felicia!

- Window Shoppers

- Public Works

- As mentioned by others -> Unreal expectations, weak budget.

- Cheap product requests, vulnerable outdated or end of life technology requests.

- Cut all corners until no corners remain and now the customer wants to cut the pie.

- Customers that are from the industry that want to design-complain instead of design-build. "I am a senior ASIS certified member, I will design you turn screw".

- Certain security consultants that may be known to play an incentive white envelope kick back game with the stake holders. Buyer Beware.

- Any old bids that do not cover and explain liquidated damage expectations in the pre and post onset of another Covid like pandemic, supplier shut down, trade shut downs, shelter in place etc. ANY BID that does not have nomenclature that legally clarifies all risks should not even be BID. Cover your Covid(ass) and never compromise your non-negotiable's!!!

Allows Be Kind and Courteous! Nobody likes rejection, not even trolls.

Like Armando, we decline if expectations don't match budget.

I pass on competitive bids if the specs are years old.

If customers are in arrears, we won't offer any new quotes until their account is current.

I spoke with a commercial electrician today who this week decided to refuse to do future business with a Construction Management company because they reportedly asked for 5% of the job profits as a 'guarantee' that work was awarded to the electrician.

There apparently was a scheme to disqualify bid submissions on technicalities for those not agreeing to pay a 'kickback'.

Is 'pay for play' a common thing?

I'm just starting, so I haven't had a lot of opportunity to turn down work.

That said, one of my clients is a landlord in considerable financial trouble. He's stiffed me on one job where the building went into receivership and he didn't warn me ahead of time, then he had the gall to ask me to do more camera work on that same building! In the interests of recouping some funds I charged them handsomely and squeezed a bit more out of it. I won't even give him a quote now unless he pays for it, and any agreed-upon work must be paid IN FULL before I even order the equipment.

I also immediately walk away from anyone that pulls out the Costco kit comparison. I'm not going to play that game.