I am currently dealing with one of those customers that you wonder why in the world you took the job.
Some background: It was to wire up a old construction residential property. Being that I did not how long it will take, we made up time + material. I gave the customer an estimate of 3 -4 days for a 2 person crew. And told him probably closer to 4 days.
After all the roughing was done (just under 3 days) went to go get paid. He came back with a few arguments. Here are three of them, I am wondering what most people would do in such a situation. I admit there is a possibility I may be wrong, so I want to see what others say
1) Complaint number one is that I charged him for when I was there the night before the crew was starting to prep the job site. I dropped of 10+ boxes of wire, ladders, tools and other material. He says that shouldnt count. My response is that my crew would normally need to do it and bill for it (two people), so I did it the night before myself.
2) Whenever we work on a job (that is not a construction zone) we clean up afterwards (sweep, vacuum, etc..). His complaint is that why did he pay my hourly rates to clean up, while he has a cleaning lady who is much cheaper. My response was that he should have stopped them from cleaning then (it was less then an hour). This is the only one where he may be right, but I dont know and I am willing to waive it for that hour.
3) He is upset that it took so long. Even though that is the time I gave him as an estimate, he believed it would take much less. And that probably the reason why it took so long was because I used some unskilled workers to pull the wire. He then goes to say that he brought some other people now in and they said it should not take more then 10 hours (and he says if he would have used his workers it would have taken on 7 hours). My response is that: A) He should have shopped around before hand B) The experienced person was working with an experienced tech and the young person was pulling wire which he actually can do faster then the older tech C) That doesnt even make a difference as I gave you my time estimate and I am under it. And the reason why I had to use the experienced person was that one of my other techs walked off the job because the homeowner was standing on top of them saying why are you doing it this way, why not this other way, etc..... (The homeowner is in property management so he feels he knows how to do all the work)
What would you do in regarding to these 3 points?