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Thread: Snag List Nightmares

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Stockport, England
    Posts
    161

    Snag List Nightmares

    I don't know how you pro guys over there go about things, but when I get towards the end of an big installation job, I have found it a good policy to invite the client to prepare a 'snag list' of all the little blemishes, glitches etc so that I can work through it and sign the job off to their satisfaction and get paid. I find that being upfront like this generally disarms the client and they give me an easy time.

    However, this morning I have had an email from the most miserable clients I can remember. We've done a really nice job of two bedrooms for them, and I reckoned that I would just have to pop back with a caulk gun for half an hour or so and pick up a cheque.

    The 'snag list' runs to three pages, everything of almost complete irrelevence. Things like a cleat that is almost invisible inside a closet is slightly darker in colour than the rest! I know for a fact that they were all cut from the same board of oak!

    I guess I'm just going to have to smile nicely and spend the whole day there.

    Customers eh! Who needs 'em?

    The worst thing is I've got an order to do another 2 bedrooms and their dining room. What would you do?

    Whinge over!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,582
    Double you price

    If you need the work, you need the work, I guess, but there comes a point where you just do not want to work for certain customers anymore.

    I've had my share of wine customers like this, in a very similar vein.

    They come in to the shop a half dozen times, and pick my brain, talk my ear off and then buy nothing, saying they will buy the next time. Now if I'm in the shop at a down time, I have no problem chatting with customers, in fact, I often very much enjoy it, but these people seem to come in at the worst time, 6 PM on a Friday, payday, for example, there are half a dozen people in the queue for the till, and only my wife and I in the shop, plus, I've got deliveries to do etc. You get the picture.

    In the end, I often just brush these guys off, sure, once in a blue moon they buy a good bottle of wine, but it is not worth it to me. I usually find out from others in the business that these guys make their rounds, and most of the decent bottle shops know them.

    For you, like I said, if you need the business, you need it, but if you have a bit of work lined up, why not tell them a wait is coming, and due to how busy you are, the price will go up as well (blame that on having to hire more helpers, and or the price of petrol, as it must have gone up over there too! ).

    Bit of a tough spot for sure........wonder what the septics will have to say

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Like Stu says - depends on your order book. If you have a nice backlog then just postpone on them. Have you quoted for the other work yet - if not then add 2 days to each quote for snagging and if they ask about the extra cost over the work that you have already done then say that you now have a clearer view of the quality standard that they are seeking and are better able to price accordingly.

    And thank you for reminding me once again why I make a product rather than do bespoke work!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    29,079
    Interesting...a snag list over there would be a called punch list here in the States. Another case of two cultures divided by a common language.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Interesting...a snag list over there would be a called punch list here in the States. Another case of two cultures divided by a common language.
    You're dead right Vaughn - over here a punch list would contain the names of people who make up stupid things to put on snag lists.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,992
    duncan, every customer wants to believe that they are the consummate "hunter-gatherer" and has done the best they`re able for their family........obviously you`ve educated this couple on what quality work is so now they`re looking for reasons to justify writing the check you`re waiting for. for the next phase be honest with them and yourself and add a pita charge to the bid in advance, make it clear that if the customer gets involved in the build by stopping by and offering input during the construction/finishing stages there should be a very small "snag" list and you`d be happy to waive a portion of the pita charges. but if the customer chooses to wait untill check time to voice concerns that the amount of work required is substantially more and that`s why you`re including the additional charges on the bid....tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    4,265
    I have worked with people for years and I have simple rule.

    "Some people are not worth working for at any price!"

    Just yesterday I was thinking about this. I had a potential client call me and start in on something. I don't remember details but basically I hadn't done anything for him yet and was trying to tell me how to do it, or how I was wrong. I quickly knew I didn't want to work for him and just told him I felt we couldn't work together and that he would be better off finding someone else. He was taken back by that and I made my exit and got off the phone.

    In your case, I would see if they were happy with your repairs and then decide if it was worth doing more for them. Sometimes they are just not worth the effort!

    Jeff
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,434
    Yep, I use a "punch list"

    In Michigan we are required to "stand behind" our work for 18 months.

    It was getting close to that 18 months on the house I included pics on, when the homeowner nicely asked if i would mind coming over to go over a few "things"

    Now I have been done and out of their to their "satisfaction" for a year and a half. I got a list of three pages on a legal size pad to "look at" this went from checking out a screw that came loose on a cabinet ( I did not build) to replacing weatherstripping (he bought) on a door his cat tore up...all maintenance issues.

    Why am I responsible for the normal wear and tear done by him, his wife AND the family cat?

    I spent the whole day because I wanted to keep the customer happy, even though I could have legally not had to do his "maintenance"


    as promised....pics of the home


    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    2,784
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Barley View Post
    You're dead right Vaughn - over here a punch list would contain the names of people who make up stupid things to put on snag lists.
    Ian, the people I work with are looking at me like I'm nuts. I don't often sit at my desk and bust out laughing!!! Thanks, I needed that to start the day! Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    3,351
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ash View Post
    Why am I responsible for the normal wear and tear done by him, his wife AND the family cat?

    I spent the whole day because I wanted to keep the customer happy, even though I could have legally not had to do his "maintenance"
    You aren't. And I'm amazed that you did. But I am confident that it will serve as good advertising...

    (I know who *I* would call if I were building a house/barn out in SW Michigan.)

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