Discuss should i or shouldnt i work for this customer in the Business Related area at ElectriciansForums.net

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davetherave1979

Hi All we worked for a customer 3 years ago did a small job about £900.00 got paid on day we finished domestic.

Customer has now gone into the property development game bought big house for cash having extensions total gutted and all done up.

Went to see him about the the electrics he nocked us down £500.00 on the price total of job is now £6500.00

He now is telling us what he wants the payment terms to be deposit up front, payement on compleation, then hold back £1700.00 as a retention incase any thing should go wrong for 30 days but wonts all his part p certs before. The idea of a retention is incase any thing goes wrong which it wont.

Told him we have never been asked about this in 13years for a retention on a domestic he is adermount that he wonts a retention.

Says everthing is costing him more than he thought as he is paying builders day rate and supplying materials.

Im now getting a bad vibe from him he says we can now forget about the retention just worried that he will be critersizing everthing and trying to find a fault so not to pay us.

So am thinking about walking away and not doing this job might as well sit in the garden for 2 weeks then work 2 weeks and be nocked

What would you do
 
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1shortcircuit

I've always been told to not ignore my gut feeling. If the guy cannot meet your terms and wants to dictate the situation then let someone else have the bother.

It's not only the money you should think of but also your reputation.

Good luck:thumbsup
 

ruston

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Give him a list of the materials you want and do it day rate same as the builders. You obviously have a bad feeling about this and it's alot of money to lose.

He may be ok but there again you know the reputation ; fairly or unfairly they have.

I would certainly want interim payments if I felt as you do.
 
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Guest111

If your gut instinct says walk then walk,as you say you can stay at home for 2 weeks,ok at home you won,t earn money but it will not cost you money either,which it could if you lay out for gear and he doesn,t pay.
 

Strima

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I would agree for payments for materials up front, a percentage paid after first/second fix then the remainder on completion.

I would not agree to a retained fee for 30 days as he could claim any fault occurring after installation, such as builder moving some circuits around, are down to you and refuse to pay. All paperwork to be handed over on full completion of payment.

If he doesn't agree then just walk away, I know it's work however it could turn into a real ball ache if he's being like this at the start, imagine what he'd be like after a few weeks of stress after dealing with the other trades.
 
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RISElectrical

Retention is a common practice, 99% of my jobs include a retention for 12 months or whatever the warranty period is, however generally 2.5% is an acceptable figure.

Therefore I would agree that retention is possible but only offer it at 2.5% (5% sometimes) so therefore £162.50

I would expect to have £1700 with held on a £70k job to be honest.
 
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davetherave1979

He now tells me that I have to disconect the old electrics in the house by tomorow and put in a temp supply for the builders as they want to nock a wall down and that it wont be ready for me for at least 7 weeks to now start but think i will bill him for the temp socket or i will just email back tonight and not start at all there is too many developers / builders who think they can just nock us sparkies
 
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RISElectrical

Just do the temp supply outside of the other contract and bill him in line with your terms and conditions. Then regardless of the job coming off you get something.
 

cbw

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If youve got other work walk away........

If not sort the interim payments as I do...

33.33% on exceptance of quote (And installing builders supply)
33.33% on completion of first fix and
final 33.33% on completion of all work.

This way I am allways ahead and could walk if things went pear shaped.

I do occasionally acept a small retention, but only a token amount.
 

telectrix

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like cbw's breakdown. counter offer his pathetic terms with similar. bet he won't bite. that will tell you he would have knocked you big style.
 

oldtimer

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I would go with CDW but would add that you want 33% for start first fix and completion with say £250-£500 held back in retention for 2-4 weeks after final completion. You may find that this is a whole new ball game for him and he is just being cautious
 
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RISElectrical

Also in future works for him, if you can get away with it, build your retention (say 2.5%) into your price, that way if you do have to wait 12 month or dont get it at all its not the end of the world and I am sure you can spread 2.5% over the price of the job
 

telectrix

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a £250 retwntion is all well and good from the client's point , but what of the spark's side. ? job is complete. everything works. no reason whatever to hold back payment, unless extra works are wanted at no extra cost!!!!!!!
 
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RISElectrical

So do I , you can't do it in Asda or your local Van sales outlet.
In fairness it is slightly different. Withholding a retention for the duration of a default period is common practice.
 

snowhead

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Turn up tomorrow, tell him you'll bill him for the temp and disconnect and want paying before you start any other work later.

If he refuses, walk and forget the main job as well, if he agrees and pays, then go in for the main job with some of the above suggestions.

Use the temp work as a test to see how he actually behaves.
 

telectrix

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property developer, by definition is a banker/lawyer/MP, with brains removed. about as trustworthy as the last ltd. co. they folded, taking honest tradesmen with them.
 
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Swicade

As stated re-negotiate the retention (RISElectrical's percentages look good) before going any further. If temp supply wasn't in the original quote tell them it's extra and makesure your paid before starting the bigger job.

I use a similar breakdown as cbw for bigger job's so at least material costs are always covered.

I'd never give test records out before full payment is recieved again.

Another thing to look out for in future (as it's a property developer) is the promise of "i can make full payment when the property is sold....i'll need the test cert's to sell the place".....i was caught out by this (to my shame) end of last year and i'm still waiting for the final payment (with no cert's to barter with).
 

ruston

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In fairness it is slightly different. Withholding a retention for the duration of a default period is common practice.
Yes I know on a massive contract but I do'nt think it is justified id this case. Job is hard enough without the punters thinking they are Paul Getty. They get away with it because they can and take an unfair advantage from it .

It's a big risk to take to give free credit for that amount of money however your circumstances are, I know there is a protocol but it has to be proportionate.
 
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davetherave1979

told customer that we wont 30% on day we start the works 50% when the project is totaly first fixed and the remaining 20% on day of compleation if he doesnt agree to this or starts moaning about it we will not be starting the job we have set high % to cover our selfs due to there moaning about price and retention payments do you tink this is cool
 
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RISElectrical

The 50% seems heavy.

If its going to be a long job could you not ask for interim payments and give weekly/bi weekly/monthly valuations?
 
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1shortcircuit

told customer that we wont 30% on day we start the works 50% when the project is totaly first fixed and the remaining 20% on day of compleation if he doesnt agree to this or starts moaning about it we will not be starting the job we have set high % to cover our selfs due to there moaning about price and retention payments do you tink this is cool
Seems completely fair to me because your gut is signaling a red flag and if this is what it takes to ease your concerns then so be it:thumbsup
 
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RISElectrical

I don't see the problem with the retention, only the amount of retention asked for, I usually hold back a retention from people, typically as said 2.5% for say £1000 upto £50k, 5% upto £100k and 7.5% above this.

Ive also never asked for anything up front, just monthly valuations payed within 30 days.
 
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davetherave1979

I total agree with aeration on a large job but this is £6500
domestic Rewire and new out building 50meters from house
 
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RISElectrical

I agree however in your first post you said a property developer, hense I assumed a company and not just an individual, he could just be doing it to protect himself and to ensure you deal with any defects promptly. Ok so what he wanted to retain from you was too much but I'm just looking at it from his way as well as yours.

I retained 2.5% from somebody on a quote for £1900 today :)
 

D Skelton

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I had a fella who wanted to retain 10% from 20k from me last year. I politely told him where to go! If you do a job and everything is fine, then your money is essentially sitting in their bank earning them interest! Why should it be?!
 
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mackers

as said gut feeling! its a gamble every job these days so the question is " do you feel lucky punk?" lol
"property developer" probably no building knowledge what so ever ,just watched to many diy shows!
retentions far to high for the contract amount stage payments or day work! otherwise run for the hills!
 

Arnold Layne

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The choice is yours but I think your instincts are correct. The guy sounds a little amateurish, he also sounds like he's pressed for cash, so even if he's well intentioned he could be incompetent and the result will be the same, you won't get paid or it will take for ever and be a huge hassle. I don't understand why the builder is on day rates and you are on a lump sum. I don't understand why he suddenly needs temps for work tomorrow. Where is his programme? You now seem to be facing a 7 week lead in. What is the total length of the programme from start to finish, as this is the period he wants you to finance him essentially. As I said it is up to you and good luck, but I don't think this guy knows what he is doing and that kind of person normally runs into trouble, which won't be good if he owes you money.
 
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