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Up to now I write out a quote, post it and if the customer accepts you go and do the job. The problem is twice last year I got screwed over by customers. The old “you said this” and “you didn’t say that”. I remind them that the quote is what was quoted but it doesn’t seem to wash. With a $200 its not too bad but both jobs were over $5000 and it stings a bit!
My idea is to get some quoting sheets made up. I’ve seen them with carbon copies where you write out the quote, the customer signs it and keeps the top one and sends the other two back.
Does anyone use these? Are they any good… but also what terms and conditions do you have on the back of them? Does anyone know where I can get a list of terms and conditions of trade specific to tree work?
Got messed about today... Had a job booked in for next Monday and Tuesday and the customer phoned earlier to say he's had a cheaper quote, and if I still want to do the job, I will have to match it! I had emailed the quotation but had verbal confirmation of the job! I just knew he was going to be trouble!
I won't lower my price out of principle (and because there would be no money in it at that price) and next time I have a "suspiciously" awkward customer, I will definitely get it in writing!
Had to let 2 subbies down who I had booked for next week too.
I've never had a customer sign my quote forms. They are a pretty simple set up; one copy goes to the cutomer and one copy stays in the book. The customer accepts the work and the price on the quote form. All you need in addition on the form is your personal terms and conditions e.g. payment within x amount of time, interest and late payment charges if payment is not made on time, cancellation fees etc. The more you cover your backside in writing the easier it is if you have to go to small claims or the UK equivalent. I believe that the customer doesn't actually have to sign the quote form anyway, just as long as they accept the quote in principal. If you can get them to sign all the better but as i say, I've never had an issue once I show them what is written on the form and what they have agreed to the argument stops there.
eco, if you want a copy of my quote form just drop me a pm with your email and i'll scan one and email it down to you. Any good printing outfit should be able to dolly you about 10 quote books for $200 or so. If you can get a couple of other quote forms to compare it will help. Also, a good printers should be able to help with other ideas regarding terms and conditions as they do this kind of thing every day.
I have been thinking about this for some time now, we have had a few customers try to wiggle out of paying the full amount once the job has been done. I would be very interested to know what you guys put in your t&c list.
Originally Posted by gibbon
I use pre printed forms like that with t and c on the reverse. I could email you a copy to look at of you want.
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Re: Terms and conditions…… anyone have them?
Originally Posted by swinny
Does the job have to be a decent size'd one or over a certain amount of money for you to start including terms and conditions?
150-200 + etc
and do you always try to get in writing?
i have some t&c's given to me to look at
The Terms and Conditions are your terms and conditions. The size of the job should have nothing to do with the matter. Yes always get your work order or contract in writing, signed off on before starting any work. Once the customer knows what the ground rules are you will be on much better footing and will earn the respect of the customer as well.
Another thing that we do with people we don't know is state on the quote form: 50% of quote value on acceptance, 40% upon arrival at the job and 10% upon completion- we've yet to have this quibbled and it gets the customer to commit financially so you can tell if they're serious but also limits your own risk to a certain extent. Just make sure it is clearly stated in your quote.