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Thread: What's a handshake worth ?

  1. #1
    TreeHouser Sponsor RegC's Avatar
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    Default What's a handshake worth ?

    Not much, in my town it seems. I've been here nearly 6 years and still can't wrap my head around it. In my mind, when you shake on a deal it's your oath....be it, free choice, but not one you go back on.

    I've lost count of the fake handshakes and polite insincerity here in Victoria. An example via text is as follows. A $1200 pine removal. I spent over an hour with these people. They agreed on my price without hesitation, and asked me to get back to them with a date. I offered them May 1st, expecting them to ask if it could be done sooner....but it turns out they continued searching for cheaper quotes after they'd aged the job was mine:

    "Hi Reg, thank you for your call. We had company last night. I appreciate you getting back to me, but May 1 is going to be too long. I have someone landscaping and need to get the tree down in order for him to complete the work in the back. I have someone that can do it this weekend. Best wishes"

    At least in this instance I know it's being done. Unlike other jobs where I've driven by and and the tree is already gone without explanation. I often wished I'd moved to Nanaimo, which is further up Island. Apparently you don't get this kind if BS up there so much. It's rough but not full of liars at least. Anyone else get this kind of thing happening all too often ?

    A friend of mine (tree company) who used to hire me as a subcontractor when I got here used to make a start on jobs ASAP, with no intention of finishing....even if to just cut some branches off and leave them. He would do it to claim his territory in a sense. I used to laugh at the time, but not now.

  2. #2
    Captain Zero! Sponsor FireFighterZero's Avatar
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    I see it around here some. At less than 1 person per square mile you figure out fast who is a d bag and who is not.

    I have a buddy who used to pull a bull rack locally. He said the guys that screw you are the locals, your friends.

    I guess personal accountability/responsibility is not in fashion any more.
    Winter is coming.

    Jim

  3. #3
    THE CALM ONE!!!! Sponsor squisher's Avatar
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    That sucks Reg. I had very few of those instances in these parts. But when in business it's bound to happen sooner or later no matter where you are I think.

    A written/signed(by the custy) estimate can go along ways in avoiding things like that IMO. I sent nearly all estimates by e-mail, so I could easily include cover letters of worksafe and liability insurance. So the acceptance might come verbally while doing the estimate but I'd get their e-mail and send them the formal quote/documents and ask specifically for a confirmation/reply.

    Victoria is, well,.......a nice place to visit!

  4. #4
    THE CALM ONE!!!! Sponsor squisher's Avatar
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    I know you're a top bloke Reg. but doing real business on a handshake is being a bit of a 'hack' on the business side of things. If you want to avoid things like this you need to up your business acumen and have a paper trail of confirmation. Seems when there's documentation involved people are less likely to back out or screw around.

    Handshake, cash jobs, no paper trail. That stuff doesn't pay in the end business wise. I recently went through a two year CRA full taxation audit so ask me how I know. Lol.

    And I agree it's a crying shame when you can't take someone at face value and their word. Lowlifes. But this isn't the first I recall of you mentioning being messed around by customers. I'd leave the handshake jobs to people you know and set a dollar limit where you want a confirmed signed for acceptance estimate. Or just write up every estimate and ask people to sign for acceptance if they're booking a date.

  5. #5
    TreeHouse Administrator MasterBlaster's Avatar
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    I wouldn't let that get me down too much, Reg. Some people are jerks and you just need to move on with no worries! Their loss, not yours... on to the next job!

  6. #6
    TreeHouser Mick!'s Avatar
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    Squish is right, get them to sign a copy of the quote and send it back, then you'll set a date.

    You're giving the client the opportunity to change their minds.

    Do I do this? No
    CBAed as they say, the odd one falls out of bed but there you go.
    Manly trucks for manly men.



    Mick

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    California Hillbilly Sponsor CurSedVoyce's Avatar
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    It suck Reg. But I try to take a different view of it to get over welches.
    They just left a slot open for a better client. That slot will fill.
    Interesting how a limited gene pool and a limited labor force seem to be so closely related.

  8. #8
    Dormant hero!! Sponsor sotc's Avatar
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    A man's word is only as good as the man that gives it.
    I agree with Squishy though, they had the decency to tell you. You don't have a contact until.... you have a contract. Things come up, things change, no sweat. The one that gets me is when the crew Rolls up to the job and it's done. Irritates me. I sent the last guy a $200 mobilization Bill intending to piss him off. It worked😁
    Willie
    Southern Oregon Tree Care,LLC
    “Pruning is one of the best things an arborist can do for a tree but one of the worst things we can do to a tree.” Shigo

  9. #9
    Woods walker Sponsor Burnham's Avatar
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    Justin speaks some wisdom here, Reg.
    "Confidence is the feeling you sometimes have before you fully understand the situation."

  10. #10

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