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Should you honour a Quote?

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by mdj1, 10 Nov 2019.

  1. mdj1

    mdj1

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    My Builder quoted me £36,000 for an extension back in January, This is a written quote.

    He's due to start tomorrow and came over on Friday with the payment and works schedule, the price he gave me then had jumped to £48,000

    I sent him an email with the original quote and he's now called me telling me he's made a huge cock up and didn't change the price on the quote from the previous job he did.

    A 45% / £12k increase is a bit of a blow when you've been budgeting and saving for the amount quoted.

    Be interested to hear your thoughts.
     
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  3. Iamchamps

    Iamchamps

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    Why would you honour a quote if it means you are working for nothing or worse paying out of your own pocket?

    Had the work started and got near the end and this happened I could understand but at this stage no I don’t think he should honour it.
     
  4. mdj1

    mdj1

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    That's business. You have to take the rough with the smooth. I chose this builder because of recommendations and the price. I assume that any business like this would have insurance to cover such cock ups. I do.

    I could have chosen any of the 4 builders that quoted, I chose this one. Then 11 months later he decides to tell me he's cocked up! Why should I be the one who has to either find another £12k or wait again for one of the other builders to become available.
     
  5. Notch7

    Notch7

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    It is easy to make a mistake when using a previous quote as a template. A builder I kniw made an error on his spreadsheet and only charged 2% VAT...oops

    I realise its very disappointing for you, but if its a genuine mistake the builder cant do the job at the lower price.
    In reality the builder would have to cancel the job.

    If you decide not to go ahead, can you find another builder to do the job at the lower price?

    The question is really whether you had 3 or 4 quotes and chose him due to his price.

    Do you know the builder well and trust him? -a big price jump at the beginning could cause a major breach of trust and is not a good starting point for your relationship. Springing a price jump when the job is about to start can be blackmail -because another builder cant be found for 3months prob.

    What spec has the builder quoted for foundations - builders can be lax about this, they just quote 1metre deep founds and ignore the trees / hedges / shinkable clay soil until the inspector says 2.4m deep trenches.......and bang goes another £3k (please check what soil you have, and distance to trees and hedges -post on here if theres anything).
     
  6. mdj1

    mdj1

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    I don't think Buy With Confidence will be overly impressed either.
     
  7. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    A good reason to limit the validity of a quote for a defined period of time. Some would say a time limit is a pressure to sign up but with inflation and other increasing costs it does protect the supplier ( builder ) and indicates the reality of business to the client.
     
  8. Notch7

    Notch7

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    I appreciate you are annoyed, but you havent said what the other prices you were quoted -were they all around £36k?

    The builder has no responsibility to do the job for £36k unless you have signed contracts and paid a deposit.
    With no deposit, you couldve told the builder the day he due to start you had decided to cancel -I know a very good builder who had a £600k job cancelled by the client in this way.

    You have to forget the idea that the builder has to do the job at his lower price.
    Your 2 options are cancel or accept his new price.

    If all trust is gone and you are going to find fault with everything he does -thats a miserable option for both parties and I would advise cancelling.
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2019
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  9. Iamchamps

    Iamchamps

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    Are you high?

    If someone accidentally sends you a quote that is 12K wrong they should just suck it up? That could put someone out of business.
     
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  11. dang32

    dang32

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    i can’t see how anyone could honour a quote 11 months later even if the price was correct at the time. you’ll be surprised how much the cost of materials will have increased in n that time
     
  12. Notch7

    Notch7

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    I bet mdj1 has swallowed his pride and stumped up the extra dough, hence why he hasnt posted back.

    No doubt the other builders cant start till April 2020

    And I guess the builders were all around the £48k mark.
     
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  13. ReJect

    ReJect

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    If no contract agreed and no money paid, there was no agreement and no obligation for either party to have the work started.
     
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  14. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Dear oh dear oh dear.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_contract_law#Agreement

    He requested a quote

    The builder gave him a quote

    He accepted it.

    Is that right? I notice OP did not use the word "accepted"
     
  15. ReJect

    ReJect

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    Not sure John that I understand your point?
    The OP didn’t use the word “accepted” and I never said they did use that word.
    Although the OP clearly did accept the first quote, and they have waited on builder who has finally came back.

    Yes, that clearly begins the drawing up of a contract, but the builder apparently not only has now met with the OP on Friday (after many months) to say the price he quoted was too low, but was also there to agree payment and work schedules.
    I would assume the OP very rightly refused to agree to any payments or schedule.
    That to me says there is no definite agreement of terms already in place.
    The price, - yes perhaps agreed, (although the builder I believe has to reciprocate the agreement).
    The payment and work schedules also require an agreement, so can be part of the contract.
    (Builder or the OP could disagree about payment stages and amounts plus also timescales of job).
    I don’t think there is a full contract in place. But I am not a legal expert.
    I would bet the OP has little more than a basic quote without full terms and probably a few emails or texts.
    I look at it that the law has to be seen to be fair to both sides.
    If I quoted somebody and they accepted my quote, that is only an offer to do a job at a certain price but I can still refuse the job.
    I wouldn’t want to begin a job for over 40K and discover the customer wanted to pay me at longer intervals or smaller payments for example.
    And likewise I am sure a customer would want the contract to prevent a builder suddenly asking for higher stage payments.
    Builder would have had a problem had he started the job, but I think the customer would have difficulty convincing a judge for breach of contract on a job not started.
     
  16. Mottie

    Mottie

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    I was lazy a few weeks ago and used an old invoice as a template. It was for £2,880 but I forgot to change the final amount of the previous invoice which was £15,300. The client queried it and I just issued an amended invoice but had it been the other way round and I had invoiced just £2,880 for a £15,300 invoice and the client was the OP, would he have expected me to suffer a loss because of an obvious administrative error?

    Perhaps there was an administrative error in the addition on the OP's quote? There’s obviously a big difference in the first and second quotes so why? Was it obviously underpriced or just an error in the addition? A picture of the quote (omitting any personal details of the OP and builder) would allow others to give a better opinion.

    Perhaps all quotes and invoices should have ‘E&O excepted' on them. Did the OP's quote have that on? I don’t know about others on here but if I was getting quotes for some building work and I liked one of them above others, after checking that it contained everything that I specified, I’d accept it, put a deposit down, get it signed and agree a start date - did the OP do that? As others have said and as I have seen, any quotes I have had normally have stated something like 'valid for 30 days from date of quote'. If they are open ended, I think I’ll get back on to British Gas and have that new boiler fitted and my system updated for that £695 they quoted me when I moved in here in 1990!

    Oh, and the OP's maths are a bit out - a £12k increase on a £36k job is 33.3333% increase, not a 45% one.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Errors_and_omissions_excepted
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2019
  17. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Because its a binding legal agreement, that's why.
     
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