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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Dictated Bids

I'm having an issue lately that we are bidding on items and we are getting them back with detailed instructions on the amount we are allowed to bid (they are dictating our bid amounts) their justification for this is "CE does not support bid amount, bid should be stated as follows..... and their price is listed"

without going into pages of this -- my most recent dictated price- I bid to hang a basic storm door for $205.00 - new --- this covers materials, labor and 10% overhead -- they came back with-
"Please adjust your bid as follows as justified on CE report or we will adjust it for you"
Hang New Anderson Storm 2000 series storm door with hardware 1 man 1 hour $65.00"

my issues with this
(1) I didn't specify Anderson in my bid , but EMCO 100 series which costs $100 - the door they are changing it to costs $249

(2) The CE for this (better quality) came to $590 , The CE for the economy door I bid on came to $352.25 - My bid was for 1/2 that

(3) This is just an example, but I am actually refusing to adjust these bids and they are proceeding on adjusting the bids, getting them approved and expecting me to perform the work

(4) I specifically told them on the last one I was not going to continue to place detailed bids, calculating the material, labor overhead if the bids if they are going to dictate my already drastically reduced prices

(5) I have already started to include language in my bids that this price includes labor, material and is justified on the CE and we will not complete the work for less than the specified amount , they are still adjusting the bids and leaving that wording in (luckily I keep a copy of my original PCR submitted for each order so I can fight it)

(6) I also have orders coming over stating to complete the work for x amount of dollars and than being told that the amt posted was incorrect and them adjusting my invoices to 70-80% under what was stated in the work order, essentially having us agree to perform a job and than adjusting the approved amount so low that we couldn't cover the expenses I currently have a dozen
orders in dispute that this has happened with - they have been in dispute for over 2 months- every single one of them and have started getting confirmation emails on these listed approved prices as a back up (its shown in the order and I have a confirmation that this is the price) this seems to have stalled them from adjusting the prices after the work is completed, but it is no guarantee

Is anyone else encountering this issue where your bids are being dictated to you and how are you handling it
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 10:21 AM
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politely tell them u cannot and will not perform this job for this price that they need to reassign

u are the contractor u own ur business u pay taxes u pay insurances not them
stand up for yourself
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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I've tried that as well thats why all my final PCR's get printed now-- thats where the shown amounts on the work orders come in and than are adjusted after the work is completed, its impossible to get through to them I have even told them by dictating my prices they are simply making me an employee because the only way they can dictate price structures on bids are if they are paying for the material and labor at the substandard pricing, I explained the point of having us place bids is to offer competitive pricing the client can base their approvals off of and if someone comes in lower than me and can complete the job for less than me than they should get the job

This only started in September - but its getting really bad now so I'm on the fence on how else to approach this --I've rejected orders, fought orders its just ridiculous I have never had this issue before
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preservationpit View Post
I'm having an issue lately that we are bidding on items and we are getting them back with detailed instructions on the amount we are allowed to bid (they are dictating our bid amounts) their justification for this is "CE does not support bid amount, bid should be stated as follows..... and their price is listed"

without going into pages of this -- my most recent dictated price- I bid to hang a basic storm door for $205.00 - new --- this covers materials, labor and 10% overhead -- they came back with-
"Please adjust your bid as follows as justified on CE report or we will adjust it for you"
Hang New Anderson Storm 2000 series storm door with hardware 1 man 1 hour $65.00"

my issues with this
(1) I didn't specify Anderson in my bid , but EMCO 100 series which costs $100 - the door they are changing it to costs $249

(2) The CE for this (better quality) came to $590 , The CE for the economy door I bid on came to $352.25 - My bid was for 1/2 that

(3) This is just an example, but I am actually refusing to adjust these bids and they are proceeding on adjusting the bids, getting them approved and expecting me to perform the work

(4) I specifically told them on the last one I was not going to continue to place detailed bids, calculating the material, labor overhead if the bids if they are going to dictate my already drastically reduced prices

(5) I have already started to include language in my bids that this price includes labor, material and is justified on the CE and we will not complete the work for less than the specified amount , they are still adjusting the bids and leaving that wording in (luckily I keep a copy of my original PCR submitted for each order so I can fight it)

(6) I also have orders coming over stating to complete the work for x amount of dollars and than being told that the amt posted was incorrect and them adjusting my invoices to 70-80% under what was stated in the work order, essentially having us agree to perform a job and than adjusting the approved amount so low that we couldn't cover the expenses I currently have a dozen
orders in dispute that this has happened with - they have been in dispute for over 2 months- every single one of them and have started getting confirmation emails on these listed approved prices as a back up (its shown in the order and I have a confirmation that this is the price) this seems to have stalled them from adjusting the prices after the work is completed, but it is no guarantee

Is anyone else encountering this issue where your bids are being dictated to you and how are you handling it

Yes, many if not all of us have had to deal with this. A few years back, we were able to place a bid, and as long as it was not ridiculous and was spelled out what we were doing, it would be approved and we would be paid.

Then came " standardized price sheets" where we could still bid but could only bid what they said we could bid, So in reality you were given the illusion you were still a contractor cause you could bid on jobs, just only bid there "approved" bid.

My suggestion for you is ( if you even care lol)

1. Get used to this as it wont change

2. Learn to make a profit off there " pricing" if you cannot, find another company or maybe play with the idea of not doing this work, especially for this company.

3. Keep all emails, you may one day end up wanting to sue their asses. It is illegal to approve your bid and adjust after work is complete, they are breaking the contract ( the bid you gave). They know this is not ethical nor legal but they figure, you have more to loose than gain at this point and they are probably right. But these things add up, keep god records.

4. Learn to cut corners, im sure you have heard in the business world it is " dog eat dog" well it is. Im not saying be a shotty contractor but if you are getting paid $50.00 for a $200.00 job, give them a $50.00 job and take GREAT pics!!!


And if you can and dont mind, please post the company that is doing this to you.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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we have been in 5 years never had any issues with payments , bidding, its getting out of control at this point , been sucking it up and trying to nicely tell them where to shove it thanks
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 04:35 PM
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Did you bid separate line items on the CE for removing the old door and disposing of it?

Talk with attorney. Have him draft up some legal disclaimer for your state that cover "Altering of bids constitutes fraud punishable by a fine of $10k" or something like that. Then nail your clients ass to wall when it happens

For what its worth I charge $249 for installing a cheap Larsen door. Private party paid upon completion. Upgraded door, removal of old door and disposal is extra.



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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 05:09 PM
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The first time that ever happened to us was thru 5 Brothers. We immediately emailed back (naming the clerk specifically) that altering our bids by anyone other than me and presenting to a third party as ours was fraud, and we would be contacting our attorney. Within 5 minutes the girl handling the work order called stammering and apologized that it wasn't her call, she was just following what her boss tells her to do.

To be clear, it does not matter if the industry standard is Xactimate, etc. You have the right to prepare a bid as you see fit and they have the right to decline, and that is all. The only reason it continues to happen is contractors continue to allow it.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 08:18 PM
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If you place a bid and someone changes that bid (before or after the client sees it) it is no longer your bid and you are under no obligation to honor that bid PERIOD.

I add language to every bid I place that essentially says I do not authorize anyone to change the amount or wording of my bid. If my bid is changed it is no longer valid and is subject to refusal.

I have had many orders changed and have received email stating thay changed the bid - prior to sending it to the client - and I save every single email. I also have a special folder on my PC for those emails that state my invoice has been adjusted for whatever silly ass reason they can come up with.

I have emails going back to 2009 concerning this kind of crap. I'm just waiting for the day when I've had enough (hopefully my lotto ticket is a winner soon) and I say, "Mr. Attorney...sick'em!"
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaPPC View Post
If you place a bid and someone changes that bid (before or after the client sees it) it is no longer your bid and you are under no obligation to honor that bid PERIOD.

I add language to every bid I place that essentially says I do not authorize anyone to change the amount or wording of my bid. If my bid is changed it is no longer valid and is subject to refusal.

I have had many orders changed and have received email stating thay changed the bid - prior to sending it to the client - and I save every single email. I also have a special folder on my PC for those emails that state my invoice has been adjusted for whatever silly ass reason they can come up with.

I have emails going back to 2009 concerning this kind of crap. I'm just waiting for the day when I've had enough (hopefully my lotto ticket is a winner soon) and I say, "Mr. Attorney...sick'em!"
Have been waiting for a contractor to fight back! Like to if hud really adjust bid or if it is all done by national.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 07:13 AM
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HUD does not adjust bids.

Let's put a little perspective to all of this.
A water line breaks and blows water all over the breaker panel in your basement while you are out of town. Your spouse calls Bob the Electrician and Curt the plumber. They submit a price of $475 to repair the plumbing and $900 for the circuit panel.

#1-You adjust their letterhead bids down to $200 and $450 respectively, call them on the phone and tell them to complete the work within 48 hours or you will have someone else do the work and bill them for the labor and materials.
They
a. Drop what they are doing, drive over and complete the job.
b. Laugh and ignore you.
c. Come over with pipe in hand and no other tools.

#2-You authorize the two contractors to go ahead and make the repairs. Your spouse returns home, inspects the work and then the invoice, which he promptly discounts to $200 and $450. He calls Bob & Curt and tells them they bid way over what other plumbers and electricians would have charged, so this is what he will be paying them.
They
a. Accept and cash the check mailed to them and go on about their day.
b. Laugh and ignore you.
c. Sue and/or come over with a pipe in hand and no other tools.

#3-You advertise for a plumber and an electrician on Craigslist to repair the damage to your home. When the applicants contact you, you give them the scope of work and tell them that you pay $200 and $450 for the work to be completed, pending proof of insurance, licensing, workman's comp, a background check and a drug test and a lien waiver. You'll get a check in the mail sometime within 45-60 days, depending if and when the insurance company pays you.
They
a. Accept the job, thank you when it is finished and ask for more.
b. Laugh and ignore you.
c. Show up to do the job with a pipe and a screwdriver and no other tools.

As a teenager, I worked for a friend's dad doing HVAC work. I''ll say that he was a little on the rough side. We put a furnace and central air in once for an old lady. It came time for her to pay the bill and she asked the guy "What are your payment options?". He looked her straight in the eye in her living room and told her it was cash or check. "I ain't no bank lady. "You'll pay me right now or I'll rip the SOB up and out and we'll be gone." She looked startled and I felt a little uncomfortable, but the truth was, he had six kids and a wife and he earned every penny.
The real world of contracting is not the one the nationals live in.
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