“Why is your price more than quoted? Did you ‘Jack-up’ the job because we’re over the bridge?”
This is what a recent client asked. She felt scorned about her price differential accusing us of “jacking up the price” because we traveled over the bridge (the “Causeway” to LBI, to her job (NOT!)
In May a client called for tile cleaning for her house. Apparently not motivated herself, she was talked into cleaning by her kids who would be frequenting their shore house on LBI come summer with a gang of grandkids, and they wanted it clean. Now mind you, this client has a primary home in NY, winters in their Fla place, and spends summers in LBI. So she was scheduling work while in Fla, but before making the trip north.
We spoke initially and I was given room sizes, which I intended on providing pricing for the next day.
With purpose, our client called the next morning to update us on revised square footage:
“I spoke to my husband and he says the rooms are smaller than we told you so could you revise your estimate you give us?”
In fact, she admitted she tossed and turned that night, concerned that she would be paying more than what she should because they overestimated the square footage. Her husband felt that the couple rooms were overstated by a couple hundred square feet.
“My husband says the living room, dining room and kitchen are not 440 square feet, together they are only 400 square feet.”
Calling first thing in the morning I replied that I would recalculate the rooms to reflect their better guess (that they arrived at while laying in their bed in their Fla home, no where near the LBI property).
So prior to providing her the estimate I reviewed the work as written up, and then revised down the pricing as requested.
I called her back (while she was on her daily morning walk in Fla), and agreed to call again when she was done with her walk and could concentrate. No problem, I’d surely call at a more convenient time for her. Reflecting how it’s so easy text or talk on the treadmill myself, certainly I wanted to review things when she could be focused on the pricing, and or be able to write it down.
The square footage revision involved 40 square feet, and the rest of the estimate was ironclad—the first time I discussed pricing, and when Chris reviewed it with her in person the day of the service.
To be specific, half the job involved bathroom floors that were estimated for steam cleaning at $50 each. And, additionally one of the bathrooms also included the shower wall steaming, at $75. And since what they requested to be cleaned in the bathrooms were in fact what we measured, that part of the actual on-site estimate agreed with what I quoted over the phone.
The only discrepancy was the area they revised down from 440 square feet to 400 square feet.
While walking the job at the pre-work walk thru Chris measured the areas they requested, which was exactly the same areas they requested over the phone. However, instead of the living room, dining room and kitchen totaling 400 square feet, the room (using a laser tape measure which they watched us use), measured out to be 918 square feet.
And as Chris presented the actual estimate to them our customer piped…
“Why is your price so much more that what Wendy told me, is it because you came over the bridge, so your price doubles?”
Preferring to review the estimate with her, Chris said,
“No ma’am, let me show you my calculations, what Wendy wrote up and based on the square footage you gave her…”
Chris put my phone estimate notes next to his, and proceeded to review each line item. Again, the bathroom work all matched up precisely to what they gave me on the phone, so no differential there. What was different was the square footage for the 3 main areas they wanted cleaned:
- first the customers gave me the square footage for those areas as 440 square footage
- then they called to revise the area, convinced they over-estimated it, and the phone quote was revised based on 400 square feet
- then Chris measured the same rooms, with a laser measurer (they watched Chris use) that totaled 918 square feet
To answer her question Chris said the following: “NO”
“Ma’am – the difference in our pricing is because you have twice the area in the three main rooms you want cleaned. Instead of 400 square feet, at $1.00 a square foot, you actually have 918 square feet. So at our standard rate of $1.00 per square foot for that service the price is actually $918.00 for those areas.”
Seeing now the difference, and the reason for the difference, they approved the job and Chris got started.
Please let us be clear: Just because there is a Mercedes in the driveway, and that you might have a swanky address, we don’t double our price!
Our prices are standardized, and are based upon those rates and what needs to be done “in the field.” In this case the price was calculated precisely on what areas they wanted done, no more no less. The difference occurred because they understated the square footage- period!
If while providing a general “phone quote” with reasonably accurate information, then our pricing will be reasonably accurate.
If you guess (while not even at the property, in this case) or don’t either measure correctly or base your estimate of the square footage on something other than a tape measure or accurate floor plan diagram, you can expect a difference in our pricing, plain and simple.
Grousing in this case the client proceeded with the work, and the real gripe came out. Turns out the “kids” not gently asked, but borderline demanded that the tile be cleaned prior to them and their grandkids coming down to stay with them throughout the summer. (Mere blocks from Beach Haven’s “Bay Village” and Hartman’s amusement park, this ocean block home was a big deal for the families to visit, if the tile is cleaned as requested!)
If you are looking for work to be done, whether a 12,000 square foot house (which we recently cleaned in Moorestown-all the floors in the house-btw), a small home, condo apartment or trailer, you can expect the same pricing, period. Doesn’t matter the house, the neighborhood, town, or the cars parked outside. We have standard pricing for all!
Considering some cleaning, refinishing or polishing, give us a call. To see our work similar to what you need click here: Want to see before and after pictures of our work similar to what you need done, click here . Call us http://609.953.0472 for a free phone estimate or to schedule. Or reach out on line: Contact Us
PS- the moral of this story, the more accurate info you give us, the more reflective our pricing will be for the work you want done!