a question on ethics and honesty(bid Commercial)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by barefeetny, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533

    I got an invite to bid on a fair sized group of townhouses

    After reading the requirements and scoping the property

    I have a dilemma...While 99% of the bid is straightforward maintenance there is one section to fix a design flaw of the initial construction (i can't get into details but lets just say it has to do with grade and drainage)

    it is far from the right way or the most economical to fix the root cause of said problem.

    Its sorta like using a bunch of band aids to stop the bleeding after you took your leg off with a chainsaw..

    The problem is this defect will continue to cause problems until it is properly corrected...

    Now if i bid this item along with the rest of my bid.... it raises the total cost of the project about 2000 Dollars and really i believe the next contract will try my approach...

    If i don't account for it... my bid is null and void

    If I bid it the correct way.. i will probably be null and void and they will just use my idea with the winner of said bid... my bid to do it right.. 1500

    I have no problem sitting this one out......But wondered if anyone had experience in this type of situation..

    As usual i thank you for your time and help

  2. GreenSouth Landscapes

    GreenSouth Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    My company recently had a chance to bid on Bass pro shops retail store and distribution center here in my area. The problem was, whoever took over the account had to assume responsibility to make all necessary repairs to the irrigation system and include all repairs for the length of the contract. Obviously there is absolutely no way anyone can determine when there will be a problem so to be honest with you I was out of the running right there. BUT lets dig a little deeper. The company that installed the system, landscaping and was mantaining the property, basically did what is happening in your situation, they just kept putting band aids on the real problem. If I would have bid on this property my bid would have been null and void because i would not have included anything to do with the irrigation system and if i would have it would have called for at least 25 head repairs and 3 major repairs which would have put me out of the running anyways.

    In the end WE WALKED. I have no regrets. I think the company that has that account has already done 3 major repairs in less than 3 months.

    For you, its hard to say, do you want the account? Of course you do. Here is where the real question comes in.... are they going to sign a year long contract and if you do really good work will they continue service beyond the first year? If they do, it may be in your best interest to re evaluate the repair job, don't sell yourself short and not make any money, however maybe you can cut your rate a bit.

    That is just simply a thought and i have been in a similar situation and really we got more benifit from walking away.
  3. IMAGE

    IMAGE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 1,134

    Maybe see if you can schedule a time to talk to them. Try to educate them. Go prepared and say

    "Look, you guys have a problem that needs fixing. I know that some of the other bids are gonna say to do it this other cheaper way, but really that is a bandaid that will not fix the problem. If you do it that way your wasting time and money. Your best bet is to do it this(my) way, while it may cost more upfront, it will be done correctly, and your other problems will go away."​

    Good Luck
  4. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533


    i was thinking the same thing and tried that but the woman who is charge... wow besides being out of area... i don't think she understands the scope of the problem... She more or less uh huhed me and gave me no viable options...I know thats usually the way with property managment


    Actually i don't think i need to trim any money off their solution and think i am competive on the repair... I would like the account, Really it is a nice job in a good location...but it almost seems wrong to take the money and fix it half @$$ed for more money then to fix it right....

    I blame my parents for making me too honest.... its forever costing me work...

    thanks guys
  5. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Honesty is the best policy.
  6. GreenSouth Landscapes

    GreenSouth Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    I completely agree with you, i guess i did not understand your initial question, i see now you were talking about doing half the work but getting paid for full work. In that case, that is always always always the wrong idea, it will bite you in the ass every time.
  7. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533

    Great news... i called the property manager again and told her that in good faith i could not submit a bid

    Somehow she got my name from another property managment group and was disapointed... we spent another 15 minutes on the phone and she is hopping on a plane friday and i'm going to meet her at the site...

    She respected my opinion and wants to come up and see what i am discussing in person...She is bringing up another contractor from her area who she respects....

    So even if i don't get the bid... i might have bought some goodwill with the company....

    I'll keep you all updated

  8. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533


    this sucked kinda... plowing snow all day and had to take an hour out of the day to snowblow off one of the peices of land in question and stand in the snow and show them the problem

    was not happy about the timing involved in meeting with the customer... Showed them the problem... she had no idea but the contractor she was with translated from landscaper to property manager....

    Got the ok to bid section my way...bid will not be thrown out....

    As a bonus i negotiated a per push price for the the rest of the season as the winning bidder hadn't touched the property all storm... i even got paid in advance for this storm..So all in all it didn't work out too bad....

    we will see how the bid works out.i have to go .. off to fix my exhaust before i have to push again

  9. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Nate, being honest here was the only way to keep your risk at an acceptable level anyway. If you fudged it, it could have bitten you like a pit bull.

    The best thing about being honest, aside from liking the man in the mirror, is you never have to remember who you told what to. Even with a map of where they are, walking into a minefield still isn't a good idea. You did the right thing... let the chips fall where they will.

  10. IndyChad

    IndyChad LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 216

    Good job Nate being honest and good job to your parents for raising you right. It sounds cliche', but it is always best to be honest and sleep at night. Hell I can't sleep this time of year anyway, let alone if I was lying all the time.

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