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Question DetailsAsked on 6/18/2013

How do you tell a contractor that they didn't get the job?

We interviewed several residential contractors about remodeling our house. A couple of those are off our preferred list before the bidding process begins. What is the best way to tell them that they are no longer in the running for the job? And when we finally choose the contractor that we want, what do you tell the ones that we didn't choose?

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45 Answers

Voted Best Answer
43
Votes

Todd said it best.

An itemized list / cost breakdown, more often than not is used against the contractor when it is shared with other builders who will then beat it.

Good contractors use good people, and good people cost more. Just the cost of having the appropriate insurance / bond can be the difference between winning a job or losing it ot a 'lower bid'.

It is the rule of three; there is Good, Cheap and Fast. You can have any two: Good and Cheap, won't be Fast; Good and Fast, won't be Cheap; Cheap and Fast, won't be Good!

When comparing bids, it isn't the cheapest or the 'nicest' person you should select. You should understand why there is a large price difference (it shows there are gaps in your design program or what you have asked for specifically, which means there may be arguments later). If most of the bids are in line, and one is way high or way low, you want to know why before dismissing or selecting them.

A price-only decision almost always costs more in the long run.

Good luck!

Answered 5 years ago by Kenny Johnson

30
Votes

Provide direct and honest feedback. This courtesy will enable the contractor to improve their business in the future. Here's an example:

"Dear Contractor,

Thank-you very much for your quotation on our home remodel. We are very appreciative of your time and effort.

I am writing to inform you that you were not selected for our project. The criteria we used to evaluate and choose a contractor included: [list the criteria: price, personality, experience, references, options presented, timeline committment etc.].

Your company did not perform as well in our evaluation vs. another contractor due to the following reasons [give them honest feedback]."

This conversation is much easier if while evaluating contractors for your project you have required them to provide separate and specific line item pricingfor labor items suchas demolition, plumbing, framing, flooring installation, painting, etc.andfinish materialquotes for things like flooring, tile, plumbing fixtures, lighting, doors, etc.


By breaking contractor quote's down into individual laborand finish materials you will be able to compare apples-to-apples products and pricing frommultiple contractors and you can give feedback to let them know where they were competitive and/or non-competitive.


For example, ifcontractor #1 quotes a job assuming white 6x6 porcelain tile (cheap) andcontractor #2 quotes based upon an imported hand painted white 6x6 tile(expensive) you'd likely not know the difference except contractor #1 may seema lot less expensive.


This approach helps both you and the contractor ensure thereis an accurate, aggressive and sustainable quotation for his/her services.


It also gives you the assurance that you can choose thefinish materials you prefer at the best possible prices and without having to pay any contractor mark-up.


Good luck with your project!


Amanda Zettel

HMDhome.com


Source: http://hmdhome.com/about.php

Answered 5 years ago by HMDhome

36
Votes

It is not a easy thing to get or give rejection but it is part of life and the biz.


a simpel email or letter seams to be the best way, that way emotions do not have to get in the way.


Thank them for their time and ideas but at this time you have decided to go in a differant direction for the project


if you have an experiance contractor that your are turnning down they will understand and move on to the next job to bid


as a concrete contractor in the chicago area market I bid around 260 to 300 jobs every season and get my fair share of them but not all of them


hope this helps best wishes on your project


Tyrone

TMW

630-350-7717

http://www.tmwpaving.com



Answered 5 years ago by Ty @TMW

16
Votes

The other comments so far are correct. Be direct, but also remember that you may use these people for a different job in the future; so professional, polite and direct. Bidding and negotiation is part of the job, and no contractor gets every job-so they've been rejected before.

You want to have a short statement that says they were not selected and leaves no opening for them to try to renegotiate or respond with alternatives / new sales pitches.

You do not need to say who you are going with; only that you are not going with them. If you state why you are not going with them, you may get a response or argument from them defending whatever you mention as the reason--so be sure any reason listed is factual / easily verfied (price, timeline, speed of response, etc). A statement of "I did not feel comfortable with your representative" on the other hand, is much more difficult a thing to say and hear, as an example.

Our firm tends to keep notes on the selection process, and provide reasons only if asked by the n parties (it helps them improve their bids and approaches).

Also be sure to notify the contractors as soon as you know you will not be using them; it isn't fair for them to be left wondering when they will hear back or if they should hold open a schedule for your project, etc. You should notify everyone whom you contacted or received a bid from. Email and regular mail is the least confrontational and easiest method, but phone calls are acceptable (but harder to do!). Contractors should not have to contact you to find out if a decision has been made.

Also remember, you may need one of these contractors again in the future for another project or help with the current, etc. Don't burn any bridges; always be professional. It will be appreciated by everyone.

Best of luck with your project.


Source: http://www.herlonginc.com

Answered 5 years ago by Kenny Johnson

21
Votes

Every contractor who has been around long enough has been rejected and has had to turn down jobs for arious reasons. We understand sometimes there just isn't a fit between us and the customer. I often have estimates left unanswered. I don't plan on any one coming through until it actually does but also am left wandering where I went wrong with that particular customer. On the occassions I do contact the customer after not hearing from them for a while I usually find I've lost the work to illegal contractors (both in citizenship status and applicable licensing which we no longer have in many areas here). Typically the customer was more concerned about price than quality and safety. Occassionally there are other factors but this tends to be the main one in San Antonio.

I rarely get a job that is broken down by material and labor line item by item in the estimate. The feedback I have gotten in most such cases is that it was too much to go over and understand. The customer didn't want to feel inadequate in knowledge so to save what they perceived as possible embarrassment they just hired someone else. A couple also said my labor was too high while my material cost was lower than the other person's so they used my estimate to negotiate the other contractor down. I get discounts on my materials which helps make up for my higher labor. I pay experienced people to work for me and if I want the job done right without having to babysit them constantly I have to pay them fairly for their knowledge. Otherwise I might as well do everything myself which is not profitable.

On large projects I provide a supplemental sheet with material allowances and allocations. This gives the customer a way to see where much of the money is going in a much easier way to understand. They also see if they change to a more expensive tile, for example, where the allowance has been exceeded.

Just be candid with your rejected contractors and tell them why you didn't choose them. It's not going to be their first rejection and it won't be the last. It may sting us a bit but ultimately helps us better our business and sometimes redirect to other areas we can better compete in. For myself, I just can't compete with the dirt cheap prices of fencing labor, regardless of similar quality or not, so I don't bother here. I do best in remodels and construction so that's where I seek the most work.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Answered 5 years ago by Todd's Home Services

7
Votes

I like the idea that you would give the contracter a reply so many people do not retun the call!

Answered 5 years ago by owen klaus

9
Votes

I am sorry, but I have a different view on it. I agree that I would call the company, or send them an email say, I am sorry, but we chose to go another direction. Do not waste your time explaining anything. If they even care to ask, then I would be honest with them, or say what everybody else says, YOUR PRICE IS TOO HIGH. A good sales person, and/or owner would know if you and him would be a good fit, and if HE felt not, he would dismiss himself. We can not be all things to all people. We need to be specialized at what we do, to be the BEST. You can either be the best, or be the cheapest. The cheaper you are, the more shortcuts you take. A good sales person would have a clear future. He would know when you will be making a decision, what you liked about other companies, will be someone who you will naturally trust, will be someone believable, will LISTEN and be able to interpret what YOU want, and will give you a presentation and help you MAKE the decision. The good sales person sells lots of these per year, he will be able to help guide you to the right choice for you. You will know him when he comes. So BLOW OFF the rest. Just my opinion. I am an HVAC professional, and if I get the cold shoulder, it was my fault, not yours. And I personally know, a good sales person will only work for a reputable, knowledgeable, and honest company, because a sales person's name rides on what his company performs for him. You only get by so long as a sales person for a bad company.

Source: http://www.marshallcares.com

Answered 5 years ago by GlennJr

3
Votes

I personally think a call back or email is the right way to go. As a business owner and consumer I always give a call to a service provider no matter what industry they belong to. From a consumer point of view, I never base my decisions on a providers price. There is the old saying "you get what you pay for." If I'm paying for a service it better be quality. Once I find a particular service provider that mets my expectations, I will always use them regardless of price. I use the same process for my business, and we have been using the same subs for years now without any problem. When it comes to finding a service provider in any industry never base your decision on price. You might end up with "Joe bag-a-donuts" working for you and end up needing someone to come back and finish the job or fix it a year later. Just my two cents..

Source: http://www.aadnc.com

Answered 5 years ago by KP

11
Votes

I think that any way you tell the, whether it's by phone or by email, is way better than not telling them at all. Most people tend to believe that a free estimate is just free for them, and never consider the cost and effort of the contractor driving to the site, spending time with a potential customer and drafting up a cost estimate. Those actions alone could take hours for a small business owner.

Answered 4 years ago by JPZ

2
Votes

A personal phonecall to the person who quoted you the job is a wonderful way to handle it. Smaller companies can learn how to do better from your feedback and vertainly do not expect to win every project they quote. However, company sales staff also need to recognize that no means no and arguing with a potential client over not receiving a project is poor business.

Source: http://www.casebham.com/renovation-pr...

Answered 3 years ago by CaseBirmingham

10
Votes

I have found that telling a contractor they didn't get the job is a lot like breaking up. Some guys take it in stride and others want a detailed explanation. If you got a free estimate it makes sense that you send them a note thanking them for their time and effort...especially if they showed up on time and were courteous to you.

ALWAYS tell them you will keep their name and info on file should you need further assistance. Remember sometimes you need to fire the person you initially hired... and you will want to be on good terms if you need help from a bidder in the future.

If the contractor is rude or abrasive in any way because you didn't choose them, make a note if this and write them off.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9920208

5
Votes

Well you apparently didn't like a few of them so much that you don't even want them to bid. So those guys - blow them off entirely. The same feeling that you got is the one that they probably give to other prospective customers. So they didn't earn a polite thank you for your time. You don't owe them any response and there's no need to be confrontational about it or give them any reasons at all.


But - the contractors that DID make your short list, but you ultimately didn't select - yes I would give them a short thanks. But don't go into details. Just let them know that you really appreciated their bid, that you liked their firm and it was a hard call and that you would certainly include them for future projects and wish them well. Of course if any of these bids were HIGH ... that's a different story :)

Answered 3 years ago by Jefferson

8
Votes

Our answer is probably the most useful of all the answers to this question because we actually hired a "Scammer" Contractor. We had 3 bids; we equated expensive with best; we wanted our remodel to be "best" so we hired this Scammer without ever receiving references, even though we asked. We got his name through a Vendor, Ferguson Appliance, who we asked for good Contractors in our area. Only too late! The owner told us that neighbors of cutomers whose remodels he had done call him to do theirs. In defense of Ferguson Appliance, I am sure they did not know he was scamming THEM. He's good at deceit, but that's all.

He fooled us for 3 months and we are very savvy consumers!.. That's what "flim flam" men can do. So, please take no Contractor at his word! Two very important steps:

1. References. We cannot stress this enough. Do not let a Contractor sidestep this by delaying the references until he has Scammed you into hiring him. If you get References, follow them up by actually going to the home mentioned in his References to be sure he is telling the Truth. Again, e talk through a horrendous experience. If they do not pan out, or he delays them, DO NOT sign a Contract to hire him. He's more than likely a Scammer.

2. Reviews: Again, very important. Go on the Internet. Look up the Company name. Follow up on any reviews, as they could be written by the Contractor. We had that experience, again, sadly, after the fact. After he stole our money by taking paymet, then not doing the work, and taking off before it was done!..We posted our reviews of this Contractor on Buildzoom.com; the tried to offset them by posting one 5* review which stated, L-- B------ is the best Contractor is Salt Lake City. He did everything perfectly in a timely manner. signed "Paul and Cheryl" Do not believe any review where the Last name, address, and most importantly, phone # are not posted.

I hope I have helped a great # of Consumers avoid what my husband and I went through with this guy. If you want more info: Donna and Geoge Peeters, Salt Lake City 84103 801.322.2645

Source: George and Donna Peeters 801.322.2645

Answered 3 years ago by IBBostondonna

3
Votes

Honesty. Simply let them know that while reviewing all of the remodeling proposals, you have chosen xx company. If you want you can let them know what you liked better from the other company (if it's not proprietary) and/or what the loosing company could have done better, or what you would have liked to see. Whether is price, design, schedule, etc. Thank them, and let them know you will keep them in mind for future work.

Source: 10 years in Government Acquisition.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_90850242

-6
Votes

"SORRY, I HIRED SOMEONE ELSE." THANKS ANYWAY!

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_92858223

-24
Votes

Dont return their calls, and get caller ID.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_97384621

3
Votes

Imagine yourself as the contractor and then act accordingly. If you want to hire firms with integrity then always conduct the bidding process as ethically as you can. You want your contractor to be honest, open, direct and to not to waste your time. Do the same. Tell all vendors providing estimates for you how many bids you intend to seek and how you selected them to be part of the bidding. Tell them how long you expect to take to make your decision on who will win the job and why. Explain what criteria is most important to you. If someone comes to your home and gives an estimate and you know right away they're not going to get the work; tell them before they leave. If your intention is to play one contractor off another to drive down the price; be upfront about it. They may not even want to participate in that and drop out themselves; allow them that opportunity.

If you've narrowed down your choices to two different vendors and your having trouble deciding between them; then re-engage them both to help you decide while letting them know they're finalists. Explain the areas that are making it difficult for you to choose one vs. the other. Then make an informed decision you'll feel comfortable with and stick with it. Tell the vendors immediately when you decide.



If your open and honest throughout the process, then delivering the final bad news to the losing contractor is that much easier by virtue of the fact you stayed in communication openly and honestly, and told them in advance the factors that would influence your final decision. No specialized knowledge is required to treat people fairly, just good character.

Answered 3 years ago by EJWJR

4
Votes

Call the contractor and tell them. An honest answer will save the contractor time, and the contractor can proceed with working. Please do not leave them hanging, as their time is valuable.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_92452754

2
Votes

I take a little different view on this. If I were the contractor and I asked someone why I didn't get the work, I would appreciate an honest answer. That would allow me to improve my presentation, prices, approach or whatever else to help me be more successful.


You don't have to go into great detail but if they ask say something like,

"Someone else beat your price by 20% with the same quality," "So-and-so's presentation and illustrations really caught our eye," "We really needed those referals that you didn't get to us." Emphasize that you have already made your decision and have a contract (even if it is just verbal or even with yourself) and will not change things at this point because it wouldn't be fair to the other contractor.


If you don't feel comfortable telling them this face-to-face, you can put them off and send them an email.


This puts you in a giood place in their minds if for some reason you need them to bid on another job later. (maybe the chosen contractor wasn't as good as you expected).


I once had an auto dealer ask me why I bought my car from another dealer after talking with them. I explained that the other dealer was $1000 less. Seveeral years later, I was looking for another car and they remembered (had it in a file) and made sure I bought from them.

Answered 3 years ago by Texican

2
Votes

Letting the companies know they did not get the job and why will allow them to improve.


In my area there is common practice for contractors to price a job based on materials. An example is: Materials are $3000.00, the contractor will then price their labor at $3000.00 for a total of $6000.00. I find this method to be extremely unfair and lazy.

On a roof job, if I select a more expensive shingle, why do I automatically pay more labor when the the more expensive shingle installs the same as the cheaper one?

Another example would be if I were to call the contractor to install a downspout that costs $20, Do think the labor would be $20? No, certianly not.


This method seems to me, to be shady and if the shoe was on the other foot and I were buying the materials how would they price it?


The fact is that these contractors do it because they are allowed to get away with it. I usually ask how they price and make part of my decision based on that. Sometimes I can't avoid the method if all of them are doing it but, they sure know that I don't like it.


Answered 3 years ago by Guest_93856374

1
Vote

>> In my area there is common practice for contractors to price a job based on materials. An example is: Materials are $3000.00, the contractor will then price their labor at $3000.00 for a total of $6000.00. I find this method to be extremely unfair and lazy.

So don't "allow them to get away with it". There are plenty of good guys who need the work. There is no reason to let the tail wag the dog. You are the homeowner! You make the hiring and firing decisions! I pay for materials and I get quotes on labor. Contractors bid whatever they do and they all know that they aren't the only guy bidding. We've had quotes for the same exact install of 1450 - 4000. In the end, we gave the job to a top A rated guy for 1825. It is none of their business how much I pay for the materials and that has no bearing at all on the job.

Answered 3 years ago by Jefferson

5
Votes

Some very good info in these comments. I would like to add a few comments from my own experiences, both being on the receiving end and the giving end.


1. Business is business. Nothing personal. Even though the Contractor receiving the news may take it personally at first. As I did. But I learned and improved because of it.

2. I believe in personal contact, meaning, a telephone call to let a Contractor know either way (win or not win). A simple phone call. I wouldn't engage in the "why didn't we win and how can we make it up to get your business". Just explain we evaluate on value, performance, compliance and fit and selected what we thought ranked highest on our ratings. You are under no obligation to share any of that info.

a. Value is not only about the price. It is your belief that what you are paying for is worth it. Think Toyota vs Lexus. Both are based on the same primary mechanical things, just Lexus has some more and flare. Maybe your value is Toyota, maybe you want the flare of a Lexus. That's your value. Maybe you'll pay more based on the value you perceive vs lowest price only.

b. Performance: can the Contractor actually do the work they say they can do. Some Contractors (we're mainly talking about house-type work) are better at some things. Ensure your work expectations match the Contractors prior performance. Ask for other projects they've done that are similar.

c. Compliance: you laid out expectations of what you want done. Can the Contractor comply and meet your expectations? Are the things they're proposing to do technically compliant, legal and guaranteed? Bonded? Are the expectations and statement of work clear? You don't want to get part way in and find it wasn't clear to begin with. Leads to cost overruns, disputes, etc.

d. Fit: do you and the Contractor have a good personality and match? Do you just instinctively get along with them and have that gut level trust? These things say a lot about fit and how any issues, if needed, may get resolved.

Lastly, even if a Contractor doesn't win your business, they should say "thanks for the consideration and please reach out to us if you have other projects or know someone who does". Keep a positive tone and an open door. I won a few things based on that alone (after the Customers was not satisfied with their first choice!).

All my best,

Mark Russell

SCORE Small Business Mentor

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9167470

1
Vote

Good question... I don't tell a contractor they didn't get a job. Does that make me rude?


We just got finished doing a lot of different type of work on our home and I usually try to get at least three (if not four) different bids on any particular job. My wife asks me if I was going to call or contact the contractors that submitted a bid and let them know that I wasn't going to hire them. Well, I suppose that would be the most courteous thing to do, but on the other hand...


I asked myself how would I feel if I were a contractor and someone called to say hello and tell me that they didn't choose my business. How would I respond? "Okay, thanks." "Gee, that's too bad?" Would I ask why my company wasn't chosen? Probably not. I would think that would put people in an awkward position. I suppose if I was interested in how I could improve my sales strategy I would. But I don't know IF I would (as a contractor) need to hear that such-and-such gave me a better price. "So, do you want to start a bid war?" Or, how about if someone asks me as a homeowner why I didn't choose them and the reason was I didn't care for the person (perhaps the owner) who was there to look at the proposal?? There were SEVERAL folks I met who had crappy personalities, unfriendly, non-talkative, a real Schleprock of the business. "So yeah, I chose someone else because I felt like you had a dark cloud that followed you and that you could care less about me and this job."


I don't know about he rest of you, but I found there was always one contractor that showed up to bid a job, walked around and acted as if they were interested, and said that they would send a quote and never did. And they were ALL Angie's List "A" list members.


I figure that the contractor figures out pretty quickly that the homeowner has selected someone else and doesn't need to know why. Unless they are desperate for work and would like to start a bid war. Then that makes me definitely not want them even more...


How does that go? You say something when you say nothing at all...

Answered 3 years ago by Grinch

2
Votes

If you have decided to use another contractor for work completed on your home you should be corgile and honest with your response. The decision should be based off several factors. Price, Professionalism, Promtpness, Preparation are just a few. If the contractor did not meet the needs to your satisfaction, simply call and thank them for their time but your are declining their estimate and that you are using another contractor.


Personally it is always great to know how we as a contractor could have done better to obtain the trust and job of a customer. If you feel up to it, if the contractor asks, why share with him your thoughts as in most cases should be appreciated.

Source: www.homeoneservices.com

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_94840878

1
Vote

We have decided to go with xxxx. Thank you for bidding on the job.


Businrss is business. You don't have to go into detail.


Answered 3 years ago by Guest_967343732

1
Vote

I personally like it when a customer tells me that, " (they) appreciate me coming out to bid on the job and although I did a very thorough job itemizing the estimate, we have chosen another company. However, we will keep your info for the next project."


Nobody like rejection, and if you sincerely mean you will keep them in mind for the next job, the should be happy to look forward to that future project. Who knows, it may not go as well as they hoped and would be happy to try some other company.


Carl Pfeiffer

Craftsman Connection, LLC

Dallas/ Ft. Worth area

Super Service Award Winner 2010, 2011,2012, and in a few weeks 2013.

Answered 3 years ago by CraftsmanConnection

2
Votes

As a contractor, We deal with many different customers. Not everyone one that we provide an estimate to is going to choose us for what ever reason. I do put in my estimates that "we try to stay competitive with our pricing and the customers feedback is greatly appreciated it". We do appreciate when customers tell us why they did not choose us. Whether it had been due to pricing, the connection they felt like they had with me, etc. We appreciate the calls that tell us if we won the job or not. We also like to know who the customers chose to do the work so we can compare what they do to what our company does. I am always interested in the reason why I did not get the job so I can make some adjustments if necessary. Just be nice and honest as possible. Communication is important and needs to be established prior to hiring someone.

Answered 3 years ago by HomePrideContracting

2
Votes

I always prefer a phone call but any notification is more than most folks tend to provide.



Answered 3 years ago by WoWHomeSolutions

0
Votes

When I need work done at my house and I don't have a great reference from a friend or relative, I normally call 2 or 3 companies for estimates. Most contractors understand that they will be up against other contractors so politely declining their services is all that is necessary. I found that people appreciate honesty.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9477187

-1
Votes

Simply don't call back. But always remember. You will get exactly what you pay for, so don't whine if you're not willing to pay the premium.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9167187

0
Votes

Just be up front with the contractor. No need to explain you found someone else.

www.calagranite.com

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_99436121

2
Votes

Politely, honestly and why.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_920468730

0
Votes

A phone call on the line of this:

“Hi Joe. This is Jack. First of all I’m calling to thank you for the estimate you gave me a few days ago and also to let you know that I’m going to use another contractor. Do you recall when we met I mentioned that I was getting several other estimates besides yours? Well, one of them worked a little better for my calendar and my budget. I wanted to let you know of my decision so you know take me off your list. I really appreciate you coming out and meeting with me. Thanks again Joe. Good bye.”

That’s it. This is business. If they start asking questions, you are under NO obligation to answer them. Be polite. A reputable contractor would appreciate your call and move on.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9470758

1
Vote

I usually send a thank-you note to the contractors to thank them for the time that they have spent in givig me the bid in the first place and then letting them know that I have hired another individual.


Sometimes, if I feel that it will help the contractor, I will let the contractor know why I chose another bid. If there is a chance that the contractor could be hired in a later project, I let them know that I will keep their company in mind should another project be ready for bid.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9216169

2
Votes

I email everyone who bids on a job for us.


Dear _______,


Thank you for taking the time to speak with me/us and provide us with an estimate for the work we are looking to have done. While your bid was competative, we have decided to hire another contractor at this time.


Sincerely,

The _______


I do this because I can not stand it when contractors do not get back with us. If you don't want to do the job, tell me. Because of that, I always make sure that I touch back with everyone who gives us a bid.


Best of luck!

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9523894

0
Votes

You start by telling all of the contractors that they are bidding against others when they show up the first time. It is not smart to just narrow it down to a single contractor based on research, reviews and references, and then ask that one contractor for an estimate. A contractor should know that he is in a competitive position when he is making his estimate. Then he will give you the best price he can and still make the margin he needs. That is the best situation for both parties.


Then when you evaluate the bids for the final selection, remember that the lowest bid is not always the best. Contractors who get into financial trouble will often give desperate bids to secure a contract and receive the first draw, hoping to buy some time and keep their business going. Be very suspicious if one of the bids is drastically lower than the others.


If they all know ahead of time that they are competing for your business, then when you choose one you should simply tell the others that you "decided to go with Contractor ABC." You don't really owe them anything else, but they may ask (they are business people and may legitimately want to know how they might make their offering look better for their next bid.) You can tell them specifics if you want, or you can just say, "It was a tough choice and you were all in the same ballpark, but we liked some of Contractor ABC's ideas and are happy with him."


Be careful about the Contractor who, after hearing that his estimate was not selected, immediately offers to drop the estimate for you. The purpose of telling them all that you are getting multiple bids is to secure their best and final bid the first time. If the contractor could have lowered his bid by $550, then why didn't he initially? Suddenly he does not look very trustworthy, and a little desperate, and you should decline the offer.


Answered 2 years ago by csledbetter

2
Votes

My husband and I own and operate a home renovation/remodeling service and I want to answer this question from the flip side of the coin.


While we understand that it can be intimidating to reject someone's services out of fears(?) or concerns as to how that person/service will respond; we personally prefer potential clients to be bold, honest, and frank. A simple "thanks, but no thanks", "we've decided to use the services of another", etc.


While we may inquire as to the reasoning behind your decision it is not to "brow beat" or "telemarket" you in to reconsidering. We merely ask in an effort to to learn and grow from your feedback. I can't say all persons/services follow our methodology or will respond in a like manner but the bottom line, I think, is honesty is the best policy.


When our services are declined we march on knowing we left that client with a good impression of our company and look forward to speaking with them again on a potential future project.


~ My Two Cents

Answered 2 years ago by LCrenshaw

1
Vote

Business is business. Politely inform him you chose another contractor/vendor and their services will not be required. You need not offer explanations, details, or excuses. Competition is part of their job and I'm sure you aren't the first to pass on their bid, nor will you be the last.

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_9665350

1
Vote

If a contractor is not following up with you or just doesn't bother you. Don't write anything. Just move on. Chances are they don't care about your opinion. If they are calling and emailing about the job, only write a explanation if they ask for it. Time is of the essence as a contractor. Just tell them you went in a different direction and that's it. Job is done.

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_9146467

0
Votes

Before I retired I had a job that involved dealing with bids and contracts. I can usually be very specific on the elements of the job I want. I tell contractors which factors will most influence my decision. Then I tell them when I will make a decision. I tell them they will hear from me whether they get the job or not. Then I make the decision when I said I would.


When talking to the contractors that didn't get the job I just say "I have selected another contractor for the job. Thank you for taking the time to give me a proposal." If they ask why I say "I went with the contractor I felt would best meet my needs". Some contrators really don't like it, but I don't get into specifics. Getting into specifics might help the contractor in the future, but future customers might not have the same priorities I did. They might have been the winner in a very similar situation. Getting into specifics just opens the potential for an argument I don't want to have.


But I have found that most contractors don't ask for information after they have been told they weren't selected. If fearing an unpleasant conversation keeps you from communicating with unsuccesful bidders, just be aware that is very rare. Telling them they didn't get the job after they have taken the time to prepare a bid is simply polite.

Answered 2 years ago by me711

0
Votes

It's hard. Be honest and frank.

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_9315540

0
Votes

I just simply sent each of them an email. I was straight forward with each and explained why they didn't get the job. There was one of the contractors who I thought was especially forthcoming with ideas, etc, and I gave him a call out of courtesy and to tell him specifically how much I appreciated his time.

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_9960862

0
Votes

You don't have to, they didn't call you back.

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_9629732

1
Vote

The variety of responses to this question is very interesting. We own a small family business offering free in-home consultations and quotes for custom cabinets and cabinet refacing. My husband takes care of the consultation appointments and gives the quotes, typically on the spot unless it's a complex project that he wants to take more time to give an accurate and fair price.


I write up the formalized quote and often answer a whole host of questions and/or provide additional photos (e.g., previous jobs we've done, pictures of the doors they looked at during the appointment to help them remember what they liked, etc.) or other information as requested.


I know that people don't do home improvement projects very often and aren't familiar with the process. While Brad's been building cabinets more than 35 years, I'm fairly new to the business and I clearly remember how confusing everything can be...the materials, construction methods, finish work, the timeline for what will happen when, and what happens during delivery and installation... So I like to provide sufficient information in plain language to help the potential client understand the details. Regardless of the size of the job, it's a big investment for that individual and they deserve to understand what they will get in return.


Yes, the appointment takes time out of my husband's production and installation schedule, or he meets with people on evenings or weekends outside of working hours. And yes, I put in quite a lot of time and effort providing all the information, but I go the extra mile because that's what I would like if I were them.


We fully expect that most people will get more than one estimate or quote (I would...and should have back when I had my roof repaired...). On average, we get about one out of three jobs we quote, so as a few people pointed out in their comments, there are costs involved for the jobs we don't get. But that's the way it is, just a fact of doing business.


That said, to get to the final point, we hear back from about 1% of the people who decided to go with someone else. We'd love to hear back from more of those folks. A response with a short email including as much or as little information about why you chose someone else would be fine. It could be as simple as "We got three bids and decided to go with another company. Thank you for your time." Sure, we'd like to hear what factors led you to your choice, which would be helpful, especially if it was a complex project, but it's not essential. As a small business, we appreciate just knowing where we stand, that we can put that quote in the closed file and move on to future possibilities.


Now that I'm on this side of the business fence, I always wonder about the flip side...if we don't hear from you, should we give you a follow-up call? We don't want people to feel pressured, but we do want them to know their project matters to us. We had one client wonder why we didn't follow up after our quote, so that got me thinking...but that's for a different discussion thread...


Answered 2 years ago by SkyDoc

0
Votes

I would keep it short and simple. Tell them you received bids from many, great contractors and you chose another firm. That is all they need to know. Don't waste anymore time on the phone letting them ask questions.

Answered 2 years ago by riley3d

1
Vote

There is one factor I did not see noted by any answers here..


An estimate that is a bit out of line with others, my be an estimate in which the contractor summed up a first look at a job, and is telling you in polite way they do not want the job or can't do it, without exactly saying it. So, while fulfilling their "Free Estimate" obligation you get a crazy high bid... But they will be happy to take your money if you are dumb enough to think they are worth it. That said, there may be factors which DO make them worth it. However, it is up to them to inform and explain to you what those factors are and why they're better. Trust me, you will not need to ask, if they REALLY want the job.


There may be any number of reasons for this:


1) Their own reputation for doing high-end work for high-end people

2) You come off as a "Problem" customer (Picky or $ poor)

3) They figure you are desperate for some reason

4) Their schedule is full

5) They are crooked scam artists

6) They do not have a good working relationship with their supplier for your type of job.


So, they likely already know you will not pick them, and there is no need to say anything at all. Relax, and get to your next estimate... No Worries.

Answered 2 years ago by NoWorries




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