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  1. #1
    Member Eric7810's Avatar
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    Customerís Truck Arrives Muddy

    Hey there guys,

    I am relatively new to detailing, I do it one Saturday a month by word of mouth.

    I agreed to do an electricianís company truck in exchange for $250 worth of electrical work on my house, plus he kicks in $150 cash.

    We agreed to a wash, AIO, wax, and dressings. During the wash, I discovered the undercarriage was caked with mud. I pulled out wheat stalks, mud clumps, etc. I wasnít upset, itís a work truck, but admittedly I didnít budget this into my estimate. It took three hours to complete the wash.

    Can you guys help with a few simple questions that crossed my mind... Am I crazy for cleaning this truck this thoroughly for an AIO job? There was no way I was going to leave it there once I discovered it, but I simply wasnít expecting this big of a job.

    Should I chalk this up as a lesson learned and do a better job estimating and budgeting my work?

    Have you ever estimated a job, received the vehicle, and then you billed them a little more for the unexpected condition it was in, and the extra labor needed?

    The customer will be over the moon when he sees this thing, it turned out very nice, but Iím left wondering where the line is for doing TOO much on a job that was requested I do a Ďquick buff on herí.








    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Senior Member sudsmobile's Avatar
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    Re: Customerís Truck Arrives Muddy

    You chalk it up to a lesson learned and I guarantee you it won't happen again. Every person that has started this business from scratch has been beaten by a job or ten. It's part of any business really.

    Honestly, the time for adding extra charges for services was when you first discovered it. Call the guy up and tell him what's what. Hiding behind an invoice now is not a professional way to approach the situation. Just as you wouldn't want him giving you a quote for electrical work and then handing you a bill for double without addressing it with you first.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member FUNX650's Avatar
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    Re: Customerís Truck Arrives Muddy

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric7810 View Post
    Should I chalk this up as a lesson learned
    and do a better job estimating and budgeting
    my work?
    Don’t ever stick your neck out—by giving a
    quote for any detailing job—sight unseen.


    Bob
    "Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk."
    ~Joaquin de Setanti

  5. #4
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    Re: Customerís Truck Arrives Muddy

    Never work trades that are not CLEAN.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  6. #5
    Senior Member Calendyr's Avatar
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    Re: Customerís Truck Arrives Muddy

    I never charge extra unless I have arned the customer about it before hand. And that is a very rare thing for me.

    The way I see it, it's my job to inspect the vehicle before I ask the client to sign the work order. If it's something that could not have been noticed because the vehicle was dirty or something, I would call the customer, explain the issue and ask him what he wants to do (pay for resolving the issue or just leave it as it is).

    For cleaning mud, I don't understand why that would be an extra. You pressure wash it off and wipe clean during the wash... 5 minutes more?

    The typical real issues usually are: Pet hair, stains, salt on the carpets. On those you could be working and extra hour or two if the conditions are bad. So for things like that, I would absolutely charge extra.

    You should also give yourself some slack when quoting a job. If you think it will take 3 hours, quote for 3.5 or 4. There are always hickups that will take a little more time. Same for time estimates always tell the customer it will take more time than it does... I did not use to do that when I first started and twice a customer had planned stuff to do right at the time I told him I should be done... and following Murphy's law, on those jobs there were tons of things that took extra time ... now I give them an estimate with 1 extra hours. And sometimes I still go over that when some of the aspects take much long. Like last week... client told me there were about 5 or 6 scratches to remove before polishing and coating... turned out there were about 30. And the salt in the car that was supposedly fresh from this winter... it also had a layer that he was not able to remove the previous year... So the 12 hours job turned into 15 ;(

  7. #6
    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    Re: Customerís Truck Arrives Muddy

    I charge more for a wash and spend more time/do a better job than other “detailers” premium package. That being said, I’m booked solid. ....... charge accordingly and don’t t sell yourself short
    Jim

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  9. #7
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    Re: Customerís Truck Arrives Muddy

    My prices start at
    I have to see it
    Do a walk around with the customer of their vehicle inside and out

  10. #8
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    Re: Customerís Truck Arrives Muddy

    I am curious why you are using an AIO and waxing on top of it?

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  12. #9
    Senior Member 2wookies's Avatar
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    Re: Customerís Truck Arrives Muddy

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Baldone View Post
    I am curious why you are using an AIO and waxing on top of it?
    If its a quality AIO, I'd skip the wax. Make up the time spent on mud removal with skipping the wax.

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  14. #10
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    Re: Customerís Truck Arrives Muddy

    Quote Originally Posted by 2wookies View Post
    If its a quality AIO, I'd skip the wax. Make up the time spent on mud removal with skipping the wax.

    what's a quality AIO? I use speed with colli 845 to top off

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