Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
When a contracted purchase goes wrong/delays...what do you do?
Old 03-01-2021, 11:17 AM   #1
Moderator
Aerides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,609
When a contracted purchase goes wrong/delays...what do you do?

I signed a contract for a pool and the end of July. I live in S.Fla, I have always wanted one, and being home pushed me over the edge. I researched companies, got plenty of quotes, BBB reviews, etc., and signed. I knew to allow some leeway in the timeline for county/covid delays, but figured, hey, it's a simple pool, maybe it'll be done by Christmas?

Hahaha...nope. Paperwork/permitting/weather and they didn't start excavation until thanksgiving. But since then it's been stops and starts, and a few unforced errors, with days, sometimes weeks between progress.

Currently I have a mostly finished pool, (poured and tiled, coping in, plumbing and basic electric done, no pump, no decking). I'm sure it will be done eventually, and it looks like I imagined, but I'd put my money on April vs. March, and even then I would not be surprised if it's May.

So, anyway, venting aside, besides calling and emailing for updates.. what can I do here? Are there any levers I can pull?
Aerides is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-01-2021, 11:28 AM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
ProspectiveBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 847
I presume you haven’t given final payment yet? That, and threatening to express displeasure on social media (e.g. Yelp) are the 2 levers that companies seem to pay attention to.
__________________
I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.
- Joe Walsh
ProspectiveBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 11:53 AM   #3
Moderator
Aerides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,609
Yeah.. the payments have been tied to milestones, and I'm about 75% paid so far. I don't want to do anything where I'm in breach.

As far as reviews, I currently plan to wait until after all it's done and I'm sure everything works well - then be very honest.

So, my problem is I don't want to jeopardize the rest of the work - I do believe it will be done - but I want to be the job THEY want finished as much as I do. I think they oversold their bandwidth...
Aerides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 11:58 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RobbieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Central CA
Posts: 6,631
Covid delays are real. We ordered a chair and a couch around Thanksgiving. Were told the couch would be mid December and the chair mid January.

Chair now scheduled for end of March. Fabric delays. And this is just furniture. Same with drape lady, strongly advised picking linen she had in stock, delays getting anything else. Cloth, who would think?
__________________
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
RobbieB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 12:05 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 11,524
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
I think they oversold their bandwidth...
Friends in the HVAC business discussed this with us one evening. They said they seemed to always be in a situation of being either under-booked and aggressively looking for jobs or over-booked and fighting off irate customers. And learning to live with the vagaries of business level ebbs and flows was not easy.

If I was in your situation, I'd be clear with them that you're dissatisfied with their lack of adherence to schedule but I'd worry primarily about quality and results. Your satisfaction with the pool, measured years from now, will depend more on the quality of the installation than on being tardy in completion.

I sure do understand your angst though!
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 12:16 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jollystomper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,735
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
If I was in your situation, I'd be clear with them that you're dissatisfied with their lack of adherence to schedule but I'd worry primarily about quality and results. Your satisfaction with the pool, measured years from now, will depend more on the quality of the installation than on being tardy in completion.
I agree with this. If you perceive that even with the delays they are doing a quality job, I would might express dissatisfaction in a positive way, and have patience knowing that it will be worth it in the long rum.

If it is really important to you... another option is to offer them a "bonus" if they get the work done by a certain date. I did this once when we needed a brick carport wall that one of our kids knocked over with a car repair. The price was good and they had done work for friends that was very good quality, but I was put on their schedule for a couple of months out. I offered them a bonus if they got it done within two weeks. They completed the job a week later.
__________________
FIREd date: June 26, 2018 - wwwwwwhat a rush!
jollystomper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 12:40 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 12,647
I had a similar situation years ago when I contracted out a pool to Blue Haven Pools in California. This was a franchise operation as I found out later.

At 60 - 75 % complete, things got slowww.....then I got a Mechanics Lien in the mail for unpaid electrical work. Seems like the pool company got overextended and couldn't pay their bills and went BK. (not that this has happened to you)

Well, I just went ahead and hired my own subs and finished the pool (gunnite, decking, tile work, etc.

Keep an eye on these companies as they are usually taking on too much work at once and can get caught short with paying their subs.
__________________
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth...philosopher Mike Tyson
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 12:48 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 255
Delays in any type of construction are prevalent right now. Keep talking to them and I’m sure you’ll be happy in the end.
JRon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 01:00 PM   #9
Moderator
Aerides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,609
Thanks all for the perspective:

I'm not worried about over-extension, sub-worries or quality - they've been in business for 55 years, sub very little of the work, and have zero BBB complaints and A+ ratings. Only a 5% deposit to start, the rest of the money on completed milestones, etc. These were big reasons I hired them.

The work that's been done looks good, to spec, passed interim permits, etc. The gaps in schedule have been attributed to...rain, equipment in the shop, permit error (plans updated but not refiled), and scheduling mishaps. Then some more days go by and nothing happens...and I go a bit more nuts. Nothing covid related, no supply chain, no blaming 3rd parties.

And yes once it's done, or a year from now, I still think it will be great. I'm just really tired of a big mess of a back yard, and a fence gap that nosey neighbors love to stop and gawk through....
Aerides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 01:13 PM   #10
Moderator
Jerry1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 5,425
I put in a pool last year and there’s still that one little job that needs fixed. It’s a pain, but unfortunately, you have virtually no leverage. They’ll get to it when they get to it and the money you’re holding is not enough to change anything so get that thought out of your head if it ever was.

The advice to stay positive is a good one. It will get done. Personally, the best I’ve found is to just keep in touch with them. The best thing to say is in the form of questions. Like, help me understand what’s holding this up. Then, do the best you can to get them to say a time frame - “So, given what you’re dealing with, what date can you commit to getting this done?” You can be sure that any nastiness you exhibit will only delay the problem. They’re more inclined to help someone they feel good about. Best of luck.

Oh, you might also put it like this (I did this) - “How quickly can you get me swimming?” My pool didn’t get done until late last summer, but we were able to swim by July. Had I been looking at an unfinished pool all summer, it would have been so much harder. Things like the fence and the landscaping got done later, but I was swimming on the 4th of July.
__________________
Every day when I open my eyes now it feels like a Saturday - David Gray
Jerry1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 01:24 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
ivinsfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,449
Reading your report of the company in post number 9, it seems like you did everything right. Have you asked them outright if you are an outlier in the delay area or if all their customers are in your shoes. In the squeaky wheel gets the grease aspect I might consider personally contacting the owners and saying how disappointed you are in the slow progress and that you expected better because of their sterling reputation. There's not much harm in politely asking.


We run into stuff like this with machinery repair sometimes. We're always scrupulously polite and respectful to the in shop workers. We've found that a lot of farmers sadly treat and talk to them like crap always complaining and whining.

The result is the shop workers love us and considers us to be friends, to the point of them worrying about and contacting my DH after his bad surgery. The downside is, I can't tell you how many times the ahats get quicker repairs then we do, because of the the B and Moaning they do to the shop help. The upside is when they finally do get it fixed they sweat over every part and dollar to make sure we come out with the best cheapest possible repairs.

You have to pick your battles.
ivinsfan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 01:55 PM   #12
Moderator
Aerides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 8,609
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
Oh, you might also put it like this (I did this) - “How quickly can you get me swimming?” My pool didn’t get done until late last summer, but we were able to swim by July. Had I been looking at an unfinished pool all summer, it would have been so much harder. Things like the fence and the landscaping got done later, but I was swimming on the 4th of July.
For mine the swimming is the end point - filling the pool. I have an existing fence (they have two panels down for a construction entrance) and I have no landscaping in the contract - I cannot WAIT to get out working on my garden after, which is another annoyance given the time/weather is perfect now in FL.

I really don't have much left to go in the grand scheme, but I've been looking at a fully gunited pool since Christmas, surrounded by sandy dirt. Then the tile and coping went in a month ago. Combined with the glorious sunny weather (even though still probably too cold to swim) I'm missing my patio now more...

I've really tried to be polite and patient while firmly asking for updates, but I have looked up the owner's info and figure I'll look to escalate at the next slip...
Aerides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 04:05 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 5,162
I don't think there is anything you can do, really. Pools rarely finish on time and that was before COVID and now supply issues because of a LOT of broken pools in Texas right now. I certainly hope you already have the pumps/heaters/cleaners/etc. or they are in your builders possession, or it could be a little longer.
__________________
Retired in 2014 at 40 Years Old
ExFlyBoy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 05:22 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
SnowballCamper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 316
If it's high end on the quality spectrum... that takes time, and as noted above, covid delays are real. I know a boat builder that couldn't get the stainless bolts he needed, and ended up making them out of threaded rod. You could ask to see the spreadsheet on the project, tell them you need weekly updates, just be more squeaky in general, stop by the office in person ...
__________________
--At what age does spending less now in order to have more later stop making sense?
SnowballCamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2021, 06:12 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Finance Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
I signed a contract for a pool and the end of July. I live in S.Fla, I have always wanted one, and being home pushed me over the edge. I researched companies, got plenty of quotes, BBB reviews, etc., and signed. I knew to allow some leeway in the timeline for county/covid delays, but figured, hey, it's a simple pool, maybe it'll be done by Christmas?

Hahaha...nope. Paperwork/permitting/weather and they didn't start excavation until thanksgiving. But since then it's been stops and starts, and a few unforced errors, with days, sometimes weeks between progress.

Currently I have a mostly finished pool, (poured and tiled, coping in, plumbing and basic electric done, no pump, no decking). I'm sure it will be done eventually, and it looks like I imagined, but I'd put my money on April vs. March, and even then I would not be surprised if it's May.

So, anyway, venting aside, besides calling and emailing for updates.. what can I do here? Are there any levers I can pull?
Too late now, but when we built our house we asked the builder when it would be done. They gave a date. We gave them an additional 30 days, but then had in our contract a penalty of $125/day if they were late. Guess what, they finished on the day before the penalty kicked in.
__________________
"Live every day as if it were your last, and one day you'll be right" - unknown
Finance Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
More of the Same... House Equity losses cause retirement delays chinaco FIRE and Money 54 08-04-2011 11:22 PM
IRS Delays Start of Filing Season for Taxpayers With Itemized Deductions MichaelB FIRE and Money 22 12-24-2010 10:32 PM
Vanguard Brokerage Delays Gearhead Jim FIRE and Money 4 01-23-2009 07:11 AM
As GM goes so goes the nation (and market), your thoughts and predictions shotgunner FIRE and Money 78 11-19-2008 08:27 PM
Passport renewal delays? TargaDave Other topics 15 04-06-2007 10:36 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:03 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.