Friday, February 15, 2013
when good clients go bad
I hate when a good working relationship with a client goes bad at the end. We recently installed a 4' x 6' window in the master bath of a residence. In the lower left hand corner there is a carved lizard about 6” long on the large leaf, a carved element on a carved element.
Now two weeks after it has been installed, they want me to bear the cost of having the etched glass panel removed and reinstalled so that I can 'do something' about the lizard because it is not visible enough. Even when they tell people there is a lizard on the panel, no one can find it so they have decided that this is an 'error'.
I admit the lizard does not jump right out at you when you first look at the panel but once you know it is there, it is visible. They are not complaining, however, about not being able to see the leaves clearly when they overlap, one carved element on top of another.
I have not responded to their email yet. I'm a little insulted that they think we made a mistake when it was done that way to insure their privacy in the bathroom. I'm a little stunned that they would expect me to incur such an expense for one small detail in an otherwise acceptable large panel.
They still owe me 50% of the contract.
Right now I'm waiting for the estimate to have the panel removed and then reinstalled but I have several recourses available to me. I could offer to split the cost of removing and re-installing the panel and use my off hand flex-shaft tool using polishing points to sort of 'gray out' the etched area surrounding the lizard but it will be a subtle effect, sort of like a shadow and I have no guarantee that it will be good enough for them.
Or I could offer them a monetary discount to just leave it as is. Or I could refuse to make any change since I don't think there is an 'error' and threaten to file a lien on the property if they don't pay me.
I know how to file liens.
I don't actually want to file a lien as it is a pain in the ass and the only way I'll get paid is if they want to sell the property or borrow any money with the property as collateral. Plus, I don't like to be a dick head. So I'm hoping that they will accept one of the other two possibilities.
They also have two 2' x 3' oval windows high up in the bathroom, one opposite the shower and the other opposite the toilet that the neighbor can see through perfectly if he looks out his 2nd story windows. I was going to submit a proposal to do the cream etch on those windows on location (something I really don't want to do anyway) which would make them match the background of the window but now they can just come up with another solution to that problem.