Author Topic: You can't afford this  (Read 21146 times)

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goldilocks

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You can't afford this
« on: June 14, 2013, 05:25:36 PM »
I wanted my front yard re-landscaped.  It was all overgrown and looked a lot like the Munsters house.  Neither my husband or I are into yard work, and it had gotten completely out of hand, but DH didn't seem to care.

So, I called a landscape vendor out and he gave me a quote of $4500.   Very nice man who explained everything in great detail.

NOTE:  I live in an "average" neighbor hood of 3 BR houses, small yards, mostly young couples starting out.  I'm middle-aged, but I've been in this house almost 15 years.  I could afford a house 3X this size, but have no need to move.

DH insisted I get a 2nd quote.  Fine - Vendor number 2 comes out, and as soon as he got out of his truck I could see he had attitude.

"You're going to have to rip up everything""   (Yeah, we know that)

"That tree removal alone will be $500!!"  (yeah, knew that too)

Finally he told me, in an irritated voice - this is going to cost at least $4000 and you can't afford that.

I thanked him for his time.   The 4500 quote actually got DH motivated - he hired 2 teenage boys to help with the hard stuff and we did the lawn ourselves for about $1500.

LeveeWoman

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 05:59:14 PM »
What a moron! Did you call his boss?

veronaz

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2013, 06:08:24 PM »
Quote
Finally he told me, in an irritated voice - this is going to cost at least $4000 and you can't afford that.

How insulting!  >:(  He has no idea what you can afford.  That type of presumptuous attitude makes me sick. 

Mental Magpie

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 07:26:24 PM »
I'm afraid I would not have been able to hold my tongue.  You did much better than I.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

veronaz

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 08:55:00 PM »
OPÖ.a little story:

Iím acquainted with a couple who quietly built their wealth.  Wife is quite plain looking and dowdy (no makeup, no jewelry) and went into a fancy boutique looking for a gift for her daughter.  The saleslady was snotty and acted like she didnít want to be bothered.  So wife walked out and decided to shop elsewhere Ė she drove to another store in her new midnight blue Jaguar, which I happen to know she paid cash for (something in the neighborhood of $160K).   ;)

kherbert05

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 10:38:48 PM »
I have a relative who is a
commercial fisherman
multi-millionaire


He still works his own boats. He looks like a commercial fisherman - hands, tan, weathered face.




He is doing a big deal with some people from another province. They insist on not using a local bank. He drives into the capital in his pickup that has ended up in the river twice. (Once the ice broke, once the boys didn't set the brake properly.). He is wearing slacks and a sweater. (suits and ties for baptisms, weddings, and funerals). He gets to the bank, goes to the banker's office - and is refused entry by some official. Banker is in an important meeting it seems. Knowing relative he only gave his name once or twice. He isn't going to argue the point with someone from away. He leaves. Goes to his pick up. Calls the other party, who is sitting in the banker's office. Relative tells them - bank won't let me in. If you want to do business with me meet me at Other Bank (were all the managers are locals). Walks in without an appointment tells the Banker what is up - banker finds time to meet with them deal goes through.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Oh Joy

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2013, 06:34:13 AM »
That was a completely inappropriate assumption, and a poor business decision.  But I will provide the perspective that it's very possible that the past X number of houses in similar neighborhoods that he visited have not accepted quotes for similar work, saying they can't afford it.  And this is probably a busy time of year for him.  If he's allocating too much time to free estimates that don't turn into paying jobs, he'd be better served to change his business model (like free phone consults while looking at a satellite image of the property). 

Just wish he'd said 'folks in your shoes are usually only looking to spend a grand or so for a job like this,' or used similar phrasing, because that's likely what he really meant...not a commentary on your personal net worth.

Can you tell I work with lots of small businesses?   :D
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 06:52:44 AM by Oh Joy »

menley

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2013, 10:31:09 AM »
<snip>
Just wish he'd said 'folks in your shoes are usually only looking to spend a grand or so for a job like this,' or used similar phrasing, because that's likely what he really meant...not a commentary on your personal net worth.
<snip>

Honestly, I would find that just as insulting.

MrTango

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2013, 12:13:21 PM »
Would it be bad to respond: "Can you afford to make that assumption?"

veronaz

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2013, 02:01:04 PM »
<snip>
Just wish he'd said 'folks in your shoes are usually only looking to spend a grand or so for a job like this,' or used similar phrasing, because that's likely what he really meant...not a commentary on your personal net worth.
<snip>

Honestly, I would find that just as insulting.

I agree; that is just as insulting.  He knows nothing about their "shoes" and OP said nothing about telling him their spending limitations.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 02:02:51 PM by veronaz »

Mental Magpie

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2013, 05:28:13 PM »
Would it be bad to respond: "Can you afford to make that assumption?"

That's pretty much what I would have said, but I probably would have added some not so polite sarcasm in there.



I also agree with the others; I would find that just as insulting.  He may have a good gripe but that doesn't excuse assumptions.  I just posted in the I won't shop THERE again thread about a bank treating me badly because of what another corrections officer did.  No reason for them to take anything out on me because they're unhappy about something else.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Tea Drinker

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2013, 05:58:41 PM »
That was a completely inappropriate assumption, and a poor business decision.  But I will provide the perspective that it's very possible that the past X number of houses in similar neighborhoods that he visited have not accepted quotes for similar work, saying they can't afford it.  And this is probably a busy time of year for him.  If he's allocating too much time to free estimates that don't turn into paying jobs, he'd be better served to change his business model (like free phone consults while looking at a satellite image of the property). 

Just wish he'd said 'folks in your shoes are usually only looking to spend a grand or so for a job like this,' or used similar phrasing, because that's likely what he really meant...not a commentary on your personal net worth.

Can you tell I work with lots of small businesses?   :D

The thing is, it would have taken him the same amount of time to say "It would cost $4000, are you looking to spend that much?" as what he did say. The only way he could have saved time would have been to look at the address and decline to come out in the first place.
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

NyaChan

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2013, 06:43:22 PM »
This is obviously insulting.  I was thinking though, it is insulting whether you can in truth afford the item or not, but it would be a bit more frustrating to know you can afford it and be told you can't - I say that because, there really is no gracious way (that I can think up I mean) to refute what they say without and my not so nice parts would absolutely want to.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2013, 08:37:10 PM »
I live in a neighbourhood where the homes cost on the lower end of what single family detached houses go for in my city.  So I could definitely see someone doing this to me.  I'd ask them, 'How do you know what I can afford?'  I could have won the lottery, I could have received an inheritance, I could have been saving for years.

ETA:  a somewhat related story

I was getting quotes to have my garage spray foamed.  Part of my house is above my garage and I was having some heat loss issues, as well as concerns about CO and other gases from my car getting up into my house.  I had one guy show up; I explained to him what I wanted and he told me he wouldn't do that.  We argued back and forth for quite a while and he finally just said he wouldn't do the job and left.  And I thought, good 'cause there is no way I would hire you, anyway.  The next guy?  Also told me he couldn't do what I wanted.  But he explained WHY he couldn't do what I wanted and explained what he would be able to do.  I don't remember if I went with him or with the other company I contacted but I certainly didn't go with the first guy.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 08:41:32 PM by Outdoor Girl »
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Ontario

veronaz

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Re: You can't afford this
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2013, 08:43:54 PM »
I live in a neighbourhood where the homes cost on the lower end of what single family detached houses go for in my city.  So I could definitely see someone doing this to me.  I'd ask them, 'How do you know what I can afford?'  I could have won the lottery, I could have received an inheritance, I could have been saving for years.

POD.

I'm sure most of us know (or know of) people who live in fancy neighborhoods but are cash-poor and have debt up the yingyang.  Maxed out credit cards, little or no savings, living the so-called good life while putting on a show to impress everyone......holding their breath until it all comes crashing down.