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To feel a bit put out by receiving an invoice?

(49 Posts)
TiredAudreyTwoShoes Wed 18-May-16 17:52:00

We recently asked three builders for quotes, we've had them all in and placed the job. I was rather surprised to receive an invoice from one of the unsuccessful builders for their time and labour in preparing the quote and associated drawings.

I wasn't advised that there would be any costs involved in receiving a quote and I didn't ask for drawings (the other builders didn't offer or supply them as it's only a small job).

I feel really put out, before I go back to him to say so, AIBU?

That1950sMum Wed 18-May-16 17:53:51

Don't pay it, they're chancers!

Kimononono Wed 18-May-16 17:55:53

Ha ha ha some folk have the cheek of ten arses! Tell them to sod off.

monkeywithacowface Wed 18-May-16 17:56:23

Sounds like he's a bit of a chancer. I'd just ignore the invoice

NannawifeofBaldr Wed 18-May-16 17:58:04

Did they tell you in advance that there would be a charge for the quotation?

WellErrr Wed 18-May-16 18:00:52

Just ignore it.

lifeistooshort Wed 18-May-16 18:01:14

We had that before in the past and completely ignored. As previously mentioned, they are chancer and there is absolutely zero ground for them charging!

SauvignonBlanche Wed 18-May-16 18:03:48

What a cheek!

Mari50 Wed 18-May-16 18:07:52

Unfortunately for the builder he didn't advise you of costs that would be incurred for preparing a quote so you aren't BU, however it will maybe make you realise that costs are incurred by this process and few other professions/trade happily
give time for nothing.
I have a vested interest here as my partner is a joiner and frequently spends a lot of time measuring up and arranging quotes only for people to go elsewhere, he's very good and sells a good product so gets the majority of jobs tendered but sometimes people can't afford him and it's half a day wasted to visit client and then process information for a quote (despite the fact he gives a rough estimate to every enquirer before going to see them so they know a ballpark figure) . He needs to turn over £10k a month to cover overheads, if he's wasting even two days a month chasing unproductive quotes the shortfall needs to come from somewhere.
John Lewis charge £50 for a kitchen survey, I think more tradesmen should charge esp if a quote is fairly involved.

TiredAudreyTwoShoes Wed 18-May-16 18:09:33

I'm glad it's not just me. I only queried myself as they seemed the most professional of the three and friends have used/recommended them.

AgentProvocateur Wed 18-May-16 18:13:51

I wouldn't pay for someone to look round, but I would pay for drawings / design work. If you're not willing to pay, please don't use his drawings with the people you decide to go with.

zikreetdreaming Wed 18-May-16 18:16:55

That's how life works though Mari. I'm a lawyer and also can spend hours/days on proposals we don't win. If people are using him as a free way to get measurements then fair enough but his business needs to be able to sustain the business development development process. I wouldnt use someone who tried to charge me for a quote.

greathat Wed 18-May-16 18:17:14

If you have a recommendation then go with that builder!

Mari50 Wed 18-May-16 18:21:48

I'm well aware that's how life works Zirkeet, cross subsidy. Not actually fair on the consumer purchasing in the end because they are who picks up the bill. But I am a bit of an idealist.

APlaceOnTheCouch Wed 18-May-16 18:37:50

I wouldn't say he was a chancer. It's not completely unknown for companies to bill for quotes and drawings. It's to weed out the time-wasters.

It's odd that they didn't mention it before they quoted. I hope you didn't arrange it via one of your friends who recommended them and that your friend didn't forget to tell you that the company charged for drawings/quotes.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 18-May-16 18:41:02

It depends entirely on whether he told you he would be charging for his quote in advance and you went ahead. Some do do this.

NotYoda Wed 18-May-16 18:49:02

I have never heard of this - and I'd have thought if it would happen anywhere it would be round here (London)

They should have made it crystal clear there was a charge attached to quotes/drawings

I would not pay

NotYoda Wed 18-May-16 18:50:54

BTW I can see the logic in charging, but you'd need to be advance-warned

DailyMailFodder Wed 18-May-16 18:58:33

I've heard of architects doing this which is reasonable enough as long as they are upfront with the cost.
I wouldn't mind paying as d prefer someone to give me a proper carefully thought out quote.

NotYoda Wed 18-May-16 18:59:21


Yes, me too.

zikreetdreaming Wed 18-May-16 19:02:19

Fine Mari but you were acting as if it's something particularly unfair to tradesmen! It's harder on small businesses yes but that doesn't mean the model should change. Someone has to pick up this cost.

CaffeineDeficitDisorder Wed 18-May-16 19:04:03

I think it's fine to charge for the work if you have notified in advance. I'm just arranging three quotes for some work at home. One has said up front there is a consultation charge, one has yet to reply, and the third 'no longer charges' for this stage. Tbh, I'm happier paying the fee as I can explore ideas with all three without feeling I'm wasting their time. But I do want to know in advance.

bibbitybobbityyhat Wed 18-May-16 19:10:03

I do some work for a professional tradesman. He has a company of three (plus me doing a few hours book keeping).

In order to keep the three of them productive and all the wages paid he has to spend about 50% of his time quoting for work and doing office stuff.

I think the rest of us forget that when tradesmen come and produce detailed quotes they are not earning anything!

Mari50 Wed 18-May-16 19:43:09

Actually Zirkeet I think the model should change, the industry I work in (I'm not disclosing as might be identifying esp given what i have said about partner) relies very heavily on cross subsidy and it's totally messed up, skews the entire business model and doesn't do the service users any favours at all. Someone does have to pick up the costs of the 'timewasters/non purchasers'.
Again, I'm too idealistic for this shit so I moved from commercial to non commercial sector of my profession because the cross subsidy annoyed me so much. It results in people undervaluing professional time and those supplying that time having to overcharge at the other end to make up the short fall. Yes it's life, doesn't mean it's a good system or it's fair.
Those who pay for your services are also paying for the time you have spent on those unsuccessful bids, same with my partner. Race to the bottom really.

HidingUnderARock Wed 18-May-16 19:49:09

If he didn't say he would charge then he doesn't get to charge. Ignore the invoice and let your friends know not to invite him to quote for their work.

however it will maybe make you realise that costs are incurred by this process and few other professions/trade happily give time for nothing.

This is blatantly untrue. Pre-sales and sales meetings are not generally charged for. I do know that architects routinely charge for any work that involves drawing up plans, but then plans are a big part of what they sell, and they are upfront about it before they do the work.

Did the tradesman knock up a kitchen on spec and bring it round? No, he quoted for work, which is part of most non-shop jobs.

For most other professions, including consultancy, visiting a client for half a day(1-2hrs+travel) unpaid is absolutely normal. Yes sometimes its used for free consultancy - the actual product they are selling.

Bigger companies have teams of people who work for weeks just preparing a bid for piece of work. Its detailed and lays out strategies and materials etc, and easily used by someone else (the internal team) who get the job.

Nobody should be agreeing to work they have not had a firm quote for, and getting 3 quotes is absolutely normal. Just think what a chancer like that would try if he knew there was no competition!

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