I got called a "snake," yesterday...

Mitch Hoy

Active Member
So I got a call Thursday night. Tree needs to come down before the city contractor comes in for $$$$, right away. I knew I couldn't come to take a look until Saturday, and we scheduled an estimate.
I call her on Saturday, and she says, "Well, another company stopped by, and said they could do it next week for $$$, weather pending." I asked her if she had signed a contract. "No." I say I could still come take a look, if she wanted. "OK."
I show up, and it's 2/3 a days work. I say we could do it Tuesday, rain or shine, for $$. She tells me she will call me back. When she does, she says that the other company is "not happy" and that she is going to go with them. The other company told her that since she already put their name on the city paperwork that she could get in trouble (she never told me she completed the contractor documentation for the flagged tree).
45 minutes later, I get a text to my business number from the other guy. It reads:
"You're a snake bro. I'm just going to block your number now. Talking to homeowners the way that you do, especially after I already had her sign our agreement for work. Good luck to you in the future. Be safe."
I was a little floored. Clearly this woman was playing both of us, so why cut me down like that?
I can't count how many times I've gotten calls saying we found someone else, or shown up and the work is done. I hardly make people sign contracts anymore unless we are halfway to five figures/plus. I've found it to be a lot of hustle for little gain. I've been through small claims before. It was BS. I tell people that if they can find better service at a better price, just let me know. I feel that creates a situation of trust, and serves everyone better. I don't want to do the work for someone who already feels cheated.
Still, I feel partly credulous, and partly bothered. My initial reaction was, "What kind of snake am I? A Gartner Snake? A Black Mamba? I hope a Black Mamba because they are wicked cool..." But, I also feel some burn. I realized that I haven't been disrespected in almost a decade, and nobody has ever called me that, or anything remotely similar. I'm a dad, a business owner, and serious about trees. It also makes me kinda sad. I like getting along with people.
What is some collective experience here? I realize this is all just business, but is this just an occasional reality that I am going to have to deal with, or is there a better way forward? Does anyone have a good radar/checklist for staying out of these situations?
Just looking for a little guidance.
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
Got worked by the bosses relative - I quoted work as he was away, and relative on day of job suddenly added a whole bunch of stuff saying it was quoted. Boss got back from vacation and got a WTF talk for blowing hours on the job. Nowhere to go with that one - had to suck it up...

Also had an old boss flip a few false stories to a new boss. By the time I found out about it the false accusations had spread around the crews - needless to say that employment tanked. Had to suck that one up too, not that I was keen on staying but sucks when lies prosper...

Your situation I would dress other bloke down even if made situation worse as rumours spread and best to try and set it straight with him asap even if he doubts you. Look him in the eye (if you can)and tell him it was your job first that he poached and he can straighten out his story right away.

Or ignore and hope rumours don’t get spread on you...
 

rico

Well-Known Member
"You're a snake bro. I'm just going to block your number now. Talking to homeowners the way that you do, especially after I already had her sign our agreement for work. Good luck to you in the future. Be safe."
considering the situation and the way in which this guy personally reached out to you, my response would be as follows-

Fuck off, and if your ever contact me again were going to have a serious problem. Good luck and be safe Bro?
 
The fact that he “text-confronted” you says a lot about his character or lack there of.
As far as what he texted...I wouldn’t sweat it.
If you have a good reputation in your area he will eventually find that out and probably regret his cowardly act
 

evo

Well-Known Member
I keep getting calls for other companies, feeling a little snake like myself
 

rico

Well-Known Member
I suggest we all meet somewhere's, toss back a few, and go toon this ass-hat up a little (nothing too serious of coarse).. If we were not fully satisfied at that point, we could head back to the bar, toss back a few more, and tussle amongst ourselves until Johnny Law shows up. Now I don't know much about this Mitch Hoy character, or who the ill mannered texting shit-hug is, but I'm game!
 
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NailerB

Member
IMHO I would call from another number and explain the situation as to what actually happened. The homeowner made contact with you 1st, set up appt and you showed up at appointed time to bid the job. How anyone other than a jackwad could call that poaching or being a snake is beyond me but they are out there.
 

New2trees

Well-Known Member
Agree with the last reply, guy probably was operating with shit information, is likely young and new to the business etc.
So if you simply text him from another number and explain the reality of the discussion between you and the homeowner (garter snake) it will serve to both resolve the situation, help you shed your skin :) and hopefully give the guy who owns the other company an opportunity to grow emotionally and not jump to conclusions and insult someones character in the future.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Also worth firing off a text to the homeowner, "By the way, your guy just sent me a harsh text, apparently thinks I tried to cut into his contract, would you mind correcting the misconception? Thank you." It's always fun to cast the truth about and see what happens next.
-AJ
 

Mowerr

Well-Known Member
I suggest we all meet somewhere's, toss back a few, and go toon this ass-hat up a little (nothing too serious of coarse).. If we were not fully satisfied at that point, we could head back to the bar, toss back a few more, and tussle amongst ourselves until Johnny Law shows up. Now I don't much about this Mitch Hoy character, or who the ill mannered texting shit-hug is, but I'm game!
My brother always used to joke and say something to the jist "tree guys can't hang out together off the job site cause we'll always get in trouble"
Sounds like fun
 

moss

Well-Known Member
People who wield BS as a habit often depend on poor communication between the parties involved to keep the BS going. Shed the light in a neutral way (I'm not happy, I'm not pissed but I am serious) and the BS shrivels up fast.
-AJ
 

Benjo75

Member
Trouser snake maybe? There will always be other guys who will run you down to everyone else hoping to underbid and get an extra job or two. They're just part of the system. Just like the roaches in a big hollow oak but.
 

Levi Conrad

New Member
I might write a carefully worded letter and send it to the other guy. You could give his blocking your number as a reason as why you wrote the letter. Be more gracious than the other guy deserves, and simply explain the facts. It would be both therapeutic for you, and humbling/disarming for the guy. To receive a calm, formal, articulate explanation of what actually occurred. People usually just get more defensive when aggressively confronted.
 

Bango Skank

Well-Known Member
Sounds more like a drama queen customer than a dickhead competitor. I wouldn't dwell on it a minute longer, Mitch.

He's got the job, what are you gonna gain by pursuing it any further?

Get your satisfaction by producing and growing your business and making big money and leaving behind masses of happy customers.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Sounds more like a drama queen customer than a dickhead competitor. I wouldn't dwell on it a minute longer, Mitch.

He's got the job, what are you gonna gain by pursuing it any further?

Get your satisfaction by producing and growing your business and making big money and leaving behind masses of happy customers.
I like the clean and simple analysis!
-AJ
 
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