A reader writes: “Mickey, I have a customer who has a new Quality Control inspector on site. This gentleman is holding me to very high standards that I did not calculate in my pricing. How do I get him to realize that his predecessor and I had an understanding about some of these costs and I am not obligated to fulfill the specifications to the standard he is demanding?


First of all, I am not a contract specialist and recommend you seek legal counsel. The following comments are simply my advice and are based on very little information provided. If I knew more, my recommendations would probably be different. 


The short answer is that if you cannot reach an accommodation, you should seriously consider giving your 30 days’ notice. If this is a personality driven issue, you may have a long trek towards turning this customer around. And yes, a customer is a customer and you need to find a win/win outcome if at all possible. 


The bad news is that he is right and you are wrong in this situation. Since you have written specifications that clearly delineate what you were supposed to price, and you signed the contract, you are on the hook for whatever is specified. So called “verbal understandings” are not worth very much, if anything in this situation. The former POC (point of contact) would probably have gone to bat for you but if he/she is out of the picture, then the written contract holds.


Unfortunately, you have allowed a casual agreement to take precedence over a legal, binding contract. This may be a very expensive lesson since you may not have much recourse. Take a hard look at the contract and decide if you can salvage the situation. Good luck and let’s hope learn from this experience. 


Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.