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Rain Man
11-25-2008, 04:55 PM
There's a little bit of a story here, but if you want to enjoy a little outrage, it's worth it at the end.

My company has been making a little push to develop a particular market, and have had some reasonable success in it. However, much of this market requires us to have a partner with a specific expertise.

Well, there's one firm in Colorado that's small, but very well-known in this field. We accidentally ended up working with them on a couple of projects last year (both hired independently by the client), and we tried to court them for partnerships.

As it turns out, their philosophy about research is that they think that all research firms are the same, and so they just want to hire the cheapest firm out there. They have a relationship with a firm that does cheap market research (mediocre firm at some stuff but really doesn't do good survey work at all - NO understanding of sampling, weighting, etc.), and they told us that if we could beat their price, they'd start working with us.

Eh, I don't like to compete on price, and we can't anyway, since Mediocre Research doesn't follow proper procedures. ("Well, duh, we'll put an ad in the newspaper sending people to surveymonkey.com. That's real research, right?") So I tried to educate them on quality and they said thanks but no thanks, and we'll just keep hiring Mediocre Research, Inc. We parted ways, and whatever - they're dead to me.

A year goes by, and I got a call from the owner of that firm this week. My ears perk up. Aha!

Here's a synopsis of the conversation:

[General niceties exchanged]
Me: So what's up?
Her: I'm wondering if you can do me a favor.
Me: Sure. What do you need?
Her: We just won a project blah blah blah and they need two specialized surveys.
Me: We'd be delighted to put together a proposal for you.
Her: Great. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate.
Me: Even better. So what's the project?
Her: [Blah blah blah] We're already working with Mediocre Research, Inc., and the client just wants to ensure that their pricing is reasonable.
Me: I'm sorry, what was that last part?
Her: Mediocre Research is on the team, but the client asked us to get two other bids so we can show that Mediocre Research is giving them a good price.
Me: So are you going to consider our proposal?
Her: We're already committed to work with Mediocre Research. I realize this is awkward, but we just need a proposal from you so we can justify their price.
Me: Let me be sure I understand. You're asking me to spend time putting a proposal together for you, and you're going to take that proposal, no matter how good it is, and you're going to use it only to help get Mediocre Research hired? Am I understanding this right?
Her: Yeah. I don't need you to go to a whole lot of work on this. Just a price and a little background information.
(Long pause)
Me: Can I submit the proposal directly to your client, so I have a chance of being considered?
Her: No, it would go through me. [Translation: if your proposal is better, I'll falsify it or throw it away.]
Me: Y'know, we've tried really hard to build a partnership with your company. Can I ask where the win-win is here?
Her: I know, it's awkward. But the client is making me do it.
Me: Okay, let's review this. The only outcome of this would be to waste my time, make my company look bad, and get a mediocre competitor hired. I don't think I'm very interested in doing this.
Her: Oh. (Acting suprised.)


CAN YOU FREAKING BELIEVE THAT? CAN YOU BELIEVE THE GALL, THE IDIOCY, THE STUPIDITY OF SOMEONE WHO WOULD MAKE THAT CALL? This woman, who flat-out told me a year ago that they had no interest in partnering with us, that they prefer to consistently hire a subpar firm instead of us, blatantly asked me to waste my time to write a proposal that she would then take to her client and say, "See, this firm is more expensive than Mediocre Research."

Who on earth is stupid enough to ask that? Frankly, I would've been less insulted if she had lied to me. She only called me because she knows that we charge more than the cut-rate, bargain-basement, intern-operated firm that she constantly hires.

What a mouth-breathing, scum-sucking, capri-pant-wearing moron. Unbelievable.

mikeyis4dcats.
11-25-2008, 04:59 PM
I'd be tempted to call Client anonymously and pass along the details that this firm is attempting to rig the bids.

I loathe people like this.

Buck
11-25-2008, 04:59 PM
Thats so stupid, it has happened here too, and everytime I tell them to pound sand.

Dayze
11-25-2008, 05:04 PM
I've worked in Contract management for a while; and had to follow-procedures to demonstrate a 'competitive pricing strategy' was used given we were a publicly traded company; and I've been asked to do this to my sub-contractors before.

It is VERY awkward; and I had greate working relationships with several contractors.
I got around most of this by getting a quote/price for an independent engineering firm to give me a 'quote/estimate' check (similar to what she was asking for). A small fee etc for a generic comparison.

Yet our corporate office was so tied up in 'policy' etc they couldn't see what they were asking for was ridiculous. They don't understand that the vendor actually incurs costs while submiting the bid. Unreal.

kstater
11-25-2008, 05:05 PM
I'd be tempted to call Client anonymously and pass along the details that this firm is attempting to rig the bids.

I loathe people like this.

This, or go ahead and put a proposal together and give it to the company unsolicited.

Donger
11-25-2008, 05:07 PM
Go around her.

Rain Man
11-25-2008, 05:08 PM
This, or go ahead and put a proposal together and give it to the company unsolicited.


I'm actually very tempted to do this. The irony is that the two specialized surveys are exactly what we're doing in another state for a different client. We're actually perfectly positioned to do this.

Man, I may just do this.

If I could've submitted a price directly to the client, I would've considered submitting a huge money-losing price and then added, "But my firm doesn't have time to do it right now."

Dayze
11-25-2008, 05:10 PM
corporate is so uneducated; I swear.
This chick Rain Main is speaking of did sh(t a** backwards.

Here's what happens when you ask a contractor (my background is in construction so a little different, but same concept)

Corporate wants to demonstrate the price is competitive; yet they've already awarded the work. If, IF you find a contractor willing to submit a bid, it will be so ridiculously out of the competitive range for such services it really doesn't 'validate' anything to begin with.

If services for X are typically Y+/-10% etc; the contractors bid will most likely be 2-3 times of Y.

Yet, Corporate recieves this and says "see....I knew we were getting a good price".

Groves
11-25-2008, 05:12 PM
Make it Rain, Man.

StcChief
11-25-2008, 05:12 PM
well sounds she wants your margin as her Profit.....

no results for the client. maybe eventually the "you get what you pay for" will sink in.

88TG88
11-25-2008, 05:14 PM
Eh, I don't like to compete on price, and we can't anyway, since Mediocre Research doesn't follow proper procedures. ("Well, duh, we'll put an ad in the newspaper sending people to surveymonkey.com. That's real research, right?") So I tried to educate them on quality and they said thanks but no thanks, and we'll just keep hiring Mediocre Research, Inc. We parted ways, and whatever - they're dead to me.
I have to give that speech many many times

mikeyis4dcats.
11-25-2008, 05:14 PM
well sounds she wants your margin as her Profit.....

no results for the client. maybe eventually the "you get what you pay for" will sink in.

not if it's like construction. people bitch, but they never change.

StcChief
11-25-2008, 05:14 PM
Go around her.I you can and know the client do it.:clap:

Dayze
11-25-2008, 05:15 PM
a local surveying crew here has a great line on their business cards

"Good, Fast, and Cheap....pick any too"

lol...I love it. It's right on the mark. obviously referring to price & quality (emphasizing Rain Man's point - you get what you pay for).

StcChief
11-25-2008, 05:19 PM
a local surveying crew here has a great line on their business cards

"Good, Fast, and Cheap....pick any too"

lol...I love it. It's right on the mark. obviously referring to price & quality (emphasizing Rain Man's point - you get what you pay for).
this concept saying.... has been applied for years in every industry. :)

beavis
11-25-2008, 05:33 PM
I'm actually very tempted to do this. The irony is that the two specialized surveys are exactly what we're doing in another state for a different client. We're actually perfectly positioned to do this.

Man, I may just do this.

If I could've submitted a price directly to the client, I would've considered submitting a huge money-losing price and then added, "But my firm doesn't have time to do it right now."

Sounds like there's no chance of burning a bridge, since it's someone you don't plan on working with ever anyway. Screw it, screw them!

Rain Man
11-25-2008, 05:55 PM
Sounds like there's no chance of burning a bridge, since it's someone you don't plan on working with ever anyway. Screw it, screw them!

Yeah, that's true. She as much as told us last year that she would never hire us.

The awkward part is that we've already independently run into her firm twice on projects where the client independently hired both of us, so open warfare would be unhealthy in the long run.

I've dispatched a spy, though, to assess the situation. I have a fortunate coincidence working in my favor out in left field, and coincidences often turn the tide of war.

Skip Towne
11-25-2008, 05:58 PM
Yeah, that's true. She as much as told us last year that she would never hire us.

The awkward part is that we've already independently run into her firm twice on projects where the client independently hired both of us, so open warfare would be unhealthy in the long run.

I've dispatched a spy, though, to assess the situation. I have a fortunate coincidence working in my favor out in left field, and coincidences often turn the tide of war.

Does DaFace do any spy work for you? I've noticed he's kind of shifty.

Rain Man
11-25-2008, 06:05 PM
Does DaFace do any spy work for you? I've noticed he's kind of shifty.

He doesn't work here any more. He quit in a fit of rage and is now working deep in the heart of my most hated rival. Down in their innermost sanctum. And we never talk.

Hydrae
11-25-2008, 06:06 PM
He doesn't work here any more. He quit in a fit of rage and is now working deep in the heart of my most hated rival. Down in their innermost sanctum. And we never talk.

:eek:

JASONSAUTO
11-25-2008, 06:07 PM
a local surveying crew here has a great line on their business cards

"Good, Fast, and Cheap....pick any too"

lol...I love it. It's right on the mark. obviously referring to price & quality (emphasizing Rain Man's point - you get what you pay for).

wow i WISH i had put that on my cards....

Darth CarlSatan
11-25-2008, 06:10 PM
this concept saying.... has been applied for years in every industry. :)

In the surveying profession, we DON'T haggle price. And we keep the playing field level by setting general pricing in monthly meetings of The( insert mystery state here )Chapter of Professional Land Surveyors.

And lest you think that unethical, it is VERY MUCH a mandate of State Statutes. There is currently no Statute of Limitations on the work we do in this particular State, and a wrong move can mean financial disaster for the company.
We're up to our asses in LLC's out here( or as I like to call them, "No Accountability Corporations" ), and these Land Buzzards try to squeeze every drop out of the turnip they can. Well guess what Charlie? That 'No-Worky' in our Profession. You hire a legitimate Land Surveyor, you should consider it to be just like hiring an Accountant or a Lawyer, and get ready to pony-up.
The Education Level required to do it properly commands that kind of grip.

Rain Man
11-25-2008, 06:12 PM
:eek:


(Eyes shifting left.) (Eyes shifting right.) Yep. You'd be surprised how often that happens.

mikeyis4dcats.
11-25-2008, 06:24 PM
He doesn't work here any more. He quit in a fit of rage and is now working deep in the heart of my most hated rival. Down in their innermost sanctum. And we never talk.

so does he enjoy it at Mediocre Research?

Rain Man
11-25-2008, 06:26 PM
so does he enjoy it at Mediocre Consulting?

I wouldn't even bother sending a spy to Mediocre Consulting. He'd probably inadvertently teach them stuff.

Darth CarlSatan
11-25-2008, 06:27 PM
wow i WISH i had put that on my cards....

It's supposed to be "Good, Fast, OR Cheap; pick any two".

Rain Man
11-25-2008, 06:30 PM
It's supposed to be "Good, Fast, OR Cheap; pick any two".

Give him a break. The business cards cost $25 and were delivered the next day.

StcChief
11-25-2008, 06:31 PM
I wouldn't even bother sending a spy to Mediocre Consulting. He'd probably inadvertently teach them stuff.
so DaFace is gone from your firm? WOW.... or is this Chiefsplanet come on scam.:) Mediocre research only has donx fans but they may troll here.:evil:

HemiEd
11-25-2008, 06:34 PM
There's a little bit of a story here, but if you want to enjoy a little outrage, it's worth it at the end.

My company has been making a little push to develop a particular market, and have had some reasonable success in it. However, much of this market requires us to have a partner with a specific expertise.

Well, there's one firm in Colorado that's small, but very well-known in this field. We accidentally ended up working with them on a couple of projects last year (both hired independently by the client), and we tried to court them for partnerships.

As it turns out, their philosophy about research is that they think that all research firms are the same, and so they just want to hire the cheapest firm out there. They have a relationship with a firm that does cheap market research (mediocre firm at some stuff but really doesn't do good survey work at all - NO understanding of sampling, weighting, etc.), and they told us that if we could beat their price, they'd start working with us.

Eh, I don't like to compete on price, and we can't anyway, since Mediocre Research doesn't follow proper procedures. ("Well, duh, we'll put an ad in the newspaper sending people to surveymonkey.com. That's real research, right?") So I tried to educate them on quality and they said thanks but no thanks, and we'll just keep hiring Mediocre Research, Inc. We parted ways, and whatever - they're dead to me.

A year goes by, and I got a call from the owner of that firm this week. My ears perk up. Aha!

Here's a synopsis of the conversation:

[General niceties exchanged]
Me: So what's up?
Her: I'm wondering if you can do me a favor.
Me: Sure. What do you need?
Her: We just won a project blah blah blah and they need two specialized surveys.
Me: We'd be delighted to put together a proposal for you.
Her: Great. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate.
Me: Even better. So what's the project?
Her: [Blah blah blah] We're already working with Mediocre Research, Inc., and the client just wants to ensure that their pricing is reasonable.
Me: I'm sorry, what was that last part?
Her: Mediocre Research is on the team, but the client asked us to get two other bids so we can show that Mediocre Research is giving them a good price.
Me: So are you going to consider our proposal?
Her: We're already committed to work with Mediocre Research. I realize this is awkward, but we just need a proposal from you so we can justify their price.
Me: Let me be sure I understand. You're asking me to spend time putting a proposal together for you, and you're going to take that proposal, no matter how good it is, and you're going to use it only to help get Mediocre Research hired? Am I understanding this right?
Her: Yeah. I don't need you to go to a whole lot of work on this. Just a price and a little background information.
(Long pause)
Me: Can I submit the proposal directly to your client, so I have a chance of being considered?
Her: No, it would go through me. [Translation: if your proposal is better, I'll falsify it or throw it away.]
Me: Y'know, we've tried really hard to build a partnership with your company. Can I ask where the win-win is here?
Her: I know, it's awkward. But the client is making me do it.
Me: Okay, let's review this. The only outcome of this would be to waste my time, make my company look bad, and get a mediocre competitor hired. I don't think I'm very interested in doing this.
Her: Oh. (Acting suprised.)


CAN YOU FREAKING BELIEVE THAT? CAN YOU BELIEVE THE GALL, THE IDIOCY, THE STUPIDITY OF SOMEONE WHO WOULD MAKE THAT CALL? This woman, who flat-out told me a year ago that they had no interest in partnering with us, that they prefer to consistently hire a subpar firm instead of us, blatantly asked me to waste my time to write a proposal that she would then take to her client and say, "See, this firm is more expensive than Mediocre Research."

Who on earth is stupid enough to ask that? Frankly, I would've been less insulted if she had lied to me. She only called me because she knows that we charge more than the cut-rate, bargain-basement, intern-operated firm that she constantly hires.

What a mouth-breathing, scum-sucking, capri-pant-wearing moron. Unbelievable.


Kevin, I normally don't quote entire posts like this, but this one is special to me. I have run into this exact scenerio many times.

They clearly have no respect for your services, or do they understand the value,

Just keep on keepin' on!

mikeyis4dcats.
11-25-2008, 06:36 PM
Give him a break. The business cards cost $25 and were delivered the next day.

LOL

Rep

Rain Man
11-25-2008, 06:37 PM
so DaFace is gone from your firm? WOW.... or is this Chiefsplanet come on scam.:) Mediocre research only has donx fans but they may troll here.:evil:


Just to confirm, I probably should fess up that DaFace still works here. I'm still recruiting him for the spying gig.

MahiMike
11-25-2008, 06:38 PM
That's ridiculous. You shoulda told her just to make it up herself. Whatever happened to "you scratch my back, etc."? At least give me a different project to go with it.

StcChief
11-25-2008, 06:44 PM
Just to confirm, I probably should fess up that DaFace still works here. I'm still recruiting him for the spying gig.
I figured as much, but a fake firing ... storm out in a huff.... sounds good.


The convincing a defect to the other side you may end up with Double - not- spy:eek:

Buehler445
11-25-2008, 06:56 PM
You should have DaFace rig up a quote that when you open the attachment, it says "Hey Everybody, I'm looking at GAY PORN" very loudly over the speakers.

CrazyPhuD
11-25-2008, 07:16 PM
Just to confirm, I probably should fess up that DaFace still works here. I'm still recruiting him for the spying gig.

Just remind him to hide the rectal microphone well so that it doesn't get inadvertently discovered!

DaFace
11-25-2008, 08:59 PM
Just to confirm, I probably should fess up that DaFace still works here. I'm still recruiting him for the spying gig.

Dammit Rain Man - I can't stand it any more! I've tried to take over the company numerous times, but to no avail. Clearly, Mediocre Research has their priorities in order, so maybe I'd have a better opportunity for world domination there. I QUIT.

:cuss:

Bacon Cheeseburger
11-25-2008, 10:26 PM
Dammit Rain Man - I can't stand it any more! I've tried to take over the company numerous times, but to no avail. Clearly, Mediocre Research has their priorities in order, so maybe I'd have a better opportunity for world domination there. I QUIT.

:cuss:

You'd better lock the thread before he fires you.