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What would you do?

Old 08-28-2015, 12:44 PM
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Default What would you do?

I manage boats for a living. Our team is comprised of independent specialists that I contract with by the job. These folks have either worked on my boats or my customers boats for 30 plus years. I have a friend (maybe not) that needed work done 5 years ago. I handled it. Since then we have done electrical, fiberglass and mechanical work on the boat. He apparently befriended my mechanic, who has been with me 17 years, and started hiring him and paying him behind my back. My net margin is 21% but my specialists give me the discount so the customer pays a competitive rate and not gouged. What would you do with the customer and the mechanic?
Old 08-28-2015, 12:47 PM
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Let it go unless it starts eating into your business/profits. Or make it clear that you cannot guarantee work or assist with repairs done poorly and outside your scope of management.
Old 08-28-2015, 12:48 PM
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Is either party in any kind of contract with you? or violated any contract?
Old 08-28-2015, 12:48 PM
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Burn their houses down and get their wives pregnant of course.
Old 08-28-2015, 12:52 PM
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If your contract/employment terms with the mechanic don't stipulate what you should do then nothing.

If it concerns you, then stipulate the terms and the consequences under which you will move forward.

In my business, this is a common thing.

I require first rights of refusal to any income producing activity undertaken by my staff at any time while they are in my employ.
This is agreed to in writing.
The agreed to remedy is 110% of the revenue generated in their non-disclosed independent activity.

It works well…almost without exception, I have conceded the right to pursue when honestly disclosed.

Edit…not sure what you think you need to do with your customer.
Old 08-28-2015, 01:12 PM
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Get better friends?
Old 08-28-2015, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by atcfris View Post
Burn their houses down and get their wives pregnant of course.
^^^^^^Exactly, kill both of their dogs for good measure!
Old 08-28-2015, 01:20 PM
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We would sue both, but then again I work for a Lawyer.
Old 08-28-2015, 01:31 PM
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Ask yourself this question.
Is what I am about to do, worth losing this friendship! Your answer to that questions tells you exactly what to do.

Just my opinion, I hope everything turns out for the best.
Old 08-28-2015, 01:36 PM
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How did you find out? If they both actively tried to hide it that might cause you to react differently. However, if they both are very open about it perhaps you can just look at them and say, "really?" and they will see the error of their ways.
Old 08-28-2015, 01:41 PM
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Do his wife.
Old 08-28-2015, 02:03 PM
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Friends don't do that kind of stuff.

Fire the friend, and let the mechanic know you're aware of it, and that it ends today.
Old 08-28-2015, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by scboatman View Post
Friends don't do that kind of stuff.

Fire the friend, and let the mechanic know you're aware of it, and that it ends today.
This.
Old 08-28-2015, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SRQMynatt View Post
We would sue both, but then again I work for a Lawyer.

I'm good with that.

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Old 08-28-2015, 02:36 PM
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I can see both sides of this problem. I lean heavily on your side in the feeling that your mechanic is "moonlighting" with your customer. They are probably splitting your 21%. I see this as wrongdoing by your mechanic. I don't think you should feel bad about the customer.

The other side that I see is the ever changing blurred line between a contractor and an employee. Technically as a contractor I don't think he has done anything wrong. He did however poach/snipe a customer that you put them on so it feel like he is stealing from you.

In my industry we use brokers to link up with customers that have a need for my services. About 80% of the work comes from brokers and 20% are direct customers. Many times a customer that I've met through the broker tries to initiate a direct relationship with my company. I never allow that to happen as the broker would never send me work again, and rightfully so.

In your case nothing illegal happened, but the mechanic, IMO, was less than ethical. I would not offer him work again.
Old 08-28-2015, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by scboatman View Post
Friends don't do that kind of stuff.

Fire the friend, and let the mechanic know you're aware of it, and that it ends today.
Damn, that's exactly what I did. The friend realized I was on to it and sent me a text, "happy hour"?, and I said no thanks. Not a response back. My old man told me, expect nothing from people and be presently surprised otherwise you will be disappointed your whole life. I still don't do well with that one and it was a brilliant lesson.
Old 08-28-2015, 06:14 PM
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Would one client adversely affect your business?
Old 08-28-2015, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cparkerc View Post
^^^^^^Exactly, kill both of their dogs for good measure!
I would not do the dogs personally I would hire the local constable for that job
Old 08-28-2015, 07:12 PM
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Marcellus Wallace has the right idea in this video.
Keeping in mind my screen name would probably suggest I'm not the best for advice on this subject.

Here's Marcellus

http://youtu.be/23EOVuhIhdg
Old 08-28-2015, 07:33 PM
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I would remind the mechanic where and how he makes his living. If you're a major source of his income, he should know not to chet in your house. If he feels he doesn't need you, then you should be looking for a new mechanic.

You did the right thing with your friend. If your customer needs work, I would provide it if I were you. Provide the best service available and it will work out to your advantage.

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