A MESSAGE FROM
THE LOW BIDDER
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Dear Cherished Customer,
Thank you for hiring us. We look forward to saving you a lot of money compared with all the other contractors who submitted quotes. As for your inquiry as to how we can charge so much less than everyone else, I welcome this opportunity to explain how we operate.
You see, unlike many of our competitors, we don't believe in paying top dollar to employees. There are so many people looking for work these days, it's pretty easy to find some desperate enough to work for far less than they're worth. If they start complaining, we just get rid of them and find replacements in a few days. Most jobs get disrupted just a little bit. Besides, we don't look to hire the best workers. Most of the work required for your project can be performed by people with almost no skills. (In fact, if you care to do some of it yourself, I can save you even more money.) Heck, I've learned that some of the best employees don't even speak English. They work cheapest of all and never sass the boss. Most of the time they can figure out my hand signals telling them what to do. If anything complicated does arise, that's what I'm here for. It may take a few days for me to get around to check out your job, but with all the money you're saving, I'm sure you won't mind the wait.
Not only don't we pay our employees very much, we offer no benefits, because that adds way too much to overhead. Our employees know that if they get sick and can't work, they don't make any money. So you can rest assured that they'll show up at your job even if they come down with pneumonia or TB.
I'll tell you something else -- our installers and technicians work fast. A lot of contractors tell their crews to hang around jobs forever making sure everything is just right. Experienced as I am, I know exactly when something is just good enough to get by. That's when we call it a job. Think of all the money you save with us not worrying about frilly details.
Another thing is, we know how to cut through all that government paperwork. Most rules and regulations make no sense. For instance, everyone in the construction industry knows that hardly anyone ever gets caught working without a permit or trade licenses. The money we save by avoiding these technicalities gets passed on to you.
We also cut corners with code requirements at every opportunity. Codes do nothing but jack up the price of a project. By substituting cheaper materials and ignoring labor-intensive procedures required to meet code, we are able to charge much less than those suckers who operate by the book.
We save another bundle by paying no attention to silly EPA rules, like not venting refrigeration gases into the atmosphere. Those do-gooders expect contractors to spend thousands of dollars on special equipment and training just to capture stuff that is invisible, odorless and harmless to anything except the earth's ozone layer. Who cares about thin air! Preserving the environment would add several dollars to your project, but not with us.
Insurance is another area where we realize big savings. How many jobs do you ever hear of where there's a payoff? Insurance is nothing but money down the drain. If something does go wrong, you can always sue us. What more protection do you need than that?
I'll let you in on another inside secret. We cleverly save you money by not paying all of our bills. Our company has accounts at about a dozen supply houses around town, and we never pay for material unless we absolutely have to. Most wholesalers will carry us for 60 or 90 days before they start nagging me about payment. Then I can usually string them along for another few months with promises or token payments. If one supplier cuts us off, I simply take my business to the others and go through the same routine. It's a game that real sharp contractors like myself have refined to an art form. You ought to be proud to have your job done by an artist!
Something else that separates us from the pack is that we're not a bunch of namby-pambies hung up on safety concerns. Accidents will happen, so why bother trying to prevent them! Some contractors worry more about their tradespeople getting hurt than they do about getting the job done fast. Believe me, hard hats, eye shields and work gloves only slow people down. So we don't supply those things to our workers. Here's where we gain another advantage by hiring a bunch of people who don't speak English. They can't read warning signs that might make them too cautious. This saves you money.
Also, I'm sure you noticed that when you called me you reached an answering machine, not some secretary costing over $10,000 a year. Sorry that it took me so long to get back to you, but that's the price you pay for saving money.
You may have also noticed that our trucks are run-down, our tools worn out and this letter is being written on a 1950s vintage manual typewriter. Our philosophy is to make do with whatever is already paid for, no matter how old. That's another reason we can charge you so much less. Nor do we waste money on association dues and educational seminars like some of our high-falluting competitors. Believe me, I've been in this business for more than 20 years and I learned everything anyone needs to know in my first two years of apprenticeship. If it was good enough for my daddy and granddaddy, it's good enough for you.
By the way, did I mention that we guarantee our work. Just make sure you catch what's wrong before the job is done, because at the prices we charge, we can't afford any call backs.
Thank you once again for letting us do your work. We're happy to be the low bidder. I'm sure you'll get your money's worth.