Is this customer in the wrong, for wanting us to repaint their job for free, all because they didnt like the color that they chose?

Other answer:

I have dealt with the same thing before and truthfully, I would repaint the foundation depending on the size of it. If it is small and would take a maximum of say 5 gallons and a couple of hours of quick work max, I'd do it and get my money from the fool, if it would take much more than that I wouldn't lift a pinky or spend a dime, I would simply take him to court. The only reason I say do it if you can without wasting a significant amount of resources is because these matters tend to take a very long time before you're called in court, depending on where it is, but if you go through with the lawsuit you guaranteed to win it. Some people don't seem to know that even though they are paying you for the work you do, you are not working for them, you are not their employee, and you are paid for providing a service.
Linda S:
Moving this out of Beauty and style category to Business. If he signed off on the color and you have the legal documented work order with the clients signature agreeing to the color then you are right and he is wrong. I've flipped a few homes and almost all painter's contracts state that upon signing this contract the client can't change their mind on their color choices. You might need to contact your local small business networking group or Better Business group and request the services of a mediator or contact a business lawyer and go to small claims court. . People like that have internet access and they can ruin a business if they decide to go batcrap crazy on social media.
I really expect best answer for this. I'm a contractor. I do decorative concrete work, stained and polished, that sort of thing. But I've dealt with a lot of painters.

First of all, I think that this is a great wonderful lesson that you've learned so cheaply. You have learned based on this one experience that cost you $1,000 that you should actually write the color choices in the scope of work. You have also learned that some people can pick a color and like it in a sample, but when their whole house is that color, they may not like it as much.

I recently had a similar situation to you. It was an 18-hundred square foot restaurant and I gave him the standard warranty, I did good work, and he loved it. Two months later, he contacted me about some minor defects that he found in the work. I told him I'd look at it and consider it. I went out, I looked at it, and although it was specifically not mentioned in the scope of work, as he was on a tight budget, I sent him an email explaining that it was not a warranty issue, but that I would be willing to come out and fix his defects. And not only that, i would give him a construction cleanup on the work that I did. All he needed to do was give me a time to do the work. His response to that email did not indicate a time for me to do the work, and it insulted me. I have personally decided to not contact him again until he gives me that time for scheduling reasons.

Bottom line, in your situation, based on what I've read, and I did read your additional information in the comments, I would do these things. 1, I would put in future contracts a specific clause that says if the chosen colors are not acceptable once they are installed, we would be willing to repaint your project at double the cost of the initial bid. 2, I would change your contracts to actually include a space in the scope of work for the specific colors. As a painter, you know that paint comes from different dye lots and batches and that sort of thing, which you can't control, and that a sample is not necessarily representative of the actual color that the product will be once it's applied. I would also have the contract focused more on (we are responsible for the labor to install the product as chosen by the customer, and we make no warranty as to the color selected by the client being appropriate). Anyway, something like that.

With this specific client, I would send them an encouraging email saying something along the lines of, After giving careful consideration to your project, we have found no errors or poor workmanship, therefore at this time I'm requesting you release the remainder of the moneys due to XYZ Painting Company, and as you have expressed a desire to have your project repainted, once you have determined the actual color that you want your project, we would be willing to submit a bid for the new scope of work, as long as all current billing is up to date.

It's been my experience that most jobs go just fine, but occasionally there is somebody that you just cannot make happy. Your time, your work and your effort on their project is important. Remember, if you've done what you can do to the best of your ability, that's what you can do.

I personally would send them a polite email as I've already discussed (that way you have proof that it was sent and that you responded, just in case anything happens, but as far as the $1,000 short, I can tell you from personal experience, that yes, you would win in court, but often times, it's not worth going after for that small of an amount of money. But if he tries to sue you, you can always bring a countersuit to him for the $1,000 that he gypped you on

Ok, this answer may not be worthy of Best Answer, but that's my thoughts. Good luck.

BACK STORY: Our painting company signed a paint job with this customer, to paint the foundation of a home (along with painting the entire interior, and a couple other things, totaling $5000).

The contract specified "the customer pays for all paint. Paint does not come out of contract total". Meaning, the customer buys the paint.

The contract said "100% satisfaction guarantee of all work"- (meaning, the quality of work itself.) It did not say anything about customer satisfaction of paint colors.

The customer was responsible for picking out paint colors. It was not our responsibility for customer to like the colors. Customer was responsible for choosing colors they liked.


When we finished the job,

1) the customer didn't even pay our company directly- he gave the check to one of our workers, in the workers name.

2) he only paid about $4000 out of the $5000, stating that until we repaint the foundation for free, he won't pay "as he isn't satisfied".

3) he said that WE should pay for the paint itself, too! The nerve!

And again- the customer signed off on the colors, writing in text form he was ok with the paint color we used.

In your opinion, who is wrong here- the customer or us?

The customer admitted that the quality of work was great, and that he is satisfied with everything about the work except the color.

Is the customer right, to try to make us lose money on paint and labor all because the customer didnt like the choice of color that they signed off on?

The customer chose the color, and they paid for it to go on the house. You did that. If they had decided part-way through that they didn't like it, then I would have still charged time labor for going back and changing the color back then, but waiting until the end is their deal, not yours.
Excuse me??

Sue them, don't let them rip you off. The customer's expectations are clearly out of bounds.
You have good notes on the chain of events. Take them plus supporting documents (signed agreement, invoices, etc) to a small business lawyer, maybe there's a small business development center near you where a pro bono (free) lawyer can advise you: go to (The Small Business Administration website), click on "SBA near you" and "Local Assistance" for legal assistance in your locality.

The customer is completely wrong, and any judge or mediator would say the same thing.
Skoda John:
Small claim court.
He is wrong but you know what they say about word of mouth advertising…

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