BAJR Federation Archaeology

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Would people see it as sharp business practice or unethical -

If you as a contactor phone up another to get a quote on a job.. so you can undercut on the job to the real client?


"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Hmmm. Business and ethics is always a grey area. To do as you have mentioned makes sound business practice only if you are desperate for the work. If you are busy and making a reasonable profit then why waste the time undercutting another archaeological business where the margins are low anyway? (unless your aiming to take on this client and hold on to them as a regular customer, thus expanding your client base). Ethically, in archaeology with low margins,are you going to put the opposition out of business or is it just competative business practise? Do you have responsibility to keeping your staff employed or someone elses?? I have used comparison pricing in other business to determine if my service charges are out of line with the competition and, in retail it's a fairly standard practise. However if I came across as a bast$:face-approve:d in the industry my business reputation would have suffered due to the large amount of goodwill amongst customers and suppliers that could have been damaged. This in turn would drastically affect the value of the business and further future marketability. Very Grey area Mr Hosty.
It is all depends on the spirit of what was actually intended and the relationship between two organisations. To a degree it also depends on what the contract was.

Sub-contracting goes on a lot in archaeology and thus this situation can arise. With the rise of freelancers ie individuals working for other archaeological companies I can envisage the sorts of situations that give rise to this. This is particularly so when freelancers are also working directly for a client.

As a deliberate move to ask for a quote in order to find out the price when there is no intent to sub-contract from them is sharp practice.

To ring up with the intent to sub contract and find you are both bidding for the same job is acceptable provided the two firms do not seek to fix the price in favour of one of them (this would be illegal).

It is also perfectly possible to bid against somebody, who you intend to hire as a sub-contractor, win the contract and even be cheaper!

There are other variations on the theme.

Peter Wardle
I'm not sure but surely one might be committing some kind of offence if the caller is purporting to be someone they are not in order to gain a benefit for themselves - if I have time tomorrow perhaps I will run this by the legal beagles at the Federation of Small Business's. If it is not an offence I personally think it is morally low.
From my reading the person was pretending to be the client..

"No job worth doing was ever done on time or under budget.."
Come on David give us all the facts.

If somebody is "pretending" to be the client than that is a wholly different situaion. By this I mean ringing up and saying I am bob the builder and I want a quote for......

Except somebody could ring up and say I represent bob the builder which would be OK if there is a contractual arrangement or a contractual arrangement is in the offerring.

When i first started my landscaping business in the UK... I didnt know what the going rate was.
So I rang about various companies for quotes to gauge the market. This then influenced my own pricing structures.
There is nothing wrong with competition. Business is a tuff playground playing bulldog 123.
Recording OUR heritage for future generations.
There may be a legal hair to split if the person is ringing up for a quote using a fictitious name or scenario and intending to pass themselves off as someone they are not.
Re. last entry - poorly written. I meant a hair to split between a fictitious name/scenario as opposed to 'identity theft'.
When i was in the position of giving on-spec quotes to people who phone up randomly I would invariably be a bit evasive and probably quote an approximate figure (a bit higher often). However, any contractor worth their salt would also try and get a potential client to then send over a brief or allow them to speak to the DC archaeologist/consultant about working up a brief. So, given that sucessful units (unless they are deliberately loss-leading) will often be around the same price, I cant necessarily see that a rival contractor phoning up for a price would actually help them that much. A unit knows the minimum it can charge (based on a variety of factors e.g. amount of work on, professional integrity, morals, client development etc etc) so I would say dont worry too much about someone doing the dirty like this. It is probably a sign that they are being unsucessful in the way they go about their business at the moment.

Impersonating a client is probably against the law though, although i remember getting a 'consultants' phoning up once in a similar way. It was only after the phone call that i realised that Mr. J. Smith from ABC consultants was probably a work of fiction!
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