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  1. #1
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    Default getting clients to confirm by email

    I send out my contract by email prior to the inspection so the client can review it and to reduce the chance of "signed under duress" claims.

    But that's not worth much unless I have some evidence they received it. I always hit "request read receipt", but rarely get a receipt.

    Same with sending the report. In both instances I ask them, in the body of the email, to reply. And as far as the report goes, I have to do a better job of asking them in person, at the end of the inspection, to reply when they get the report.

    Is there any other way of proving that they received the contract, short of having their computer seized (just kidding, there, folks)?

    For those of you who want to reply, "contracts are worthless, anyway, so why worry about it", knock yourselves out, but I'm required to have one.

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  2. #2
    Mike Boyett's Avatar
    Mike Boyett Guest

    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    I've been using Readnotify for about 5 years for many of my e-mails with great results. I also use EchoSign for my contracts. Several report writing s/w packages also provide those services.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Boyett View Post
    I've been using Readnotify for about 5 years for many of my e-mails with great results. I also use EchoSign for my contracts. Several report writing s/w packages also provide those services.
    Mike: Thanks!
    For some reason your EchoSign link doesn't work, but I figured it out.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    I would not worry very much about the signing under duress thing. If folks claim that, then they will most likely be able to get out of a contract regardless of what went on.

    I think that if you are sending them a copy and they then sign a copy at the job site then this is about all you can do. I have a copy of my agreement on my website and I direct many of my clients to it. I'm required by my states law to have a contract as well, but I don't worry about when or how I get one signed.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I would not worry very much about the signing under duress thing. If folks claim that, then they will most likely be able to get out of a contract regardless of what went on...
    Yes. "Most likely". But if, for not much money, I can stop just one action against me by proving the client had plenty of time to review the contract, it will be worth it.

    Plus, I will be able to stop worrying whether they received the report, if I have a reliable receipt service.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Yes. "Most likely". But if, for not much money, I can stop just one action against me by proving the client had plenty of time to review the contract, it will be worth it.

    Plus, I will be able to stop worrying whether they received the report, if I have a reliable receipt service.
    All true...

    If I don't get a "bounced email" report I just assume that they have the email with their report. If you have a wrong email it will bounce back pretty quick.

    I might get a call a couple of times a year from a client saying that they did not get their report. I simply tell them that it did not bounce back to me so it must have gotten lost in cyberspace. I then resend it. I have never had anyone make an issue out of not getting an emailed report.

    Another option would be to upload the reports to your website or use an upload service that several of the reporting folks now have. You then know the time and date a report was accessed.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    John, if there was some way an ink dye pack could be attached to the e-mail, you'd have confirmation the client got the e-mail and opened it when they show up the inspection with a purple face.

    Client Has Purple Face - "I see you got my e-mail containing the contract. Any questions before we get started?"

    Client Does Not Have Purple Face - "Why didn't you open my e-mail that contained the contract? Please read over this before we get started and then squeeze this purple bag."


  8. #8
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    John, if there was some way an ink dye pack could be attached to the e-mail, you'd have confirmation the client got the e-mail and opened it when they show up the inspection with a purple face.

    Client Has Purple Face - "I see you got my e-mail containing the contract. Any questions before we get started?"

    Client Does Not Have Purple Face - "Why didn't you open my e-mail that contained the contract? Please read over this before we get started and then squeeze this purple bag."
    Dang. Why didn't I think of that.
    By the way, Nick, how much coffee have you had this morning?

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    Just my normal 16 oz. and a Wawa donut. Maybe I'm just giddy over the Phils getting ready to defend their WORLD TITLE tonight.

    GO PHILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Just my normal 16 oz. and a Wawa donut. Maybe I'm just giddy over the Phils getting ready to defend their WORLD TITLE tonight.

    GO PHILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    World F*&#ing Title, if you ask Chase Utley!

    G O P H I L L I E S ! ! ! !

    Last edited by John Arnold; 10-28-2009 at 08:16 AM. Reason: added stuff
    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    John, did you see the stupid crap the New York Post put out yesterday? Calling the Phillies the Frillies and superimposing a frilly skirt on a pic of Shane Victorino? Oooooh how I hope the Phillies smack them all right in the mouth.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    John, did you see the stupid crap the New York Post put out yesterday? Calling the Phillies the Frillies and superimposing a frilly skirt on a pic of Shane Victorino? Oooooh how I hope the Phillies smack them all right in the mouth.
    I saw similar stuff, yep. What I can't believe is how many Mets fans are actually rooting for the Phils. They hate the Yankees that much!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    Duress is a common law doctrine and, technically, includes the element of compulsion. Contracts executed under duress are voidable. Undue influence per se is an equity remedy and involves the "unconscientious use by one person of power possessed by him over another in order to induce the other to enter a contract. Duress falling short of the common law requirements may also constitute undue influence in equity (Brooks v. Alker 1975 DLR 577).

    Not showing your contract to your client prior to start of inspection or not permitting them read it until after the inspection can be considered duress, as can contracts which negligently misrepresent or are fraudulent in nature.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: getting clients to confirm by email

    I email mine prior as well. I don't seek confirmation though. At the appointment I ask if they've had time to look it over and in all but a few cases, they say yes and sign.

    In the cases they say no, I say, "take your time and read it over while I get to work" Shortly after, they return me a signed contract.

    When I book the appointment on the phone I tell the client to expect an email with the agreement attached. I tell them to look the agreement over in advance. I repeat the statements in the email.

    99.9% of the time it has been smooth sailing.


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