As a construction company here in Mississippi, you’ve probably had your fair share of disgruntled customers over the years. While it’s likely that you’ve been able to resolve many of those issues without an attorney, arbitrator or court’s intervention, some may be unresolvable, thus giving way to litigation.
Some of the more common disputes that construction companies and their customers struggle to resolve are “bait and switch” allegations. You may find it helpful to understand what these types of accusations are to best strategize how to defend yourself against them.
What is a bait and switch scheme?
Any instance in which a construction company substitutes alternative or inferior building materials from the ones that contractors agreed to use in their contract with their customer may constitute a bait and switch tactic.
Any instance in which your construction company deviates from the agreed-to design as a time or cost-saving measure that also impacts its soundness of structure may also fall under the umbrella of a bait and switch tactic.
Most construction contracts will detail the materials that are supposed to be used in a building project. This is particularly common among those contractors planning to use higher-end materials or when custom work is done because the client wants reassurance of the quality of the materials and the contractor wants to be assured of payment.
Sometimes customers will discuss the use of certain materials but never commit, leaving the contractor to do what they deem best. Other times, specific materials may end up being unavailable for any number of reasons, which can result in changes out of necessity.
What can you do if a customer accuses you of bait and switch tactics?
Any instance in which a customer accuses you of engaging in bait and switch tactics could put your construction company’s reputation on the line.
You may want to consult with an attorney early on in the dispute. A careful review of your contract and client’s allegations can help inform your response to the allegations. A proactive approach can help you avoid litigation.