January 10, 2019

Kitchen painters

Sent by Jonathan Stark on January 10th, 2019

Fellow list member Sarah Dobson sent in a story about her experience getting her kitchen painted (shared with permission):

Hey, Jonathan:

Happy new year! I’m midway through an experience with a service provider misunderstanding what they’re actually selling, and I thought of you:

My husband and I recently decided to repaint our kitchen walls and cabinets. We knew that it would be worth the investment to hire professionals to paint the cabinets, both in terms of our time and the quality of the work. When we asked them for a quote for the cabinets, we asked them what it would cost for them to paint the kitchen walls, too, reasoning that the time and effort saved on painting the kitchen walls (even though it’s a pretty easy job) might be worth it if the price was right. A salesperson visited our home, took some photos, and sent us a quote. We agreed with the quote for the cabinets and the walls, and were told that there was a long waiting list for cabinet painting so it would be a couple of months before they could get started (that should have been my first clue!).

The painter arrived to do the walls earlier this week. Towards the end of the day, after the second coat of paint had dried, she noticed that the older paint colour was still showing through underneath the two coats of new paint. She asked me if I wanted a third coat of paint and I said yes, of course, I want this done properly. She said she’d have to call her manager because the quote was for only two coats of paint and she’d have to go and buy more paint and stay longer. Then the manager had to call me to get the additional labour and paint costs approved. After she left we noticed that she hadn’t painted the baseboards or trim around the windows, which we assumed had been included in the quote. When I asked the company about it, they said the quote was only for painting the walls. (!!) 

I can’t help but wonder what the difference would be if this company did value-based pricing instead. We would have happily paid double what they quoted for the kitchen walls, but now I’m anchored to the original quote and annoyed that the price increased because they quoted for a task, not for value. With a two-month waiting list, they could certainly consider upping their prices.

I’m curious to see what happens with the cabinets later this week :)

Love your emails!


Great story! Thanks to Sarah for taking the time to share with us all 🙂👍

I have a few thoughts on this matter but before I open my big mouth I’m curious to know what you think. 

Please hit reply and give me your reactions, suggestions, thoughts, etc. 

I’ll compile them and add in my own in a couple days.