Dear Mr. Ethics,
I just came from a project meeting where the owner said he wants to upgrade the windows we will be installing on a four story condo project. The owner gave me a change order with the cost he wants to pay for the upgrade. He indicated that he and the architect researched the windows and think the change order reflects a fair price for the upgrade. I do not know what research they did but I can supply the upgraded windows for 25% less than the owner’s proposed costs and still make a healthy profit. Am I under any obligation to set the owner straight?
I liken this to a situation where someone does not understand what they have. It is like someone who offers to sell you a ring for $50 because its cubic zirconia. You know however the ring is a real diamond worth thousand times the asking price. You can pay the $50 and run but you may not feel good about it later. I think an ethical person would disclose to the owner you can do it for less. You will still earn your “healthy” profit and also gain in your reputation which is priceless.