First, realize that Mr. Young was joking in a sardonic way in his response. You were, weren't you, Tommy?
Second, you're right. Complaining to your clients is the entirely wrong way to go. It's frustrating, but in their ignorance of what goes into doing a proper job and not realizing the differences in service or competence between licensed surveyors, deciding by price is perfectly reasonable.
In partial response to one of Don's questions, most do at least initially, decide on a plumber or mechanic based on price. Less common with a doctor, lawyer, or other service that most recognize as a knowledge based profession (as opposed to a trade), but for trades it is quite common. People don't generally use price as a lesser consideration until they've found a tradesman who delivers a clearly better product or service than his competition. Until that happens, it seems to most that one is as good (or as bad) as the rest. Isn't it rather apalling that we fall in the latter group as opposed to the former in the estimation of most non-surveyors?
I could go off on that tangent for a while, but I'll refrain.
If you know the quality of your work is superior to the cheap guys, then you might just let it go by saying to your client "OK, I understand. But if you need somebody to fix it later, keep me in mind." keep it friendly, project understanding even if you don't feel it, and wish them a good day and expect that some of them may come back later just for that purpose. If you project resentment of your cheap competitors in any way, don't expect any of these clients to ever come back. Your resentment of the cheap surveyor will come across to most as at least partial resentment and judgment of the client, and no one wants to come back to have you say "See, I told you so!"
Your State association code of cunduct doesn't hold much legal weight, especially when it comes to canons on how to charge for services or propose fees. The members can voluntarily hold themselves to such standards as long as it doesn't creep into the realm of price fixing, but the association cannot impose that conduct upon non-members. They would probably have a very difficult time doing so with members for that matter.
I don't know if any states still have laws similar to what is in your State association's code of conduct, but I believe some used to. Showing violation of that would be very difficult unless one were to advertise "will beat any price". If there is a codified or statutory code of conduct which addresses the practice of competing solely on price, contact the surveyor doing it and make him aware, take it to your local Professional Practices Committee if there is one, or take it to the Board.
It's not likely that any such laws still exist as they probably would have been determined to be unenforceable as restraint of trade at some point. so you are stuck with the cheap surveyors, even the "will beat any price" guy. It's just a condition of the business climate that, as someone else said, you just need to find a way to rise above.
Since the Brown Act, governments are not supposed to hire for professional services based on price as the prime consideration, but instead base their contracting decisions upon qualifications. Most pay lip service to that requirement and get around it fairly easily in order to hire the low bidder almost regardless of actual qualifications or level of competence among those competing for the contract. They have a rather cumbersome and involved submittal process. If the prospective consultants can check all the right boxes, dot the i's, cross the t's, and provide the requested submittal documents in the prescribed formats without mispellings and on time, they are deemed qualified. Anyone who successfully makes a submittal is generally considered to be equally qualified on technical grounds as all other applicants whether it's actually the case or not, so then the agency has to resort to the secondary consideration of price. It's almost amazing how consistently that happens, and how often the "most qualified" also happens to be the low bidder. I used to work for a local government agency that operated this way, had to manage the contracts and review the work for QA/QC. I got pretty disgusted with some of these "most qualified" surveyors who couldn't get a job right often even on the 3rd try. It was doubly frustrating when I knew the solid reputations of some of the unsuccesful competitors as compared to the very poor reputations of some of the "most qualified" according to the bidding process.
Funny how it's referred to as a "bidding process" with supposedly qualifications based government contracts. I've never "bid" qualifications, nor can I imagine how one would go about doing so. "Bid", as I underastand it, always refers to some sort of monetary competition.