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BAD CUSTOMER! Stupid Grumpy Old Farmers!!!

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by TheSnowman, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    I had this old guy come in about two weeks ago and drop something off, and I was out, so he left it with the secretary. He needed an "international" logo for his tractor. No problem, but I need some dimensions. It said 24" black letters on white background. Ok?

    Does that mean the tractor is white, or does that mean he wants a giant white vinyl piece w/ black printed on it? I couldn't read his mind OBVIOUSLY, so I tried calling him a few times. He never answered, and didn't have voicemail, so I never heard back from him. He said he'd check back in 10 days or so.

    So anyway, time goes by, I set it off to the side, well two days ago this dude shows back up. I'm with two other customers at the reception area, and he walks into my showroom (five feet to the right) and hollars "IS ANYONE HERE!!!!?" Well yea someone is here, duh, the door is unlocked. So I yell back from where I'm at with the customers, "be right with you!". 15 seconds later..."ANYBODY HERE!!!!?" just YELLING as loud as I've ever had a customer. My two customers I'm dealing with say "He'll be right with you!" So I hurry up and finish up with them, and run over to deal with this guy.

    I had no clue who he was, so once he tells me, I go back and get his stuff he dropped off. I said, I had a couple questions on this, but I couldn't reach you on the phone, so I couldn't go ahead with the project yet. He starts acting ticked off and says "I just need INTERNATIONAL on both sides of the tractor!" And I said, ok, I realize that, but did you want individual letters cut out, or did you want a giant "sticker" to put on the side of the tractor. He says "WHAT DO YOU THINK I WANT! I WOULD LOOK LIKE HELL IF THOSE WERE INDIVIDUAL LETTERS! I'D NEVER GET THAT LINED UP RIGHT! OF COURSE I WANT IT ONE BIG STICKER!"

    So after this delightful exchange of words with him, I take time to explain to him that they will install the exact same way regardless of which process I do it in, it just depends if he wants something nice and professional and clean, or if he wants it to look like a giant sticker. He informs me again that there's no way he'll ever get the letters straight and that it has to be on a white background. In the middle of this I had another customer come in, and is basically laughing at me, because he gets what I'm saying, but this old man just can't get it in his head what I'm saying.

    Fast Forward to the end of the conversation, and he says "well, I've got one more thing I can go do, I'll be back in 30 minutes to pick it up!" I said, WAAAIIIIIT a minute, that's not how this works. I said, I've gotta find the artwork, or re-create this (AKA send to Eric) because this little 1/2" picture of the tractor that you dropped off sure isn't going to make this any easier. Then I've gotta print it, let it sit a while, and laminate it. The earliest I can have it for you is tomorrow. He says "THAT'S WHY I DROPPED IT OFF TWO WEEKS AGO!" I firmly remind him that I placed numerous calls to him, with no answer on his end, and he says again "I'll be back in 30 minutes to see what you've got!" I tell him again, I will have nothing to show him in 30 minutes, and the soonest I'll have stuff for him is tomorrow morning.

    The old guy just turns around and starts walking out, had he grabbed his stupid "drawings" I'd have welcomed that, but I say as he's walking out "what do you want me to do with this?" and he says that I left him no choice and he'll be back tomorrow. So, of course, tomorrow comes, he doesn't show up. I just get a text from the secretary while I'm out that "some grumpy old man showed up to pick up his decals" and apparently he flipped when he saw how much I charged him for them.

    I charged him $10 to recreate his stuff (because I had to pay Eric, and even if I didn't, he is paying for his artwork) and I charged him a minimum print cost I charge for all little things for $25. She said he FLIPPED when he saw I was charging him $35 for his project (even though by the end of his crap I probably had two hours in dealing with him, and his non-preparedness, and getting stuff around) and his words were "I'LL NEVER BE BACK HERE AGAIN!" as he walked out the door.

    My only thought was, "well, that's handy...now I don't have to fire him next time he comes in, he just fired himself!"

    Someone else tell me you deal with these kinds of people. The fact that he had two hearing aids in and was still totally deaf probably didn't help anything, but GEEZ he was the biggest jerk I've had in a long time. I try to respect my elders and assume they know what they're talking about, but this guy already knew it all, and I was a complete moron to him. I'm not putting up with too much more of that kind of crap.

    Sorry for the rant, but heck, I feel way better now!
  2. mudmedia

    mudmedia Active Member

    Aug 15, 2008
    Oh the joys of people expecting stuff for free and think there is NO TIME involved in the smallest jobs. Sometimes it is just not worth the hassle but it sounds like you handled talking with him and everything great.
  3. genericname

    genericname Active Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Reminds me of an old boss of mine, actually. Guy was too bloody cheap to replace the batteries in his hearing aides, so most of the time they were either dead, or he had them turned down to nothing in order to save power. Whenever he couldn't hear anyone, which was all the time, he'd just get pissy and yell at them.
  4. Freese

    Freese Member

    Jan 12, 2011
  5. mfatty500

    mfatty500 Active Member

    May 10, 2010
    Sugar Grove, Ill
    EASY, I've got a neighbor with aids.......one in each ear.:Big Laugh
  6. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Middleburg, Florida
    Would've tossed him after the second "ANYBODY HERE?"
  7. TNsignchick

    TNsignchick New Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    I've been in the business 18 years in Ohio and Tennessee, and believe me, I know all about this kind of customer. You can see them coming a mile away. Even if you'd charged him $5 he would have been unhappy. Some people don't realize that it's a skilled service we offer to recreate designs from their crappy scratchings & fuzzy photos, it's how we EAT!!
  8. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    It really was a nice final product, even though he did it the sucky way compared to EVERY OTHER TRACTOR GUY EVER that I've delt with. I'm just glad he said that he'd never be back. Maybe his family will want some "in loving memory" decals for this old "B" and I can make some money from him beyond the grave!
  9. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    Come down here to Mid TN and you'll get a lot more of this. Agriculture people are used to things being traded and haggled over. Just think about what they produce and how it's priced/sold. Especially when they aren't made aware of just how skilled this service is that you are providing them. It doesn't help our cause any when you have people selling this stuff that will haggle and go bottom dollar to close that sale.
  10. 2B

    2B Moderator

    May 5, 2011
    Where is MOSH? wonder if he will be able to add some insight
  11. SD&F

    SD&F Very Active Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    He was probably taking out on the only person who wouldn't deck him.
    Patience is a virture.....
  12. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    This thread just made my day! :ROFLMAO: Got to love the customers who thinks you can read their minds...
  13. bernie

    bernie Member

    May 28, 2008
    No. of Seattle
    I'll take a cranky old / elderly guy any day over some hot shot 'pita'
    younger or middle aged jerk who 'thinks' because they make xxx amount of
    money that they are superior and should be treated so.

    Thru all of my business dealings with people, my patience is more with the
    older/elderly. They have truly been some of my favorite customers over the
    years. It doesn't always have to be about money. A bit of kindness and patience goes a lot farther than you may think.

    I have had some pretty darn good referrals from cranky older customers over the years! These people are better connected than a lot of us give them credit for as they usually know a lot of people (thru age) and know these peoples kids and their kids. And don't underestimate who they know at church.

    They come in, ready to take me on as they are so clueless in what they want, don't have a clue how to explain what they want and don't want to appear stupid. The crankier ones I know right off the bat are the ones feeling the most insecure in what they are doing / or explaining what they are wanting. And they don't understand why it takes so long for us to do a job because all they see is this modern technology and think we can push a button and poof ... its done.

    Taking the time to show an older person (especially a cranky one) how to install a decal in my shop and then guiding them thru installing one themselves ... well worth the half hour it will take me. We all have scrap stuff in our shops. Use it to your advantage. We don't get customers like this everyday so its not going to bite into our schedules much.

    When someone says to me "I can't install this straight if the letters are all
    cut" ... I know its because they don't know what transfer tape is. How would they know - they didn't grow up around this stuff. Showing them how
    to measure so it goes on straight ... Walking them thru it ... priceless.

  14. mountainmang

    mountainmang Active Member

    Apr 7, 2007
    most old farmers are pretty nice guys after you get to know them a little :thumb:
  15. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    One customer complained that his web address was all crooked after he had installed it himself. He got the decal ready to apply with transfer tape and all, ready to go. He explained it was a lot of work to cut each letter separate with a scissors but even harder to get them aligned afterwards!... And this wasn't an old or grumpy customer... I was speechless.

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