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Opinion Never really happened before to me.............

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing, Pricing Etc.' started by Gino, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    A good customer of ours, who spends quite a bit of money every year with us, made a boo-boo. Seems they placed an order with a PO for some sign needs. Not large, a little under $1,500. However, they placed an order using the same PO numbers with the same items and some additional items about 3 weeks later. We never picked up on it, as they generally have 3 to 8 POs a week coming in.

    My contact, e-mailed me this morning, wanting to know why I duplicated the order and why I changed it ??

    I had no idea what he was talking about, until I went back and researched it. Finally, after some going back & forth, he found HE was the one who duplicated the numbers and wrote the items and doesn't remember doing it. Now, he wants to know if he can return $1,500 worth of stuff.

    It's nothing I can use for any other customers as these are kinda specialized for them. I don't want to just say, no you're stuck with them, but I also don't wanna eat any of it. Odd thing is, this is about the 4th mess up he's made in the last 6 months or so. He's becoming forgetful and he's not really all that old. I don't want to go behind his back, but I'm afraid, I might be getting blamed for these things.

    Anyone experience anything like this ??

    :thankyou: for your input.
    Gino
     
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  2. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    If (and you should) you have a copy of the original PO and the current PO with the same number, and his name is on both, photocopy (or photograph) them together and send it to him and simply ask - your mistake, what do you want to do?
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
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  3. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    This is why I always send a proof prior to production. I don't do anything without a written OKAY.

    I'd be inclined to credit them back a % and say that this is a one time deal. I'd also make a note on their file to check for duplicate PO numbers.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
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  4. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    Also, did they place the exact same order twice? Because honestly, I'd realize this was a duplicate order and verify it prior to production. They made a mistake, but I'm not so hungry that I'd capitalize on it and risk losing a good client.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Oh, they already admitted it was obviously their mistake, they just want me to take them back without a hassle. Paper trail was no problem proving it, just he doesn't remember doing it.

    They used the same PO number a second time and some of the first stuff was on the second one, with other things added to the second time around.

    See, we get maybe 3 or 4 or maybe 7 or 8 POs a week from them. It's nothing for them to repeat lotsa stuff, as they have many locations..... so we're constantly sending things out for them. Again, no way to know they duplicated anything, other than if they had ordered them back to back. Just this particular item isn't ordered routinely, so I don't want them sitting on my shelf for a few weeks or months.
     
  6. WhiskeyDreamer

    WhiskeyDreamer Professional Snow Ninja

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    Is there a chance of offering them at a discount and they'll keep all the signs?
     
  7. If you have to take them back, save them and charge 50% more next time the reorder them
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
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  8. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I would send a kind reply that they are custom signs that cant be undone or reused. Ask them if they can use the signs at another location or at a later time as you cant really take them back or reuse them in anyway. Tell them we can start confirming every PO if this will help them in the future.

    Just a quick, friendly roadblock to put it back in their court may do the trick. If they push back after that then worry about it then.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

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    If I liked the guy, I'd offer to bury his mistake. Instead of being 1 - $1500 mistake, I'd split it into different bills so that it was a few hundred bucks each order.

    If I didn't like the guy, I'd simply state very clearly that your job is to make signs. They placed an order. You filled it. If you could take back the items, you would, but because X,Y,Z you simply cannot.

    Then you could mention how you will send an order confirmation before processing any orders in the future so that this problem doesn't happen again.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Winning the battle of who's right with a good customer is a losing proposition. I would tell them to keep the signs no charge (what are you going to do with them?) and take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen the relationship. If it's a regular issue reiterate that you don't question their orders because of the volume and duplicates would be considered normal. Keep a PO log of their orders to try to catch any problems in the future too. If he has to eat them you already know that he's going to blame you for the mistake or make a pretty good case that yes he screwed the pooch but you should have caught it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  11. Modern Ink Signs

    Modern Ink Signs Premium Subscriber

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    So they want you to loose money?

    Just sayin’.....
     
  12. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    In this situation if we want to keep good terms with our customers we find out our costs and offer a discount that still covers all our cost. We don't profit on the misordered signs but we don't pay for their mistakes either. 9 out of 10 times this is an acceptable solution to both parties. In the event he tries to stick it to you, you just have to way the benefits of eating all the costs vs. the long term benefits of keeping the customer.
     
    • Agree Agree x 7
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  13. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    It seems your customer's software or process lets him duplicate PO numbers and your software or process does also. Setting his problems aside, ideally your software should not permit a duplicate PO number for a new work order unless there is an over-ride alert option.

    It doesn't sound like you two can meet in the middle on this one, so now you might need to find a way to charge nuisance fees or babysitting fees for a while going forward. If you do go over his head, maybe explain you're efforts of investment in upgrading your operating procedures as doing your part of prevention. Hopefully they can offer something as well.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I don't know how his software would allow this to happen ?? As for ours, it's QuickBooks and I'm not sure how it would detect a duplicate PO being used ?? I mean, what if two or three or however many companies used similar PO methods.... that thing would be dinging off the hook. I know many people who use a name or word for POs, so if the same person was ordering for a particular company, it' would never get things done. Not sure how that would help
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Typically customer supplied PO's are hard to confirm they are not duplicated since you have numerous companies coming up with their own PO's and at some point you will have the same number twice. Aside from the PO issue at hand, I'd make a percentage judgement call based on their total purchases last year. Is this a mistake that is 10% of their annual purchases, or more like 1% or .1%? At .1% I'd eat it with a grin, 1% would have me eating with no grin, 10% and I'm slinging it back at the guy who ordered incorrectly.
     
  16. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

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    Menu: edit>preferences>items & inventory (company tab).. warn if duplicate p/o numbers
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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  17. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    I'd just add first letter of company, or however many characters you'd imagine you'd need, followed by PO. So walmart orders with PO 999, WM999, and pray that you don't get that many more customers that start with a W?
    As far as people who want their name to be the PO number, you can just throw a PO that you denote back to them in an email so you have records to reference. I've always been under the impression that if the PO shows up as a persons name, they will take the heat for whatever was purchased if incorrect...
     
  18. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I will put that on shortly.

    After 47 years of doing business, this is the first time this has happened. However, I've only been using QuickBooks since about 1988 or thereabouts. I still don't think I should hafta become his secretary cause like I said, he's done a few boos-boos in the last 1/2 year or so.

    :thankyou:
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

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    A duplicate PO number is not grounds to cancel a $1500 order. Using the same PO over and over again is common practice.

    Send order confirmations. Tell them you won't start production without approval. You're going to type it in QB anyway for billing so it's really not extra work. Now you've got a PO & an approval order confirmation. This is how a lot of companies work, including Gemini for letters and cast plaques.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    If QuickBooks is as smart as it should be, it would recognize the same person from the same company is again using a PO from a previous order. At least three unique values forming a calculated value of "personID>companyID>PO" = 222-66-55555, for example. You might only see the PO number or text string of "55555" on your QuickBooks screen but behind the scenes good software should recognize if this scenario has been used previously and thus, an alert. IOW, software is utilizing more data fields other than just a single PO field.
     
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