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Problem Customer (You can almost see it coming!)

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by heyskull, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    Last week we had a customer opening a shop in a hurry.
    He came in explaining he had spent a fortune on equipment and the interior but had little left for the signage.

    At this point I should have shown him the door as it makes my blood boil that signing a shop is always the last thing on people minds, when in fact it should be a very high priority if you want to entice people into your establishment!

    But my business partner helped him out and explained we could fit panels over the existing sign to give the impression of a new fresh sign covering up parts of the damaged/rotten wood trim (see rough layout).

    We went out yesterday to fit the sign and for a cover up quickey job looked pretty dam good and matched perfectly the design.

    After waiting for what seemed an eternity for the guy to come back (seems 10 minutes away take 1 1/2 hours to travel!) he turned up and was over the moon with how it looked (please note this is the first time I have ever seen him with his wife/partner).
    He paid the outstanding balance and we went back to the workshop which was about 20 miles away.

    We were just turning into the workshop when my business partner had a call of said customer saying he wasn't happy with the sign!

    Turns out even though he proofed this off as overlapping he didn't want that as it now looks like a sign stuck on covering an old sign!
    That's all it ever would be as he didn't have the funds for a new sign!

    He wasn't very happy and reckoned it was unprofessional of us to leave the job this way.
    But he was happy with it when I was there and payed me.
    I now reckon his wife/partner who probably should have been in the shop when he was making all the decisions and the reasons for them had said something.

    So after me ranting and raving and after a cuppa I did the professional thing and rove back to the shop. The customer had now left.
    Then I removed the centre panel chopped 2" off top and bottom and refitted it.

    It now looks terrible as it is revealing the worst of the damaged wooden trim and the big hole in it to the bottom left.
    If he thought it looked like a sign stuck on covering an old sign before it sure does now.
    But it is as he wanted it now (or maybe what his wife/partner wanted).

    Let us see what time he rings today to either ask when we are coming out to rectify this as he won't have noticed it is already rectified or to complain even more that he or his wife/partner got it wrong!


    Why do customers not understand why we get them to proof a job that is them saying " looks good go ahead and do it"?
    Also if they want the cheaper option, it will always be and look the cheaper option!

    Rant rant rant!!!!


    Attached Files:

  2. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    Ugh, those types of jobs (hurry + tiny budget + new customer = trouble) usually are those you say to yourself to avoid every time, but I at least still goes into the same trap every time thinking "well, how bad could it be". You have probably done everything and more you could for this customer, so any work from now on for this customer should absolutely be paid for separately. You are lucky to have got the payment in full =)
  3. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    sounds familiar! Typical RUSH>PANIC=DISSATISIFED!

    Its not your fault this situation is crap. However you got paid AND you went back and did what THEY thought was best. hell no they are not gonna like it. There is one more thing I would do if this were me. I would arrange a meeting with him and HER! Face to face and tell them if they have any issues you wanna hear it. No more of this whining behind your back and running to your partner BS! Face to face like a man (and woman). People are brave on the phone and pussies face to face.

    Make them agree that you had to best possible solution for the rush. Aslo make them agree you went back and rectified what they wanted done the 2nd time. After this meeting I would be done with them forever. So many situations can be settled with face to face. you will be surprised how peorples attitudes change when you tell them to meet you in person
  4. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    I like the idea of meeting face to face but I am not willing to waste yet another 40 miles worth of fuel and time on this dead beat job.
    He has asked for some more flyer designs of us so I will wait till he comes back in (I have his only copy of his artwork so he has to come in for it).
    I will confront him when he comes in as he also reckoned that our young lad (his words!) has marked the original sign panel with the ladders.
    These marks were there when we started as it looks as if the local window cleaner like leaning his steps against it to clean the windows.
    We don't have a ladder short enough to lean on that part of the sign!

  5. Fanaticus

    Fanaticus Member

    Jan 19, 2011
    People have gotten worse over the last few years. Everybody is starting to act like they are going to get the gold treatment on a bronze budget. Hagglers, barter'ers, complainers, pissers and moaners..... a lot more people are doing whatever they think will either bring the price down or get something for free.

    We always try to make people happy, even when it makes us unhappy, but in the end everybody else pays for it.
  6. thinksigns

    thinksigns SnowFlake

    Nov 28, 2010
    If you didn't get get it initially, I hope you at least got them to sign something describing exactly what you were going to do the second time.
  7. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    Seems like we've all been there and that's always the case with a new client rush job. I'm starting to think that I only get new customers sometimes because the old sign shop fired them and that's why they're in a hurry. When they come in talking total crap about the other guy in town, it's normally because THIS GUY screwed up.
  8. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    The thing is when this guy came into the shop he was bad mouthing everybody that has been doing work for him (painters, decorators, electricians, IT, etc.)
    Guess who will be next?!
    I just rang him back and he thinks it looks great!!!!

  9. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    One of the first thing I learned in this business, if a potential customer comes to you complaining that the other sign shops in the area won't help him out, don't walk RUN!
  10. SD&F

    SD&F Very Active Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    I get a couple of nut jobs a year. They want the sign, they approve the sign, they install the sign, they get paid and then they come to me and want a disount?????
    I am really unsure how these people think.
  11. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Pacific NW
    Yeah that was a RED flag...people like that are not happy with anything, plus they are always looking for a discount.
  12. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    I get about 8 off these numpty customers a year.
    I just wish I would learn and show them the door when they walk in our shop.
    They seem to come in acting like they are the business that will end all businesses and conquer the world!
    I just look on these jobs as a challenge to give the customer the best deal but it always seems to backfire.
    Guess I am a hopeless optimist!

  13. ThinkRight

    ThinkRight Active Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    Atlanta Ga
    That right there is the problem.
    I am a "Realist"
    Realist are very skeptical,and trust nobody...even ourselves at times.
    I expect that everyone wants to screw everyone else over...that is not the case always and things are usually great.
    But you will not catch me off guard very often.
  14. fmg

    fmg Very Active Member

    Dec 14, 2009
    People suck and love to vent their crap on the sign guy....ALWAYS
  15. signage

    signage Major Contributor

    Oct 5, 2005
    Or the sign forum.....:ROFLMAO:

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