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The cheapest customers are also the biggest pains in the A**!

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Sven, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Sven

    Sven Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    NE NJ
    Really, I've noticed this. Anyone else? I won't go into too much detail about my latest gem of a customer, but she talked me down to a very low price, after MONTHS of back and forth, for a new logo and a couple of signs, and it's been nothing but problems since. Endless stupid questions, complaints and revisions. Absolutely no common sense. She wants something in a solid color in her logo to look like gold! She sends me this pic, and I explain to her it's not the color, it's the texture that makes it look gold. She didn't get it. She insisted that it's in my "palette". I could go on. It's endless..

  2. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    Mistake #1

    Mistake #2

    You are the guardian of your valuable time and talent. Doing what you're doing is like giving them your ATM card and PIN. Drop them before you lose any more money.

  3. Vinylman

    Vinylman Very Active Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Berlin Center, Ohio
    Welcome to the REAL world.
    I noticed you have only 90+ posts since joining us here @ Signs 101.

    That may or may not indicate that you are somewhat new to this profession.

    However, the best advise I can offer you for this situation is for you to initiate an IMMEDIATE counter attack against this and future stupidity.

    Tomorrow morning, FIRST THING, before taking any other actions, call this person up and tell them GET LOST!

    No refund for services and time already expended. JUST GET LOST! I don't want, nor need your business. It is a waste of my professional time and services.

    You are more than a waste of my time and talents. You are reducing my productive business time to a level that prevents me from putting my best efforts into customers who not only recognize my true value, and are willing to compensate me appropriately for same. You are inhibiting my ability to earn an income that will adequately provide for myself and my family. My time and talents are how I feed my family, and I don't want to try to raise undernourished children because of selfish ill-informed people who devalue themselves, their businesses and those who provide professional services to them.

    As a result of these and other unmentioned reasons please consider this your first and last notice.

    You are welcome to use any or all of the above to your benefit.:ROFLMAO:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2013
  4. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
    cut your loses. and dont do it again.
  5. briankb

    briankb Active Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    I agree with VinylMans sentiments but I wouldn't fire this customer as it is mostly your fault it has been allowed to get this far south. That said you can immediately tell the customer that you can not make any more changes for free and in order to stay within the price she negotiated the design needs to be finalized and the signage produced and delivered.

    In the future don't let customers cut you down to nothing and then also burn through your time. Set a specific number of revisions that are included and make sure they understand anything over that is $x per hour, min 30min.
  6. Sven

    Sven Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    NE NJ
    Oh, I was careful to give her clear terms about revisions and extra charges for design. I saw this coming.. But she still manages to be incredibly annoying and is wasting my time any other way she can find.
  7. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    Been there done that got the T shirt & the hat

    If ya taken any money on a job your stuck finishing the job to what is agreed on.

    Here is a good tip to when customers start the on haggling on your all ready fair price quoted.
    A good one is start listing your costs on job like cost of each roll of vinyl & raise that price by 50% as well as other costs, then start on overhead, all of it keep adding till they realize that the bid you gave was cheap.

    Start reducing labor & costs.

    Another is give a better price ...HIGHER

    Slowly pack & walk out saying thank you & leave.

    It is a matter of supply & demand .. if they came to you, your in better position.

    You can also show other projects that you got fair price & if your good can raise your prices on it all explaining what it takes, create your demand.

    Next you need to make a payment on your whatever ya just lost the job .. well get out & knock on doors, if your prices are fair you will find the work.
  8. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

    Dec 27, 2005
    Guam USA
    Tell her the only way to match that gold color is to use 24k gold ink - it's running about $1600 an ounce currently. Shouldn't take more than 4 or 5 ounces........

    wayne k
    guam usa
  9. biggmann

    biggmann Member

    Sep 8, 2011
    Brantford Ontario
    We have a similar customer, she does come in with big jobs but she thinks that she is our ONLY client so we have to do everything for her at the drop of a hat. She comes in and sits with our artist for hours on end designing her work right then and there. We quote her the job and after she approves it she makes changes or has our installers move things around making it a longer day and when we adjust her bill she freaks. I would love to tell her to go elsewhere but she does pay her bill its just a pain to deal with her.
  10. "Deposit Please"

    "Deposit Please" Active Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    ...just stick to your normal pricing (what you should do anyway) and watch her run...lol.
  11. premiercolour

    premiercolour Sales and services from S. California

    that was a good one.
  12. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    You spent months of back & forth be wise every other shop hung up on her.
  13. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    I agree, she has probably been the bane of the existence of every person she's dealt with from her hairdresser to her husband and every contractor in between.
    Start charging her $75 per revision at minimum.
    And next time, DO NOT let ANYONE dictate YOUR price. Ever.
    Tell her there is no substitute for real gold, and charge extra for trying to photoshop the logo into some semblance of a metallic look, and be sure to provide her with a plain black and white vector image for the poor b@stards who will have to replicate it on down the line.
  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    If you truly don't mind losing here, her money..... and quite possibly your reputation, I'd ask her for a meeting..... IN person. Explain to her that you've come to the conclusion, you cannot please or give her what she wants or needs. Here is a check for what was given to me thus far and say thank you and walk away.

    If she balks and says she wants to continue, simply tell her, there is no pleasing you ma'am and again say thank you, but sorry. I'm a businessman and although this has never happened to me before, there's always gonna be someone out there you knew you wouldn't be able to help. You're it.

    I must cut my loses and you need to find someone else.

    Thank You.

    This cannot be done over the internet or phone. It must be done in person. You need to look this person in the face without laughing and dismiss her of your services and you also want to see the reaction on her face when you do this.

    Believe me, this works. I had to do it about 25 years ago. It was the only customer I ever had that I could not please regardless of what I did. This one actually ended up making the sign herself outta old wood and I think a crayon and leaned it against a tree in her front yard.
  15. Sign Up Graphics

    Sign Up Graphics Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Sign Up Graphics

    Just say thank you and walk away. It's not worth the brain damage. :thumb:
  16. mark in tx

    mark in tx Very Active Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Harker Heights, Texas
    Firing a customer is a painful thing, and sometimes it needs to be done.

    Imagine all the time that you have wasted so far, and how that time could have been spent on projects that actually got finished and paid for.
  17. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    Fire the customer.... Today!
    I agree meet face to face the look on their face will be well worth losing the job.
    The amount of times this or a similar situation has happened to me and I wished afterwards I had walked away.
    Most customers I find now that either want the cheaper option or try to beat down the price I walk away from.
    I know now the only person that will come out making or saving any money will be the customer and you will have worked 2-3 times as much for half or less of your normal markup.

  18. SD&F

    SD&F Very Active Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    If she is a problem now, can you imagine what will happen if you ever finish the job?
    She will continue to do this all the way thru the process and then tell you that it is not
    what she wanted. Take whatever advice you chose, but get-r-done
  19. Angela

    Angela Member

    Oct 7, 2010
    Temecula, CA
  20. WrapYourCar

    WrapYourCar Member

    Jun 28, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    tell her she might be in for a PIA tax hehe
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