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Difficult customers


vtfireman85
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Working for the parents of some friends of my wife’s and mine, had to do a new underground service because the old was spliced amwith about 4” prodruding into the cellar wall and was getting hot to the touch at the splices, water infiltration had rotted out the pull box they were in. 
we dug the ditch installed a backboard, meter disconnect, and re supplied each of the 3 panels, we wanted to replace them, but the owners wouldn’t go for it, and they weren’t physically damaged just extremely outdated and over full. While doing the change over water was literally boiling out of the old underground service cable. It was pretty wild. 
somewhere somehow in the process a breaker got tripped and though we checked around, the owners weren’t home and we didn’t have access to everywhere in the house and a freezer that contained about a gallon of blueberries and a couple other miscellaneous items ( there really wasn’t much in it) got de-energized over a long weekend.  That was our bad, and we certainly will pay for the damages. 
fast forward a bit there have been a series of phone calls, complaints and accusations. First call was to be irate that the old pipe ( direct buried cable and under a poured garage floor) was leaking water, it never did before until we messed with it. Well as it was water damaged, the pull box was rotten and it was literally drooling water… this isn't new. His garage door opener ( a 30 Y.O. Pos with bent and broken sensor eyes)  doesn’t crap the lights off after we got done.. sorry pal it’s junk and was before we got there. 
But the real kicker came yesterday, i have a set of Klein allen keys up to 3/8” the owner cant find his set of allen keys, and since he saw me using some he and his wife are accusing me of stealing his tools…. SIGH. I am a difficult SOB, i am unlikeable, unpleasant, and just plain unreasonable sometimes.. but i am not a thief. Not sure where this is headed, but i am supposed to go to Colorado next month for these “customers” son and daughter-in-laws wedding.. this ought to be friendly. 

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Buy them a new set of allen keys and they will be ....good? And ask them to return set when they find theirs...

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id say just let them rant, cant help old pipes, old boxes, old wires, and you fixed waht you came to fix - maybe someone pushed the light button on the touchpad and its staying on? mine is made that way if you press it and the door goes up/down it stays on vs times out. 

You just cant make some people happy and if they were willing to let the tangled boxes be tangled and let this go for 30yrs that tells you what kind of people they are to begin with for the most part. 

oh lord, you work for a living and have your own tools you dont need to steal someone elses, they sound like a real piece of work, never do stuff for friends/family someone said here jsut a few days ago

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First thought would be lack of communication but then after reading the rest, it sounds it's another case of they wouldn't listen.

Some people should come with a warning label " I will never be satisfied "

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Turn it over to your Complaint Department!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course you ARE in a small town.  And after Sid and Mark get done with them they will be BEGGING you to return, with a fresh blueberry pie for your aggravation’s!!!

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My boss was doing a remodel on his house and knowing I built mine asked if I knew anyone for a deal on windows. I said I got builder rates on mine directly from manufacturer but my wife’s cousin had an upper position at a big company up here, he then asked if I could call and get him a deal.

I called Peter and explained the situation and he said what kind of guy is he, at this point I said no matter how much you discount at the end of it he will find some problem with the install, he said sounds great we love customers like that and declined, when my boss asked I had to say that unfortunately there was no angle there and he might pursue other avenues, honest to all parties through it all…

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Doing business with friends/family can be a blessing, or it can be a curse.

Some friends/family members have no qualms doing business with you and are happy to do so, others feel you have no right to barely break even on the transaction. 

Edited by Lars (midessa)
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You never win with asshats, I would follow rainman’s post, then end it, and as for the wedding, common ground, no response is needed.

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7 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

Not sure where this is headed, but i am supposed to go to Colorado next month for these “customers” son and daughter-in-laws wedding.. this ought to be friendly. 

Sounds a convenient time to come down with the Peking Pox and be "banned from travelling"

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Rule no 1: Don't EVER do business with family, friends and church people...  

Just DON'T!!

 

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8 hours ago, Rainman said:

Buy them a new set of allen keys and they will be ....good? And ask them to return set when they find theirs...

I like this very much - return them when you find yours

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I have dealt with stuff like this lots of times, miserable SOB's. Deal with the pipe with the old pipe with hydraulic cement. The Allen wrenches, I would tell them to pound sand, my tools not yours find your own lost tools, cause if you replace them, you admit to stealing them. The opener you didnt touch, not going to. If they want to take it to court, let them they will lose. Treat an A hole like an A hole, it makes social settings a little awkward, but holding your values and work ethics is better than bowing to a crabby buggar that still isnt going to happy when you are done fixing everything they complain about. Just my 2 cents.

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This woman is known to be difficult, I know maybe 100 people (perhaps more) who have dealt with her personally and no one, absolutely no one likes her, he is just sort of a sniveling whiner. I generally try hard to avoid working for “friends”, I do not offer discounts, as I have nothing to sell but my time, I can’t very well afford to give that away. As to the Allen keys, he isn’t getting a set out of me, these were Klein fold out keys, I find it highly unlikely he owns a set of Klein keys to begin with, more unlikely it was a large set, and he will play heck try to prove anything because a thief I am not. I was putting on a good face for the bs with not being satisfied, accusing me of stealing makes me mad. 

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Put his guy on your Top Ten Asskole List!

Any bids will be way over priced and you just don't have the time to help them anyway.

There is a farmer in our area that no equipment dealer will work with, ever.

His last new tractor was a Cat Challenger and he paid full retail.

But within a year, Cat gave him his full money back and took the tractor back.

Some people cannot be satisfied.

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30 minutes ago, Diesel Doctor said:

There is a farmer in our area that no equipment dealer will work with, ever.

We all have them type.........

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1 hour ago, Diesel Doctor said:

Any bids will be way over priced

When I owned the avionics shop we had a couple of similar customers. They'd bring the plane in for one job and all of a sudden all sorts of other stuff in the plane wasn't working even though we didn't touch it. The solution was to be too busy to get to it for at least a month or bid the job so high they'd go elsewhere.

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  A lot of questions here.  Do you do this kind of work for a living or is it a seldom offered favor?  If you are a contractor then you can stand on your body of work with other people.  You joke about being surly?  I worked in retail for a number of years to have additional income.  You have to punch in with a smile on your face and be pleasing in your voice.  Even if it kills you inside.  People that got to know me knew that I was affable but the expression on my face was generally stern.  People go looking for a fight for the slightest reason.  People will also in general test you.  Especially over money.  People also generally lack ethics and even lacked ethics back in the good old days.  Caution and precaution when dealing with others.  Messages that I wish I could get through to those close to me currently.  Reasons I don't hire help even when I am super busy with farm work.  Dad has wanted me at times to hire acquaintances to help out.  I answer him with questions such as "Am I the boss when a problem arises?"  I always hear a reply that tells me it is best not to hire anybody and let the old man be sore about it for a week.  At least I don't have a tractor needing 15,000 dollars worth of work or wonder if that load of beans made it to the elevator without the buddy taking 75 bushels for himself.  

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5 hours ago, dewets said:

Rule no 1: Don't EVER do business with family, friends and church people...  

Just DON'T!!

 

In my quite less than overpopulated spot on a map, there would be no one left to do business with😄

 

Seth, I sold a balebed to a "kept" man one time. 

He made me pay with petty bs and whining the entire time he owned it. 

When it came time for a new one, I politely declined to give him a price quote. 

Best sale I ever lost😅

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47 minutes ago, 766 Man said:

  A lot of questions here.  Do you do this kind of work for a living or is it a seldom offered favor?  If you are a contractor then you can stand on your body of work with other people.  You joke about being surly?  I worked in retail for a number of years to have additional income.  You have to punch in with a smile on your face and be pleasing in your voice.  Even if it kills you inside.  People that got to know me knew that I was affable but the expression on my face was generally stern.  People go looking for a fight for the slightest reason.  People will also in general test you.  Especially over money.  People also generally lack ethics and even lacked ethics back in the good old days.  Caution and precaution when dealing with others.  Messages that I wish I could get through to those close to me currently.  Reasons I don't hire help even when I am super busy with farm work.  Dad has wanted me at times to hire acquaintances to help out.  I answer him with questions such as "Am I the boss when a problem arises?"  I always hear a reply that tells me it is best not to hire anybody and let the old man be sore about it for a week.  At least I don't have a tractor needing 15,000 dollars worth of work or wonder if that load of beans made it to the elevator without the buddy taking 75 bushels for himself.  

I am 3rd generation in the family business, my grandfather was a factory electrician for Mack Molding and went on his own in 1963. We have a reputation for excellent work, not for bargain prices or doing favors, one of the ways we keep that reputation is by not having employees, another is by only doing T&M work. The customer gets exactly what they need ,  and they pay for exactly what they got. If surprises arise they get to be informed and make a decision about how to proceed, people who bid inevitably end up either bidding high to cover themselves or bidding low and having to cut corners and in either case the customer looses. 
i dont do “buddy favors” if i help someone i am friends with do something that’s exactly where it ends, I expect nothing in return and i am not disappointed when i don't get something in return. If an acquaintance needs electrical work done they get the exact same bill anyone else would get. This whole “i got a buddy who can get me a good deal” thing always annoyed me, it only means that someone else is getting the shaft, Free only means that somebody else paid for it. 
that said, you ask about courtesy, everyone gets courtesy, if they fail to give courtesy i generally don’t return for another project. 
we also will go the extra mile for good customers, I just got done with a little project for some folks who need new power run for their spring house. The supply comes from a building chock full of rubbish to the point the in swing door will only open halfway, they would like it disposed of, need the electrical project done before winter and have mobility issues. We are taking the dump truck down and hauling their rubbish for them so we can do the work, they are going to pay for it, so it’s not charity, but we do try to go the extra mile. 
the people aforementioned in my first post would not get that treatment. 

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45 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

T&M work.

May I ask what you mean by this?

I have often failed to grasp how some people don't understand that if they are amenable and helpful to someone who is providing a service they tend to get a far better service. 

We all cotton on pretty quick to a curmudgeonly old git who is trying to screw for everything they can get, and we treat accordingly.

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Just now, Pid 1831 said:

May I ask what you mean by this?

I have often failed to grasp how some people don't understand that if they are amenable and helpful to someone who is providing a service they tend to get a far better service. 

We all cotton on pretty quick to a curmudgeonly old git who is trying to screw for everything they can get, and we treat accordingly.

Time and materials. More work than we can handle without trying to cut our own throats to beat someone else’s price… not interested in fixed prices, everyone looses. 

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37 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

Time and materials. More work than we can handle without trying to cut our own throats to beat someone else’s price… not interested in fixed prices, everyone looses. 

Thank you. It is so obvious now you mention it.

 

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1 hour ago, vtfireman85 said:

I have often failed to grasp how some people don't understand that if they are amenable and helpful to someone who is providing a service they tend to get a far better service. 

Which would be 180 degrees off, and totally different from the "aggressive management" policy that Shell Oil Co. used to 'motivate' the service company employees to "do their best".  Whether that applied only in the North Sea, I do not know, but working for Shell E&P in the United States (Texas and Michigan) was nowhere near as stressful.

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