zebra50

Customers....
« on: June 11, 2008, 06:56:40 PM »
Hi guys, how would you feel / what would you do about this -

Let''s say you do a repair job for a customer. It's not an easy job and takes longer than anticipated, but because you value your reputation you make sure it's as good as it can be and you stick to the quote.

Within 24 hours of returning the job, you see it on up ebay at an inflated price and imaginative description including things like "serviced and cleaned by an expert". Well that's OK - the customer can do what he or she wants with their property.

But now 2 days before the auction end, the customer asks for additional information on how to get the best performance out of the item, technical specs etc. Of course the auction is not mentioned!

:evil:
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http://www.xaudia.com
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lofi

Customers....
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2008, 06:59:44 PM »
be away on business for three days?
Are you professionally stupid, or just a gifted amateur.

Iain Westland (UK)


zebra50

Customers....
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2008, 07:10:23 PM »
That, Iain, is a brilliant idea!
Ribbon microphone services
http://www.xaudia.com
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Mbira

Customers....
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2008, 07:12:32 PM »
Exactly.  I'd tell him I don't have that info-or just don't get back to him for a few days.

It sounds like three things happened:

1. you quoted a repair that was harder than you thought
...that's the way it goes sometimes

2. Customer decided to sell the gear.
...happens all the time-who cares what he's asking for it?  At least he thinks you're a master repair guy!

3.  He wants you to work more for free.
...happens all the time, too.  Just set your boundaries.


 :guinness:
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

Gus

Customers....
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2008, 07:13:02 PM »
Charge more money next time and charge a consulting fee for the answers to the later questions.

JohnRoberts

Customers....
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2008, 07:47:22 PM »
If you gave him a fixed price quote, I'm not sure how he is taking advantage of you.

If he is marketing your efforts as expert, it would be nice for him to mention your name in the auction so you can get some free advertising.

 Is he happy? Do you want future business from him and his friends?

If you get nasty with him you won't get more money or much other benefit from your past effort.

Is there a win win path? Help him but ask for something in return. If you are operating a service business you need to provide service and figurte out how to get compensated fairly. Happy customers are more generous than unhappy ones.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

bitman

Customers....
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2008, 12:24:26 AM »
Was it that big ol Gates comp we lusted over?

:Ron

rodabod

Re: Customers....
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2008, 03:46:26 AM »
Quote from: "zebra50"

But now 2 days before the auction end, the customer asks for additional information on how to get the best performance out of the item, technical specs etc. Of course the auction is not mentioned!


That's pretty snidey. Be half useful and make comments which suggest you might know about the fact that they are selling it.
Quote from: tv
punchy fat bastard chip

zebra50

Customers....
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2008, 04:19:42 AM »
Thanks for your perpsective, guys.

I did quote a fixed price, and had offered to give him advice if he had trouble connecting it to his other gear.

So I have no cause for complaint. Likewise, he's free to do what he wants with his gear and describe it as such.

I do try to make sure my customers are happy, and there was no complaint about the work for this job. But I'm not convinced that he even tested / used / listened to it before hawking it.

I think it's the slight dishonesty, or at least sneakiness about the issue that has me mildly peeved. It's not a big deal and wondered if I was overreacting, hence the post.

Also, I don't want to write advice and them see my words appear in some distorted form in the auction. That really would wind me up. I don't want to come across as some audiofool guru [email protected]!

I may just write some generic advice, post it on my website and point customers there, altough I guess that's open to abuse too. Maybe do it as a PDF. It would at least add value to my website.

Ron - It's not the Gates, sadly! Would have loved to play with one of those  !
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pucho812

Customers....
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 12:18:45 PM »
here is my 2 cents although I am only getting a penny for my thoughts...


You quoted the price and stuck to it as best as possible. Thats good business right there.  So there is nothing to be upset about other then you might have lost some money but hey a good rep will mean more business so consider it an investment into your future. Sometimes it's better to loose money in the short run for better long term results.


you saw the item up on ebay. No real big deal there. If anything that's free promotion of your business.  Show people the ebay listing and so forth, I am sure there are photos and such. Plus it says master tech. rock on.

As for the more info thing, Depending on what it is and how hard it is to obtain I might charge a consultant fee. Hey how valuable is your time and how much is lost getting info on the unit.
You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.


Sorr

Customers....
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2008, 03:21:11 AM »
I tend to agree with Pucho.
However I always over quote on a job, if I tell the customer it will be around $600 and it ends up being $500 they are happier than if its the other way around.
I also have customers treating me as a free information service and it is hard in practice to charge them for the time on the telephone as you are not a lawyer, but the reality is you are losing time in your life.
The hard part is deciding who the time wasters are, but when I know I will speak to them for about 5 mins and then appologise that I have to go.
Never be rude, be polite and firm

zebra50

Customers....
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2008, 04:23:31 AM »
Thanks for all the comments.

I simply let the customer know I'd seen it for sale, and asked if there was a particular problem with the item or with my service, and could I help put it right with further service.

The response that there was no problem but it wasn't suited to his use, which is fair enough. I guess a lot of people buy vintage gear with no idea what it will sound like. However, it was listed so quickly that he must have made this decision to sell it before service.

It didn't sell, btw, and has been relisted at an even higher price.
Ribbon microphone services
http://www.xaudia.com
Microphone blog

dmlandrum

Customers....
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2008, 10:43:33 AM »
Quote from: "zebra50"
It didn't sell, btw, and has been relisted at an even higher price.


The sad part is, that'll probably work.
Darren Landrum

Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment
And despite the changing fortunes of time,
There is always a big future in computer maintenance.

Customers....
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2008, 12:32:37 PM »
Stewart,

I suspect you're the kind of person who mods / services gear with integrity. With this being the case, the moral of the story is never to quote. I won't name drop, but I know some of the UK's most respected Techs in the studio field; none of them quote... T'job's finished when it's finished and that's the way it is.

In future, you could tell them your hourly rate, and tell them you'll call if it exceeds a predetermined amount. You can also offer discounts if the job gets expensive and the client gives you plenty of time to complete it.

In my experience, when you quote, you tend to shaft yourself. I know that pretty much every time I go in the workshop and think it'll take me 2 hours, it takes nearer 4 - sod's law  :mad:  The only jobs I quote on are standard ones that I've performed many times before, such as re-caps on specific preamps that I know well.

Just a suggestion!

Justin
Prepare yourself. You are about to become the voice of Interplanetary Parliament.

Mbira

Customers....
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2008, 07:09:55 PM »
When I do amp repairs, I tell people my hourly rate and I tell them that I'll look at for an hour.  If I can't fix it in that time, I'll give them a call and let them know how long and how much money they are looking at.

Joel
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

zebra50

Customers....
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2008, 05:22:22 AM »
Thanks guys.

I've been doing something similar to Joel. I don't quote on a job until I've held it in my hands. Up until now I've been offering a 'free' assessment service where the customer brings or posts in the job, I take 20 mins or so to test it and then phone them for a quote. Normally they so go ahead. Maybe I should charge a small fee for this assessment.

Really it was the ebay stuff that had me complaining.

Quote
In my experience, when you quote, you tend to shaft yourself.


Indeed! Should have that in latin as a motto!
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http://www.xaudia.com
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