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The Business Of Upholstery => The Business Of Upholstery => Topic started by: JDUpholstery on August 15, 2012, 01:33:03 PM

Title: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on August 15, 2012, 01:33:03 PM
So I did this job, an RV couch and a custom shaped mattress for an RV, they got the estimate, left 150 dollar deposit, and I did the work...I called them Wednesday of last week to let them know the job was done and they said they would be by on Thursday to pick it up...I have not been able to get them on the phone since, left several messages with no returned phone calls yet...I haven't hounded them, called Friday, then again on Monday, and once again today. I am not out money on this job, and still have their items, but I am beginning to get annoyed, because if they cant pick them up they could at least call me and let me know when!

How do you guys deal with this when they just drop off the face of the planet, but surely they will be coming for their stuff, they paid 150 bucks up front (cash; not check at least, or I may be a little more worried), so it just has me confused and annoyed!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Rich on August 16, 2012, 08:59:36 PM
If it's more than an occasional thing, you might want to state on your invoice and on a sign in your shop that there is a  storage charge past a certain time. Usually 30 days, I know that's longer than you want to wait, but check the law on this. You might not ever have to actually charge for it, it usually just makes customers more aware so they don't put a low priority on picking up their stuff.
Rich
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: kodydog on August 17, 2012, 07:38:27 AM
Annoying and rude for sure but I wouldn't worry about getting paid. Some people just don't see things the way you or I do and don't realize how important it is for a small shop to stay in touch and get prompt payment. I think when they get ready they will show up. The guy I work for finally got paid for his Mexican restaurant job. Took over a month and many phone calls.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: gene on August 17, 2012, 02:11:41 PM
Excellent example of why I get a deposit up front.

I put the project back in a corner somewhere and cover it to protect it, then I go on with my life.

I learned years ago that I was always making assumptions about everything, and my assumptions were always "worse case scenarios", and just in making these assumptions I would spend a lot of miserable time worrying and all stressed out.

And of course the "worse case" never happened.

With your example JD, I tell myself that the homeowner is on vacation, or there was an emergency in their family and I hope they are OK, or that other things are taking up their time, and they will get back to me as soon as they can. Everyone who eventually does call back always has had an excuse like the ones I mentioned.

I can't get customers to call me back, but I can go on with my life without being upset or stressed that they did not.

gene
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: sofadoc on August 17, 2012, 03:44:37 PM
Excellent example of why I get a deposit up front.

I can't get customers to call me back, but I can go on with my life without being upset or stressed that they did not.
Unless the deposit is 100%, I'm still going to be stressed if they don't pick it up right away.

I've had to ask a few customers "How would like it if your employer ducked your phone calls on payday?"
All those excuses about family emergencies, or vacation don't fly with me. They still pay their electric bill even though they've had a death in the family. Their moprtgage still gets taken care of even when they are on vacation. In fact, all of their financial obligations are dealt with in spite of any crisis that may arise.......all except the upholsterer of course.

Even if they've paid for it in full, I still want it out of my way.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on August 17, 2012, 06:23:11 PM
I agree with Sofadoc, it is the fact they do not return my calls that irks me most, if you cant come get it, call me and tell me...but I do rely on getting paid, I am still a start-up and a lot of expendable income I have not...I have been spending a lot getting my shop where I need it to be and my funds are limited....I did get 150 up front for material costs, but I under estimated the material cost by about 70 bucks....foam shipping was disgustingly high
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on August 20, 2012, 08:36:06 PM
They came and picked up the stuff today, paid the balance and left happy, I was worried but they just had some other trailer to deliver to Texas so were gone, now this one is ready to deliver to Texas as well, and they plan to bring me another
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: byhammerandhand on August 21, 2012, 05:08:35 PM
I do mostly service work and most of that is paid for by third party (delivery company, warranty company, insurance company, retailer, etc.)    They get on the phone to call to complain, then when I call for an appointment, it languishes.  They also seem to seem to have no problem with last minute cancellations or (Grrrr!) no shows.

I got a call a couple of weeks ago from a woman I called a number of times in MARCH!   She is finally ready, "Can you come tomorrow morning?"    She had a baby earlier this year and despite a single, healthy child, her life has turned into chaos.  She apparently does not handle stress well.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mojo on August 24, 2012, 10:16:09 AM
JD:

I specialize in RV's only. I do not do anything else ( marine, furniture, etc. ). I have a vast amount of experience dealing with RV'ers and they are an interesting group to deal with.
Many are on the road full time while others are part timers. I chase customers all over this country by shipping their orders to locations that they will be at next. As an example I took an order for an RV'er in Indiana in May and shipped their toppers to them in Wyoming a month later. :)

I am probably going to sound snobby by saying this but the vast majority of my customers own the large and expensive diesel pusher motorhomes or motorcoaches. They tend to be a little more flush with money and are a great group to deal with. I have never failed to have been paid by one of them. Many of them pay the entire bill upfront. This is why I target market my services to a select group of RV'ers. I am very picky about my clientele because I am a one person shop and do not have time to screw around with tire kickers and people who cannot afford my services.

The vast amount of headaches have all come from the lower end of the RV spectrum ( towables and gas MH's ). I got stuck with a $ 400 order once when the people left town. In other cases they waste alot of my time beating me up on pricing. The lower the price of the RV the bigger my headaches. I finally had to change my mode of operation. I send the people with the less expensive RV's and who are parked in dumpy campgrounds to other stitchers in the area. What is funny is that one of these guys does not want to deal with them either and will send some to me. :) I hate to be that way but these people end up costing me money in the end by constantly calling me, haggling over prices, wanting to use cheaper fabric, etc. etc.

I built my business and reputation within the RV world by providing high quality toppers and awnings. I have worked too hard to get to where I am today so I am not going to sell myself short and give away my products because someone cannot afford them. There are other alternatives out there for them which are cheaper and of low quality.

I concentrate on the high end coaches now but I remember the time when I was just getting started that I did alot of work for towables and gas coaches. I always got paid but sometimes had to chase the customer down. The vast majority of my work back then was also done in nice campgrounds which resulted in being paid on time.

You have to be very careful when doing work for RV'ers. Many are transients and are parked at a campground in your area for a short time before heading off to another location ( or State ). Always get a big deposit.

Chris
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: mroy559 on September 12, 2012, 04:27:43 AM
That they came and selected the products today, paid the balance and still left happy, I ended up being worried they just had another trailer to produce to Colorado so have been gone, now this place is getting ready to deliver to Texas too, and they decide to bring me personally another.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on October 07, 2012, 10:25:30 AM
I never learn! This same customer brought me another scissor couch and some dinette cushions to do, said they needed the dinette ASAP but the couch could wait...they paid deposit that covers material costs in advance and because they said ASAP I went ahead and worked Saturday and Sunday and got the couch and dinette done for them. Called Monday an got voice mail....left message...that was over a month ago and despite repeated phone calls I always get voice mail and never get a call back. I have decided to start a new policy just because of them.

Customer must pick up goods within 15 days of notification of completion or be charged $30 a week storage fee...any items left over 60 days without prior agreement will be sold to cover repair and storage fees

might light a fire under their butts doing this I hope....I would be more than happy to store it for them free if they agree to pay full job cost up front...I am not rich and waiting for over a month for the $300 they still owe is not easy for me....not to mention the frustration of being "ignored"
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: BCKC on October 07, 2012, 10:46:30 AM
Wow, that is the way I deal with unresponsive people. Sure does get things off balance in a hurry when your are trying to work around completed  projects. I have learned when I get voice mail to tell the customer that I am delivering the bla bla bla at a certain time on a certain day and to be there or they will be billed a nondeliverable fee of bla bla bla, they are 99.99% there on delivery.

Most of the time when something like happens they get in over there heads and simply don't know how to take care of the situation......they learn quickly with a little smile on delivery and a voice of authority when leaving them messages.

But do know that I hate...just hate when I have to be Stern with them. That part just bites!

Karen
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: byhammerandhand on October 07, 2012, 04:15:05 PM
Be sure your policy is clearly stated on paperwork you give to the customer (claim ticket, receipt for deposit, etc.) and probably also on a poster on your lobby wall.   CYA in case they get all legal with you.

Might want to check with your state laws regarding this topic.  Here is mine:
1333.22 Dry cleaner's lien - disposition of unclaimed articles.

Any garment, clothing, wearing apparel, or household goods that remain for one hundred twenty days or more in the possession of a person and on which cleaning, pressing, glazing, or washing has been done, alterations or repairs have been made, or materials or supplies have been used or furnished may be sold by that person to pay the reasonable or agreed charges for the services or labor and the costs of notifying the owner of the garment, clothing, wearing apparel, or household goods as described in this section and in section 1333.24 of the Revised Code or may be given away or otherwise disposed of by that person. The person to whom the charges are owed shall notify the owner of the garment, clothing, wearing apparel, or household goods of the time and place of the proposed sale or other disposition of it in accordance with section 1333.24 of the Revised Code, except that, if the garment, clothing, wearing apparel, or household goods remain for one hundred eighty days or more in the possession of the person, the person may sell them, give them away, or otherwise dispose of them without giving prior notice pursuant to that section. This section does not apply to property that is to be placed in storage after the performance of any of the services or labor described in this section.

1333.24 Notice or publication of proposed sale of articles.

The mailing by certified mail, return receipt requested, of a letter that states the time and place of a proposed sale or other disposition of any garment, clothing, wearing apparel, or household goods and that is addressed to the owner of the garment, clothing, wearing apparel, or household goods at his mailing address given at the time of its delivery as required by section 1333.231 of the Revised Code to the person described in section 1333.22 or 1333.23 of the Revised Code for the performance of services or labor or for storage constitutes sufficient notice under those sections if the time requirement of this section is satisfied. If the mailing address of the owner was not given at that time or was given at that time and is inaccurate or incomplete and cannot be ascertained by a reasonable effort, the publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the county of a notice that states the time and place of the proposed sale or other disposition of the owner’s garment, clothing, wearing apparel, or household goods constitutes sufficient notice under section 1333.22 or 1333.23 of the Revised Code if the time requirement of this section is satisfied. The person shall publish the notice, cause the notice to be published, or mail the letter described in this section at least thirty days before the date of the proposed sale or other disposition, and, if the proposed sale or other disposition is pursuant to section 1333.22 of the Revised Code, the person shall publish the notice, cause the notice to be published, or mail the letter not earlier than ninety days after the garment, clothing, wearing apparel, or household goods were delivered to the person.


Customer must pick up goods within 15 days of notification of completion or be charged $30 a week storage fee...any items left over 60 days without prior agreement will be sold to cover repair and storage fees

Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: baileyuph on October 07, 2012, 07:32:22 PM
JD your experience is more frequent in this economy than in the past.

It has made me more sensitive about who I am working for.


Doyle
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on October 07, 2012, 09:27:43 PM
I have no doubts that they can and will pay, it is just the way they are, happened on first job and happened this time..and will probably happen next time because they are repeat customers who have more work for me...when they come in I will make it clear that I cannot wait this long to be paid, I will store it for them as long as needed but want timely payment...either upfront full payment or timely payment on next job or I will just start passing on doing their work!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: baileyuph on October 08, 2012, 08:10:43 AM
Sign of the times folks, this economy is not recovering.  A friend in this business took a project, got a check for down payment, ordered materials, but check bounced. 

Bad situation to be in, he had spent sales time, got the bad check which cost a processing fee (few bucks as we all know), and now the material came in which he needless to say has to pay.

Does anyone believe this noise about unemployment coming down slowly and things, the economy, is picking up?

I am hearing noise that a lot of business are now saying QE3 is hurting their business.  Company retirement plans are in trouble because they can't grow the employees retirement money.  Everyone is starting to worry.

Back to the thread, there is a strong possibility that these customers are stressed for money and may have more business for you but it might be more of the same type you have from the customer already.

JD, I think your strategy of getting paid much earlier in the game is the only option you have.  In a business sort of way, lay out the new rules.

I had a big used car dealer who was giving me a lot of work, but something told me to only accept cash from them.  Work stayed in the shop until I got the cash.  It worked, but after a while they ran out of cash, the good news is I lost none.

Doyle
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mike on October 19, 2012, 10:22:58 PM
Excellent example of why I get a deposit up front.

I put the project back in a corner somewhere and cover it to protect it, then I go on with my life.

I learned years ago that I was always making assumptions about everything, and my assumptions were always "worse case scenarios", and just in making these assumptions I would spend a lot of miserable time worrying and all stressed out.

And of course the "worse case" never happened.

With your example JD, I tell myself that the homeowner is on vacation, or there was an emergency in their family and I hope they are OK, or that other things are taking up their time, and they will get back to me as soon as they can. Everyone who eventually does call back always has had an excuse like the ones I mentioned.

I can't get customers to call me back, but I can go on with my life without being upset or stressed that they did not.

gene
I agree it slsay not what i think it is. 
It just nit on there mind or there busy doung there own thing.
Worst thing that ever happened to me was all thebseats out of a 28 checkmate were delevered to be by a owners maintaince man and as told i never got a deposite. Tome went on and i moved shop later that uear and still had the seats inalmost through them out and later was called by the owner who i handed delt with it i still could do the job. I got a delosite did the job amd then had to wait for the ballance. Ause the owner was just a busy guy and didnt care about me.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: kodydog on October 20, 2012, 08:15:57 AM
...when they come in I will make it clear that I cannot wait this long to be paid, I will store it for them as long as needed but want timely payment...either upfront full payment or timely payment on next job

There have been many times we have done this with busy customers. We will call them several times with no response then we will ask if they can at least send a check. Very rarely do they cop a tude and almost always a check arrives 2 or 3 days later.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mike on October 24, 2012, 07:46:11 AM
JD:

I specialize in RV's only. I do not do anything else ( marine, furniture, etc. ). I have a vast amount of experience dealing with RV'ers and they are an interesting group to deal with.
Many are on the road full time while others are part timers. I chase customers all over this country by shipping their orders to locations that they will be at next. As an example I took an order for an RV'er in Indiana in May and shipped their toppers to them in Wyoming a month later. :)

I am probably going to sound snobby by saying this but the vast majority of my customers own the large and expensive diesel pusher motorhomes or motorcoaches. They tend to be a little more flush with money and are a great group to deal with. . I am very picky about my clientele because I am a one person shop and do not have time to screw around with

so i take it you dont do the 20 year old 20' pop out camper  anvas replacements. :)
I did one once. The deisles owners your right. Flush. That screen  curtian to hang on a awning i talk with you about. $1300.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: gene on October 24, 2012, 08:29:19 AM
Yep,

Obama care is going to cost billions of dollars, and that money has got to come from somewhere. This is why there will be fines for not providing it. Even with the death squads that Obama claimed were not a part of the deal and we found out that they are indeed a part of Obama care, they just won't be able to kill off enough old people and disabled people to make a dent in the cost.

And with our open borders we will be paying for more and more people's health care from all over the world.

I am concerned that Romney will turn out to be a tax and spend liberal Republican, and not a fiscal conservative.

It doesn't matter what political party you belong to, your grand kids will be paying off the national debt that we all ready have. Unless you are related to politicians and then you may be exempt from paying on that debt just like the politicians exempted themselves and their families from Obama care.

Any company that can cut their work force down to 49 employees will do so / is doing so.

Our great governor here in Ohio announced at the Republican national convention that the Ohio economy is coming back and he has not raised taxes. What he has done is added millions of dollars in fees! No new taxes, but millions of dollars in fees!

More and more cities are using picture cameras to catch speeders and then send a ticket to the address of the license plate. This increases revenue for the cities but they continue to spend and spend and spend. What difference does it make if they take our money with new taxes or with speeding tickets.

Fewer people are working and more people are working for fewer dollars. The tax revenue is going down and the spending is continuing to go up. What difference does it make if you are a democrat or republican?
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: sofadoc on October 24, 2012, 12:00:40 PM
I am concerned that Romney will turn out to be a tax and spend liberal Republican, and not a fiscal conservative.
A liberal Republican? Is that even legal? ;)

I think I've figured out the real reason why Democrats are referred to as the left.
Way back when our forefathers were establishing our brilliant 2-party system, one guy said to the other "Tell ya what. You take all the conservative Christians, and we'll take whatever is left".

BTW How did we wind up here from the topic of ignored phone calls ???
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: scottymc on October 24, 2012, 02:33:06 PM
Seeing as the subject of health care has been bought up, I really have to know why are so many people against it in your country. Surely being tradesman you guys are in the low income bracket, so it would be of benefit to you and as far as open borders wouldn't you need to be a citizen to get it.
We have had speed cameras for 25 years now, I like them. They tax stupid people who think they're above the law, much better than taxing me. ;)   
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on October 24, 2012, 02:53:49 PM
Don't know how it became political...but I am still trying to deal with customers ignored phone calls...left them a message today reminding them the 60 day mark is coming up and I plan to sell their stuff!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: sofadoc on October 24, 2012, 03:34:51 PM
We have had speed cameras for 25 years now, I like them. They tax stupid people who think they're above the law, much better than taxing me.
Problem is, they get their money from speed cameras AND we get tax increases anyway.
If it was an "either/or" situation, I'd be all for speed cameras.

The lottery was supposed to save our broke education system........it didn't.
Tax revenue from alcohol sales was supposed to bolster local economies......it didn't.
Cigarette tax? I have no idea where it's supposed to be going. But my guess is......it isn't.  

The promised benefits from these revenue sources never seem to materialize.

Back on topic:
I am still trying to deal with customers ignored phone calls...left them a message today reminding them the 60 day mark is coming up and I plan to sell their stuff!
My guess is, they'll show up on day 61. And they'll be mad as hell when they find out that you sold their stuff. They'll call you everything but a white boy. They'll shout from the rooftops that you're a crook. And when they tell everyone how you "did them dirty", somehow your version of the story will get lost in the translation.
At least that's what happened to me the only 2 times that I sold abandoned stuff.

Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on October 24, 2012, 04:02:00 PM
LOL, yeah that is what scares me about selling it, since I am new and word of mouth is best advertising, I dont want any negatives out there. I most likely wont sell their stuff, but I was hoping the phone message might light a fire under their asses....last time we spoke (2 weeks ago) they said they would be in this week and have more couches for me....Honestly when they come in I think I am just going to get paid and say that I will no longer be doing work for them....the headache is more than I can handle, and I am busy without them.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: scottymc on October 27, 2012, 02:39:27 PM
So why is that health care issue seem to be off limits to you guys? :) Just curious as to what the common persons opinion is.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mojo on October 27, 2012, 08:12:32 PM
It's not off limits with me mate.

People in the USA think we have the best health system in the world. Bulls***. We have the most expensive, inefficient and broken system in the world.

We are 15th in the world for lengevity. So in other words people live longer in 15 other countries. But we are number one for high priced health care. The vast majority of new medical discoveries have taken place in Australia, Canada, Italy, UK and a couple other European countries.

Our drugs cost twice what they do elsehwere in the world. One catastrophic illness ( if your not insured or under insured ) can bankrupt you. People lose their homes in this country due to excessive medical bills. My daughter recently got turned down for health insurance because she has endemetriosis. Insurance companies in the USA can pick and choose who they want to insure.

I am extremely lucky as I am considered over insured. My medication runs $ 4,000 a month but thankfully it only costs me $ 80 bucks. Hospital stays cost me nothing nor do office calls or ER visits. But I am one of the lucky few. I have seen people in my support group die because they couldn't afford the chemo drugs I have or have access to the spets like I see.

I consider myself blessed but to be honest it breaks my heart to see people go without medical care or drugs because they cannot afford it. All this in the richest nation in the world.

Chris
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: scottymc on October 28, 2012, 02:17:32 AM
Yeah thanks Chris, I was just curious as a while ago on the news it sounded like there was going to be riots over there and it seemed to be from the people that would benefit most.
I heard people say a number of times when I have been in your country,"gotta new job the pay is average , but it's got medical insurance" just always thought  that was a bit sad. So is it a sensitive issue?
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mojo on October 28, 2012, 06:14:21 AM
It is now because of Obamacare. The Democrats think its is the greatest thing since sliced bread and the Republicans believe Lucifer ascended from hell and brought the plan with him.

Whatever it is someone better come up with a plan soon. If Obamacare isn't the answer then someone from the otherside of the aisle better step forward and bring a good comprehensive plan with then.

Denying coverage, denying treatment and going broke when you get sick is not the answer.

BTW, if you ever come to the USA for a visit be damn sure you have your tourist insurance. A simple heart attack in the USA can cost you $ 50 K. My in laws never come here without having stocked up on insurance. :)

Chris
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on October 28, 2012, 12:56:52 PM
its not off limits to me...but I do prefer you start a thread and not just derail the subject...just my opinion...I don't see how it changed course like it did, but health care/government has nothing to do with ignored phone calls...unless its someone ignoring phone calls from the hospital....
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: scottymc on October 28, 2012, 09:09:16 PM
 Aw, mate that's how conversations go, one thing leads to another, gets off the subject leads into another one, it's all good. :)
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: kodydog on October 31, 2012, 07:08:58 PM
If you made it to page 2 without going off topic your actually doing really good. I'm surprised Sofa hasn't steered this thread to "rouge Nauges" under the Golden Gate Bridge. The trick is to keep us ADD's on top... hay lets go ride bikes.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mojo on October 31, 2012, 07:22:23 PM
I apologize for that. I should have kept my big mouth shut. But I am passionate about seeing sick people be able to get and afford medical care.

I am off this topic now. :)

Chris
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: sofadoc on November 01, 2012, 08:57:57 AM
If you made it to page 2 without going off topic your actually doing really good. I'm surprised Sofa hasn't steered this thread to "rouge Nauges" under the Golden Gate Bridge. The trick is to keep us ADD's on top... hay lets go ride bikes.
Yes JD. You should consider it a "badge of honor" when we take your topic, and steer it straight into the ditch! It's not that we have A.D.D., it's just that we ............wait........what were we talking about again?..........Oh yeah......naugs.

Speaking of Naugs. I think those varmints have tracked me down again. And apparently, they collect men's clothing to build their coccoons. Because every time I come home early, there's a strange pair of  pants on my bedroom floor. I don't mind though. Some of them have wallets!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on November 01, 2012, 01:53:38 PM
no worries, I am passionate about health care in the US myself, as a person with an incurable debilitating disease, finding health insurance is a challenge...they dont want to underwrite someone that will continue to take medicine that costs $10,000/month...I just hope one day they get it straightened out!

OK so back on topic.....the customer says they will be in tomorrow to get their stuff...I would hold my breath but I cant remember what for!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on November 06, 2012, 02:11:52 PM
still no show and no call, today is the 60 day mark and honestly getting pretty ticked off. I left my first strongly opinionated phone call and let them know that as of today it is officially for sale...things like this make me wonder why I even try....I should just go back to retirement and watch TV all day, at least then I dont have the stress of dealing with this!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: sofadoc on November 06, 2012, 05:39:57 PM
I left my first strongly opinionated phone call and let them know that as of today it is officially for sale
I don't know if it was a good idea to threaten them with selling the item just yet. Sometimes, when they hear that, they just breathe a sigh of relief and say "Whew! At least I don't have to worry about that anymore".
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on November 06, 2012, 05:48:31 PM
you are probably right, but I am honestly sick of waiting, I listed it for sale and if they come before I sell it fine, if not, fine...I will not stress on it anymore, by giving this last phone call, I am done with them....I just do not need the added stress and 2 months is ridiculous!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mojo on November 06, 2012, 07:18:20 PM
The one thing I learned in business is that patience is a virtue. I have had people I wanted to throttle and choke to death but always took a deep breath and considered my options and worked through it.

The one thing people need to remember is once you make a threat to another you put them into a position to defend themselves, even if they are wrong. My son has a rule with his corporation - if some threatens to sue them he immediately suspends their services and then puts them on a blackball list. He refuses to deal with them again after that point.

Threatening action of some sort typically brings about nothing but bad feelings. Myself I would hold onto their property for as long as it takes. Unless you sent them a registered letter or some other official communication letting them know your going to sell their property, you could end up being on the hook if they do come back. You need proof they got notified.

I know your frustrated but have some patience with this situation. Making the wrong move could end up costing you more money then your already out. I would wait till their return and then collect from them and explain to them at that time not to come to you again for any work.

Chris
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on November 06, 2012, 08:20:53 PM
I have been very patient...60 days is a ridiculous amount of time to wait for someone and it is a clearly posted policy that I will sell any items left over 60 days to cover repairs...it is only 300 bucks, but it is the principle of it....basically if I had an employer who took 60 days to pay me, I would definitely take some form of action to collect....

in the same sense, if you get known as a pushover others will try and take advantage of you as well, I gave them more than enough time and many notifications...

I started this as a hobby that I enjoy, but this kind of stuff makes it no fun!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mojo on November 06, 2012, 09:14:25 PM
I agree, 60 days is long enough but you do not want to set yourself up for future litigation because you sold their stuff. Sending a registered letter would protect you. It would also give you legal standing if you decide to take them to small claims court or if they take YOU to court.

This business can be tough. If you stay in it long enough you will run into the occasional headaches. I had so many when I first got started that I nearly said screw it and looked for something else to do. But I had alot of encouragement from the veteran stitchers here so I held on.

I had to re-invent myself several times and really narrow my focus. Actually you are one of the very few on here who is spread across several niches - furniture, RV's and Marine. Most of us specialize and then work our individual markets to perfection. If nothing else your gaining a whole lot of experience. :)

Your customer is from the RV society and within that market segment there exists different classes of customers. Unfortunately you got a customer from a segment that is known to cause problems. I know the RV industry backwards and forwards and I have carved my niche in the segment of the RV industry that I knew meant better profits, fast payments and less headaches. I have strict guidelines I follow just for my own sanity and to protect me as much as possible from situations such as yours. I have adopted payment policies that also protect me. The customer you got came from the RV segment that I avoid like the plaque. Been there, got burnt and will not take any business whatsoever from that segment.

I had to suffer a few knocks to the head in order to get to this point. In time you will learn and adopt your own strategies. You will know what segments of each industry to go after and which ones to avoid. It will get better as you get more experience. Hang in there and do not let one customer get you down.

Chris
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Grebo on November 07, 2012, 07:26:02 AM
Excellent example of why I get a deposit up front.

I put the project back in a corner somewhere and cover it to protect it, then I go on with my life.

I learned years ago that I was always making assumptions about everything, and my assumptions were always "worse case scenarios", and just in making these assumptions I would spend a lot of miserable time worrying and all stressed out.

And of course the "worse case" never happened.

With your example JD, I tell myself that the homeowner is on vacation, or there was an emergency in their family and I hope they are OK, or that other things are taking up their time, and they will get back to me as soon as they can. Everyone who eventually does call back always has had an excuse like the ones I mentioned.

I can't get customers to call me back, but I can go on with my life without being upset or stressed that they did not.

gene

I do the same thing, 50% deposit covers my costs & a tad, depending on the job.  60 days is no biggee when 90% of your customers don't live in the same country. I get some lean times when more than one or two change their plans & not turn up when they say, then they might need a push to pay by bank transfer.  A large percent of my work in the current climate is repeat business so it pays me to be patient.
I also remember it may be bread on my table, but the boats are their play things not their mortgage.

Suzi
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mojo on November 07, 2012, 08:31:14 AM
I think that over time you get to the point where you can feel when you need a deposit and when to worry about someones ability to pay.

Maybe it has been from my past experiences and years in the corporate world but I can typically get a warm fuzzy or a caution feeling inside on people.

With that said I just did something I have never done before. I sent out a large order to an individual without a deposit or payment. I just told them to send me a check. I do this all the time with the dealers I work with. They pay 30 days net but it is the first time I have ever done it with an individual. Will I get burnt ? Nahhh. This individual is a nice old senior citizen from the upper crust of the RV market and I will probably have a check here quickly. Besides this guy contacted me twice stressed out over who to make the check out to. He was more concerned about paying me then he was over his order. :)

Would I do this all the time ? Oh Hell No. I just had that feeling about this person and most of the time my feelings are spot on.

Chris
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on November 07, 2012, 02:33:58 PM
I did get a deposit, that covers costs on materials and such, and is it hurting me not to get paid....not really, it is just the principle now, I just am frustrated that people think they can go 60 days without paying their bill. if I did not pay the cable bill, it gets shut off..same with the lights...but someone working for a living does not warrant timely payment, and thats just uncool!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mojo on November 07, 2012, 06:01:56 PM
I can understand JD. It really does piss you off when you get stiffed like that. When I got stiffed doing solar screens for that gas MH that was parked in a shitty campground I was livid. For about one day. Then I realized it was my fault AND the time and energy spent worrying about them was not worth it.

I know a little about your disease and I can say stress is not good for you. Just chalk it up as a learning experience and move on. Smile and be happy.

Chris
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on November 07, 2012, 07:57:35 PM
well, I am not holding my breath but the customer texted me asking what the dollar amount due was, and said they would have their daughter come pay it....something about needing to fill a delivery contract of 250 trailers to north dakota before winter sets in....I wont hold my breath but it might be good....at least this time its not " we will be there on soandso date" and they dont show up...I would gladly acept a check in the mail and hold their stuff for a year if they need me to.

I know stress is bad for me, it makes me feel bad, which in turn adds to my stress because I am not getting as much work done as I should be, which then adds to my stress, which makes me feel worse...and on and on lol!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mike on November 16, 2012, 03:34:21 PM
stress not good for your health either
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/chronic-stress-linked-stroke-risk/story?id=17095879#.UKYkV35frmI
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on November 23, 2012, 08:06:09 PM
Not so worried about stroke, but it does worsen my disease symptoms!

http://ms.about.com/od/livingwellwithms/a/ms_stress.htm

Thanks for the read Mike
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on November 30, 2012, 09:15:12 PM
today is past 90 days, I am tired of the dodgy excuses, so today I pulled the trigger...left them a message letting them know I had a customer that wants to buy the scissor couch...if I do not receive payment by Friday the 7th, it is sold....I do not have a customer, but hoping to light a proverbial fire under their arses...if they do not pay by then I will buy it myself, and use it on my burn pile to prove a point!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on November 30, 2012, 10:46:26 PM
well...pretty sure I lost a customer...but got a message back this evening that they will be in on Monday to get all their property from my shop....good riddance I say, as long as they pay whats due, I won't miss the business...I am so busy right now anyways.... Now lets see if they actually show up!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on December 04, 2012, 08:21:37 PM
Monday came and went, Tuesday is gone, but did get a call today letting me know they would be in on Wednesday....yeah..I will hold my breath! He did however express his apologies on the phone, and asked if I would still do work for him if he paid up front so that a delay like this did not happen again (his idea, not mine, even though I was going to propose this)
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on December 05, 2012, 06:57:14 PM
My adventure ended today...got paid....man that was anti-climatic!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: kodydog on December 06, 2012, 09:41:19 PM
Hang in there JD. The good times will far outweigh the bad. A man came in to work today with a homemade gift fruit cake. Say what you want about fruit cake but this thing was good.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: baileyuph on December 06, 2012, 09:50:10 PM
Glad you got paid JD.

In spite of maybe what the customer said, don't you think this entire issue spawned from the economy?  Otherwise, why did it happen?

Doyle
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on December 06, 2012, 10:56:49 PM
wasn't an economy issue, the man had to deliver 250 trailers to North Dakota, and I just wasn't on his priority list...we did however come to the agreement that future jobs he will just pay his full bill up front and I will store them until he has time to pick them up. I never had a doubt he could afford it and I tried really hard to be patient...but honestly was beginning to get frustrated and am glad it has been resolved, and I did not lose a repeat customer.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: sofadoc on December 06, 2012, 11:17:01 PM
I don't know. If money was never an issue, why didn't he lick a stamp a long time ago?
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mojo on December 07, 2012, 08:24:30 AM
JD:

You may want to consider doing what I do. Open a Paypal account in your company name.

I get paid from customers all over the country via Paypal. I refuse to take Credit cards over the phone as I do NOT want the responsibilty of their number. Most of my customers pay this way because they can use their visa, mastercard, discover card or their checking account to pay their bill.

If they are local to me ( and few are ) then they pay me by check and sometimes in cash. Many of them have safes ion board their buses and prefer to pay cash. The Paypal thing I have even used for local customers when they requested it.

Glad you got paid.

Chris
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mike on December 07, 2012, 09:53:09 PM
takes all the fun out of the job don't it JD ypu knopw io did a job this week a cover on a boat the guy contracted me and gave a deposite   he mailed a chaek to his neighbor to give me when I was done , its nice to have a cool customer once in a while.   

 it look like from you link stress is all around bad, they say mine was from a blood clot from the heart  but in new Hampshire I didn't have any stress much at all like you jobs were all at my shop and I got paid when they left and everybody wanted there boat back Friday.   but here aftger moving every boat is on the owner preoperty and paying me is not a high priority as they have the ball in there court and when there done with there business then they will take care of me some are out of town when I get done. and I don't know how the job looks after patterning after I gfet to the boat to install im alwaysd stressed out driving over thinking about what can go wrong,
then I had my stroke , ive been trying to not stress so much and be more layed back
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: byhammerandhand on December 10, 2012, 04:47:15 PM
Out of the blue a lady shows up at my (home's) door this afternoon.  She's her to pick up the chairs that I finished for her on 9/9/2011.  I had to dust them off and remove the cobwebs. She didn't think she had enough cash with her so asked if a check would be OK.   After I finished loading them in her car, she said she'd mail the check this evening.  :'(   At this point, I'm not sure I even care if I get paid, I'm just glad to have that spot in the shop back.
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on December 10, 2012, 08:04:09 PM
OK Hammer you got me beat big time...a year, and then she wants to mail the check....I am an optimist but even I say you wont be getting a check!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: byhammerandhand on December 10, 2012, 08:29:10 PM
Forgot to add, she asked, "Did I still have them?"
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: Mike on December 19, 2012, 02:42:17 PM
So did the check show hammer?
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: JDUpholstery on December 19, 2012, 06:16:09 PM
good question! Inquiring minds wanna know!
Title: Re: Dealing with ignored phone calls
Post by: byhammerandhand on December 19, 2012, 07:02:12 PM
No check yet.  :(