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Old 08-21-2013, 02:29 PM
 
19,247 posts, read 58,454,222 times
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If you have been in business at all, you know that there are good customers, great customers, and those few that are bad customers. I've had to fire customers in the past and am at the point of doing so with one now. Typically, my reasons for firing are the refusal to follow tech support instructions, continued slow pay or whinging about invoices, and support needs that border on passive-aggressive. Example - one customer who has non-critical problems regularly uses a repeat dial on the phone to get immediate attention. Annoying at best, but when I was out for doctor appointments yesterday I came back to 23 missed calls and a ringing phone related to an issue that would have been resolved on their own in five minutes had support instructions been followed.

Where do you draw the line? When do you cut off a customer who is a liability?
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
28,540 posts, read 31,777,702 times
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DH and I have fired customers for reasons similar to yours. Another problem is those who get abusive or threatening to staff. We do not put up with that.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:07 PM
 
83,387 posts, read 80,874,833 times
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i am always firing customers.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:09 PM
 
28,900 posts, read 48,759,457 times
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Yes. Ultimately, the only thing you have to sell in a service business is your time. Someone who sucks up a disproportionate share for the money you charge needs to move on elsewhere.

Mind you, you want to let them down gently. As in saying, "You know, I've gotten really busy on this project and may not be able to give you the attention you need. So why don't I recommend Al Smith to handle this for you. Great guy. I'll call him up and tee things up for you. You'll like him a lot."
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
7,214 posts, read 8,374,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Mind you, you want to let them down gently. As in saying, "You know, I've gotten really busy on this project and may not be able to give you the attention you need. So why don't I recommend Al Smith to handle this for you. Great guy. I'll call him up and tee things up for you. You'll like him a lot."
Hehe... I bet " Al Smith" isn't your favorite guy.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
589 posts, read 7,422,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
...Mind you, you want to let them down gently. As in saying, "You know, I've gotten really busy on this project and may not be able to give you the attention you need. So why don't I recommend Al Smith to handle this for you. Great guy. I'll call him up and tee things up for you. You'll like him a lot."
Nope, I've had customers in the past that I've had to ditch into the round file and I always tell them right up front why.

I fired a (for lack of a better description) tire-kicker just today who has been wanting us work on his project since early April. Every couple of days he has something different he wants us to design in hopes that his dearly beloved designer wife will finally approve of it and it won't cost any more than an off the shelf item. Then he goes away for a month or so before he comes back with yet another grandiose scheme/plan she will hopefuly approve of. Oh, and don't you dare expect him to pay for all this designing and re-designing...hell no, not him.

Told him right up front why he needed to get someone else to build his (her) dream. Nor would I refer our intrepid hero to anyone...not even someone I don't like.

...

Ron
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,787 posts, read 4,225,143 times
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Harry,
I "fired" customers who COST ME MONEY.
If I wasn't loosing money, and the level of nonsense was brief, even if
they were repeat customers, I tolerated them.
As soon as they COST me money, I fired them.
I worked too hard to loose money, so technically, they weren't customers
at all if they cost me money, right?
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:50 PM
 
13,699 posts, read 16,577,306 times
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Recently fired a client that took so much more of my time than my other clients, yet were paying the same. I had been thinking for a long time what a pain in the butt they were, but then they started to mention extra services they would like in addition and at the same time hinted that they thought they were paying too much. OH NO YOU DIDN'T! I told them that I thought they should find a company that could better meet their needs. They asked me to help them "transition" to a new company over the next couple of months. I gave them 30 days. Ain't nobody got time for that!
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:36 PM
 
19,247 posts, read 58,454,222 times
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Butterfly, the problem comes back to valuing time. I've held to a yearly fee covering specific issues, but I may have to limit the time and go to an hourly rate for support beyond a set amount. It may be time for me to set up a new income stream anyway. Technology keeps catching up with me.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Bergen County, Nazi Jerky
367 posts, read 869,827 times
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Have I fired customers? Absolutely. Some set up such ridiculous demands that it was better for me to not bid on future work than deal with them again. Their "requirements" in terms of scheduling and materials suck all the profit out of a job. They seem to think they can change the specifications outlined in the bid at their whim. Actually, the strategy of firing them sent them to my competitors who now had the headaches. Win Win for me. I just had one today who would "favor" me with business if I would cancel previously scheduled work to do theirs first. I declined. The husband has a history of making threats when his c*** wife doesn't get her way. I hope he does. I'd enjoy getting him arrested or shooting him in the face if it came to that.

Last edited by DFBonnett; 08-23-2013 at 10:04 AM..
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