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Old 01-26-2020, 03:46 PM
 
Location: San Diego
37,646 posts, read 33,778,824 times
Reputation: 21969

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
I am chuckling to myself , because after being in electrical supply for 40 years I cherry picked my customer base to avoid electrical contractors .

Why ? I am a motor controls and vfd sales engineer .... selling commodities to electrical contractors had no loyalty and little profit ... electrical contractors make their money based on what supplies cost .. they will switch suppliers over a nickel difference many times on a fitting ....

On the other hand industrials and facilities need my knowledge , products and problem solving ...they don’t make their money based on what I charge for wire ,pipe or my control panels ....they do other things to earn their profits .

The end result is far more loyal customers who are not as price sensitive and so I kind of passed off my contractors early on in my career.

Many of my customers remained customers for decades because we had a relationship not based on price .

When I retired I had a 5 million dollar customer base at very nice margins . No electrical contractors .

Today I teach controls and drives one day a week .

Sometimes you need to fire customers
We keep track of how much money we make or don't make on customers. Those on the cost us too much list we try and steer towards our competition. After a while no ones wants these customers as it costs everyone money.
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:03 PM
 
76,288 posts, read 75,675,245 times
Reputation: 53555
Yep customers need to be fired as well when they don’t produce
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:46 PM
 
7,753 posts, read 4,303,934 times
Reputation: 16202
Quote:
Originally Posted by LowonLuck View Post
I have a customer with a really old piece of equipment. The last 5 visits the technicians have recommended replacement. She refuses to do that. I have done a few free visits but we have reached the point that I have to bill her a service call for all calls we run now. It’s hard to help someone that won’t take the steps to help themselves.

The lady called to comply that we charged her. I explained that we can’t keep coming out for free. I have to cover labor, truck, materials etc. She thought I was being unreasonable. I gave her rock bottom price to refurbish existing, replace or remove it. She wants to do nothing that costs money.,She threatens to give bad reviews. Fine, without working for free, I can’t help her.

Well then the daughter called back. I explained it all to her. Daughter argues that it’s our equipment and I explained her parents bought the equipment 25 years ago. We just installed it but they definitely own it. Throughout the entire conversation she just kept repeating that her mother is 82 years old... finally I said I am not sure what her age has to do with this 25 year old piece of no longer functional. She is a ****ty tone said, “mam, she has a limited income”.

I have a limited income as well. Don’t we all have a limited x amount of money to work with? I know no one that has a endless supply of money growing on a tree they can pluck off whenever.

What is this mentality that just because you made it to 82, that nothing should cost money?
Working w/the public must be h**l. You DID go out there several times for free, so you DID try to help the elderly woman out. But you have a business to run and expenses. If she writes a bad review, then respond and lay out these facts. Don't fail to mention that you HAVE gone out there for FREE several times, and all the rest you said in your OP.

When I read reviews, I know that there's bound to be a couple by people who just can't be pleased or who are irrational. Sometimes I totally disagree w/the bad reviewer. If you have some good reviews, one bad one won't affect you much, if at all.

I also agree that being 82 doesn't give someone freebie privileges. Maybe go out there once, as a favor, to inspect the equipment (which you did), but that's it. You don't even have to do that much.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:43 AM
 
499 posts, read 165,061 times
Reputation: 1798
I just ran into a bizarre situation that mimics the OP's frustration. We spend our winters in a Fl. RV park that has the potential to be severely impacted by a county regulation that has been ignored by a "gentlemen's agreement", thus far. If the county enforces the rule, it will evict roughly four dozen residents/couples and their RVs. When discussing this, some of the younger, more proactive residents discovered that quite a few elderly folks, who could become victims of this bureaucratic mess, have developed a common delusion. They have determined that they are magically exempt from any enforcement, since they are "seniors" and somehow exempt from the rules.

The entire thought process, and entitlement delusion syndrome, in this case is jaw dropping. They watch neighbors being forced to demolish non-conforming structures, understand that they cannot legally live full time where they currently do, and are doing so at the good graces of a forgiving county government, yet somehow determine that they are "special" and reality doesn't apply to them. It's stunning.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,164 posts, read 998,747 times
Reputation: 5513
Quote:
Originally Posted by LowonLuck View Post

What is this mentality that just because you made it to 82, that nothing should cost money?
It's a common mantra from people about the cost of goods and services. It's quite possible that she's living hand to mouth. It's also quite possible that it's a ploy just to get discounts.


Heck, I do it myself. I'm a senior citizen living on a meager social security check. Are you sympathetic? Of course you are. Until you know that I own two houses that I paid cash for and have tons of money in the bank. LOL.


Your 82 year old is a customer you can do without.


At the other end of the scale you get the "I'm a single female with children, I can't afford that."
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:22 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
23,944 posts, read 30,838,452 times
Reputation: 47868
At the age of 82, she probably has problems dealing with increased prices. heck, I'm nowhere near 82 and I already find myself thinking things should cost the same as they did 20 years ago. Which they don't and I can still understand that, but darn, things seem so expensive. At age 82, it must be even harder to deal with.
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:25 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
23,944 posts, read 30,838,452 times
Reputation: 47868
Adding this: it certainly doesn't help that nothing lasts as long as it should. Even expensive items fail much sooner than they should. If you get old enough, you remember when things were built to last, so it is a double whammy that they cost so much and break down so soon.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:19 AM
 
499 posts, read 165,061 times
Reputation: 1798
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Adding this: it certainly doesn't help that nothing lasts as long as it should. Even expensive items fail much sooner than they should. If you get old enough, you remember when things were built to last, so it is a double whammy that they cost so much and break down so soon.
I had a fascinating discussion with an appliance repair company owner on this topic. He was at one of the appliance company's North American headquarters, attending classes, and vented the same frustration to upper management The company rep. explained that he is misunderstanding the market and the goal of a successful manufacturer. Most appliances are no longer designed to last a lifetime, since that is not what the customer wants, and the customer will not pay for it, period.

In 1965 a fridge was $500, and could provide thirty years of service. A similar fridge today is $8-900 and designed for an 8-10 year service life, according to my repair guy. The issue is that the $500 that you spent in 1965 is now inflation adjusted to $4026. Bottom line is that consumers have exponentially more options available today, and are not spending $4K for a basic fridge, even if it could potentially last thirty years. The market decides what they value, and consumers are not willing to spend 5X as much for appliances and electronics as they currently do, to end up with products that are as durable as "back in the day". It simply is not something they value.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
2,864 posts, read 1,431,435 times
Reputation: 6811
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDWNC View Post
SS doesn't keep up with inflation. That's the problem and there are various ways of calculating the forumula and the govt does it so it's advantageous to them and sc*ews us.
SS was never supposed to be your retirement. It was intended to be a supplement.

This is why I always oppose these well-meaning programs... once they're implemented, they become this natural human right that must cover 100% of everything.
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
2,864 posts, read 1,431,435 times
Reputation: 6811
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
Sometimes vendors who have a great relationship with a customer just ghost the customer for no reason. It's happened to us a few times. They just don't want our continued business. We have never had a hard time finding someone else who does. Just had a 13 year old gas furnace replaced. It's needed repairs every winter for several years now. Had it done in one day for $3300. If we didn't have the money we'd be using electric space heaters. There comes a time when repairs are no longer worth the money and the inconvenience. If you have the money it's a no brainer. If you don't you're up the creek.
And how many people, when shopping for a new whatever, demand the absolute lowest price, don't want any "extras", etc? But as soon as they have it, they demand instantaneous and free care 24/7/365

I've "ghosted" customers, too. Customers who demand the world but don't want to pay for a dirt lot. Customers who believe that once we have a deal, I become responsible for everything. Customers who moan and shriek about every expense like I'm throwing their children out into the street wearing rags, but constantly present top-notch (or completely infeasible) requirements while saying "This isn't anything extraordinary, the other guy will do it for less!" OK... go deal with the other guy. I'm not taking your calls any more... I have people with realistic expectations and budgets that are profitable to talk to.
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