Disrespectful customer..... What do you do?
Short and brief.. Customer is always unhappy with work provided, looks to back charge any little knit picking thing. Last thing was...they assembled there product and it sat there for 3 months (don't ask) All was approved but there customer complaint about some quality issues and of coarse they blame us!! The buyer is always making snide comments about my dad to me. I want to tell them to stuff it!! Dads been in business 43 years and I feel he deserves the same respect. I ignored there last Rfq a few weeks ago and guess who left a message today. Tomorrow either ground rules are to be followed or hit the pike.
Raise your shop rate to a level that the reflects the added drama from said customer.
You do not have to tell him why his rates are higher,if he pays the higher rate and bitches so what,you can use the extra $100 bills as ear plugs.
All assuming you have enough work to cover what you will lose if he goes some were else.
Charge more and take longer.
I call it the asshole surcharge.
I used to work in a place where they would put AS next to some names of customers in the computer. I forget how much it was, something like 15%.
Originally Posted by Mud
tell him you'll get him a rope to go with his part so he can suspend the part and swing it up his ass its ashame that people in machine shops have to deal with assholes who most of em never have made anything and further more don't have a clue what there talking about put his smaert ass in the road
I agree, charge more.
I tend to ascribe such behavior to truly shrewd business people.
Don't whine, don't tell them you don't like them, don't chase them away.
Just charge more money.
Their friends, associates, other vendors, etc. will understand, but they won't offer to explain why they understand. They won't ever admit to understanding, but the observers most likely will.
Price, Quality, Delivery. PICK TWO
Tell them you could keep the parts wrapped up in cotton balls as they travel around the shop, but that will be extra.
...as for the comments about your Dad, just be honest and tell him "Yeah we say stuff about you too"
Depends on what they're complaining about and if it does make sense or not.
To some a few scratches and little dents, or welding up mistakes is acceptable and won't hurt the application at all, for some of us a scratch, nick, blemish sometimes isn't acceptable at all not just for aesthetics purpose. I don't know if everyone is so darn busy now they're rushing everything, or if a lot are cutting corners to save a dollar because the margins are so bad, but I did see and hear about more junk than usual lately. I was extremely disappointed with the work I saw from a shop recently(while junk from another one didn't surprise me as much), I expected a lot better considering the high requirements of this work, now the customer has to rework most of it and it will put assembly weeks behind schedule.
Main thing is if they are not happy with what they are getting, on grounds they feel are really there and aren't just being picky to dick around to push payments until later, they are free to look elsewhere aren't they?
Am I the only one thinking of just being straight up with this guy and state, "I really don't appreciate the comments about my father"?
if anybody made comments like that about my father they would be out the door customer or not. If they ever came back they probably would need to call the ambulance to get them out the second time. There wouldn't be a third time.
Originally Posted by dave k
Originally Posted by JB @ C and L Machine
This is not the way to handle this. As others said, send him packing if you want but you should probably just charge him an asshole surtax.
I'd probably send him a no quote in writing, if they call back to ask why, say you want a meeting with their chief of qc, and their operations manager about the "quality issues", while at the meeting do all the quality stuff then press on the unprofessional behavior.... either that or triple the price....
Like everyone else my first reaction was anger at your customer. After that then I reread what you wrote and started wondering.
Originally Posted by JB @ C and L Machine
The "company" isn't complaining and making you annoyed. Someone (at least one person) at that company is making you annoyed and giving you a hard time. Why?
I'd like to have a couple of examples of what they complain about and also if you could give me (us?) any idea why anyone would want to make snide comments about your dad. Surely they can't be oblivious to the fact that that won't get you to bend over backwards for them or be more helpful? Where does this buyer even know your father from?
If things are as you describe I'm wondering why they use you as their supplier?
I have an electric motor shop customer that is weird picky like that.
You take in some of their parts they were in a hurry for and they act like a teacher giving you a grade on it.
This summer it has been so hot that the shop foreman won't get out of the office from sniffing the secretaries ass.
Then he come out and finger fucks the parts trying to find something wrong.
Hell, he can't even read digital calipers, but tries to feel of bearing fits that are +/- .0002. ( like he can feel if they are out of spec)
I think he wants to find fault with the parts so he can goof off longer and not have to work.
A while back I took in a part with a bearing nut on it. One of the workers remarked how smooth it went on, ( He said it felt like it was on bearings).
Well, about 2 hours later foreman had it locked up halfway on there. I went and looked at it, and you could see where there was a yellow thread off of his glove caught between the nut and shaft. < (Along with a gallon of locktite). I said I could take it, and try to get it off, or machine it off.
He said he could heat it up enough with a torch to melt the locktite and screw it the rest of the way on with a pipe wrench.
He always wears gloves for everything. Rubber surgical gloves, with leather Harbor Freight gloves over that if it looks very dirty.
I make a lot of money off of this guy removing broken EZ-outs and taps.
One day he wanted me to tap a hole for him. It was a metric size that I wasn't familiar with. I asked if he had a tap chart to see what the drill size was. He looked at me like there were snakes coming out of my ears.
After explaining it he still didn't believe me. A week later I took him a tap chart that he could keep. He thinks I had the Starrett company print that up just to mess with him.
There are some like that. Work is too scarce around here to run one of them off.
I just charge accordingly. If he wants space shuttle tolerances on a latch for a gate post, then give it to him.
I didn't mean to steal your thread. Thanks for starting this, it helped me vent.
That guy aggravated me last Thursday, and I was pissed all weekend.
As for him talking about your Dad. I would have to laugh and say "It's not as bad as stuff that has been said about you" .
Leave it there. He'll shut up and quit talking about your Dad, quit bringing work to you, or get mad and you can kick his ass.
I'll bet he quits mouthing your Dad.
Let me know how it pans out.
Last edited by jackal; 08-24-2011 at 01:10 PM.
I was doing a lot of work for a company a few years ago and they had given me a fairly large PO for a particular job that had a lot of onezie twozie stuff.
As the PO was nearing completion, the buyer called and told me they needed another piece of a particular part number. He told me to go ahead and make it and he would take care of the paperwork on his end.
Time came to pay the bill and the buyer called and told me I was the laughing stock of the accounting department. The part I had invoiced had already been paid for. I reminded him very politely that he had told me to make another one and he would take care of the paperwork on his end.
He didn't remember that.
Well, the more I thought about it, the madder I got. The next morning when I got to the shop, I pulled all of his work off the machine and put it in a corner. It sat there for about 2 weeks and he stopped by to see how I was progressing on his latest PO and I told him I'm not. He asked why and I told him, I am no one's laughing stock, and if he didn't want to pay for the lousy $150.00 part, then he could take his work elsewhere.
It turned out that one of the parts I was not working on was a critical part of the assembly.
By now almost 30 days had gone by and he needed the next part. I told him not till he pays me for the disputed part.
It turned out I didn't have to worry about him any more. He got fired that afternoon. It turned out he was hiding invoices in his desk so he could make himself look good. He had almost $250,000.00 worth of invoices hidden in his desk.
If you look up "passive agressive" in the dictionary you'll probably find my social security number.
I don't do that kind of work any more. Thank God.
+ Another,............. just say it,....... IME the look on their faces always says it all.
Originally Posted by Dave K
FWIW;- my late father and I didn't get on, but that was between us, NOT outsiders.
Let me fill in some blanks
1 - We do limited work for them. It could be 1, 3 or 0 jobs a year. Not our best customer by far.
2 - Bothersome guy calls once a day for a progess report when we have a job.
3 - I didn't quote the last job, yes.....but I asked the customer a question and it was never answered.
I feel your pain brother!
We call it the pain to profit ratio. It would be nice if we all had perfect customers. If the pain isn't wortwhile, raise the price unti it is, or tell him to take you off his vendor list. I have done it, and it does wonders for your attitude, blood pressure, and your general frame of mind.