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firing a customer

ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790
Is that not the "Prostitute's Law of Diminishing Returns"?

I figure some people just like to complain about paying for anything. No doubt it often gets him discounts. Some people figure if you dont ask for a lower price, you're getting screwed.

Who knows, but as long as you got your money, I would consider it a decent experience. However, in the future I would give him a price and stick to it, whether it should be less or not. Of course that price might be a little higher than what other people might get just because you know he will give you a hard time if you go over your estimate (or under apparently).


  • Bryan_16
    Bryan_16 Member Posts: 262
    how do...

    you fire a customer without being a total arse? Did a job for a customer, quoted $300, only billed him $220. Got a letter stating that bill should have been much less. What do you do?
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,752
    letting go a customer

    There is no easy way, did he pay you the amount that you billed him. If so, and he is just complaining, flag him as a difficult customer and if he calls next time, politely bow out and say you are totally booked up. This can be used whether he paid or not, although if he was not paying amount, I would negotiate the payment amount and at that time I might suggest that next time he call another company as it seems I am not able to satisfy your needs but thanks for the patronage. :) Tim Added note, I will alway's inform the customer that our rates are fair and that what I charge is what it takes to stay in business. I also would tell them that they are welcome to call around and check competitive rates and we will be very competitively priced for our services.
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Good Read

    I have fired 2 customers since in business.

    Mike T.
  • Mad Dog!!!!!!!!
    Mad Dog!!!!!!!! Member Posts: 157
    Although I get a BIG kick out of those official looking diploma-

    like letters of expulsion as a customer that are part of some flat rate programs, I think they are a bit too much.....this coming from someone who has been in that situation many times and been hurt frustrated, furious. What I have done is this. Call or write them a quick note explaining that you don't don't just "pull" numbers out of the air or make them up as you go along...this is a business and THAT is what you need to charge in order to keep up with your overhead and taxes and that ANY legit outfit will be in the same ballpark. Then, I would give them a FULL refund. Some people who have some honor will INSIST on paying and some of them will actually become your best customers because you have shone them the light. Most will take the $$$ and run. The good part of that is now THEY are the s----heads. They never paid for your services and you NEVER have to service them again. Give anything long enough and it WILL come back to bite them. Case in point: One of these people is a woman in the Chamber of commerce. She cringes and runs the other way when I show up. It gives me special pleasure when other members rave about us and our services. The other one is also in real estate. Just about every person in her office uses us and raves about us. We had a situation a long time a go with her BEFORE she worked there. I have heard from others she would LOVE to use us now becuause she "can't find anyone thats any good." However, she and her husband are too ashamed BUT don't have the dignity or integrity to apologize and pay us what they owed us. Bottom line, Pal, what I learned is that you MUST ALWAYS QUOTE A PRICE BEFORE YOU START WORK...EVEN for regular customers and avoid these situations. These almost always occur on relatively quick service calls...1-3 hours. Some day they will REALLY need you and they won't be able to call you and then they will know they screwed up. Mad Dog
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Tim said it best

    I told a lady that is was in here best interest to have someone in her home that she trusted. " Since you've lost trust in me I suggest you find someone you feel comfortable with ".

    Thanks for coming. No lovely parting gift, Johnny show her the door !!


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  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Why not

    send the original quote (which I assumed the customer signed off on), then the bill you actually sent and ask him to choose one.

    Maybe send the $300 bill again and tell him the first bill was a mistake?

    I despise it when people were properly informed beforehand and act surprised by reality. It is almost a game and will continue until you stop playing.

    Stick to your guns.

    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Its kinda' funny...........

    .......how my pricing isn't high when their system isn't working, but becomes ridiculously so after it's fixed.



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    The Radiant Whisperer

    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • Glen
    Glen Member Posts: 855
    good topic -

    and I'm not sure what it is - but when we have given a break on a quote - I have noticed the next comment is generally this "so you were trying to overcharge me" and not as a question. That's confusing. I now find it easier just to stick to the quote and move on. I read once that if you are not getting the "too much money" complaint from about 5% of your clients - then your rates are too low. Go figure.
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
    The mistake I see

    Is this, you billed less than you quoted. You opened the door for questioning of the bill amount. If you said "not over $300" it's one thing, but I'd still make it very close to that.

    Been there, done that.
  • mikea23
    mikea23 Member Posts: 224

    If you quoted 300 the bill should be 300 how many times have you quoted 500 and it should have bin 700.

    If you get a car fixed and they say book time is 4 hours you pay for 4 hours a very good mechanic will perform the service in 2 hours an Ok one will do it in 4 hours but the fee is still the same.

  • Rich Kontny_4
    Rich Kontny_4 Member Posts: 73
    Had a customer

    Had a tavern owner who needed to make code updates in order to sell his business. I gave him a quote and he said go ahead so I started to get my tools out of the truck. On the way in he started to read me the riot act and accused me of gouging him because the city was making him do this.

    After several four letter words I turned to him and said" Sir there are over 150 plumbers in the phone book, why don't try another firm?"

    His response as I put my tools back in the truck was
    " Hey I have to have this done"

    I was not about to take his verbal abuse for any kind of $$$$$
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Smart move Rich

    Whether it's an employee or the owner in the flesh, I 4 1 will not tolerate ANY kind of verbal abuse. Even after things have cooled down for that person,.It's nothing less than a precursor to come and nothing is worth that.

    Mike T.
  • bob young
    bob young Member Posts: 2,177

    faucet washers----no gaurantee----$ 220.oo
  • Bryan_16
    Bryan_16 Member Posts: 262

    for the help. I can see that this is partly my fault. It won't happen to me with this customer again.
This discussion has been closed.