Bad Client


From original questioner:

About a year ago, I ran into a problem with a client. They refused to sign a final punch list and kept adding "deficiencies". I finally had to take them to court. They agreed to a final list which we have addressed. Now they say they aren't satisfied with one or two very small items and are again stating that I scratched cabinets while working in the house. This is all bull)&$&! I would rather not go back to court again, but the guy is really just trying to make it difficult at this point. Why he would want us back time and time again is beyond me. What do you think?

From contributor Ro

Explain that you carried him longer than his mother did and its time for him to put his big boy pants on. ;-)

From contributor ca

Sometimes these problems are really just about validation.

I can remember a project that need some improvement by the painter. They came back and did a little but she insisted they come back a third time. By now the painters are treating her like she is a whacko and she's more concerned about being considered a whacko than she is about the paint.

I get dragged in because I recommended the painter.

What the painters should have done was agree that the work could use improvement and on the third trip produce the antique boars hair brush that their father's grandfather used to paint the Czar's family quarters.

All the lady needed was some validation. She needed someone to tell her that her complaints were legitimate and that even though the paint job wasn't perfect it was as good as it was ever going to get.

It could be that the two of you are aiming at different targets. The symptom and the cause of the problem no longer have a common denominator.

From contributor St

The most important thing to remember about this business is that its a business.

Get your contract in order. Make them sign everything. You define what you consider a defect is just like all the door suppliers.

"Hell is other people"

From contributor Jo

Right now I have no bad clients. It is so wonderful I just can't believe it. I hope it lasts. I try to screen them out , but that doesn't seem to work. Life is too short to deal with these people.

From contributor Ad

They are only 10 years away from having a genetic test for pain in the ass customers. The comfort that you won't be confronted with those questions that are so stupid that you don't know what to say, is well worth the minimal upfront cost of the test.

From contributor ja

I only did this once and many of you may Judge me for it (well twice actually) once guy would not pay Months on end, finally got him on the phone ans then he tells me I got scratches in the door,, we go over take the doors that he thinks are scratched and a couple of others we think are scratched. (None were) we get back to the shop wrap them in foam and wait, six weeks later he calls in a panic, house is sold please finish my doors "When can I get them back" ??? I tell him when I get paid,, He was in my office with CASH 15 minutes after the Bank opened.

had a punch list queen "Pre-maddona" 12 trips one tile to wipe spilled milk off her doors. finally had enough about the scratches so we went and got the doors. took them to the shop could not find anything on them worth a refinish but we reshot them any way,, set them on the cure shelf and waited .... He calls at one week, I tell him waiting on "Perfect color tone to set in" he calls three weeks later " got them done gonna let them cure to a perfect finish. two more weeks and I tell him I am going on vacation and will get to him when I get back.. 9 weeks after we retrieved those doors we return snap them on and leave with out saying Goodbye... Never heard from Him Again.

Quit residential Cabinets in 2008 and other than the Occasional set of Grandparents, Family or Donation. we are Retired from the Drama Queens !!

From contributor Ch

Pre-madonna was Cher and Cher alike.

Post-madonna everyone goes Lady Gaga.

In opera, it is Prima Donna - the number one woman.

Customers - who needs 'em?

From contributor D

Mike , has it been longer than a year ?

Your state laws may say after 12 months they are on their own .
Also if a client breaks the contract or agreement by not paying on time or ? it may make your contract null and void in which case they also may be on their own.

good luck

From contributor Do

A little off thread here but...
I bet if felt good to say "uh, we don't do that anymore!!" We have a thriving commercial business but my dad refuses to give up the residential. He does not know how to tell anyone no! 15% of revenue =80% of aggravation. What happened to your revenue when you took that monkey off of your back? If feel as if it would be like cutting away the anchor rope for us.

From contributor ja

Lets just say that not only is the monkey off my back "He ain't screaming in my ear anymore either" !!

From contributor ca

It's not the client, it's the system.

If you are set up to sell lemonade you can do real well with lemons.

From contributor ja

I love my State, I spent years living all over the world but When the time came I came home. it is what it is. fortunately travel exposed me to others and how they live. one thing I learned is the US and the world is a big place and there are no common standards..

that said, attempting to be a HIGH quality Cabinetmaker in the middle of South Carolina is like trying to sell lemons from California that cost 2.00 a piece when your competition is selling (lets just say) South of the border lemons for .25 cents a piece.. But hey they are all Yellow right !!

Kitchens for the most part are an after thought here, quality is only in the face value of resale and the bank note for most of our buyers, Oh Yea every once in a while we would get a Yankee to move here who knew the difference in cabinetry and stick frame but not many. fer sure not enough to go around. on the other hand commercial has a better grade of architects especially if you can get a few university facility departments and commercial real estate company's to like you....

far better job pickens.