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  1. #1
    Senior Tech 250+ Posts
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    Firing a customer

    Hopefully this will be an entertaining thread. Just list why you had to fire the customer.

    In my 33 years I've only seen 2 customers fired. One I don't remember why and the second was a contract account that was parts and labor only. They provided their own toner.

    Around Fall, 1995 they bought the cheapest non-oem they could find and non-oem was really bad back then. The machine ran really poorly, I was there 2xmonth just to clean out excess toner. Drums were getting 1/4 life, same with virtually everything else in it. We begged them to use oem toner, no go. Finally the boss said we will not replace parts prior to life expectancies. If the customer wanted a part replaced prior, they would pay a pro-rated price of the part. The customer hired an attorney who insisted if we suspect the toner, we prove it. We offered to sell them toner at our cost as a compromise. Declined, non oem was cheaper yet. Still the lawyer said we need to better maintain the machine as per contract. We finally cancelled the contract and refunded the original contract amount after all the parts, etc for the first year. Find another service vendor, not us. That was not good enough. Finally management went out with a check to buy the machine back and cut ties totally. Management picked up the machine that very day a little over a year after customer had purchased it. The final straw was that our company heard from their lawyer 1 more time. The customer wanted more $$$ being we removed the copier, not allowing them time to find a replacement vendor, so they lost business because of it and for the legal fees they occurred.

    After that a memo came out that absolutely no one have any contact with the company, they got put on a bad debt list, so no sales person could sell to them in future. Another memo came out to service dept that use of non-oem in any machine is to be reported to mgmt immediately, etc, etc. That was probably our last customer to use non-oem toner. It was written into all following contracts that its use will void service contract. We don't care who you buy it from, but needs to be oem.

    Don't know how much that machine ended up costing my employer, but the real winners were the lawyers.
    I've proved mathematics wrong. 1 + 1 doesn't always equal 2.........


    Especially when it comes to sex

  2. #2
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    Firing a customer

    copiertec's Avatar
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    Re: Firing a customer

    There were a few in the past. 1) A Doctor's office back around '95, they would make the techs wait in the waiting room until the doctor was free with patients, then he would time the techs and it never failed his wife would call the office and complain about the cost of parts and labor, I think then the service call was around $50.00 plus parts...techs dreaded service calls to that doctor. One time the wife called up and said that the technician delivered them empty toners, they were all used and she insisted we delivered them like that. I think our company stopped doing business with them from that point on, they were uber cheap and super dishonest. 2) We had a tech drop a toner hopper on white carpet one time, the company offered to clean the carpet by a professional cleaning company, they received a certified attorneys letter a few days later. The client wanted the entire carpet replaced and the room painted, I think our company only compensated the ex client for the carpet or settled for partial payment.
    Our company will do parts and labor service contracts, however it clearly states that the customer will use only OEM toner in the machine and any use of non genuine toners will void the service contract and it's highlighted in red with signature required just to avoid any confusion.

  3. #3
    Senior Tech 250+ Posts mloudy's Avatar
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    Re: Firing a customer

    Every once in a while a company calls at the fringes of our territory with an older Sharp and I agree to service their equipment. Some are fine but more complain about every call. I have come to figure out that companies that call out of the blue wanting us to service their Sharps have likely been fired by another dealer. They end up being slow payers, non-payers and/or constant complainers. It is common that they are also demanding and rude. I think it is their way of doing business.

    They demand to talk to the manager, uh you got him. Then they ask for the owner, uh you got him. That totally ticks them off. I have ended up firing three of them. All three cursed at me on the phone. I told them I would not allow them to speak to me that way and they all became even more aggressive. I refunded all their money and told them we were done. On the flip side none of the customers we have sold equipment to in my 36 years have ever spoken to me that way. We are rural and when we get a call from a larger city I can just about predict the attitude. Most of the time it is spot on, condescending and rude.

    On a side note we have fired other dealers who we agreed to do service for. I don't chase money so when we have to call more than once about overdue invoices I tell them find someone else to service their equipment.

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