TechSpot

Dealing with deadbeat customers

By virusremoval
Dec 3, 2007
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  1. I assume we have all had our fair percentage (albeit small) of insane customers.

    What I would like to know is "How do you protect yourself?"

    Situations:
    1) You took the computer home. Backed up all the data. Reinstalled the O/S and whatever software they gave you.
    You returned the next day, and now the customer will not pay you.
    You are in their house. The computer is hooked up and working fine.
    But they have found something to complain about:
    (examples: programs missing - because of no disk
    --- data missing - did not know about, thus could not back it up
    --- sound. font. email (no password). router. etc

    What do you do? Do you volunteer to wipe their computer clean?
    Reinstall all the viruses (Satisfaction or double your viruses in return?)

    2) Customer decides to bounce the cheque - the next day.

    3) Customer complains "it hasn't worked since you left here"
    - and that was 6 months ago!

    4) And my favourite "customer to be"
    They ask you questions on the street. You politely listen until they finally take a breath and say "Would you like to make an appointment?" And then....

    I welcome responses here and directly to j1076366@hotmail.com
    Permission to print my email address.
     
  2. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    1) **** em up! or **** their pc! or **** em both up!
    2) Do they have a reason for bouncing the cheque?
    3) What they been doing for 6 months then?
    4) not sure about that one....

    If your working manner and level of work is honestly good, and truly think they have no real reason to deny payment.....
    ....in future install some silent remote desktop software. If they don't pay then log into their pc and.....yep....you guessed it......**** it up!!

    Glad i could help! :D
     
  3. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    My Fav is removing a truckload of Malware, returning it, and getting the dreaded call the next day..."It's doing the same thing".

    You go back, look at the browsing history, and sure enough, they've been perving at porn, after being told that thats where it came from in the 1st place.

    "But you said you fixed it" - "Yes, and you broke it again!".

    I've had a lot of issues with this - especially where the customer has teenage boys.
     
  4. virusremoval

    virusremoval TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, great: But, how do you handle it?

    The customer is now irate and irrational (and, being an adult, he/she is acting very immature!)....

    They are now demanding their money back as if you did nothing!
    Worse. You did not "protect them" from themselves or the net or ... (insert god like feature of stupidity)

    Assuming you can not reason - what do you do?

    My invoice does state
    "Satisifaction or your viruses cheerfully refunded"
    But, do you really want to put a disk/stick back in, with them watching you corrupt their machine (not to mention that would be illegal if not just immoral)
    ?
     
  5. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    It depends on the customer - I show them the Browsing History {A lot are shocked at what the kids get up to!}, explain that it was 100% clean when dropped off {A lot comment on how much quicker it runs}, explain that their Norton or whatever is NOT bulletproof, and go from there.

    Sometimes, you just have to walk away...

    I often wonder how some people get along, you meet some absolute specimens!
     
  6. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    With hindsight, next time take a snapshot/image of the system before doing anything else. Then when they moan, explain to them the issues, but offer to put it back the way it was. I'm sure they'll soon realise how much work you've done for them.

    Motto: "Protect yourself, before you protect your customer because **** always rolls downhill!"
     
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,708   +1,887

    Houston....We Have a Problem.......

    People tend to be suspicious when they don't understand something, because they believe they will be taken advantage of. You know, the old story about the girl taking her car to the auto mechanic.

    Then too, some are creepy a** psychotic narcissists who will buy a big screen TV Saturday, to watch the Superbowl on Sunday, and then return it on Monday.

    I know this doesn't help too much, but at least you will know it's not you, it's them.
     
  8. virusremoval

    virusremoval TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Great Ideas - Excellent Support

    I've read thru a ton of messages (here and elsewhere).
    Some just say "be there, done that"
    Some give great advice
    (my fav?
    you are at a party, someone hears you do tech support,
    thinking they can pick your brain for free, you answer
    "Well, if I was a doctor, and you said you had a problem
    I'd answer "drop your pants")

    True (sickening) story.
    A lady started drinking (this is 11 am) while I was fixing her computer.
    When I showed her the screen, she tried to sit on my lap.
    When I moved away (she nearly fell on the floor), she huffed, but let me finish my work.
    When I asked to be paid, she said "Just leave" - when asked "Is there a problem?"
    she repeated her request. I then said, "Ok, but I have to finish up here"
    and proceeded to delete all of my programs (which was necessary anyway), her antivirus, and made xpantiviruspro her home page (as this was where she received the initial virus).
    Next day, I received a call stating that she did not know what happened, but now she has no anti virus, and the same virus as yestday.
    I said "Have your husband call me. I'll explain everything to him".
    Surprisingly, I did not receive a follow up call.

    Lesson: If someone is drinking - leave.
    If someone is newly married or talks badly about their spouse - leave.
    Take copies of viruses before you start deleting them. So, that you can put them back on quickly.
     
  9. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    It gets worse if you sell internationally. 25 years into the international trade game and I will only accept wire transfers from the customer's bank to my bank account if they are not based in my home country (U.S.) due to the rampant payment fraud associated with checks and credit cards. This has worked well for me.
     

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