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Worst. Customer. Evar!

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Worst. Customer. Evar!

Old 12-22-20, 11:41 AM
  #76  
Elbeinlaw
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"we need to make sure ..."

To the OP: It's clear to me, too, that this customer was a twit. But to be honest, your approach would have raised huge red flags for me as a customer. I'll show you why. This is what you said happened:
"You sold me this thing. Give me a new one"
Our reply? " We will, but we need to make sure of a few things so this won't happen again." So we asked the same questions again.
And Again.
And again.
And again.
This "We will, but ..." Why would you do this? If you are going to do the refund or return anyway, why lose a customer over some sort of information-gathering question?

I'm not criticizing your question. It's certainly a good question for a retail outfit. But if a customer doesn't want to respond, then the choice is going to be to wring an answer out of a customer who doesn't want to give one--pissing off the customer--or losing the customer. Why why why?

What I'd suggest is that if you are going to give the refund/exchange anyway, go ahead and ask. If they don't or can't or won't respond, then give it up. Save the customer.

I'm not talking about the cases other people have mentioned about trying to return something not purchased there, or the people who are clearly scamming. But in the specific situation that the OP mentioned, it sounds to me like you got into what I (as a trial lawyer) call trial lawyer mode, which is somewhat similar to raging bulls. I understand it, believe me. But it's not a good marketing strategy.

I'll add one more thing. One group of clients I represent is used car dealers. My most intelligent dealer told me that when a customer brings a car back and demands their money back, in most cases they ask why, but they don't argue. The reason, he explained, was that they want the customer to keep coming back, car after car. And the experience of the used car dealers is that no matter why the customer brings the car back and demands their money back, that customer will be back to buy another car. Just offered for perspective!
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Old 12-22-20, 01:20 PM
  #77  
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Many years ago, I was in Guatemala, deep into the Peten not far from Tikal. Those days were a bit wild down there, with revolutionaries in the bush, the army stopping you at night for ID checks, reprisals by who knows, mostly heard about through rumour...
In a teeny village (2 or three houses, in the forest), having supper at a small cantina, I overheard 3 young North American tourists arguing loudly with their server, "No, we won't pay for the beers; we didn't know they were so expensive". The server had been joined by a couple of serious looking guys. I speak Spanish decently, so could follow the conversation as it got even more heated.
I closed up my book to go, glanced up for the first time and one of the tough guys made a discreet but emphatic sign to me to leave. I didn't need to be told twice.
There was only one place to stay there; some hammocks outside under mosquito netting. I didn't see those tourists anywhere that morning and I was gone with the one and only bus before breakfast. I am sure that those guys apologized and bought a couple of beers for the servers and his friends. Laughs and back slaps all around. At least I hope that's what happened. I still can't help thinking about it now and again.
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Old 12-22-20, 01:47 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
This "We will, but ..." Why would you do this? If you are going to do the refund or return anyway, why lose a customer over some sort of information-gathering question?
If you can't understand the context behind the answer, I feel for those that you represent.

He was attempting to provide effective service. The customer should have had the proper part the first time around. Rather than waste more money and time on a second attempt of the same non-solution, he was attempting to ensure that they were on the right track.
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Old 12-22-20, 03:07 PM
  #79  
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We re-spoked a wheel for a guy last week. It was an OEM wheel, it had been breaking spokes for a while so we thought we would re-lace to the same rim/hub with new spokes & nipples. A very experienced mechanic did the work, it came out great. Guy picks the bike up, and all is good. He comes back Sunday afternoon w/ a broken rear derailleur. He starts off with the always popular 'You guys rebuilt my wheel and now this happened'...very accusatory. Great way to start off the process. I put the bike in my stand and take a look. I call the guy I work next to over (same age...old, and we've both been in the business forever) and we start looking around. We explain that us re-lacing the wheel w/ the existing hub/cassette would not have necessitated any adjustments at all. We would have confirmed they were correct, but there would have been no need to change anything. Customer is not listening to this and keeps saying it's our fault because we worked on it. It's a Trek Remedy, 1X with a chain guide. The chain guide is messed up, and then I find the lower shock mount is broken. The rear end of the bike is all over the place. I point this out...customer says 'But I was just riding uphill...'. I say 'Nothing is broken...til it is'. In the end everything was fine, but that guy started off badly and wasn't going to listen to anything we had to say. Some people just don't get it.
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Old 12-22-20, 03:26 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by MikeTé View Post
Many years ago, I was in Guatemala, deep into the Peten not far from Tikal. Those days were a bit wild down there, with revolutionaries in the bush, the army stopping you at night for ID checks, reprisals by who knows, mostly heard about through rumour...
In a teeny village (2 or three houses, in the forest), having supper at a small cantina, I overheard 3 young North American tourists arguing loudly with their server, "No, we won't pay for the beers; we didn't know they were so expensive". The server had been joined by a couple of serious looking guys. I speak Spanish decently, so could follow the conversation as it got even more heated.
I closed up my book to go, glanced up for the first time and one of the tough guys made a discreet but emphatic sign to me to leave. I didn't need to be told twice.
There was only one place to stay there; some hammocks outside under mosquito netting. I didn't see those tourists anywhere that morning and I was gone with the one and only bus before breakfast. I am sure that those guys apologized and bought a couple of beers for the servers and his friends. Laughs and back slaps all around. At least I hope that's what happened. I still can't help thinking about it now and again.
https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-b...-travel-scams/

I had a similar experience in Istanbul, I was walking around Ayasofya at night when a stranger asked me to take his picture with his cell phone, i took the pic and we started talking. He said he was a business traveler from Dubai and was heading to the airport the next day, he showed me a room key to a local hotel and said he was on his way to a bar the hotel recommended, and since i was travelling alone asked if I wanted to grab a beer. He was really chatty, talked to me about his wife and kid back in Dubai, even showed me pics on his phone. Well his bar around the corner was actually across town at Taksim sq, we took a cab there (which I was hesitant at first, but I weigh a good hundred lbs more than him, so I figure if things get dicey I could fight my way out of the cab). We ended up going to this underground club (mistake, always have a clear escape route) there wasn’t many people down there, but there were lots of girls, except they weren’t Turkish but eastern European (red flag) we drank some beers, the girls came over and started chit chatting, he proceeded to order drinks for everyone (red flag). At this point I’m very suspicious, so I start watching the bartender, and witness him pour water into the girl’s glasses, at that point I was positive this was a con and demanded the bill, that’s when the trouble started. Immediately the girls leave, and this giant Turkish guy with one eyebrow comes out and gives me the bill, it came to something ridiculous like 2 grands. I refuse to pay, and call them con artists, and demand they call the police. At this point they start pushing me and demanding I pay, I refuse, they try to make me use my credit cards. I eventually gave them all the Turkish money I had on my person, about $70 worth ( I hid my U.S. dollars from sight) and insisted that I wasn’t going to give them anymore money and said that if they were going to steal from me, they would have to take it from me, they cut their losses, pushed me around a little bit more and let me go, I ran out of there and kept running until I felt safe.

https://www.travelchannel.com/intere...-to-avoid-them


Scam 6: "Let’s Get a Drink." A friendly English-speaking man strikes up a conversation and eventually asks if you want to get a beer at a great local place he knows. Sure, you say, excited to hang out like a local. You both hop into a taxi and soon you’re at a place with lots of “character.” Perhaps an attractive member of the opposite sex sits down next to you and begins to drink as well. After a few it’s time to go and you’re presented with an exorbitant bill. You protest, but a huge man appears and in no uncertain terms tells you to pay the bill.

It's like mugging you...but with more steps.
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Old 12-22-20, 03:46 PM
  #81  
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Perfect representation of the go sales scam.

1. Come up with a scenario where things go smoothly if they benefit you.

2. If the person starts to catch on that this isn't benefitting themselves insult degrade and belittle them:

Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you can't understand the context behind the answer, I feel for those that you represent. He was attempting to provide effective service.
3. Repeat the cover story and demand that they acquiesce to your cover story, threatening to make them feel bad if they continue to notice what you're doing.

Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
The customer should have had the proper part the first time around. Rather than waste more money and time on a second attempt of the same non-solution, he was attempting to ensure that they were on the right track.
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Old 12-22-20, 04:02 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Perfect representation of the go sales scam.

1. Come up with a scenario where things go smoothly if they benefit you.

2. If the person starts to catch on that this isn't benefitting themselves insult degrade and belittle them:



3. Repeat the cover story and demand that they acquiesce to your cover story, threatening to make them feel bad if they continue to notice what you're doing.
This is some delusional stuff. Kudos.
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Old 12-22-20, 04:36 PM
  #83  
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From 2007-2010 I was a consultant working at a huge new development site where there were multiple buildings being constructed with about a dozen different general contractors (GC) who each managed a dozen or more subcontractors (SC). I was consulting on one portion of each building so I got to work with all the GCs. Most of the GCs were good-to-great to work with; reasonable, respectful, mostly honest. Except one.
This guy wasn't that old, but he was older than me by about 20 years and had the old-school construction worker attitude of scream and yell and swear until you get what you want. He loved to intimidate and bully his SCs and it showed. Generally my consulting interactions with him were fine if not gruff but about halfway through his building there was a problem. The SC he'd hired to this specific work messed up and so I told him on site while I was there what the problem was (explained it and showed him photos), and how to fix the problem. I watched him start to get upset as the realization of what I was telling him sunk in and that both his schedule and profit for this work were going to be impacted. He started by giving me excuses and then quickly followed by questioning my knowledge and abilities. But no screaming or swearing yet.
When I got back to my office that afternoon I followed up with a written report of what I observed on site, and what next steps should be, and sent it to the project team for this building that included the property Owner, Architect, SC, etc. This was about the 10th report I'd done for this project and is standard process.
Two days later when I arrive back on site (scheduled in advance so all the GCs knew I'd be there) this guy meets me at my vehicle and is screaming a blue streak at me before I can even undo my seatbelt and get out. Between the swearing and name calling all I remember him saying was he was mad I'd documented the problem in my report to everyone and he wasn't going to fix it. At that point all I said was "Fine, but I'm not going to stand here and let you treat me this way. Give me a call or email when you've calmed down and want to proceed." before getting back in my vehicle and driving to the next building to continue on.
A week later I get a call from the municipal building inspector (who's responsible for the whole development) about one of the other projects, and during our conversation I mentioned what happened at the problem site. What I didn't know was that this inspector was so risk adverse, he went to the GC at the problem site THAT AFTERNOON to pull the building permit and shut down the GCs site until the problem gets resolved.
THE NEXT DAY the GC calls me all apologetic and would I please come back to his site to discuss the repair and I'm sorry I lost my temper blah blah blah. Sure, I'll be there tomorrow.
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Old 12-22-20, 04:42 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
This is some delusional stuff. Kudos.
It's funny how the malevolent narcissism is so predictable. Obviously bike parts and nuclear reactors aren't the same level of severity but HBO made a miniseries on this called Chernobyl:

"They're delusional, take them to the infirmary" -> every time something real is noticed that the crazy boss that leads to a nuclear meltdown doesn't like.
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Old 12-22-20, 05:05 PM
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WhyFi--

Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you can't understand the context behind the answer, I feel for those that you represent.

He was attempting to provide effective service. The customer should have had the proper part the first time around. Rather than waste more money and time on a second attempt of the same non-solution, he was attempting to ensure that they were on the right track.
Dude, I don't know what you do for a living, but in my line of work, reading before responding is important.

I understood exactly what he was trying to do, which is why I said I agreed with him part way. The customer was clearly difficult, if not scamming him. But if he's going to do a return or refund anyway, then to keep going back to insist that the customer jump through hoops--that appears from the consumers' standpoint to be obstructive behavior, and guarantees that he's going to lose a customer. Maybe the customer is a jerk and the OP is going to be glad to get rid of him. But a guy like this customer who's an aXXhole is going to trash that business to all of his friends and relatives. The multiplier of lost goodwill should be a big concern.

What I understand, and what people who are in my line of work understand, is that you can always stand on your rights. I'm a trial lawyer, and for years and years I helped my clients fight the righteous fights that they wanted to fight. But eventually I learned that they were right, and we would win … we were missing the point that the business of business is business. Especially repeat business. So you can stand up for your rights with a customer, but that's about as effective as a cyclist refusing to move aside for a truck that's in the bike lane. Or I should say, "It has the same effect:" you will be right to insist on the right of way, and still get smushed. My clients--since you brought them up--are glad for my counsel on how not to fight winning a battle while losing sight of the ultimate goal.
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Old 12-22-20, 05:14 PM
  #86  
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Scams

Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-b...-travel-scams/

I had a similar experience in Istanbul, I was walking around Ayasofya at night when a stranger asked me to take his picture with his cell phone, i took the pic and we started talking. He said he was a business traveler from Dubai and was heading to the airport the next day, he showed me a room key to a local hotel and said he was on his way to a bar the hotel recommended, and since i was travelling alone asked if I wanted to grab a beer. He was really chatty, talked to me about his wife and kid back in Dubai, even showed me pics on his phone. Well his bar around the corner was actually across town at Taksim sq, we took a cab there (which I was hesitant at first, but I weigh a good hundred lbs more than him, so I figure if things get dicey I could fight my way out of the cab). We ended up going to this underground club (mistake, always have a clear escape route) there wasn’t many people down there, but there were lots of girls, except they weren’t Turkish but eastern European (red flag) we drank some beers, the girls came over and started chit chatting, he proceeded to order drinks for everyone (red flag). At this point I’m very suspicious, so I start watching the bartender, and witness him pour water into the girl’s glasses, at that point I was positive this was a con and demanded the bill, that’s when the trouble started. Immediately the girls leave, and this giant Turkish guy with one eyebrow comes out and gives me the bill, it came to something ridiculous like 2 grands. I refuse to pay, and call them con artists, and demand they call the police. At this point they start pushing me and demanding I pay, I refuse, they try to make me use my credit cards. I eventually gave them all the Turkish money I had on my person, about $70 worth ( I hid my U.S. dollars from sight) and insisted that I wasn’t going to give them anymore money and said that if they were going to steal from me, they would have to take it from me, they cut their losses, pushed me around a little bit more and let me go, I ran out of there and kept running until I felt safe.

https://www.travelchannel.com/intere...-to-avoid-them


Scam 6: "Let’s Get a Drink." A friendly English-speaking man strikes up a conversation and eventually asks if you want to get a beer at a great local place he knows. Sure, you say, excited to hang out like a local. You both hop into a taxi and soon you’re at a place with lots of “character.” Perhaps an attractive member of the opposite sex sits down next to you and begins to drink as well. After a few it’s time to go and you’re presented with an exorbitant bill. You protest, but a huge man appears and in no uncertain terms tells you to pay the bill.

It's like mugging you...but with more steps.
Paul: Excellent blow by blow description of a fraud. I'm glad you got out of it with only the loss of a few bucks.

I was a fraud prosecutor for a lot of years. What's startling to me is that there are only a certain number of patterns for fraud--the variations are largely window-dressing--but despite that, for dozens or hundreds or thousands of years people keep getting taken in by the same handful of scams. And the other thing that's amazing: when people who weren't the victims hear about what happened to the victim, they immediately blame the victim for being stupid. The thing is, the people who run the scam are brilliant about unfolding the scam in such a way that the victim is manipulated into a place they don't want to be. Or that they wouldn't want to be if they thought about it. It's like a magic show: you only know what you should have been looking for once you know what the end of the trick/illusion is. By then it's too late.

That's why my advice to anyone who's confronted with something unexpected is: wait. Take your time. Don't be rushed. Don't let yourself be pushed. Look behind you and to the side (physically and intellectually) : there's always some kind of "shiny thing," and if you look away from it, a lot of times you see the scam coming.
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Old 12-22-20, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
Dude, I don't know what you do for a living, but in my line of work, reading before responding is important.
I believe it, but you fell down on this one, because you wouldn't be saying this -

Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
But if he's going to do a return or refund anyway,
...because what's actually happening is this -

Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
So we started the process of determining the cause and getting the right replacement part to them.
They weren't asking for a refund or a return - they were asking for an identical part to be sent out, and it sure looks as if Bob was happy to do that, as long as it would actually provide a solution to the problem.
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Old 12-22-20, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Being that you followed up by doing the exact things I just mentioned:
1. Attack the person (because they bad idiot)
2. Redirect into a meltdown about how (they didn't do it right)
3. Ask time consuming or difficult questions to try to fatigue the other person until they give up.

I'd say my observation wasn't just an observation but was right on. The "sales person tries to trick you then gets increasingly aggressive and upset when you realize the trick" thing is cliche.

If I bought a part and it didn't work and I want to return it (via policy) I'm not obligated to sit through your various tactics to try to make the situation time wasting and uncomfortable in the hopes I'll give up on the return.
This is deranged. And you keep on digging.

Why would he relate the story that you think he did? Makes no sense.

Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
It's funny how the malevolent narcissism is so predictable. Obviously bike parts and nuclear reactors aren't the same level of severity but HBO made a miniseries on this called Chernobyl:
???
​​​​​​​

Last edited by njkayaker; 12-22-20 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 12-22-20, 05:32 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
Paul: Excellent blow by blow description of a fraud. I'm glad you got out of it with only the loss of a few bucks.
???

Not his story. It's a copy of stuff from somebody's website.
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Old 12-22-20, 06:03 PM
  #90  
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Some people like "the customer is always right" way of doing business. Sometimes that works for some types of businesses but not always. Sometimes you need to weed out the bad ones, the ones that just cost you time and money. Some people are just out to get whatever they can out of you and you might be better off not having them as a customer.

In the car repair business there is a lot of opportunity for fraud, by and against customers, and against the factory when warranty work is involved. I've seen plenty of customers get screwed by mechanics but that's not what this thread is about.
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Old 12-22-20, 06:32 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Some people figure out the "lemon law" and abuse it. I worked on a guy's truck for an intermittent problem. He claimed we couldn't fix it and got a buy-back. I saw him later with his new truck and I had to ask about the other truck and why he didn't bring it back. He said I did fix it but he decided he wanted an extended cab instead of the regular cab he had bought, so he complained to G.M. and they bought it back so he got the one he wanted without losing any money.

A 19 year old guy gets his mother to buy him a zo6 Corvette. With special wheels and extras it's $105,000 out the door, She pays cash. Kid brings it in almost every day with some stupid complaint, usually saying it's not fast enough. Eventually he has someone put an aftermarket program in, a clear warranty violation, and now it's fast enough. He beats on it for a few months and gets tired of it. He drains the transmission, we think, and ruins it, hoping for a buy back. We fix the transmission, so he blows up the engine and gets his buy back. With lawyer fees he gets a check, made out to him, for $125,000.
As a young associate, I represented a number of car manufacturers, including GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, and Nissan on lemon law claims, and I totally get your point. On the bright side, I did find that many people who over reached and abused the system paid for it. I won a number of cases where the customer had a legitimate complaint, but over reached, and refused reasonable settlement offers in search of a windfall.

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Old 12-22-20, 06:43 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-b...-travel-scams/

I had a similar experience in Istanbul.....
When I was in the Navy in the 80's, we went on a det to Marmaris, Turkey, a small town in the southwest corner, and a ferry ride away from the Greek Island of Rhodes. Anyway, having spent some time in Crete, and Greek mainland, the Turks were always suspicious of the US Military members. There was this Turkish General who was the liaison between us and Turkey for this detachment, but I am positive, he was skimming and using the 55 of us as his personal piggy bank and every time we took the "approved transportation bus", we had to hand over 5 Turkish Lira as we stepped foot on the bus. We were in town one night, one of the locals asked us how we liked Turkey and knowing that the Turks did not like us dealing with the Greeks, I answered in a very easy going manner, "it was nice", then he said and I will remember this like it was yesterday, "it's not Midnight Express, not like Midnight Express, tell your friends to come, we very friendly". I laughed my ass off and said if I make it out of here unscathed, you have a deal. The only real downside of our visit was the very spooky and scheming General making himself a wealthier off fellow NATO members.

When ever we were someplace, I always made sure to do my best to keep myself from ending up a permanent member of that nation, dead or alive. I think the place I was never at ease, was Chile when it was still under Pinochet, that was some scary times down there.
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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.




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Old 12-22-20, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
But if he's going to do a return or refund anyway,
Why would Bob need to do a refund or return if the customer is indeed trying to install the correct part on a counterfeit hub?
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Old 12-22-20, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
As a young associate, I represented a number of car manufacturers, including GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, and Nissan on lemon law claims, and I totally get your point. On the bright side, I did find that many people who over reached and abused the system paid for it. I won a number of cases where the customer had a legitimate complaint, but over reached, and refused reasonable settlement offers in search of a windfall.

Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.
I'm all for lemon laws as a means of protecting customers against, well, lemons. But I hate when people figure out how to beat the system and get new cars every few years by sabotaging their car. GM had rarely resisted buy backs because they felt it was worth it to save a lifetime customer, plus, it was cheaper to buy the car back, fix it, if there was actually anything wrong with it, and then auction it off instead of going to court.
Actually, of all the buy backs I was ever asked to check it was very rare that there was anything wrong with the car. We did have one bought back because the thermometer on the outside rearview mirror was different than the one on the inside display by 2 degrees. (Both were showing outside temp).

At some point they realized people were abusing the law and they decided to fight some of the obvious ones. Reps from the company came out and had meetings with us and explained what they expected from us.

Another strange thing was some customers deserved a buy back but didn't want one.
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Old 12-22-20, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
???

Not his story. It's a copy of stuff from somebody's website.
In his line of work, reading before responding is important.

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Old 12-22-20, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
To the OP: It's clear to me, too, that this customer was a twit. But to be honest, your approach would have raised huge red flags for me as a customer. I'll show you why. This is what you said happened:
"You sold me this thing. Give me a new one"
Our reply? " We will, but we need to make sure of a few things so this won't happen again." So we asked the same questions again.
And Again.
And again.
And again.
This "We will, but ..." Why would you do this? If you are going to do the refund or return anyway, why lose a customer over some sort of information-gathering question?

I'm not criticizing your question. It's certainly a good question for a retail outfit. But if a customer doesn't want to respond, then the choice is going to be to wring an answer out of a customer who doesn't want to give one--pissing off the customer--or losing the customer. Why why why?
A few things:
1. We already said we were going to replace the failed part. This was never in question.
2. These questions are invaluable. It is our way of monitoring the performance of the products we sell IN THE REAL WORLD. If we start to see recurring problems then we can address them much sooner and with precise information.

Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
What I'd suggest is that if you are going to give the refund/exchange anyway, go ahead and ask. If they don't or can't or won't respond, then give it up. Save the customer.
This customer was never going to be saved. From the very first contact, they were demeaning and accusatory. They had already made up their mind.

Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
I'm not talking about the cases other people have mentioned about trying to return something not purchased there, or the people who are clearly scamming. But in the specific situation that the OP mentioned, it sounds to me like you got into what I (as a trial lawyer) call trial lawyer mode, which is somewhat similar to raging bulls. I understand it, believe me. But it's not a good marketing strategy.
Our normal process for questionable warranties is that we replace the part but ask the customer to cover shipping. This is enough to dissuade most scammers. If it is a clear warranty, we cover everything and ship DHL EXPRESS.

Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
I'll add one more thing. One group of clients I represent is used car dealers. My most intelligent dealer told me that when a customer brings a car back and demands their money back, in most cases they ask why, but they don't argue. The reason, he explained, was that they want the customer to keep coming back, car after car. And the experience of the used car dealers is that no matter why the customer brings the car back and demands their money back, that customer will be back to buy another car. Just offered for perspective!
This wasn't a refund issue. It was a warranty claim and they wanted a replacement part. Our concern was that there was some other issue and the part was going to fail, again.

How would that be helpful?
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Old 12-22-20, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
I understood exactly what he was trying to do, which is why I said I agreed with him part way. The customer was clearly difficult, if not scamming him. But if he's going to do a return or refund anyway, then to keep going back to insist that the customer jump through hoops--that appears from the consumers' standpoint to be obstructive behavior, and guarantees that he's going to lose a customer. Maybe the customer is a jerk and the OP is going to be glad to get rid of him. But a guy like this customer who's an aXXhole is going to trash that business to all of his friends and relatives. The multiplier of lost goodwill should be a big concern.
We are well aware of the multiplier. It factors into most claims. However, if you want to understand our thought process, it goes like this:
Scenario A
1. Customer buys a wheel somewhere. They use it for an unknown period of time and it fails. They go online and buy, what they believe to be, the correct replacement part.
2. They install this replacement part and it fails after one or two rides, in exactly the same way. SO...
3. They make a warranty claim, get a part, install it, and it fails AGAIN.
4. So now they trash us and the brand and they still don't have a useable product.

How does that help ANYONE?

Scenario B
1. Customer buys a wheel somewhere. They use it for an unknown period of time and it fails. They go online and buy, what they believe to be, the correct replacement part.
2. They install this replacement part and it fails after one or two rides in exactly the same way.
3. They make a warranty claim. We ask them some basic questions that anyone, who is working on a wheel, should be able to answer. If not, we have prepared material to help make our questions clearer.
4. We diagnose the CAUSE of the failure.
5. We send the correct warranty part and include any installation tips that may apply.
6. ​​​​The customer installs the parts and goes for a ride.

In terms of 'saving' a customer or just helping one, which scenario seems most prudent?
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Old 12-23-20, 08:08 AM
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This was my point exactly!

Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
wouldn't ring me up until Ron got off the phone and came over to give it his blessing. I have no idea what her concern was because the items weren't miss-marked; they were full retail. I found it so annoying I just left without buying anything.
The point I was trying to make in my much-maligned post was that there's the BUSINESS OWNER'S PERSPECTIVE and the CONSUMER'S PERSPECTIVE. Neither is right, though the zeitgeist the last several years is to pin "right" on one side and "wrong" on the other. The business owner almost always has a reason for their procedures. But the customer doesn't know those reasons and doesn't care. All the consumers sees is that the business is providing good service or not. It's true that in these days of no-customer-service, a consumer will more quickly jump to the conclusion that even a reasonable question is going to be an excuse not to provide relief. But anyway, if the perception (note that I do not say reality) is that the business owner is putting stumbling blocks in the way, the consumer will walk away. Particularly on small cost, orderable-on-line goods.

That doesn't mean that anyone should take any *****. Or that it's OK to dish it out.
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Old 12-23-20, 08:28 AM
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I do want to understand, Bob!

[QUOTE=Bob Dopolina;21844764]Bob: Thanks for spelling all that out. It's quite interesting and illuminating to see the thought process behind a business policy set out in this detail. I'll send you a PM later on today when I can get some of the work off my desk, but since I have been misunderstood publicly, I want to make one last attempt to be clear.

I am not questioning your actions. You're the business owner and get to make decisions without being second guessed ... and you were there, I wasn't. I was not being critical of your process. I think your questions to this customer were completely reasonable. I was not questioning the efficacy of the process, either. You're right, one is efficient, the other not. Nor was I disagreeing with you about this customer being unreasonable: from your recounting of the interaction, he was a jerk.

I was only saying this, though I didn't say it well: Whatever you do has, on the one side, your very rational reason, which you understand intimately. But it has, on the other side, not only the customer's intention (to screw you, to work out their anger over some other part of their life on the only handy target, to get on with their life, etc.) but also the customer's reading of that intention behind what you're doing. So if your very reasonable policy causes the customer to reach the conclusion that it's a sham to prevent the customer from getting relief, you're going to turn that customer off. I'm a compliance lawyer, and I can tell you that in almost every case of a consumer complaint to my clients, it starts with the customer inferring this intention. Even if your intention is completely honorable and understandable.

That's the key: What does your policy look like to the customer? There are actually lots of FTC cases on very detailed return policies: in some circumstances these can be unfair or deceptive. I'm not saying yours is either unfair or deceptive,* but the point is that there's a spectrum between "no questions asked return" and "fill this in, in triplicate, and provide every piece of initial packaging and your original credit card receipt." The repeated questions that you recounted--to me*--after the first or second repetition started to look like they were in the "provide every piece" territory.

I'm only saying one thing here: it pays to consider a slightly--only slightly--different approach.

And with that, I'm going to bow out of this discussion.
----------------
*I am required to say that I am not giving legal advice.
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Old 12-23-20, 08:39 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
...but since I have been misunderstood publicly...
I think that it's less that you've been misunderstood publicly and more that you've publicly misunderstood. *shrug*
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