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  • FIRST POST
    • OneTrader
    • By OneTrader 1st Oct 17, 5:44 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 2Thanks
    OneTrader
    Small business - customer complaint
    • #1
    • 1st Oct 17, 5:44 PM
    Small business - customer complaint 1st Oct 17 at 5:44 PM
    Hi, first post but Iím a regular lurker.

    I own my own business making and repairing textiles, furnishings.

    Customer came for a repair in July, following some emails, they seemed very paranoid, asking lots of questions about quality of products, experience. The questions were not a problem, more a little unusual.
    Repair was undertaken and paid for and collected.
    Next day customer emailed to say something wasnít as she requested, we exchanged mail and it came to light that item repair WAS correct it was more she was having user issues.
    All went quiet, no apology from customer for moaning incorrectly and accusing me of shoddy work. All my work has 3 months warranty incase of faulty parts.
    2 months and 3 weeks into warranty the customer emails to moan about something different, I agree to look at it, they drop it off and I redo a small part of work, more as a goodwill than anything.
    Customer very rude to me and stroppy, very uncalled for, I remain polite.
    Customer emails next day and moans again about a supposed different issue and demands full refund of amount paid in July.

    Iím starting to think customers slightly obsessed or has other issues, item was fine each time it left me and fine on return for repair.
    By pandering to her requests to ďfixĒ I seem to have opened a can of worms.
    Sheís now stating she wants full refund due to lack of confidence, or she will take it to dispute resolution services and beyond.

    The amount paid was £90, materials were half of that and labour rest.

    What do I do? Stand firm? Let her proceed with dispute resolution?
    Refund her as customer always right? And itís not a huge amount to pay for some peace?

    I have offered to look at it again but sheís using the lack of confidence card, Iím not convinced thereís anything wrong as I only had it last week! Unless itís been deliberately damaged.

    Help!!!!
Page 1
    • bris
    • By bris 1st Oct 17, 6:35 PM
    • 7,089 Posts
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    bris
    • #2
    • 1st Oct 17, 6:35 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Oct 17, 6:35 PM
    Tell her no, case closed. Put the ball back in her court.


    Dispute resolution to who exactly? The only body you have to answer too is the courts, it wont get that far so just ignore her.
    • OneTrader
    • By OneTrader 1st Oct 17, 6:44 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    OneTrader
    • #3
    • 1st Oct 17, 6:44 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Oct 17, 6:44 PM
    This was the email content:

    “As you have stated above, you are not prepared to offer me a refund, which I am entitled to according to the Consumer Rights Act 2015. I see no alternative but to ask you if you have an official complaints procedure which you can share with me?

    Also, are you part of or willing to use an alternative dispute resolution service?

    You have 7 days to respond to my two questions, if I have not had a response from you in this time I will be back in touch with an official communication in writing.”


    I don’t believe she is entitled to a refund and I am still offering to look at the item at this stage. Is she really entitled to a refund nearly 3 months after the original job after accepting it and inspecting it at the time and it supposedly developing faults nearly 3 months later, convieniently as my personal warranty is due to end?
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 1st Oct 17, 6:47 PM
    • 9,416 Posts
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    Pennywise
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 17, 6:47 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 17, 6:47 PM
    Yes, you have been pandering to her I'm afraid. Give an inch and they take a mile. Time to put a stop to it and tell her straight that you've done what she paid for, that repair was fine, and the other issues are separate and nothing to do with what she paid for.
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 2nd Oct 17, 10:50 AM
    • 5,753 Posts
    • 28,195 Thanks
    bugslet
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:50 AM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 10:50 AM
    This was the email content:

    ďAs you have stated above, you are not prepared to offer me a refund, which I am entitled to according to the Consumer Rights Act 2015. I see no alternative but to ask you if you have an official complaints procedure which you can share with me?

    Also, are you part of or willing to use an alternative dispute resolution service?

    You have 7 days to respond to my two questions, if I have not had a response from you in this time I will be back in touch with an official communication in writing.Ē


    I donít believe she is entitled to a refund and I am still offering to look at the item at this stage. Is she really entitled to a refund nearly 3 months after the original job after accepting it and inspecting it at the time and it supposedly developing faults nearly 3 months later, convieniently as my personal warranty is due to end?
    Originally posted by OneTrader
    Really I'd be telling her to crack on. If it goes anywhere, which it may well not, then point out that you did things on the grounds of goodwill not because your work was at fault.

    Just don't stand for any waffle from her and in the future if you get the feeling that someone is a PITA, don't go near them with a barge pole. I say that as a fellow business owner.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 2nd Oct 17, 11:09 AM
    • 9,416 Posts
    • 17,125 Thanks
    Pennywise
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:09 AM
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:09 AM
    in the future if you get the feeling that someone is a PITA, don't go near them with a barge pole.
    Originally posted by bugslet
    This is one of the most valuable things to learn in business. PITA clients simply aren't worth having, regardless of how much they spend nor how desperate you are for customers. They suck your time, enthusiasm and motivation, all of which are far too valuable to waste on a PITA.

    I will never meet a client until I've had a fairly lengthy phone conversation or email exchange to find out exactly what they want, their motivations, etc. Probably half the people who contact me get "filtered out" for one of many possible reasons, before I waste too much time on meeting them, preparing quotes, etc. Yes, I fully accept that I'll have missed some golden clients but that's a risk I'm happy to take if it means I avoid the time wasters, PITAs, etc.
    • bris
    • By bris 2nd Oct 17, 1:40 PM
    • 7,089 Posts
    • 6,105 Thanks
    bris
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:40 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:40 PM
    She does have consumer rights yes. In the first 6 months any faults are deemed to have been present at the time of manufacture, or in your case the service must be of satisfactory quality, unless you can prove otherwise.


    Warranties mean nothing (as far as consumer rights are concerned) and are over and above a customers statutory rights, which is what she is trying to claim on.


    If you are 100% certain she is complaining about nothing then you have nothing to worry about. If the faults however are to do with the work you did then it's not for us to say whether she has a case or not. only you can see if she if has a point and then for the courts to enforce that.


    She can't make you do anything at this stage and you don't need to enter any kind of dispute resolution service. Hold your position and the chances of it going any further are in your favour but you can never tell what's in a stubborn persons mind.
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 2nd Oct 17, 3:38 PM
    • 13,084 Posts
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    paddyrg
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 3:38 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 3:38 PM
    You've nothing to lose really by letting this go to court, if she bothers. In the event that through some perverse twist the court says you owe a full refund (which is very, very unlikely from the sound of things) and have to pay small claims court costs, it's not a lot of money
    • firefox1956
    • By firefox1956 2nd Oct 17, 4:37 PM
    • 1,382 Posts
    • 791 Thanks
    firefox1956
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 4:37 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 4:37 PM
    I would now ignore her completely.
    If you respond further in any way you are just digging yourself into a deeper hole.
    I spent some 32 years in retailing & these sort of people come along once in a while.
    Upsetting for you as you have done your best to address her complaints.
    Again ignore completely...............
    HTH ( makes you feel a little better )
    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 24th Oct 17, 11:11 PM
    • 2,130 Posts
    • 1,323 Thanks
    baldelectrician
    I have been in business for 14 years now and come across 1-2 a year of these type.
    I have got better at dealing with this and a long lead time puts them off (I am usually booked up 3-4 weeks in advance).


    My advice - trust your instinct.


    You have provided a repair for an existing product- this means that any defect she finds will be in a product over 6 months old, the EU rules apply on new products.


    I would politely email her telling her you do not belong to a body that has a dispute resolution process and you consider the matter closed.
    Inform her that you will not respond to any communication on this matter but will respond to a court summons.


    Worst case scenario if she takes you to court and you lose it will cost you < £250 including her fees etc- and if you pay within 30 days of losing at court it wont appear on your credit file at all.


    I also have call recording for this stuff


    I had a client's wife email to say I overcharged and she 'would take it further'
    I emailed her a copy of the call recording where I had clearly explained all my costs to her husband over the phone and had actually charged slightly less per item than I had quoted.


    Job done.
    baldly going on...
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