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  • More problems with Delivery firms!

    Posted by Phill Fenton on August 28, 2004 at 10:18 am

    Back in May/June I made some honours boards for a hospital in England. These were carefully packaged and sent by carrier to the hospital. Since then we’ve been paid in full and I had forgotten all about this job.

    On Thursday, the administrator phoned me to advise that one of the boards had been clearly damaged in transit. Marks on the outer packaging coincided with a dent in the face of the board. This had only just been discovered as the boards were not examined when delivered but had been placed in a cupboard and only opened a few days ago 🙄 (these were sent out in June)!

    They are asking that we replace the board – but – could we make it slightly different this time (smaller and with a different edge trim). They are offering to pay half the cost to do this.

    What would you do. I haven’t taken this up with the carrier yet (I’m sure they’ll tell me it’s too late as this damage should have been reported at the time) .

    Shane Drew replied 19 years, 9 months ago 10 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Ian Higgins

    Member
    August 28, 2004 at 11:24 am

    Just read your post…
    One of the major things to consider is how valuable a customer they are…I feel that it was their responsability to check the goods on arrival…
    If they did not how can you prove that they have not damaged them in the past 4 weeks.
    I would not compromise.. If they want a different sign then that must be classed as a new job.

    Don’t know how others would handle it but that is my 2 pence worth…
    Cheers
    Ian

  • Robert Lambie

    Member
    August 28, 2004 at 12:21 pm

    You’re in a similar situation as we had 6 months back phill.
    We supplied Perspex discs with print on them. 50 at a time to lots of hospitals around the UK. Good orders and good at paying.
    Each time it was a different hospital, so different gaffer to deal with.
    The last one was a bit of a nightmare. Order was about £2000 worth of discs.
    They were posted out and received. 4 weeks later, no payment. We pushed for it but didn’t want to overdo it as they are good payers and constant repeat business.
    8 weeks and we get the person that ordered them on the phone. “These disks have the wrong pantone colour for the NHS logo and we are not paying until they are sorted.” She said…
    We found this strange as we had supplied them for about 18 months all over the UK.
    After much a do.. we said fine. Send us them back and we will change the logo. (All printed in one go, so means whole thing printed, not just logo) even though we had matched this colour to what we thought perfect. This time she said “ok, when you do it can you change this line of text and the date and then we will pay!”
    We said well ok…. But at this the suspicion rose…
    A day later we spoke to someone different, the one that order was off work.
    She said “yeh, you’re going to do the changes?” we said “yes, anything to get this job paid for… so do you have the sample of the pantone NHS logo?” we asked.. She said “hmm it’s the details that were wrong, not the NHS. She wrote the wrong thing down for you, silly git!” at this we were like.. Ahhh so she made the mistake ordering and blames something like pantone to get us to carry the can?… Cut it short she made a backside of order and wanted us to carry the blame so fix it for her or your we are not getting paid!
    We fixed them all and got paid a week later.
    We sent a letter to her with our complaint and also to her bosses…
    Guess what? We don’t do those discs anymore for them.. im sure she has come up with her own series of what happened.. we lost out none the less…

    Soooo… if you see much repeat business from this. It maybe best to bite the bullet.
    If not, sod them mate. (not professional I know, but you got to draw a line.)
    The thing is.. ide say, just replace it mate, good customer relations and all that.. but, they are wanting things changed & even a different size? You got to ask why?

  • Lee Jones

    Member
    August 28, 2004 at 10:16 pm

    Clearly a case of someone cocking up, and wanting you to carry the can.

    Asking for changes and offering to pay half. Unless you really value their custom I would flatly refuse, and re-quote them for the changes they require for the new board, and at the full going rate.

    Surely, if the outer packaging was damaged at the time they received it, would that not start the alarm bells ringing, and immediately inspect the contents ?, I’m’ sure i would !

    Without going into details, this happens from time to time to us, and nine times out of ten they will cough up with the payment and re-order the correct size /colour/typeface what ever their problem was. No one likes wasting money, and if they can pass the dept to someone else, they sure will let you accept it.

    I know the customer is always right and all that Phill, but you cannot be expected to carry the costs of their mistakes, especially after all this time.

    The main thing is, you have already been paid. So do you feel generous, or want to be the next mug they have conned.

  • John Childs

    Member
    August 28, 2004 at 10:34 pm

    I have to agree.

    Unless you are really desperate for their businees Phill, I would tell them to stick it in their ear.

    I know it can be a difficult decision, but bear in mind that if they are prepared to pull this sort of stunt once then they will do it again. Especially if it works.

  • Carrie Brown

    Member
    August 28, 2004 at 10:45 pm

    If they went to a high street store and purchased something and then tried to return it over two months later as “damaged when they bought it but only just got around to checking it” they would have no chance!!

    We had a client a couple of weeks ago who received damaged goods due to the carrier, the client contacted us the same day to let us know …. we are now claiming off the carriers insurance. Its common sense to check something if it looks damaged, not be a complete muppet and just put it away??

    I think its a bit iffy especially as they want design changes aswell??? We would probably state that its company policy or something, that all damages, shortages or problems must be reported within 7days of delivery!!

    However saying all that if they are a very good client and put a lot of business your way then that might be a different thing?

    Carrie 😀

  • John Singh

    Member
    August 28, 2004 at 10:47 pm
    quote :

    I would tell them to stick it in their ear.

    Your too polite John: I say stick it up their nose (extremely painful)

    :poke:

    John

  • John Childs

    Member
    August 28, 2004 at 11:16 pm

    Thank you John.

    It’s not often I’m accused of being polite. 😳

  • Kevin.Beck

    Member
    August 29, 2004 at 6:55 am

    how was the order placed..

    if the customer comes into the shop, they have to pay 50% deposit and sign an order form for what they require.

    (an`t it amazing how many people come into your shop to order something and don`t expect to pay anything up front)

    and the rest of the payment on collection. I don`t mind if they give me cash out of their wallet/purse and when they come to collect the goods give me the full amount on a company cheque and I give them the cash back…

    or if they order over the phone, they must fax/e-mail over the order, giving the full discription of the contents.

    I too have been bitten by the ” your`ve made this wrong, and while you`re redoing it, can you just add this and alter that” client.

    If the order in in black and white and you`ve done what it said on the order form, then you are intitled to be paid.

    I find that while the customer knows what they want, they seem to have problems telling you. If in doubt fax/e-mail a proof. This has saved me on moe than one occation.

    I can`t count how many times I`ve gone out to quote on a sign and the customer actually wants an A Board…

  • Mike Fear

    Member
    August 29, 2004 at 9:13 am

    If they are a good customer, then do it – even if they are trying it on, get them to pay half the cost of the original board, and that’ll cover you and still make a ( smaller profit ) on it.

    If they’re not and you’re feeling generous, say if they return the original you will do a replacement exactly the same as the original – they’ve left it far too long to try and claim any damage on receipt ( more likely happened when someone threw it in the cupboard and piled other stuff on top 😀

    Personally I’d just tell them where to go – had they mentioned it straight away you could’ve sorted something out, but after this long tough – with most couriers you only have 14 to 30 days to claim on their insurance, so why should you lose out cos the customer cant be bothered to check things on arrival.

    I’ve had customers before who have complained about something not being what they expected, and then said can you send me a correct one and then I’ll return the faulty one ( yeah right like I wouldnt spend the next 6 months chasing them for it ), or just saying they have thrown the faulty one away ( 🙄 ) so cant return it… you can imagine the response they get.

    I do get people who order the wrong thing or give the wrong specs and come clean about it, and I nearly always redo the job for them at a big discount ( material cost plus a bit for more time, and a bit of profit etc… ) so they dont feel they are losing out too much – all customers like to feel special and that you are sorting them out a “special deal” because they are so great, so doing this is good for your company goodwill.

    IMO if customers are basically going to try and con you, then you can do without them – let some other sucker who is desperate for the money or hassle supply them !

  • Phill Fenton

    Member
    August 29, 2004 at 10:48 am

    Thanks for the replies.

    This is the only job we have done for this customer – I think they came to us after searching on the internet for a supplier of Honours Boards.

    They were sent a number of proofs before settling on the final layouts – these were revised a number of times so I am quite amazed that they now want a different size altogether.

    Payment was received after the goods were supplied.

    I think I’ll just re-quote this as a new job but make it clear I am offering a restricted (discounted) price for the replacement board. I don’t believe I should bear responsibilty for the damage which should have been reported at the time.

  • Shane Drew

    Member
    August 29, 2004 at 11:29 am

    Phil, I get this same problem from time to time.

    As far as the courier goes, ask your client did they ign the delivery docket. A signature on the docket is proof of delivery AND that it was received in good order.

    I tell my clients that if they signed the docket, my hands are tied as I have no recourse with the carrier, It is then back in their court.

    As far as the artwork goes, I only proceed with a job once the clients sign and return, either by fax or mail, the artwork proof.

    I can then tell my client that I produced the approved artwork, so I have to view it as another job.

    Finally, you do have to decide if you want to keep the client. Like you, I’d offer to do the job again at a reduced price. I usually offer it to the client at my ‘contract’ rate.

    They sound like they have made an error to me, and are trying to get a new one at a 50% discount. I would be offering 25% max.

    Be interested to know what happens

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