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A Sign That You’re Better Off Without Her Business

, , , , , | Right | October 3, 2022

I work as a graphic designer in a sign shop in a rather busy city. Each one of our locations is individually owned and operated, which is something we have to tell clients frequently. We don’t share our clientele with other stores and vice versa.

Besides designing all of the signs that come through this shop, I am also in charge of taking phone calls, setting up orders, etc. All orders, regardless of size, have to have a signed estimate sent back to us before we can send them a payment link. This is to ensure that we have something on our end to prove they agree to our terms and conditions, which are listed on the estimate.

One day, a woman calls in for some real estate signage. She gives us the details of her sign, the quantity, and all the other information we need. I set up her order and send it over, along with her proof. She approves the proof via the portal and then emails me about payment.

I reply to her email:

My Email: “Hello. Thank you for your proof approval. We also need a signed estimate sent back to us before we can send you a link for payment or take payment over the phone. I can resend the PDF if you didn’t receive it. Let me know!”

Client’s Email: “I did receive it, but I’m not going to print it out and sign it and send it back. That’s too much work. Why can’t you just take payment?”

I’m in the middle of replying when she calls our shop.

Me: “[Sign Shop]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Client: “Hi. I wanted to call in and make the payment for my real estate signs.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but without a signed estimate, we cannot take payment yet.”

Client: *A bit more frustrated* “Why is that? Why do I need to take the time to send you a signed document when I can just pay right now?!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but we do need a signature. That estimate lists out our terms and—”

Client: *Interrupting* “Okay, but why do I have to sign it? Why can’t I just give you my card right now? I’m ready to pay so you can make them!”

Me: “I understand but, per our policy—

Client: *Interrupting again* “And what is your policy?”

I try to explain the policy again, but she keeps interrupting me as I try, ranting about how she can’t fathom that and going on for what seems like forever. At one point, she even says something about, “You can buy so many things online and you don’t have to sign anything for them,” and that just makes me internally groan. I want to say, “Well, we aren’t an online store, and we have our policy,” in a snarky tone, but I bite my tongue.

The client is finally done ranting but is still snarky.

Client: “Well, fine. Let’s see if I can figure out how to send this to you.” *Hangs up*

My boss has overheard this.

Boss: “What was that all about?”

Me: “That real estate lady doesn’t want to sign a paper.”

My boss also sees the emails.

Boss: “You’d think with her being a realtor, she’d understand the concept of signing a document.”

Me: “No kidding.”

Not even five minutes later, the lady emails us back.

Client’s Email: “Cancel my order. I’m going to [Sister Store] to get my signs. Remove me from your system.”

That store is further away than ours, but I guess she wants to make it seem like she has won.

My Email: “We have canceled your order. We apologize and we hope you have a good day.”

Client’s Email: “You shouldn’t say, ‘We apologize.’ You should say, ‘We understand your frustration.’”

I guess we dodged a huge bullet. I hope that our sister store fared better with her.

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