Trying To Posit How Deposits Work

, , , , , , | Right | October 18, 2017

(A customer calls to accept her quote, and pay the scheduling deposit.)

Customer: “Okay, so, I am going to pay $300 deposit today, and pay the rest when the guys get here. I need you here September 8.” *in three days*

Me: “I’m sorry, that won’t work. We are currently booking the end of October, and we require a 50% non-refundable deposit, up to $2,500, now, in order to hold your place in the schedule. Your entire job will cost about $14,000, so that means we need the $2,500 now.”

Customer: “I don’t want to pay that much now, and I can’t wait until the end of October. I will pay $500 now, so you can hold my spot, and I’ll let you come September 15. Then I will call around and see if I can get someone out here sooner than that; if I can, I’ll get the money refunded back to pay them instead of you.”

Me: “Well, you are welcome to call around if you like, but I will need the $2,500 now if you would like your spot at the end of October held, and as it says in your contract, that amount is non-refundable.”

Customer: “Well, that policy is illegal. You can’t keep my deposit if I can find someone else to do it first! You probably lose a lot of money that way!”

Me: “We do lose some jobs because people need us to come sooner than we are able; that is why all deposits are non-refundable. If we lose another job because the end of October is booked with your job, and then you cancel, we can use your deposit to make payroll, keep our employees so we are able to do the rest of the jobs we have scheduled, and cover overhead even though we have nothing booked and have lost other potential jobs for it. We usually book out two to eight weeks in advance, at all times of the year, so I don’t think we are losing a lot of custom over this. It’s also not illegal, and clearly laid out in your contract.”

Customer: “Fine, I will just pay on credit card today; at least that way I can cancel the charge if I find someone else who can do it sooner.”

Me: “And you’ve just said the magic words! Now we require payment by certified cheque or bank draft for the whole amount before we will put you in the schedule. Whenever you drop that off at the office, I can book you in at that time. For every day you wait, our lead time gets two to three days longer until after Christmas, when our lead times start to drop. I will send you an email confirming the new terms of your contract.”

Customer: “You can’t do that; it’s illegal to charge for goods before the customer gets them. You can’t do this. Deposits are always refundable; it’s the law! You aren’t allowed to do this!”

Me: “You should go explain those laws to [Coffee Shop] and to every hotel, ever, ma’am. You have a nice day now.”

Interrupted Development

, , , , , | Right | October 12, 2017

(I’m a developer at a tech startup. I’m working on some analytics for the Business Development team. The CEO and one of the BD managers are in the office with me. The BD team asks the CEO a question about the analytics I’m building. The CEO stops what he’s doing, turns to me, and repeats the question.)

Me: “Yes, I can do that.”

(I go back to work. A few minutes pass.)

Business Dev Team: “Hey, [CEO], can the report give a breakdown by region?”

(Again, the CEO stops what he’s doing, turns to me, and repeats the question.)

Me: “No problem; give me a couple minutes and I’ll have it ready for you.”

(I go back to work. A few minutes pass.)

Business Dev Team: “Hey, [CEO], can we add—”

CEO: “Why do you keep asking me? [My Name] is sitting right there!”

Business Dev Team: “Yeah, but he’s working. I don’t want to keep interrupting him.”

A Case Of Elitism

, , , | Right | October 6, 2017

Customer: “Do you have iPhone cases?”

Me: “Yep, they’re right over here.”

Customer: “Do you have an iPhone?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Do you have a phone?”

Me: “Yep. So, what kind of case were you looking for?”

Customer: “You don’t have an iPhone?”

Me: “No, I have a Nexus…”

Customer: “Well, I want a case that’s going to really protect my iPhone if I drop it. Like, something that will make sure it doesn’t break at all.”

Me: “Okay, well, I would suggest a [Phone Protector].”

(I pick one up to show him.)

Customer: “But you don’t have an iPhone.”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Is there anyone here who does?”

Me: “Um, probably. But I don’t need to have an iPhone to know what kind of case you should get.”

Customer: “I just want to talk to someone who has an iPhone.”

(He then turns around and finds my coworker.)

Customer: “Excuse me; do you have an iPhone?”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Customer: “What kind of case should I get?”

A Howling Tornado Of Complaint

, , , , , | Right | October 3, 2017

(Our town has an earthquake and a tornado in the same day. The earthquake is very small, but the tornado does a lot of damage to certain areas of the town, and also wipes the power out for a day and a half. Naturally, we close the store when this happens, and reopen once the power is restored.)

Customer: “I was supposed to have my computer back yesterday, but I came in to get it and you guys were closed! I want a refund!”

Tech: “We were closed because there was a tornado and there was no power.”

Customer: “I don’t care why my computer wasn’t fixed on time! I want it done now!”

Tech: “Since we were closed, because of the tornado and all, we couldn’t repair any of the computers that were booked in. We just reopened this afternoon, so I’m starting to work on them all now.”

Customer: “Well, when will it be ready?!”

Tech: “Probably tomorrow.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! It was supposed to be ready yesterday, and now it’s not going to be ready until tomorrow?!”

Tech: “Yes. Because there was a tornado.”

Got Your Subspace Frequencies Crossed

, , , , , | Right | September 30, 2017

(I am at my first job. I answer the phone, and this conversation occurs.)

Me: “Hello! This is—”

Customer: “Is this is the Enterprise?”

(I freeze, confused, thinking that that he means the Starship Enterprise, like in “Star Trek.”)

Me: “No?”

Customer: “Okay, thanks.”

(I turned around to face my coworkers, absolute bafflement on my face. When they stopped laughing at my expression, my coworkers explained that there was a car dealership named Enterprise in the phone book, close to our job. That made much more sense than what I thought.)

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