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That’s For Standing Up For Yourself!

, , , , , , , | Legal | March 7, 2023

I work for a home installation company. Like a lot of businesses, we belong to the Better Business Bureau, and we have an A+!

We have a couple who wants a bay window and some new siding. Great! That is just what we do, and we do it well. The job is slated to take two weeks. During installation, the customer calls and wants to have us look at their patio door; we do that, too!

Well, the boss arrives at the appointed time to discuss the new door, only to find that the customer is drunk at 3:00 pm and raring to fight with anyone.

My boss is not to be messed with. He will be professional and courteous, but the minute someone gets abusive, he will shut it down hard. So, drunk hubby starts by putting down the boss, stating we’re overcharging them, telling us that he could have done the job by himself, etc. My boss tries to reason with the customer’s wife while she is trying to get her husband to shut up but to no avail.

Finally, the boss tells the man to sober the h*** up and excuses himself, stating that he can come back at a better time.

The next day is when the bay window is set for installation. The bay window comes with an unfinished (not stained or painted) seat; the entire area of the seat is maybe three square feet.

The customer instantly pitches a major fit when they see it. We hear everything in the book: we promised we would do it, we never mentioned it, we offered to have the factory do it, etc.

None of this is true; in fact, on the customer’s contract, directly above where they sign, it states that we do not do any staining or painting. On this particular contract, the salesman even starred it when they were signing.

This is our inter-office signal that they did in fact review the paint/stain clause with the customer. This type of situation is exactly why we started doing this, and it has saved our butts before.

The customer will not be mollified! We must stain it and stain it now or she is not paying!

Again, the boss really hates to be pushed and he counters with, “If you don’t pay, we’ll exercise our lien rights.” We simply file a single piece of paper with the courthouse and then the lien is on file. Then, both sides have thirty days to come to an agreement.

Well, the customer stains the seat, and the installer collects the balance when he is done. The project is complete, and the customer never has to deal with the boss again. Or so I think.

Then, we receive the Better Business Bureau complaint this morning. No dispute on the price, no dispute on the product, no real dispute at all. The wife is just unhappy with the boss and wants an apology.

IT’S BEEN THREE MONTHS since the incident! Three months and they are still stewing? I treated them extremely well, and the installer treated them above and beyond, as well. But because my boss stood up for himself and told your husband to knock it off, we owe you an apology?

My answer to the BBB is to give them the entire scenario. I state that this job has been complete for three whole months now, and there is no dispute over the product. The account has been paid, and I also attach the original contract with the customer’s signature next to the starred No-Stain clause. I detail the abuse, and the boss’s response, backed by me and a fellow installer as witnesses.

Now, this lady claims she is going to go all over the Internet to tarnish our name. So now we’re building a case of libel against them. All this over a boss refusing to take abuse.

Question of the Week

What is the most stupid reason a customer has asked to see your manager?

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