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Ever give out client info for reference?

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  • Ever give out client info for reference?

    Just had a nutjob call me about grooming her standard poodle (she referred to the dog's vet as its "pediatrician" and when I mentioned toy and mini poodles I got treated to a speech about how standard poodles are the most intelligent dogs on the face of the planet and her pediatrician, er vet, even told her that) ... anyway, she wanted me to give her the names of the owners of the other standard poodles I do. I gave her the name of the owner of the grooming school I attended and am still affiliated with, and its phone number, and we talked some more, but she insisted on talking with the other std owners and when I wouldn't give out their numbers she pretty much hung up on me.

    Now, honestly, I don't really need a client like that (she also only wanted to pay $XX -- what she apparently is paying the groomer she is not happy with -- and she told me I'd never be able to get the $30 to $50 more I charge.

    I'm mobile for one thing, so comparing me with a salon's price isn't appropriate. When I explained my set up and how it's a low volume, I am with the dog 100%, I don't have a bather or cage dryers, etc. She told me I should hire help so I can groom more dogs and charge less. Yes, she is telling me how I ought to run my business!

    Anyhoo .... Of the two standards I do, the one that is "only" $30 more than she is paying now is going to be 18 years old in August (yes, eighteen) and we're pretty much going for comfort during the groom and the owner just wants him clean and not in pain. I don't do clean feet on him anymore because it was causing him obvious distress to lift his rear legs even a little. The one that is $50 over what she wants to pay is a giant that the owner has me take down to a #5F all over with a low topknot ... when he isn't chewing the hair off his legs she likes them to be fuller, but lately it's just been a buzz. Tonight's caller wants something more stylish, with pom poms on his ankles and a mustache, so talking to these two wouldn't get her anywhere anyway.

    My question to you fellow groomers is: is it ever a good idea to give client names as references, even assuming I called them first to ask permission? My feeling is that no good would come of it. I'd be happy to take photos to show her and I do keep a portfolio, although no one has ever been interested in seeing it. She wanted to go see the poodles and meet the owners. The last thing I wanted to do was inflict this woman on my perfectly happy, unsuspecting clients.

    I have very little room on my schedule for new clients anyway, so I can afford to be pretty picky at the moment. I get the feeling nothing I did would make this owner happy, so "buh-bye."

    Meesh

  • #2
    I'd be afraid it was another groomer trying to pick up your clients or something weird like that. I wouldn't give out another's information. It's confidential to you and that client. Offer her a poodle club site or something. I doubt you'd want anyone that picky as a client, anyway. Every poodle person I've ever met has been a bit eccentric *cough..nutty..cough*, but USUALLY in a good way. Heck, I was this >< close to getting one myself recently. I still want one. I love them.

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    • #3
      i never give out client info to anyone. i had a client who gave up her evil lhasa and through a roundout way, it ended up 3 people out. finally some one with enormous patience and no kids got her. i knew feebee. the minute that dog was in my truck again. i called her previous owner to tell them and they wanted to get in contact with the new so they could let them know about issues she had. all contact went through me and it turned out they knew each other and were thrilled it was like pulling teeth to get info out of me.
      Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
      "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Meesh View Post

        Now, honestly, I don't really need a client like that (she also only wanted to pay $XX -- what she apparently is paying the groomer she is not happy with -- and she told me I'd never be able to get the $30 to $50 more I charge.

        I'm mobile for one thing, so comparing me with a salon's price isn't appropriate. When I explained my set up and how it's a low volume, I am with the dog 100%, I don't have a bather or cage dryers, etc. She told me I should hire help so I can groom more dogs and charge less. Yes, she is telling me how I ought to run my business!

        My question to you fellow groomers is: is it ever a good idea to give client names as references, even assuming I called them first to ask permission? My feeling is that no good would come of it. I'd be happy to take photos to show her and I do keep a portfolio, although no one has ever been interested in seeing it. She wanted to go see the poodles and meet the owners. The last thing I wanted to do was inflict this woman on my perfectly happy, unsuspecting clients.

        I have very little room on my schedule for new clients anyway, so I can afford to be pretty picky at the moment. I get the feeling nothing I did would make this owner happy, so "buh-bye."

        Meesh
        First, YES, I do think it would be great to give clients as a reference, with PERMISSION as you mentioned, but only to a client you WANT. I used about 2-3 client references, with permission, to give to my boss at my job interview. I was hired.

        Now, about this nutjob telling you how much you should charge...I would have said, "Or.....I could charge more, and groom more too. Then I'd be a lot richer than I already am. Click."

        Her logic doesn't make sense. HIRE someone (whom you'd have to pay), charge LESS, but do more work. That's a no-brainer there!

        Tammy in Utah
        Groomers Helper Affiliate

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        • #5
          No, I would deffintly not give out client info. Portfolio picture yes. That is what pictures are for. If you have those client that love you and they want to write a refence letter you can keep on file to share that is appropriate to.

          I agree you dodged a bullet with this lady.

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          • #6
            In a word, no. It's a breach of confidentiality. A client's private information is exactly that, private. You might ask them to write you a glowing testimonial to have on file, along with photos of their pet, but giving out contact info? Nope. I wouldn't even ask them if it's ok.

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            • #7
              Isn't breach of contract for doctor's offices? just wondering.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pawshpooch View Post
                Isn't breach of contract for doctor's offices? just wondering.
                Technically, it's not breach of contract. It's violation of patient/doctor confidentiality and violation of privacy.

                Doctors, attorneys, and other professionals that have access to sensitive information have an inherent duty to keep confidential information confidential. That's why you have to sign a release to have the doctor's office supply your information to your insurance company. There are also legal ramifications to disclosing confidential information in those professions. If your doctor of attorney discloses information without your permission, you can sue.

                In the case of groomers, we may or may not have a legal obligation to protect our client's private information, but IMO, we do have a moral obligation of nondisclosure. And we can certainly tell a bothersome client, or potential client, it's our policy to not disclose private information.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Helly View Post
                  In a word, no. It's a breach of confidentiality. A client's private information is exactly that, private. You might ask them to write you a glowing testimonial to have on file, along with photos of their pet, but giving out contact info? Nope. I wouldn't even ask them if it's ok.
                  I have a few hand written references on file in my portfolio. I also have pictures of all the best and wackiest cuts I've ever done. If people want to see my references I will just pull out the written ones I have on file. If that had been a clietn you had wanted........maybe get her phone number and name and pass it on to your other two Poodle clients and have them call her if they choose to. that way your not giving out any information. ??? I don't know just a suggestion. I've never ben in that situation. Most just hear I have written references or read them and all is ok.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Helly View Post
                    Technically, it's not breach of contract. It's violation of patient/doctor confidentiality and violation of privacy.

                    Doctors, attorneys, and other professionals that have access to sensitive information have an inherent duty to keep confidential information confidential. That's why you have to sign a release to have the doctor's office supply your information to your insurance company. There are also legal ramifications to disclosing confidential information in those professions. If your doctor of attorney discloses information without your permission, you can sue.

                    In the case of groomers, we may or may not have a legal obligation to protect our client's private information, but IMO, we do have a moral obligation of nondisclosure. And we can certainly tell a bothersome client, or potential client, it's our policy to not disclose private information.

                    What Helly said. But I do think that if a POTENTIAL CLIENT would like a REFERENCE, and we ask a client or two if they can be used as one, I think that is no big deal. But for just handing out phone numbers, uh, no.

                    Tammy in Utah
                    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                    • #11
                      You should have told her you were going to give out her name and number!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GriffonsMOM View Post
                        If that had been a clietn you had wanted........maybe get her phone number and name and pass it on to your other two Poodle clients and have them call her if they choose to. that way your not giving out any information. ??? I don't know just a suggestion. I've never ben in that situation. Most just hear I have written references or read them and all is ok.
                        I've had people ask me if I have any clients who has a certain breed who may be interested in using it for stud or what not. I have always taken down their phone # called my client and given them the phone # . That way if they are interested they can make the call. I don't see any harm in that.

                        I would never give out another clients phone # or address.
                        "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                        Diane

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                        • #13
                          Web page!

                          Well lady if you would get your butt down to mine we could sort out a website for you with pictures and testimonials, maybe when I see you next month, I also carry a folder with these in the truck to show my older non computer savy clients my work.

                          Personnally, even though I'm not as busy as you I would tell her your not the groomer for her, she sounds high maintanence and would never be happy with what you do.

                          See ya in a couple of weeks matey!!

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                          • #14
                            Yeah, I really ought to let you help me out with that. And yeah, I TOTALLY agree, who needs such a high-maintenence client? Can't wait to get together!!

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                            • #15
                              I feel sorry for the groomer that has to deal with that woman. Wont she be glad when that client finds another groomer.
                              Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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