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  • what would you do?

    Back in October of last a year a semi regular client wrote me a bad check. Normally I do not take checks, but she claimed to have lost her card and didn't have time to go to the bank for cash. I never had any issue with this lady, so I said ok, this time is fine. I was stupid and did not read the check until after she left. She made it out to the wrong place. I immediately called her to try to fix the mix up. no answer at home, cell, etc and left MANY messages. I realize I messed up by not checking that the check was correct in the first place, so I took it as a learning experience and figured I'd never see her again. Fast forward to today and she calls saying that she want to settle her bill and make another appointment for her two dogs. I'm conflicted. Do I allow her to pay and groom the dogs or do I politely decline her business. I want her to pay, but I do not know if it's worth it in the long run. Maybe I should tell her she has to pre pay from now on. The thing that gets me the most about it, is she's not apologizing at all and she waited FOUR months to decide to pay her bill so I can groom her matted mess and wash a very difficult bull dog that likes to pee on everything (including me)

  • #2
    I was also feeling conflicted while reading your post but then I got to the part where she didn't apologize, oh hell naw... She A. Wrote you a bad check; B. Avoided rectifying it or even acknowledging you. ; C. Basically admitted she knew she was in the wrong by starting off with wanting to settle up her previous bill. ; D. Didn't explain or apologize at all.

    NOOOPE, I'd say fire her. She's liable to take advantage of you again and cause you more stress in the future. If you do want to keep her and see that money from the previous groom you can always require her to pay in advance for grooms (including her past due). I had a client who once "forgot" her wallet and took advantage of the receptionists good faith that she would call back with the number. Nope, didn't do it. Once she had gotten away with that she started doing it more frequently, we then required her to pay upfront because of this and it did work nicely for a couple years until she started taking advantage of the new reception staff.
    She is no longer a client

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    • #3
      I would take her back only on the condition that she pays cash or card up front before services are rendered.
      It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
      Henry David Thoreau

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      • #4
        I would let her settle and then not reschedule even if I had to mislead her by being intentionally vague, not outright lying, about rescheduling her dogs. I had a former longish-time client who did similar. She completely disregarded my attempts to contact her except when I could pin her down, and then she was always going to come by "tomorrow" and square up. She only became interested in settling up when she was ready to get the dog in again. Screw that. I took the money and then told her in more professional terms to go self diddle, and I never scheduled her again. Got my money, though. I have little patience for entitled, self-absorbed wannabe hustlers and just plain would not want to have to look at her again. I have had people that had things come up that I worked with, but completely blowing me off until you're ready to get in again? Take a hike. Which I'll tell them after I have the money in my hand. "Sure, come by, pay up, and we'll look at the schedule." ".....huh, schedule says no available appointments. At all. Booked solid. Nothing at all."

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        • #5
          I'd tell her that she will need to pay pre-pay in cash when she drops off the dog. If she ignores that -- and my guess is that she will ignore it -- then I wouldn't schedule any further appointments. Some people will push this sort of thing as far as they can. It's nothing personal. It's just that type of personality.

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          • #6
            I am going against the grain, since you didnt notice the check was made out wrong.....I would schedule appts for her 2 dogs.....advise her that payment will be cash only. After she has settled LAST bill and this one for the 2 dogs, then you can decide if you want to continue to groom for her.
            I had one last week that forgot checkbook.....I wouldn't release the dog til he went back to town and brought me cash.....he also brought me a cash tip for my time waiting on him to get back (15 mins of regular business hours). I will groom the dog for him again....sometimes life happens.
            Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

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            • #7
              It's not that the check was made out wrong that does me in. I get that mistakes happen and even agree that OP should have noticed. It is the lady completely blowing off any contact attempts. I am a whole lot more willing to work with someone who at least seems interested in making it right rather than just dropping out of sight until she needs me again. Too many honest people out there for me to bother with hustlers or people who are just plain disrespectful. It may have started out as an honest mistake, and that would be ok, but it became a deliberate middle finger when she decided not to try to make it right until she needed you again. She owes you money and is basically holding it over your head to get what she wants. That's no longer an honest mistake.

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              • #8
                Don't think I would take this client back. Yes, you should've looked at the check, but SHE was the one who wrote it out wrong (probably on purpose), and then avoided dealing with you until she wanted something. GRRR. The dogs sound like PIAs too. Too many nice dogs and owners out there to mess with someone like her. Write off her check on your taxes as bad debt and move on.
                Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

                Groom on!!!

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                • #9
                  Dude, get your money if you have the chance! I don't think getting your money and ditching the client should be mutually exclusive.

                  Wherein I realize I feel pretty strongly about crooked people.

                  I have had this client, though.

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                  • #10
                    I appreciate everyone's input. I've been mulling it over in my head ALL day. I just called her and she settled the bill over the phone. I did schedule an appointment for her two weeks out. When it all came down to it, I knew I had made a mistake not looking at the check closely. It still really irks me that she waited until now, but I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles. I did tell her that from now on, she has to pay up front at drop off, and she agreed to this. I guess I will just see how it goes. At least I got the money owed and she knows my policy, so if she has a problem with that, then she can go elsewhere.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pretzel View Post
                      I appreciate everyone's input. I've been mulling it over in my head ALL day. I just called her and she settled the bill over the phone. I did schedule an appointment for her two weeks out. When it all came down to it, I knew I had made a mistake not looking at the check closely. It still really irks me that she waited until now, but I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles. I did tell her that from now on, she has to pay up front at drop off, and she agreed to this. I guess I will just see how it goes. At least I got the money owed and she knows my policy, so if she has a problem with that, then she can go elsewhere.
                      JMHO, but I feel you did the right thing.
                      Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

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