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  • So Frustrated!

    Today I called a good client that I have had since Sept 1 2004. They were very generous and appreciated me from the beginning. The man always brushed his dog nightly. Then they had a series of terrible things happen to them and adult daughter. Sudden hearing loss in one ear.(the man) many hospital visits , stuff. So Jesse, the solid white Lhasa-poo went 7 months without much if any brushing or trims, and maybe no baths! So I stripped him as they knew it had to be. He was like that the first time I did him also. Well, this time in early Feb He was again stripped as I tried to brush ears or somplace to save and could not. She told me he had bleeding cuts all over and inside his ears and pee pee etc. Not possible, I would know! I was baffled til a friend groomer said he no doubt scratched himself and ears cuz he felt so weird. I realize a groomer can nick a dog stripping, but Wouldn't I know? She also said he shook non stop for a week and they had to take him to the vet. I said most groomers have matted dog release forms signed by owner because dogs like that create problems for the groomer. I also asked why she never called to tell me. Well. they said as (C religious faith) they did'nt want to show their anger. They just do not realize I did nothing and that to shave a matted dog that looked like he was wrapped in cotton was a risky procedure at best. Said she would pray for my business and they were sorry. Pa leeeeze! A good one bites the dust and thru NO fault of mine. Whada ya gonna do? How can they not see the dog did it to himself.? How could I traumatise him? He just felt odd and maybe his body tingled after getting that tight fur off. I wish they woud read your replys and see It wasn't my fault! They were always sooo nice until they created the problem. can't win. BTW I called every few mos and left a message saying I was praying for them. At one time no answering machine on. No matter what, why did they let him go so long? Should I write and tell them what really is the cause?

  • #2
    First of all, you need to just let this go and not be so affected by it. They may have once been good clients, but clearly they aren't any longer....so their loss isn't really that significant. In fact, the loss of any particular client should never be so significant that it gets you in such a funk. At this point continuing to contact them and attempt to explain would be useless and probably make them wonder about your sanity.

    I know you are a long term groomer. Did you not realize that shaving a pelted dog can result in itchiness? Either way, now you do know. You should make it a practice immediately to implement the matted dog release which clearly states the risks and implications of shaving a matted dog. Go over it with the client in detail and have them sign it. Even so, a client whose dog experiences these problems may never call you back even after signing one of these. Usually, however, the clients who end of having to sign one of these are not that great of clients. Even when things happen in life, usually someone can find the time to take care of the dog before it is a pelted mess.

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    • #3
      That is the risk you take with once or twice a year dogs.Get a digital camera and photograph before and after when you think there could be a chance a problem will arise later.Then you can print out the pics and send a letter to them and thier vet.If that is to no avail pray they go away.Or refuse to do the dog.Good will is grand and no good deed goes unpunished.You have to at least cover your back side and take pictures.
      The only question I have is why is that not neglect on the owners part and why do they still have a dog?

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      • #4
        just let it go.
        If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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        • #5
          These things happen, and the fact that they never called to discuss it with you proves that they had no interest in finding out. I wouldn't bring it up again. I would, however, create a shave-down form. I can email you mine, if you'd like to copy it and add to what I have? Think happy thoughts, life will get better!
          Last edited by PAWS; 05-09-07, 07:56 AM. Reason: Used a real name...ooops!

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          • #6
            That stuff happens. A release for matted dogs helps but may not be upheld in court, especially if they take their dog to a vet that "confirms" the groomer did the damage - and that happens alot.

            Going back to the grooming shop licensing issue - would the groomer get hit with a fine, or lose their license because of this and similar issues?

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            • #7
              I will take your advice....

              It is so hard for me to not explain the truth to these people. The dog was never matted until thee catastrophies happened to them. They had time and money to repair the side gate and fix up the front of their house,But not have a mobile drive up and groom their dog! I know that dogs get itchy and even put Coat Handler skin works on him and told them. I have Barkleigh release forms in the van and dumb me, didn't give them one. They always tipped 20 30 mre than I asked for. He was usually groomed every 8week and not matted. As for shaking for two weeks, he was probably Cold. It was cold here n and off then. She did say they were scabs and not major damage and doc gave him a tranquilizer. I offered to pay bill, tho not guilty. They said no. Maybe they will call when he has overgrown again. They like him very fluffy. I so want them to consider the possibility that Jesse scratched himself! I use an Ivac that really barley touchthe skin....those of you who do use Clipper Vac know what I mean. You can't cut a dog with a #10 getting under the mat. Less chance than reg clippers. I did all the precautions except for release form. NOW I WILL GET A RELEASE! don't ya just hate mats?

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              • #8
                I think that because we mobile groomers need such a small amount of regular clients in order to be fully booked, as compared to a salon or virtually any other business, we get into sometimes rather close relationships with our clients. That is why when you lose a client like this the tendency is to obsess over it when, in fact, you need to treat it as a business decision and, like the other posters advise, just let it go.

                It is hard though. I have people calling and canceling their next appointment and telling me detailed reasons why "I am getting a divorce and just can't afford it right now, ""Just got laid off ..." Me? When I needed to tighten my belt a little and cancel the cleaning service (have them back now thank goodness!) I did not confide my budget, I called, said I needed to put the service on hold for awhile but I'd give them a call when I wanted them again. Didn't explain it to the cable people either! I would never imagine telling them my financial situation, yet I get that one all the time. Are they trying to get me to lower the price for them?

                I had one client, regular for more than a year, and when I called to remind her of her next appointment, she tells me her dog was a "bleeding mess" the last time I groomed her. WTF?! She says nothing for six weeks and now tells me the dog was "bleeding mess?" How could I have missed that? Why would she not let me know sooner? It bugged me for a long time, and was awkward because I still groom her neighbor's dog, but she will not make eye contact with me when she sees me there. It's irritating but I have let it go (mostly). She never asked for money or vet compensation (which, after six weeks I would NOT be offering!).

                I had one client sell me her old car for my teenager and there was a title snafu when she gave me the wrong portion of the title, we straightened it out very fast, but then she suddenly sent me a post card canceling my grooming service. This was a two year client, no reason, no phone call -- quite frankly, her dogs were annoying and so was she, so I wasn't terribly upset, but all I could think of was the car transaction changed the nature of our business relationship.

                Anyway, I usually have a wait-list and up to a 4-6 week wait for an appointment, so they're easily replaced, but it still makes you wonder. Other than those two, the only way I lose clients is to relocation or the dog passing on.

                It happens to the best of us, protect yourself as best you can (there's a GREAT article about matted dogs in the Groomer to Groomer I got in the mail yesterday) and do just try to let this one go. Whether you can let go or not, DO NOT call them anymore.

                Meesh

                Meesh

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                • #9
                  client

                  This advice will not help you with these particular people, this time. But, I have had some good clients who have had some serious traumas occur. I will give you an example, I have a client with two young children, divorced, who owns two shitzus, she is pretty good about bringing them in, they get nothing fancy, five blades, cute faces. She was diagnosed with breast cancer this winter, recieving chemo, in and out of the hospital, elderly parents taking care of her children, ect. I sent her a card with my concern and support, and offered her family, one free groom for each dog. I know it was not a money maker, but she has been a good client for years, I wanted to do something to make her family's burden easier, and a benefit for myself is that the dogs will not be a mess then next time.

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                  • #10
                    If these owners were still very regular, then I would say something different here. But considering they are no longer regulars, it matters not that you lost them. Let them go. Let it all go.

                    I DO know that feeling of wanting them to know the truth---it's frustrating when they think it's you and you KNOW it is not. I am like you in that way but I've gotten to where I can just blow things off---especially if they're no longer really good clients. They wont hear the truth no matter how many times or ways you throw it at them. What's shameful is that you've done the dog so many times before, and suddently you're a butcher?

                    Shame on them.

                    Tammy in Utah
                    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                    • #11
                      Just Been Strong Armed For The 1st And Last Time

                      I hear your frustration. I can't believe that I was just strong armed into giving a totally unjustified refund.
                      A new client comes in raving about his friends referral. Tells me he has a golden and what he wants done when he books.
                      He comes into the shop and said the day of the appt he wants the dog shorter than when he booked. No big deal, people change their minds. So I sad "short like a crew cut". He agrees and said to trim the feathers. Done. He leaves happy and said the dog looks good.
                      Get a call from his wife. "I just got home and 3 people asked me what happened to my dog...blah blah blah....had Goldens for 7 years....blah blah blah.." I told her that I will not play "he said she said" and what her husbands instructions were. If he had a problem to put him on the phone. He said he told me to leave 1 inch on the dog. We ALL know what happened. Wife is upset husband had the dog cut too short.
                      They BOTH show up at the shop after he hands the phone back to her and she becomes rude and abrasive and I hang up on her.
                      She comes into the shop and asks for a refund. I see him hding in the truck. I walk out to the truck, he gets out and PUTS HIS HANDS ON ME! She runs out and they start yelling at me!
                      I go back into the shop, hand their check back to the woman and say "It's a sad state of affairs when I am refunding money for instructions I followed". I can't believe I did that! Live and learn.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SCISSORHANDS View Post
                        I hear your frustration. I can't believe that I was just strong armed into giving a totally unjustified refund.
                        A new client comes in raving about his friends referral. Tells me he has a golden and what he wants done when he books.
                        He comes into the shop and said the day of the appt he wants the dog shorter than when he booked. No big deal, people change their minds. So I sad "short like a crew cut". He agrees and said to trim the feathers. Done. He leaves happy and said the dog looks good.
                        Get a call from his wife. "I just got home and 3 people asked me what happened to my dog...blah blah blah....had Goldens for 7 years....blah blah blah.." I told her that I will not play "he said she said" and what her husbands instructions were. If he had a problem to put him on the phone. He said he told me to leave 1 inch on the dog. We ALL know what happened. Wife is upset husband had the dog cut too short.
                        They BOTH show up at the shop after he hands the phone back to her and she becomes rude and abrasive and I hang up on her.
                        She comes into the shop and asks for a refund. I see him hding in the truck. I walk out to the truck, he gets out and PUTS HIS HANDS ON ME! She runs out and they start yelling at me!
                        I go back into the shop, hand their check back to the woman and say "It's a sad state of affairs when I am refunding money for instructions I followed". I can't believe I did that! Live and learn.
                        OMG,almost the same darn thing manny years ago,only it was 8 poms the wife,not hubby and a stop payment on the check,complaints to all the vets,reported to BBB,and a threat to be sued for .......are ya ready for this? A loss of income for puppies not even close to being born because the dam and sier were shaved!The dogs were a mess,told her what needed to be done and if she didn't agree she could leave as I don't de-mat,she agreed and the dogs were done.The wife and hubby show up,see dogs,paid then called back yelling and cussing me out on the phone!The rest is history and the only lesson learned is don't mess w/back yard breeders w/alot of dogs!I did call all the groomers in the area and reported the incident ! I guess she has long drive now to get dogs done now!

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                        • #13
                          I had a similar situation where the dog who always got left long, had to be shaved, and the owners knew it, well when they picked up the guy was drunk and was screaming in the lobby that his dog had large scratches all down his back. Sure enough when I looked at him he did. They tried to say it was clipper burn I said no look again at the patter the red marks are, the dog is red from scratching. She can feel her skin again, and it feels good to scratch. She has not been able to feel her own skin for months so this type of reaction it typical. The wife was more understanding, but both left mad. A couple of days later she called and apologized. The groomer who did it had had a good relationship for years with this owner. People are weird sometimes. The shop even offered to have the vet look at it, well even the vet said it looked like clipper burn. But I saw the dog scratching in cage, I know that it irritated it's own skin.
                          Gold Bond Power All OAY dogs now.

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                          • #14
                            HEY SCISSORHANDS!!! WHERE YA BEEN?! GREAT TO SEE YOU BACK!!!

                            on the subject: I would never,never refund money for any reason. redo a groom, a discount? something to try and satisfy the owners, If all efforts fail, they better hit the door running cause my foot is on its way up their @#@!!! rofl

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the replies...needed to vent

                              Originally posted by hairdevil View Post
                              HEY SCISSORHANDS!!! WHERE YA BEEN?! GREAT TO SEE YOU BACK!!!

                              on the subject: I would never,never refund money for any reason. redo a groom, a discount? something to try and satisfy the owners, If all efforts fail, they better hit the door running cause my foot is on its way up their @#@!!! rofl
                              Hey Hairdevil, been putting the floor in at the shop, painting, decorating....you name it. Thank you, and it's good to see you too!
                              I normally wouldn't refund. I was totally blindsided and not expecting it. There was no reasoning with these people, no explanation would appease them or even a regroom because now I am a "amature"..so THEY say. I just wanted them away from me at that point. PLUS I have to see him everyday as he works for my landloard. Didn't want to chance retailiation. LIVE and LEARN. Thank you and to everyone who shared their bad expieriances...sometimes it just helps to know other people deal with the same ****.

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