How should I handle this disgruntled client? Please help!

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by sabrinamicro, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. sabrinamicro

    sabrinamicro
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I own a business that my husband and I soley run. We provide social media management services. Payments are due on the first of every month. I didn't receive a payment and waited about a week to contact the client. He apologized and said that he put it in the box. I waited 5 more days and still did not receive anything. He lives just a couple of towns over and I should have received something either next day or two days at the latest. He just started with our services and this is the first full payment he was supposed to make. I then decided to contact him and give him a different payment method. I had previously told him that we were going to be switching the payment collection methods in the very near future so that all of our customers could pay online via credit card or echeck.

    His email reply was very rude and he said to cancel his services at the end of the month. He then proceeded to say that it was "ridiculous" that I expected payment at the first of the month.

    None of my other clients have any issue with this at all. He also signed an agreement that clearly stated this, so I don't know how that has anything to do with the fact that his payment is late.

    My husband and I decided to suspend his account since his payment was two weeks late and his rude manner. We received payment today but the letter is dated that it didn't even send out until four days after he said it was in the box. I verified the funds, deposited it and send him an email stating that his account was reactivated. His response was "Ridiculous".

    My questions are:

    Is there anything that I did in this situation that was not done properly?

    Was it too soon to suspend his account? We just started our business a few months ago and have never had to do this before. At this point we also do all the work ourselves and don't have time to work on clients that aren't paying us.

    He clearly lied saying his payment was "in the box". Is he just a rude client or does he have any valid points?

    I have to continue working with him for the rest of the month. Any suggestions on how I should communicate with him?

    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
    #1 sabrinamicro, Jun 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  2. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Community Leader
    Community Leader

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2,496
    Likes Received:
    782
    He signed a contract saying he would pay you on the first of every month. Then, he lied to you when you contacted him. When you offered him a different payment method, he was rude and told you to cancel his services. It is unfortunate, but like clients who fire a service provider, sometimes it is necessary for the provider to "fire" the client. Rather than waiting until the end of the month, I would have cancelled his contract immediately, and returned the payment to him when it was finally received.
     
  3. BA

    BA
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Community Leader
    Community Leader

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2015
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    39
    I agree with Joseph. Don't prolong this headache. Cancel the contract. Return the payment and focus your time on the good clients you have.
     
  4. Ink Linguistics

    Ink Linguistics
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree about cutting this bad client loose.

    If you do communicate with him again though, try to learn something from it. Ask something like, "how could this situation have been avoided?" Maybe he failed to read the contract thoroughly, in which case you can better communicate due dates, or maybe paying on time just doesn't fit in with his view of the world, in which case he's a dud of a client.

    Also, automatic payment systems are a wonderful thing :)
     
  5. TechnokratsSujata

    TechnokratsSujata
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would say make your payment system automatic and online. And for this client, I agree with Joseph.
    By the way on another note, what exact services you were providing him?
     
  6. CoolHandCol

    CoolHandCol
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    5
    Cancel the contract - it really is not worth the effort working for people like this. If you continue, he will find something else to moan about. Get rid!!!
     
  7. Brooke Harper

    Brooke Harper
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    22
    I also agree with Joseph. If this client was already acting this way at the start of your business partnership, just imagine the headache this would cause you in the long run. This client signed an agreement like you said, he should honor that. You are not at fault here, you just followed what you agreed upon. Like the others, I vote for you to discontinue the agreement, he clearly already breached a part of it.
     
  8. snegyK

    snegyK
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not sure what is the size of your business, but to me it sounds a bit light to just move on. That is not to say that if this customer is taking too much of your time and not paying you should tolerate this - I just want to suggest another option. It is often the case that new business owners do not handle their relationships too easy. And some tend to bring the tension they face in their relations to others blaming them for their unsuccessful stories.
    In is a good option to have an open discussion with the person (if not in the same city Skype call may be a good option) and see what is the root of their frustration (they signed the contract - they new the service was to be paid in the start of the month). It is likely that this will lead to better communication between the two parties and the only thing you might lose if it does not succeed is 30 mins of your time.
    I have used a mediator in such conflicts, but as he is a new customer may be you just need to see if you want to work with this person in th efuture or not and not "repair" the relationship. Good luck!
     

Share This Page