View Full Version : Your Worst Customer

08-20-2007, 07:40 PM
I wanna hear some stories of your worst customer. Tell us the situation and how did you handle it? I've been lucky so far, only had one guy that acted rude. I went to his house & he seemed really nice, he was joking with me & everything. It turned out that I needed to take his pc back to my bench to fix, so we discussed what the charge would be & he seemed fine with it. A few days later I called him shortly before I came to drop off his pc to make sure he would be home & also to remind him the price that we agreed on. When I pulled into the driveway, he was just standing there in the garage, he didn't greet me or anything..just said "you know where it goes". I tried to ignore it & seem upbeat by letting him know that the fix went well..blah blah. When I got into the house he proceeds to tell me he could have gone to about 4 different places and got it fixed for half my price. My business was the only one offering free pickup & delivery, i told him. He agreed. When the pc booted up & he saw all his stuff still there, I think he was happy. He gave me a pop, then told me that if he ever does business with me again I need to "take care of him"...sure:rolleyes:

Has a customer ever not paid you for your service? Or not paid what your asking price was? How many of you make them pay prior to doing the work or do you get paid when the job is done? If anyone else has stories like these please share.

08-21-2007, 05:48 AM
I have money in hand before I will leave the PC. Also unless i know the customer well I will not take a check. I call and tell them the work is done, If i'm put off I will call again in one week, after that they have 30 days before its on ebay. This may seem harsh but it only takes one time getting ripped off.

Bryce W
08-21-2007, 09:41 AM
My worst clients can be found in this article:

As for getting paid, in that article I wrote:

One week they did a massive purchase of laptops and PDAs and it was my job to set them up with the correct settings and make sure everything was running smoothly. There was alot to do and some tasks required certain people to return our calls (with settings and such) so I was in and out all week.
At the end of the week everything was finished and running smoothly so I sent them an invoice and had myself a good weekend. I would typically send them an invoice every time I went onsite but because there was so much to do, I left it till the end of the week. This was my mistake.
This repeated for months so I sold the debt to the debt collectors which means I get 80% of what I am owed and the debt collectors keep 20% as their fee for chasing the client. I never found out why they decided not to pay me.
The lesson learned here: Invoice often, get paid as soon as possible, don’t do any more work until you are paid for previous invoices and don’t give too much slack to previously good payers because they may do a backflip on you.

08-21-2007, 11:18 AM
I haven't been burned yet. There was one incident with a bounced cheque, but it turned out to be an honest mistake, and I was reimbursed quickly with cash. I have all my customers sign an agreement before I begin work and it clearly outlines rates, warranty, legal crap, what happens if no payment is made, etc.

Only really problematic customer I've had is this older lady who's OLD machine crashed. I ended up having to bring it back to the office because it was just to painfully slow to work on. I had it written down to make sure video playback worked, as that was a big issue for her. So I had the machine in perfect condition, installed some codecs and tested some videos before returning the computer.

Day later I get a call "I can't load video from XXX.com on my computer" so being the nice guy I am I came out to take a look at it. Sure enough it wasn't playing and I had to play the driver games etc. Still didn't work and I had to leave for another appointment. I told her i would come back. She called me who knows how many times later "what time are you coming?" So when I got there I figured out what was going on (hardware compatibility setting needed to be lowered) and was on my way. I swear, I was getting random calls and emails from this lady for months (This doesn't look like it did before, my USB is not working.) I believe i even had to make another visit or for something silly. Anyways, just trying to be nice I think I finally made her happy as I haven't heard from her in a very long time.

Bryce W
08-22-2007, 04:47 AM
I have another one which really annoyed me, this one happened about 8 months ago. A client called me and said the computer wasnt booting. I told them my prices, they said fine and we arranged a time. I got there and sure enough the computer wasn't booting. It appeared to be a dying hard drive which would obviously result in a new HDD and an OS reinstall.

I told them this and how much it would cost and they said they couldn't afford it. I said fair enough and said it would be $XX for the callout fee/diagnostic time.

"WHAT?! WHY SHOULD WE PAY. YOU DIDNT FIX IT!". I know how to fix it, I can fix it but they wouldn't let me. They knew the potential cost before hand.

Apparently they had only $25 on them which isn't even an hours pay. I don't know how they intended to pay me even if I did fix it on the spot. I managed to get that $25 out of them and left.

09-05-2007, 02:23 AM
My worst customer is my neighbor next door who wants me to fix his machine for free all the time. He's 83.

bubba zen
10-01-2007, 03:58 AM
Luckily, the worst client ever was when I was still working as a tech for a mom & pop computer repair business. It was 5pm when I returned to the office and was prepared to leave for the day, but was asked to stay because we were expecting a client with hard drive problems to arrive shortly. I received the computer and proceeded to checking it out on the bench. The man explained that it was a "brand-new drive" that he recently purchased. The drive manufacturer escapes me now, but it was obvious it was pure junk. I asked him where he purchased the drive and he responded eBay and it was a terrific deal. I told him it was an old drive and it was completely written over with someone else's data. The drive wouldn't take a format and the man was in complete disbelief. I worked on that unit until 7pm until I told my boss and the client it was a lost cause and I was going home for the night. The next day, I learned the boss worked on it for another two hours and finally sent the guy home with his junk hard drive at 9pm. My boss billed him at the end of the week for only two hours. Three weeks later, we received a check back from the client for only a third of the bill. In the memo space, the client had written that by accepting this check we were accepting payment in full and in an accompanying letter he commented how he was extremely displeased with our service. The guy should be mad at the person who sold him the hard drive, but it was easier to shoot the messenger.