Difficult and offensive customers. How to deal with them (?)

Discussion in 'Tales from the Bully Pulpit' started by Chris Cables, Aug 25, 2023.

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  1. Chris Cables

    Chris Cables MOT: Chris Cables

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    As a Member Of the Trade cable-maker it's an unfortunate by-product when difficult clients enter your realm.

    Heads-up; this is a bit of a whinge n whine. Continue at your own discretion lol.

    I had a potential client message me via one of my selling platforms recently, asking if I can help him with a 'cabling issue' he was having (hum through speakers).
    I advised him politely that I just make and supply cables conformant to what I advertise and that there would be no guarantee that supplying him a set of my cables would necessarily solve his particular issue. Some of my cables are designed and advertised as having multi-faceted EMI/RFI shielding of course, but his particular issue sounded pretty severe, maybe ground-loop or such.

    It got to the stage where I ended up asking for his number to call him to get a clearer idea of his issue and requirements as messaging back and forth takes a lot of my time and he didn't seem to know how to express a clear description.
    He explained the issue during a call and I subsequently asked him to take photos of his existing cables, cable-spec, connectors and equipment sockets. I could then go further and propose at least a matching set of cables conformant to what I already supply as standard.

    Turns out he needed a set of handed 4 pole XLR cables with power and signal capability for some obscure and obsolete Infinity amp/speaker combo with 'servo control'.

    I politely advised him that I would not be able to make him the cables as I would not be 100% confident that I could match the technical and safety requirements of such a cable. I've never heard of 4 pole XLR connectors being classified for power connections let alone signal AND power, have you? In closing I suggested he explore if there was a 3rd party manufacturer that could supply him with such cables and bid him good luck.

    At this point he became offensive and abusive, replying that my refusal and explanation were 'nonsense' and 'anyone can make such a cable'.
    Without giving a reply I decided to block his messages. I cut the cord immediately when people become arrogant or offensive. He subsequently started messaging me via another advertisement on the same platform with even more abusive and offensive language. I then reported him to the platform for intimidating/offensive behaviour.

    So, in the blink of an eye the communications turned from cordial and exploratory to outright offensiveness on his part simply because I politely refused to assist him with making a set of cables after giving him a justifiable and reasonable explanation.

    What he probably failed to realise is that if I had used incorrect specification (for voltage) cable then depending on the severity of the spec deviation would lead to at best, damage to his equipment, at worst his house going up in flames. Who do you think would be held liable? I doubt my own insurance company would look favourably on me in the instance of a claim.

    I'm all for helping clients to find solutions for their cable-requirements as it can be a really interesting and rewarding process. But I absolutely reserve the right to refuse service/supply when I consider the requirements go too far outside my own confidence and knowledge levels - especially if I think a request has the risk to become a potentially dangerous situation.

    Some people have absolutely no idea about what's technically possible and not possible, safe or unsafe sometimes, but the sheer entitlement and expectation that you're there to supply cables at their whim, without regard to technical feasibility or safety is just staggering!

    Sadly, I have experienced this here on SBAF recently too.
    A member some months ago asked if I could supply a headphone cable to his own exacting specification and I politely refused, citing that I did not have the type of cable he wanted and was not willing to go outside my regular supply chain/environment just to satisfy his demands.
    He recently started messaging me again here (to the point of badgering me constantly) and when I refused his request and subsequently decided to block him he bacame offensive by leaving a salty message on my profile page. I reported his post as offensive and blocked him, so fortunately I don't see his posts or messages anymore but other members will probably be able to see his post.
    Not wanting to defame other friendly members who have commented nicely/friendly on my profile page I will just say this particular member's name begins with T.

    What to do?
    Am I being reasonable and professional when refusing individual requests, or am I just being a cranky old fkr?
    I'd like to think I'm acting responsibly but it's a difficult balancing act sometimes.
    Most folks are nice and really happy/satisfied with the end-product usually. 500 units sold since I started operating commercially sort of verifies that. But it's the one or two individuals that come along and sour the experience sometimes.

    Well, it's Friday and beer-night starts in approximately 3 and 3 quarter hours (6pm kickoff lol).
    Time to switch off the soldering iron, rest my fingers and crack open a couple of Duvels....
    Cheers!

    Feel free to comment. Either way is fine and if the SBAF member I cited decides to chime in here please remind him I won't be able to see his messages. I don't particularly care to engage him in more pointless conversation but I can imagine he'd want to defend his position/ego. lol

    Anyway.... beer-run!

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    You have every right to refuse service
     
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  3. Tekker

    Tekker Facebook Friend

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    I’m the person that asked him to make a headphone cable. I want to make clear what was said.

    The first time was indeed a few months ago, I asked if he could make me a cable with Mogami 2893. He said he didn’t have it. I asked if he could order it, he said he couldn’t because he only works with cables he currently has.

    And that’s perfectly fine. He communicated correctly and I ordered from someone else. No problems at all.

    Recently however, I asked him if he had a Neotech UPOCC cable in 24 AWG. He said no. So after that I asked him if he had it in a different gauge.

    He just said “I can’t help you”. So instead of saying “No I don’t” or “Yes”, he said he couldn’t help me, which is not an answer to the question.

    It may have came across as “maybe I have it in a different gauge, but I don’t want to sell it to you” or he simply didn’t have it all.

    So it’s a lack of communication. If he would’ve just said “No I don’t have it in different gauge” I wouldn’t have left that message and would be perfectly fine with the way he responded.

    But if you get annoyed if a customer asks a follow up question to get a clearer answer, I don’t think you should be advertising your cables as much as you do and leaving messages on your profile saying “I accept every idea”
     
  4. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    LOLOLLOLOL. I ignore Tekker, too.
     
  5. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    “I can’t help you” is very clear. Whether or not he had that cable in another gauge is at that point irrelevant. Just find someone else who can make the cable.
     
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  6. Tekker

    Tekker Facebook Friend

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    I get why with you, since I didn’t follow up with the payment after my request. And I should have communicated with you that the need to get that cable last year was not there anymore instead of saying nothing.

    So that was my fault. I would actually have paid after the recent message this time, since I ordered and payed from another cable maker shortly after. However I understand that you wouldn’t trust that
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2023
  7. Tekker

    Tekker Facebook Friend

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    I mean yeah he wouldn’t make me one, but I just wanted to know why, because I’ve always been extremely respectful with my questions.

    He’s always very communicative and open when posting on the forum, so I thought he would be like that in private too. But apparently asking more than one question about buying cables in private is getting him annoyed already.
     
  8. Riotvan

    Riotvan Snoofer in the Woofer

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    Well Tekker, this gives more context to your comments on your profile post recently. But dude to insinuate him to be a racist over this shit?
     
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  9. Tekker

    Tekker Facebook Friend

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    I said it was a suspicion of mine only, not an insinuation, and I never said there could be anyn truth to that.

    Reason I thought that was because he’s always very communicative and open publicly, but all of a sudden the complete opposite once I started asking him through email (only difference having my real name and it ofcourse being one on one)

    And I experience prejudicive treatment almost daily in the Netherlands from a lot of Dutch people (having an Arab looking appearence), so when you couple those 2 things, it leads me to thinking that way.
     
  10. Riotvan

    Riotvan Snoofer in the Woofer

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    I get that it is tough being on the receiving end of discrimination, i have personal experience with it. But just bringing it up without having a reason other than a suspicion is fucked up and can ruin/damage someone’s reputation.
     
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  11. Tekker

    Tekker Facebook Friend

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    I definitely get that, and I should not have said why I thought he wasn’t communicative in private.

    But I was fed up that day with the continuing prejudicive treatment I got in real life, so when I experienced that lack of communication on his part, after I got clear communication from Gladiator Cables, and after you said that it was weird behavior, I let out that suspicion.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 25, 2023
  12. Tekker

    Tekker Facebook Friend

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    Also to the point of OP of me “badgering him constantly”. After I asked the second question and got no answer, I said that I would really appreciate it if he could respond + gave a “?” in the course of 3 days.

    I have screens to proof this.
     
  13. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Share them. All this he said she said shit is getting old.
     
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  14. Riotvan

    Riotvan Snoofer in the Woofer

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    Well, hope you learned something. I’m out.
     
  15. Tekker

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    It was actually 6 days after I gave the “?” response. From August 14 to Sunday August 20, and the last reply a day after that. I don’t really care to remember all that but since it was brought up by OP of me badging him constantly, these are the facts

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2023
  16. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    He doesn't have what you need, and after telling you he can't help he didn't respond as it seemed pointless as you weren't getting the point. That's my take. Not sure why this is a big deal.

    He doesn't seem rude. It's his business and he has no obligation to do anything he doesn't want to (or respond if he doesn't feel inclined).
     
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  17. Tekker

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    Yeah but that’s why I asked in further detail. He may not have had the cable in 24 AWG for example, but he may have had it in another gauge. It’s this detail that wasn’t communicated properly.

    I mean I don’t see it as a big deal, but he does since he’s the one who opened a topic about it.
     
  18. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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  19. Slade01

    Slade01 Almost "Made"

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    Even if the Vendor has a stellar reputation - they are not perfect. If you don't receive that adequate level of customer service, then you take your business elsewhere. Plain and simple.

    It's what @Merrick succinctly said - it was clear that for whatever transpired, he wasn't going to help you. Anything else beyond this was pointless. You were a customer that he was willing to lose to move on. If the vendor treats all his customers that ask too many questions that he feels are too problematic, then his choice, and I'm sure those people go elsewhere with their money.

    Go with a vendor that you can ask and they answer to 100+ questions. (And there are Vendors out there that even if they are a one man show, address every single inquiry). I know, because I've been that idiot who asked a f*** ton of questions, but have luckily dealt with very patient vendors who did answer all my questions.
     
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  20. Tekker

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    This isn’t a matter of asking 100+ questions, but literally 1 after the initial response to go into more detail, and not getting an answer.
     
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