When everyone thinks they are a great customer…

You’ve heard some idiot yelling that before.  “I’m a great customer, you don’t want to lose my business!’  “I spend a lot of money here!’ or some variation along that theme that because they spend what they think is enough money that they deserve special treatment.

We have had a few customers over the years try this tactic on us.  Most often it is a small customer that gets angry when we either try and rush charge them for something they need right away and will displace jobs that were here before them, or if we tell them that we can’t physically DO what they want us to do. We once had one try that when we told them we couldn’t physically print them 10,000 simple seal envelopes by the next morning (it was already 3 PM) because we didn’t HAVE 10,000 simple seal envelopes and wouldn’t be able to get them for 2 days. You try your best but occasionally the customer’s sense of self-worth is bigger than their actual worth to you as a customer.

My newest one is a local chiropractic office.  We had been doing copies for them several times a month, no one job worth more than about $20, but doing 2 or 3 a week.  We had agreed to do a master bill at the end of the month and the bill was consistently around $200.  Not a bad amount for a little bit of work.  Then they decided they wanted to ‘negotiate’ the pricing. I politely told them to go fuck themselves as they were already getting EQP (end quantity pricing) which was better than almost all my customers already.  Then they went and complained to my boss, who always gives in on that pressure. So now they get even better pricing than our best customer, who does $50k a year in printing.

So 2 months after they get their new pricing, all of a sudden their job frequency drops to twice a month instead of twice or three times a week.  And the dollar value has dropped from about $20 each to about $5 or less. (Combination of less pieces and the lower pricing) So yesterday we get their first order of the month.  Literally it was EIGHT FUCKING SHEETS OF PAPER. So I ran them and told them they were done. They emailed back asking for me to deliver them.  Really? I am going to spend more in gas than I will make on the job. I told them no, we can’t make a delivery for $2 and they had the balls to try the same fucking arguments as before.  I have to admit I lost my cool and told them “Look. if you want to spend $200 bucks or more a month, I will deliver to you.  I am not leaving this store for a $2 job.”  He then threatened to take his business elsewhere.  It was then that I asked “You mean the $7.50 from March, the $8 from April, the $4.75 from may or the whopping $3 from June?”

He hung up on me.  Feels good to fire a customer sometimes.

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