What would you do? Vendor Issue.

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by inthedark, May 11, 2005.

  1. inthedark

    inthedark Member

    Messages:
    336
    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    I sell 4'x8' mosaics of our valley. For five years I have sent them to be mounted, laminated, framed and delivered to a local blueprint shop. However, when the new mosaic came out in 2003, where I had been having them laminated front and back for warpage issues, they failed to laminate the back. After a lengthy discussion, they told me that it really wasn't necessary. AND lo and behold for a year and a half, no mosaics warped. BTW, I also dropped the price of this extra service to reflect my savings.
    The last three jobs I sent to be MLFD, warped within hours of arriving at their destinations. They were sent back laminated on the back to reflatten and re-delivered; bringing my $60 of profit down to a $10 loss, because somehow this new development was my fault?????. So I have begun telling customers that I do not offer that service anymore and I tell them why. I tell them that this blueprint shop is still one of the best in town, but that I feel it is best that I no longer be in the middle, and I give my customers names of two places to take the mosaics for mounting, one is still the same blueprint place, the other is a different blueprint place.
    WELL, I just got a call from the owner saying if I don't quit telling my customers the truth, she is going to call her lawyer and sue me. What do you think? Should I be more concerned with her business or the end happiness of my customers?
     
  2. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Easy peasy... stop telling your customers ANYTHING about them and recommend the other place only. And tell the 1st place that will be your procedure in future - clearly they do not want the business.

    Bob.
     
  3. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

    Messages:
    2,016
    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    I think that's really pathetic that she wants to sue you for telling the truth. I agree with Bob's suggestion.
     
  4. Mongo

    Mongo Member

    Messages:
    960
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You're in luck...if she told you she'd sue you if you continued, I don't think she'd win a court fight for what's already transpired. I'm with the others here: Don't ever mention the name of her shop again, in any context. Act as if she not only doesn't exist, but never did exist. If someone asks who did your old work, before the problems began, answer, "I don't remember. But I use [insert new shop name here] because they're the best."

    Now, as to whether you want to pursue her for damages for providing mosaics that warped after she assured you that they wouldn't...that's your business.
     
  5. mark

    mark Member

    Messages:
    5,267
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    I agree. Stop using her business.
     
  6. inthedark

    inthedark Member

    Messages:
    336
    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    Okay, I guess that's what I will do. My concern with saying nothing about her shop was that I fear (I have a worrisome imagination) a customer paying for all of this and then stuffing it in a closet because it warped. BUT I guess buyer be ware and all.
    Thank you for your comments, I was definitely feeling all alone and unloved. I feel better.
     
  7. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can always emphasize that there needs to be lamination on both front and back to avoid that problem. Don't mention the company by name, just say you have had many problems with compani(s) not wanting to do both sides, and later it warped. That way if the customer does arrive at that shop, they can truthfully say you did not mention them, only that in a broad sense you have had trouble with companie(s) not doing a good job when both sides have not been laminated. Which is the truth, with no mention of a specific company. I would do like others have suggested and not reccomend or mention the company that gave you trouble.
     
  8. RAP

    RAP Member

    Messages:
    476
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Why did they warp after a year and a half? Sounds like something changed to cause them to warp, the questions is what? Did the company change materials? Did they cut corners somehow for profits or maybe to offset falling business? If they are threatening lawsuit, maybe the business is failing, or they are trying to put you out of business in favor of somebody else?

    My guess is you never should have lowered your prices, but used the profits to grow your own business. Those that bought the mosiacs were happy buying at that level so why not make the exta money? That is business. There is nothing wrong with good solid profits.

    Sounds like you care about producing a quality product. Would your clients come back if you started up again? What you should have done is buy your own lamintaing equipment with the extra profits and then do your own laminating, grow and expand. Maybe you still can with a loan.

    Let the competition hang themselves.
     
  9. inthedark

    inthedark Member

    Messages:
    336
    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    Well, like it or not, I know myself. What is most likely to happen, (altho I am REALLY going to try the "don't say anything" suggested above) . . .
    I will not only tell folks to be careful about using her company, but I will also add that she is threatening me with a lawsuit for telling my customers the truth. I figure that won't go over well with my customers either. IE she actually gave me more ammo to shoot her with, even though that was not my initial intent.
    I actually called that last two customers who picked up mosaics, and they told me I wa very "correct" in my presentation to them even reminded me that I specifically said, "I'm not suggesting you don't use her, just be cautious, and I don't want to be the middle man."
    But she stupidly didn't call courteously to discuss, she called yelling and threatening. Like waving a red flag in front of a bull. :0
     
  10. earnest

    earnest Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You said:

    Maybe, but I set a profit amount and stick to it. I just don't have the money hungry attitude of many, particularly when it is something I am farming out. Doesn't make sense to me to pile profit for me on other's work.

    Huge self-sabotaging mistake. Is yours a "hobby business"? If not, you owe it to yourself and your vendors to make a profit. In order for your vendors to make a profit off your business collaborations YOU need to stay in business. You do that by making a profit.
    I'm not suggesting that you open a sweatshop in Asia. Just that you consider and take advantage of all profit centers that you might have in your business.

    Today, we can all access satellite images for free on MapQuest. So, what might we guess lies in the immediate future for a business like yours? I suggest that you make and save as much money as you can. While you can.

    r
     
  11. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

    Messages:
    4,518
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Ipswich, Mas
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You stay in business by serious evaluation of the current status of your company and a careful evaluation of the place you will occupy in the future.

    NO company ever became successful by screwing their customers, which is incidentally, JUST what this Laminator is attempting.

    I doubt that you will return to this Laminator with future business. I also doubt that you are unique ... Laminator has most probably adopted the same attitude with all of their customers. What level of intelligence does it take to figure out what will happen next? That threat of a lawsuit, to me, is a clear indication of one thing: PANIC at the exodus of Laminators' customers.

    Of course you need to make money ... over the long run, not invariably *every single time* and at at any cost of good will.

    Consider three businesses "involved" here; J&C; PhotoWareHouse and SatinSnow. What would you pay for the recommendations given them here? - And how do you think they earned those recommendations?
     
  12. david b

    david b Member

    Messages:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    None of your
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Just direct your recommendations elsewhere. Nice and simple.