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  1. #1

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    What would you do? Vendor Issue.

    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. #2
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    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. #3
    colrehogan's Avatar
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    I think that's really pathetic that she wants to sue you for telling the truth. I agree with Bob's suggestion.
    Diane

    Halak 41

  4. #4
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    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.
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  5. #5

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    I agree. Stop using her business.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  6. #6

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    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. #7
    Aggie's Avatar
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    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.
    Non Digital Diva

  8. #8
    RAP
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    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.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAP
    Why did they warp after a year and a half?

    [COLOR=Teal]They didn't warp after beng mounted for a year and a half, new ones after a year and a half of business w/ this company started having warp issues.[/COLOR]

    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?

    [COLOR=Teal]I agree this is why I was shocked that they chose to then charge me for what would appear to be a problem at their shop.[/COLOR]

    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.

    [COLOR=Teal]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.[/COLOR]

    Sounds like you care about producing a quality product. Would your clients come back if you started up again?

    [COLOR=Teal]I haven't lost any customers, they are thrilled that I am candid with them.[/COLOR]

    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.

    [COLOR=Teal]Not enough room and unwilling to move. Besides I'm busy 18 hours a day at work, I don't need another product when there are three or four other companies already set up and running. [/COLOR]

    Let the competition hang themselves.
    [COLOR=Teal]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[/color]

  10. #10

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    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

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