What to do? What have others done in situations like this? Do I
need to respond to the Better Business Bureau letter even though
I'm not a member? Is there any negative side to telling them what
In this situation I believe it is easy for you to understand that
when a customer is unhappy, and they seem unreasonable, when they get
frustrated because you will not do what they want you to do, they
resort to threats and use fear tactics to try to get control.
Have I been thru this? Yes.
Did I try doing everything to bend over backwards to be reasonable
with someone who would not cooperate in any way other than to demand
that I do what they wanted or they made it clear with the dreaded
threat that they would let everyone know I did them wrong. Yes. At
some point you have to tell them to go away and report you, andsue
you, and tell all their friends.
It is emotionally devastating to be threatened.
However, I find that I have to stand up for myself and not allow
another person to subject me to judgment, blame, or criticism. You
have all the records to support yourself that you completed the
custom job as communicated and agreed to by the customer. Don’t let
the customer play on your guilt.
I recently had this happen. A woman came in and put a deposit down on
a ring to be made for her mother-in-law.
This economy is hurting me, and I had to let two part time bench
jewelers go. My wife had just gotten out of intensive care for viral
meningitis after 5 days in intensive care. Somehow I got
overwhelmed??? and I did not start the job let alone finish it.
So, in comes the lady with her mother-in-law and hubby to pick up
the ring. I realize I had spaced it, and I tell her that my wife was
in the hospital and I did not get it done and I can have it for her
next week. (I had three other custom jobs for engagement and wedding
jewelry that I did not space on.) Mrs. Lady starts SCREAMING that I
had promised that it would be done before her mother-in-law had to
fly home. Tells me how incompetent I am and what a terrible business
person I am, and then the threats, in a picket, with a sign.
I apologize and tell her the best I can do is refund the money if
next week is not an option. She continues to scream and threaten
while her mother-in-law has a dream-like spacey not all there smile
on her face, like nothing is happening. She is still going on, and I
said I think she had made it very clear that I was totally
incompetent and a bad business person, and asked her if she needed
to add more to that or was she done?
Evidently Hubby is a nutless wonder who seems fine with observing
live “reality tv”, watching his wife judge, threaten, and criticize
me with a blank look on his face. I"m thinking her gets what I got
and worser! I had the credit card in my hand to do the refund, she
keeps going, and then she says "If your wife is so sick why are you
not at the hospital? (Might be that our health insurance is over
$2000 a month…)
I put the card on the counter and I said, “Now you get out of my
store and you can sue me for the deposit, get out right now.” She
says she won’t sue. I said, The only way I will do a refund is if she
leaves the store right now, out, get out, out the door now or I will
not refund the money. She leaves, I give the refund to Mr. Nutless.
I did not mention this to my wife weeks after, did not want to
stress her anymore than she was by being flattened by her illness.
She said she was glad the customer did not have my work.
At some point, you just have to forgive yourself and let it go, after
you beat yourself up sufficiently.
P.S. I had a salesgirl standing right next to me, observing this
transaction. On the job training!
Richard Hart G.G.