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doctor Bob

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Hi,
Just a little anecdote.
Customer did a drawing on the back of a fag packet for an oak sideboard.
We redrew with his measurements.
All signed off and agreed, deposit paid.
Collected today.
1hr later get a call telling me it's 200mm smaller than he asked for and he thinks we made an error in the redraw, he suggests we make 2 slim tray cabinets to fit on the end, with the trays dovetailed and he will then accept the sideboard rather than rejecting it
"OK I say just give me 10mins to check a few items."
Go get the customer file, pull out fag packet drawing, we made it correct, photograph and send it to him.
Wait 10 mins and phone goes with apologies and he will accept it as is.
Keep everything chaps, it's important.
 

Rorschach

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Oh yes, had similar situations myself, as Phil says you can't beat emails. I exclusively use text based communication, when dealing with certain companies it's surprising how often they try and get you to talk to them rather than use email and it's so obvious it's because they think they can get away with something later on. When I tell them that any phone call would be recorded they are suddenly happy to use email.
 
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cammy9r

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Dealing with people is not always easy. A lot of them believe 'the customer is ALWAYS right' when in fact most of them are just confused about many things.
Glad you had the paperwork to correct them.
 

Doug71

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I had similar a while ago with some sash windows for a builder. I got a phone call saying I had made the small ones the wrong size, they should be 450mm wide not 400mm and the size was critical because the stone sills were stooled so everything had to line up. Luckily I still had the small scrap of tea stained paper he gave me with the measurements scribbled on stuck to my workshop pinboard saying 400mm. Once I showed him the scrap of paper and he realised it was his fault he no longer needed the windows remaking to the correct size but was happy to just screw a piece of 6"x1" to each side of them 😆😆😆
 

AJB Temple

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Interesting how you guys rely on client measurements for custom fit items. If I employ trades, I always want them to do their own measurements on site. Much lower risk for me.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Oh yes, had similar situations myself, as Phil says you can't beat emails. I exclusively use text based communication, when dealing with certain companies it's surprising how often they try and get you to talk to them rather than use email and it's so obvious it's because they think they can get away with something later on. When I tell them that any phone call would be recorded they are suddenly happy to use email.
I had several weeks of fruitless phone calls to an energy company, the problem being compounded by my not being able to understand half of their call handlers. I emailed, informing them that in future I would deal only by email. About three days later I had an email apologising for the clusterfuck and telling me everything had been sorted out.
 

TheTiddles

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My all time favourite was a new drawing office guy on the other side of the pond rejecting a rough draft I’d done and cited a much better example I should follow as a standard, he’d called a meeting with my manager and two other department managers to explain this to me, part way through his manager stopped him and said perhaps he should check the initials on the gold standard drawing and see if he could think of anyone who’s name they might be (they were mine). I never heard from him again, funnily enough.

Aidan
 

Doug71

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Interesting how you guys rely on client measurements for custom fit items. If I employ trades, I always want them to do their own measurements on site. Much lower risk for me.
I think in the ideal world the person who is fitting the item should take the measurements as they know how they want that item to fit. With things like windows for example some people like 10mm clearence all the way around so they just fall in while others like them a nice tight fit and don't mind a bit of trimming if necessary.

Good reminder about taking photos of things like measurements, I always forget.
 

doctor Bob

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Interesting how you guys rely on client measurements for custom fit items. If I employ trades, I always want them to do their own measurements on site. Much lower risk for me.
Freestanding item, no need to measure as the client gave us the size he wanted :ROFLMAO:
We always measure fitted stuff.
 

MusicMan

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It doesn't always help. When running a company in the USA we sold an X-ray system for about $200K to a very large computer manufacturer (not Intel). We clearly wrote the contract at their request so that they were responsible for maintenance on a unit costing about 2/3 of the whole, thereby getting a lower price. A year or so later, that unit broke down and they demanded that we come and fix it. I called the buyer and explained that our contract clearly said that they were responsible. The reply: "I don't care what the contract says, we've got more lawyers than you've got employees". Which was true. One submits to force majeure like that, and cuts one's losses, as one can easily go bust proving that one is right. So we fixed it for them.

What he had forgotten, which I had not, is that 'the customer always pays, there isn't anybody else'. As expected in due course they needed another large system and came back to us. They paid. All very civilised in the end.
 
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Andy Kev.

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MusicMan,

I've never been involved in any of the trades in this thread but I fear that I would have taken a line like, "I don't like what the contract says, we've got more lawyers than you've got employees" as being akin to a declaration of war. It is so incredibly uncouth and ungentlemanly (I'm probably being naive to think in such terms.) I think I would have looked into ways to do the repair in such a manner that the system was more or less guaranteed to break down every year thus generating a series of massive repair bills for the client.
 

Rorschach

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It doesn't always help. When running a company in the USA we sold an X-ray system for about $200K to a very large computer manufacturer (not Intel). We clearly wrote the contract at their request so that they were responsible for maintenance on a unit costing about 2/3 of the whole, thereby getting a lower price. A year or so later, that unit broke down and they demanded that we come and fix it. I called the buyer and explained that our contract clearly said that they were responsible. The reply: "I don't care what the contract says, we've got more lawyers than you've got employees". Which was true. One submits to force majeure like that, and cuts one's losses, as one can easily go bust proving that one is right. So we fixed it for them.

What he had forgotten, which I had not, is that 'the customer always pays, there isn't anybody else'. As expected in due course they needed another large system and came back to us. They paid. All very civilised in the end.
So you allowed yourself to be bullied in the hope that you might get future business? Not a good precedent to set.
 

MikeG.

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Dealing with people is not always easy. A lot of them believe 'the customer is ALWAYS right' when in fact most of them are just confused about many things........
I couldn't agree more. The easy part of being an architect is the buildings. They're dead simple. The difficult stuff is always around the people......clients, councils, and contractors.
 

Rorschach

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Dealing with people is not always easy. A lot of them believe 'the customer is ALWAYS right' when in fact most of them are just confused about many things.
Glad you had the paperwork to correct them.
If you have ever worked a fairly low grade retail job you will know that the customer is almost always wrong :LOL:
 

Blackswanwood

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So you allowed yourself to be bullied in the hope that you might get future business? Not a good precedent to set.
I agree with you in principle but the high moral ground can be a lonely and expensive place that shareholders don't enjoy. Even if you win a contractual dispute with a "lawyered up" US company you'll still be out of pocket.

Morally it's wrong ... but that's life!
 
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Rorschach

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I agree with you in principle but the high moral ground can be a lonely and expensive place that shareholders don't enjoy. Even if you win a contractual dispute with a "lawyered up" US company you'll still be out of pocket.

Morally it's wrong ... but that's life!
It wouldn't be so lonely if more people stood up for what is right and legal in this case.
 
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