O.T. Firing a Client... (long post warning)

bellbrass

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The customer IS always right...within reason. Her behavior is not within reason.

However...I really feel for those of us who are in customer service, because anyone can go on social media and exaggerate (or outright lie) about perceived mistreatment or unfair policies. I see it all the time. We live in a time when we can be held hostage by internet bullies. I think your letter was professional and well-worded, and that will take care of the issue. Your existing clientele will have your back.
 

drawtheline55

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I think what you wrote is fine and to the point.
One of my customers was in charge of hiring at a large firm, engineering I think.
He said "when it comes to talent or the ability to get along...I hire the abilty to get along every time."
 

Dumpy

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The customer IS always right...within reason. Her behavior is not within reason.

However...I really feel for those of us who are in customer service, because anyone can go on social media and exaggerate (or outright lie) about perceived mistreatment or unfair policies. I see it all the time. We live in a time when we can be held hostage by internet bullies. I think your letter was professional and well-worded, and that will take care of the issue. Your existing clientele will have your back.
Thankfully, I am not on social media, so I neither have control or concern with what she could say; after all- I can’t be tagged!
 

Dumpy

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In my business I get to use this approach now and again. :)
I used to; the problem is that many of my peers that I felt that way about have retired or moved from the area. So I can say that there is nobody that I dislike that much currently!
 

pwc1141

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I have long subscribed to the view that "emotion vampires" have no place in my life either professional or personal. I am happier for it although I might have been better off financially if I had let such people into my life. My own emotional health is worth the trade off I believe.
 

Dumpy

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It's not so much about firing people though, it's about getting the bad apples out of your barrel and that could be employees, spouses/significant others, clients - whatever.

There are a lot of toxic types in our society, they need to be kept at an inch or two out of kicking distance in all aspects of our lives.
In the end, fire, weeding, purging or whatever, it has to be done. My own clients hated to be around her. It’s truly sad.
 

Dumpy

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I think what you wrote is fine and to the point.
One of my customers was in charge of hiring at a large firm, engineering I think.
He said "when it comes to talent or the ability to get along...I hire the abilty to get along every time."
Ability to get along is a talent in itself.
 

noreastbob

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As a hair dresser you are working for your clients, so you can't "fire" them. Small technical detail I can't ignore. You can say, "I don't want to do business", or "I no longer choose to provide this service to you."
You are under no obligation to work for anyone unless you bake wedding cakes I guess so culling toxic people from your sphere is advisable!
 

Cauldronics

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While what's below is about a more serious relationship, it applies to any of them that happen in life.

A lifelong friend of mine reminded me of a simple truth when we were talking about the last partner I had, and how it didn't work out. To paraphrase "If you're happier with the person in your life than without, it's worth being in the relationship." The second part of that is that both people should be at least that happy, or why bother.

Sounds like your client is happy being unhappy and you're not. I think you ought to let her go for your own good. There will be some kind of fallout but it won't be as bad as keeping her, and it'll go away eventually, whereas your client would not.
 

Dumpy

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As a hair dresser you are working for your clients, so you can't "fire" them. Small technical detail I can't ignore. You can say, "I don't want to do business", or "I no longer choose to provide this service to you."
You are under no obligation to work for anyone unless you bake wedding cakes I guess so culling toxic people from your sphere is advisable!
I fully understand the technicality; it’s a common phrase in personal services. And in the end, the card never said “fire”.

I am glad I am not legally obligated to cut anyone’s hair currently.

It’s the only way, sometimes.
 
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dale w miller

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Give a warning first. I’ve gotten rid of clients, but unless what they did was out & out wrong, I always gave a warning first.
 

Seb77

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I had a similar experience after I started teaching drums again, part-time this time.
Same as you, I pulled the plug without a real warning. There had been signs the kid needed therapy, every lesson was a fight, and I am a drum teacher, not a therapist. His parents didn't communicate this to me early on, and didn't communicate politely in general. Once the kid started doing obscene gestures, you know the kind, behind my back he thought, I told him I didn't accept this behavior. Slept over it, talked to the head of school (free-lancing agreement), and decided a warning wouldn't help.

I too used to depend on the freelance teaching job and couldn't afford to be too critical. But as someone once said, some people give you enegry, others suck it from you. If possible, avoid the latter. Some people are just not good for your own well-being. I am willing to give people a chance, but sometimes they need to figure it out for themselves first.
 

lossforgain

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I definitely think you did the right thing Dumpy. I used to be in customer service as well, and I could be your best friend bend-over-backward helper as long as you aren't taking advantage of me or bringing toxicity into my life. But there comes a time when severing that relationship is the right thing to do because of your own self-care. And yes, "firing a customer" is a common way of looking at this for those who have been in these positions.
 

RogersLudwig

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you did the right, though always difficult, thing. The card was well written. Never give a reason if possible. Best of luck with the blowback.
 

Rotarded

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The customer IS always right...within reason.
This phrase is categorically incorrect and should be banned from society.

I spent my entire career in Hospitality and Customer Service type positions, from entry level all the way up to General Manager, and if there is ONE THING I took away from it is:

The customer is NOT always right, but they ARE presenting an opportunity to satisfy their needs. After I understood that, I could handle the worst of the worst Karens, and in the Private (Country Club) Club business, the environment was thick with entitled Karens. Many times I took a stand and denied them the satisfaction of bullying me and my staff into their prefered outcome. More often then not we found an agreement in the middle ground. Sometimes I took a firm stance and later actually received apologies.
 


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