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Sale or Schadenfreude?

Some people learn the hard way that you get what you pay for.

I know I shouldn’t take any pleasure in this, but I just can’t help myself. I got a voicemail from a homeowner who was having trouble with their AppleTV. I wracked my brain trying to place the person.  The name wasn’t familiar and I couldn’t find the phone number in my CRM. I called back, feeling a little sheepish because I thought I was going to have to ask him who he was — maybe his wife had a different last name and we had not dealt with him personally before.

He explained that he had his TV installed about six months ago and, since they are not big TV watchers (they mainly use their iPads), they had not noticed that the AppleTV was not working and they could not get anything onscreen. I started asking about the setup, hoping that would jog my memory, but it quickly became clear this was a simple hang-and-bang job and we do not undertake those, except in rare circumstances — like for a really good client’s child who just moved into their own place. This was clearly not that situation.

Also by Todd Anthony Puma: The Nightmare Referral and How to Handle It

I finally just asked if we had done the install. He proceeded to tell me that no, a company called Puls did it. I have seen the Puls ads all over social media. They do $99 hang and bangs. Either something was not done right from the beginning or the AppleTV froze up in the meantime or maybe even an HDMI cable got unplugged.  I wish I had asked him why he wasn’t calling Puls, but I just didn’t think of it at the time.

Either way, I proceeded to inform the caller that our service call rate is $200. He then had the nerve to ask that since he was located so close to us, could we just come by when we have time, but do it at a lower rate. I couldn’t believe it. Not only did he not hire a reputable, local company to do the initial work, but now that he needed help, he wanted to negotiate for it. While my reply was stated in a calm and nice voice, it was not the nicest of messages. I told him, “You chose the lowest cost you could find to hang the TV and now that there is a problem, you want me to discount my rate to solve the issue.  Unfortunately, it sounds like you got what you paid for, and we can not give you a discount to offset that decision.”

While I did possibly give up a local client, it seems like he was not the type of high-end, luxury client we cater to. It was worth it to say what I said — it felt good!

Also by Todd Anthony Puma: Keep It Positive