We joined the AR Community on 05/17/2010 and love every moment of it. We found a professional community that is engaging and educational. We also found a couple of clients for our startup.
As a startup we did what we could to accommodate these clients including offering a 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee.
What we quickly found out is that some people attempted to take advantage of our kindness.
We are located on the East Coast - Baltimore, MD and one client in particular was located on the West Coast - California. To help with schedules we made ourselves available after hours (often during what should have been personal family time) and on weekends. Basically the client could contact us round the clock (this turned out to be one of our mistakes).
We talked to the client to get a better understanding of their needs, explained our process and prices. After doing so they decided to engage our services.
This client had just ended a relationship with another firm that was (according to them) unsatisfactory. They showed us what was done and asked us to comment. We responded by saying "look forward and not backward ... your now dealing with us and let's focus on getting you what you want". The client agreed.
We offer a piece mail payment system - after an initial payment to secure our resources we then do the work, show it to you and if your happy then you pay again and we move forward. This way anything that is of issue (design or development) can be addressed and corrected.
The project continued after phase 1 and was so well received the client decided to pre-pay for the remaining 3 phases ... upfront ... something we DID NOT ask for or initiate.
During the same time my youngest son had broken his arm and it caused us to miss one particular deadline by less than 8hrs. The client was notified of the accident and we even offered proof.
From this point on the client basically went from "Loving" us to "Loathing" us. The last firm she had dealt with had dragged her project out for months and she assumed it was happening again.
We did everything in our power to re-assure the client that would not happen ... to the point where we even added more services for FREE that was outside of the project scope.
We then were the recipient of out and out disrespectful and rude treatment ... of which we applied the grin and bear it approach. Which is really strange seeing as how we did not ever stop working on her project or offer services, changes, updates basically what ever she asked for she got.
We were then notified that she would be taking a break from her project due to medical reasons (see exact quote below):
We are writing to let you know that (Clients Name) is taking a few days off at the recommendation of her doctor. I am stepping in to help her with her real estate files and showing properties.
We hope (Clients Name) will be able to resume working in a few days. (Clients Name) will need to manage the work pending with you.
We took this to mean she would let us know when she was ready to pick back up. We then took it upon ourselves to CALL and send emails inquiring as to the "Status" of the project.
What happened next is really strange because we there then told that it was us that held up the project or somehow prevented it from being completed ... huh?
Whats worse is when she finally did get back to us with a list of things she wanted addressed and that we agreed to address (which was everything by the way) she had already initiated a CHARGEBACK with her credit card company.
So she told us verbally and in emails that she just wanted to finish her project and would pay all fees ... this was a complete LIE.
It wasn't until we had already began re-working things that she requested that we were informed by Paypal that we had a Reverse Charge.
We asked her about it and she said she had spoken with her credit card company and that it should be resolved. So again we kept working.
By now the entire payment made was refunded (100%) of which she claims she is out? Not sure if she realizes there are records of transactions kept by Paypal?
What did we learn from this whole experience? Quite a bit! We still want to give the customer what they want but within limits of budget, time and resources.
She still claims that we didn't do our part but we would like to point out some facts:1) Everything within our project outline was done and we added more services for FREE 2) She has received a full 100% refund but continues to claim she lost money? 3) Lied to us and had us continue doing work knowing she had NO intention of paying for it 4) We graded the website (our work) after completion and it graded (Hubspot) 80/100 - It takes time to get better scores! 5) She got leads from the website (claims it wasn't working?) 6) She is still using Custom Creatives that we did (Custom AR Blog Header, profile picks and others) that has not been paid for?
We don't mind engaging folks in the webbosphere but make NO mistake we will defend our good name with facts not malicious posts about being predators in the rain!
Every professional on AR is in sales! If you call, email, post etc it is with the intention of garnering a lead. So if you don't want to be contacted because of what your doing online then get offline! You can't have it both ways ... meaning it is okay for you to do those things but when its done to you you cry bloody murder!
If anyone is interested in seeing the FULL transcript of emails that went back and forth between us and this client just email us. We have all the emails that verify what we have stated above. Like we said we will go by FACTs ... period!