Dealing with a Difficult Customer and Refund - Opinion Neeed
Last edited 05/08/2019 - 07:59
Hi, fellow OzBargainers. First time poster, long time lurker.
We run a small t-shirt printing business, where customers send in their designs or company logos and we print them after they approve the mock-ups. It's been going for almost a decade now and doing relatively well, however we came across a strange customer. Here's the timeline of events:
- Customer places and order for 50 t-shirts. We give them a sample, they approve it and the job gets completed.
- They come pick it up, inspect a few and say it looks great.
- Three weeks later, they place another order of 50 t-shirts. We complete the job and it gets picked up.
- One week later, a very long email comes in saying there's issues and some alignment is off, colour's are off on the fabric or whatever (This is quite common in this industry, there's small variances here and there). We are very happy to reprint them or even refund them in some cases, however with this customer, they gave us no opportunity to remediate.
- Now here's the interesting part. He says he will drop all the boxes off at the front door and in the email he provides his BSB / ACC requesting a full refund for every single t-shirt, including the first batch.
- We kindly say no, this is not the right process. Please send with a proper courier with tracking and only send the t-shirts which you have found issues with.
- He sends the entire lot (pretty much ignoring our request). Again sends his banking details requesting for a full refund. This time he adds 'we would prefer if we didn't write any reviews about your company'. Not sure if that's a threat.
- We send the boxes right back, again requesting he does it the right way.
- He says we weren't authorised to send it back to him. He will leave it at his front door as it's not his problem now. Again sends an email with this banking details asking for a full refund. This time he adds 'we would prefer if we didn't have to take this to small claims'. Now this time I'm pretty sure it's a threat.
- We (following some advice from a friend who's deals with this stuff) send an email in a legal format asking him to do exactly as told. Label each item he wants to return with issues on it and put it into an excel table so we have reference.
- Sends the stock back as requested with a table filled out. All 100 t-shirts on there, saying it's crooked. Took a few pictures with a tape measure, saying it's off by a few millimeters etc (some off by centimeters apparently).
- Sure, a % may be crooked or completely off, happy to fix it. He adds he has already gone with another supplier and got it all printed. The supplier apparently told him all our recommendations were wrong, doing it the screen printing way is better etc. This doesn't really affect us as it's just opinion, but seems he's just naive and bonded right up with this new supplier.
- Threatened again with Small Claims.
What are our rights here? For us it's not actually about money and we can certainly refund it. It's really about the principle. This person has been behaving like a complete immature baby, throwing threats and tantrums. There's right processes to follow, but seems like some people have limited brain capacity to follow it. Most suppliers require RMA's to do proper returns.
We do admit that t-shirts aren't exactly 100%, and so do many other suppliers, especially bulk batches. End of the day it's still a manual job for staff to do. We strive to improve after each and every order.
(Yes I know, some things aren't worth chasing. Just want some opinion).