It happens to all of us at some point: you get a customer or client who’s just not a good fit. Perhaps they:
- monopolize the time on group or mastermind calls
- treat you like crap, but expected to be treated like royalty
- contacts you constantly after your normal business hours, then gets mad you didn’t get back to them right away
- constantly are behind on their payments
- expect you to deliver more for the same price
- bad mouth you but take what you teach them to compete with you
- continue to buy from you, only to ask for a refund every time
This last one recently happened to me and frankly, I was furious with the abuse I felt she was giving me. The love was lost. I didn’t think it could be fixed. It was time for a divorce.
Like many of you, I have some filters for the people I work with, depending on the level of access. For example, if you want to become a PR or sponsorship services client (that is, having me do it for you), you need to fill out a questionnaire in order for me to even consult with you. This eliminates many tire kickers from the start.
But this customer was different. She found me from a call and decided to give my Penny Pinching Publicity membership a try, which she got a a low, one-time offer price.
To get a refund from our credit card processing company, she lied, claiming she needed help from us and did not get it, which was not true from the number of emails and chat messages from my customer service person with her.
But sometimes, that’s just the way it goes. So we gladly refunded her money. We knew she wasn’t a good fit, as we don’t like to work with liars.
Then a couple of weeks later, she made ANOTHER purchase. (Gee, my sales pages and promotions must REALLY be good!) Within 12 hours, she had, once again, demanded a refund, stating I didn’t deliver it, when I clearly did based on access records I have on the back-end of my business.
Fool me once… shame on you. Fool me twice…shame on me.
So I took action. Now I don’t recommend this plan for everyone, but maybe parts of it will work if it ever happens to you:
- Disputed the refund based on fraud. (I provided the records and will hope for a positive outcome. If the credit card processing company decides on her side… so be it. I will give her the refund.)
- Removed and blocked this person from all my lists: email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Sure, she may still find me, but she’ll have to do some work to get access.
- Blocked her from buying anything from me again using her email addresses and IP address. Many processors, including PayPal, have some fraud management features that can help with this.
Is it foolproof? Nope. She could get through the cracks, of course.
Would it have been better to give the refund and let it go? Perhaps. But it made me feel I was in control again.
Did it make me happy? Nope. Breaking up is hard to do in any circumstance, but I’ve learned some lessons, for sure, that will help me provide even better service to my beloved customers and clients – ones I want to continue a long-term relationship with.
Added 9/9 at 7:50 PM: UPDATE! My payment processor found in favor of my dispute, which means a little taste of victory for me! Sometimes it’s worth fighting for something!