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You can be firm without resorting to being harsh. I'm just not the yelling type of person, though I do admit there have been times I've been sorely tempted.

And through personal experience early on, I learned not to get involved in any color choosing process or decisions. Alot easier just to hand them a color deck or two, let them know where they can get samples made up, and what areas of the house they may want to try them on. Let's face it, we've probably all painted colors that were butt-fugly to us, and the customer just loved them.

For us painting has to be a logical decision, for the customer it probably leans more to the emotional side ie; to them it's logical their house needs painting, the color choice is more emotion based.

CYA in your contract wording. Have them initial and sign. Payment on completion, any changes are their responsibility. Keep it simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Paint and Hammer said:
Fair enough.

I've had my share of nutbars....one lady accused me that the reason her 18 year old is moving out is because of the basement colour.

Honestly, I think resorting to yelling is an indication something isn't solid in your process. "yelling" and "professional" don't belong in the same sentence.

If everything is solid you simply (and calmly) rely on the facts. If your documentation is solid, you pull it out and ask the HO what part is not being full filled? (long silences are absolutely affective....often people just need to 'say' something)

Asking the right questions is essential to getting to the right answers. (listen!)

I've never had to go beyond this because I document and back up items regularly through the process starting from our first meeting....communication is absolutely key. I like to email because of this. If I have a conversation I do a 'recap' through email....always!!

After that I would tell her the name and number of my lawyer and he will take it to the next step.
Great, if I did it your way, I'd have an appointment with a lawyer right now instead of having a check.

Sometimes people need to be put on their place. That lady had no right to even think about not paying me.

She even said the work was perfect and she couldn't find one thing wrong with the actual work.

I tried playing nice, it was getting NOWHERE.

Like I said, nice guys finish last.

Instead of unleashing a lawyer, and paying him, and wasting tons more of my time, I unleash the beast, works for me.

Let people walk on you and you become a doormat.
 

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Fair enough.

I've had my share of nutbars....one lady accused me that the reason her 18 year old is moving out is because of the basement colour.

Honestly, I think resorting to yelling is an indication something isn't solid in your process. "yelling" and "professional" don't belong in the same sentence.

If everything is solid you simply (and calmly) rely on the facts. If your documentation is solid, you pull it out and ask the HO what part is not being full filled? (long silences are absolutely affective....often people just need to 'say' something)

Asking the right questions is essential to getting to the right answers. (listen!)

I've never had to go beyond this because I document and back up items regularly through the process starting from our first meeting....communication is absolutely key. I like to email because of this. If I have a conversation I do a 'recap' through email....always!!

After that I would tell her the name and number of my lawyer and he will take it to the next step.
And if that doesn't work, punch them in the face.
 

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Great, if I did it your way, I'd have an appointment with a lawyer right now instead of having a check.

Sometimes people need to be put on their place. That lady had no right to even think about not paying me.

She even said the work was perfect and she couldn't find one thing wrong with the actual work.

I tried playing nice, it was getting NOWHERE.

Like I said, nice guys finish last.

Instead of unleashing a lawyer, and paying him, and wasting tons more of my time, I unleash the beast, works for me.

Let people walk on you and you become a doormat.

Clearly we have different styles and ways of dealing with people.

I doubt you'd have an appointment with a lawyer.

I'm not intending to be rude, but I was raised that yelling at someone is a sign of low intelligence. It's a signal that you can't control yourself.

You seem to equate being calm to being weak. Couldn't disagree more, infact I strongly feel the opposite. If the point of an argument is to 'win' then yelling is a sign that you lost. Her paying you is more of a result of the fact that she was in the wrong than that fact that you lost your head and "put her in her place".

The chances of a referral from this job is slim to none. Any self respecting person would ask you to leave their property and not return.....and that is the point to my comments, burning bridges is not a professional way to do business.
 

· Born 2 Paint
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Sorry to hear what happened. I hope you get paid soon. Color consultation is part of my service, and one of many things that makes us unique. I have had customers choose colors I know will be too dark, too light, too pink, too purple, not enough contrast, etc. I would never paint anything without applying samples first, My contract states: "Up to two color samples will be applied. Additional samples are $25 each + materials" Havent had a problem yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Paint and Hammer said:
Clearly we have different styles and ways of dealing with people.

I doubt you'd have an appointment with a lawyer.

I'm not intending to be rude, but I was raised that yelling at someone is a sign of low intelligence. It's a signal that you can't control yourself.

You seem to equate being calm to being weak. Couldn't disagree more, infact I strongly feel the opposite. If the point of an argument is to 'win' then yelling is a sign that you lost. Her paying you is more of a result of the fact that she was in the wrong than that fact that you lost your head and "put her in her place".

The chances of a referral from this job is slim to none. Any self respecting person would ask you to leave their property and not return.....and that is the point to my comments, burning bridges is not a professional way to do business.
This happened over the phone, not in person. So I wasn't on her property.

And this lady crossed the line of being a customer to someone who was trying to steal from me.

I could care less if she ever refers me to somebody, or has me work for her ever again.

You've clearly never been in that position.

Raised differently, for sure. I fight for mine. I was in more fist fights by second grade than most people have in a life time.

But I do not ever start trouble, or look for trouble.

This lady had to understand that I wasn't playing.

If you would rather do that thru a lawyer, that's your prerogative.

I just put the check in the bank, my method was much faster and less stressful.

This was about collecting hard earned money. Not arguing.

Just wait, someone will try to screw you sooner or later. When that happens to you, we'll see how you handle it.
 

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This happened over the phone, not in person. So I wasn't on her property.

And this lady crossed the line of being a customer to someone who was trying to steal from me.

I could care less if she ever refers me to somebody, or has me work for her ever again.

You've clearly never been in that position.

Raised differently, for sure. I fight for mine. I was in more fist fights by second grade than most people have in a life time.

But I do not ever start trouble, or look for trouble.

This lady had to understand that I wasn't playing.

If you would rather do that thru a lawyer, that's your prerogative.

I just put the check in the bank, my method was much faster and less stressful.

This was about collecting hard earned money. Not arguing.

Just wait, someone will try to screw you sooner or later. When that happens to you, we'll see how you handle it.

Your comfortable with your means of doing business....carry on.

There are many opportunities for conflict in business. Dealing with this is as beneficial skill (if not more!) as knowing how to apply paint. I've taken Conflict Resolution courses in University and Workshops regarding working with people.

I've never burnt a bridge.

Anyway, I think I've run the course on this....have a good weekend.
 
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· Born 2 Paint
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Raised differently, for sure. I fight for mine. I was in more fist fights by second grade than most people have in a life time.

But I do not ever start trouble, or look for trouble.

This lady had to understand that I wasn't playing.

.
500! :thumbup: So, did you kick her ass? :whistling2:I too grew up in the city and fighting almost daily in a rough neighborhood. I was a scrawny kid and had a Napoleon complex and fighting was all I knew. And I am very good at it. Then I became an adult. Im proud to say I havent put my hands on anyone in over 20 years. ;) At 205, I am still not a big guy but can def handle myself. Part of that means handling things in a civil manor. No offense, but I do not agree with yelling at any customer. If she wasnt happy with the color, I would make it right even if it cost me money. Anyway, if the situation arises again, just tell the little old lady 500!
 

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Funny i was thinking that would be a good idea to start doing the other day. A larger sample can really help to show what different light does to the color and it something that could be left behind with the HO as well as give you an edge over another company.

Here's the thing. No matter how good of a job you do painting the house, if the homeowner doesn't love the colour (regardless of who chose it), they are not likely going to be thrilled with the end result and then how likely are they to refer you and/or use you again? (I think the homeowner in this case is a rare exception of thinking she can get away not paying for the work and then also seeing she was wrong and coming around to offer to pay in advance next time).

You are selling more than just repainting a room. You are helping a HO to love their home and space.

You don't need to be an expert in colour/interior design to help a customer pick a colour but you do need to explain to them how important is it to sample colour on a wall properly (I am writing an article on this now and promise I will post the link). As a painter you guys are working with colour all day long. You know in a fan deck there are some good stand by colours that always work.

Invest in some 9X12 poster boards at your local office supply store and everytime you open a new can of paint with a new colour, roll off a couple of coats on a poster board and when it is dry label the colour on the back. In no time you will have a collection of decent sized samples that you can use when helping your customer choose colours.

No good colour consultant or designer chooses colour alone off a fan deck. They use the architect kits, large samples and then if required sample on the wall as well (especially for exteriors).

If all that seems like too much work for you, find a decent colour consultant in your area and partner with them to provide the service for your customers.

Don't pass over this part of the business as a waste of time or too much hassle. If a colour choice is involved in the project I promise in the end, that colour choice will be as important as the quality of work you do. You might want to make sure it is being addressed properly.
 

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Wolfgang said:
Part of my contract has a blank underlined area that I can put in the paint color info: mfg, color,code. There is another underlined area for the customer to initial that they have chosen that color and are responsible. Should cover you in any events that come up.
Same here....And I've only had to even mention that the color is on the contract ONE time, the was zero issue gettin paid
 

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Same here....And I've only had to even mention that the color is on the contract ONE time, the was zero issue gettin paid
Its funny because all of our cans say "check color before applying". You know how many painters whine because they cut in the room with a mis-tint. All of them....:whistling2:
 

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One Coat,

We all utilize Paint Talk to learn from our colleagues. When we make a mistake or operate in a way that could be detrimental to our businesses, you can be assured that many here will offer their thoughts on better methods. This is done out of generosity and kindness. It would be mean spirited to encourage others in this community to continue down a ruinous path.

You have your thoughts and convictions on how you should treat your customers. Apparently the vast majority of painting professionals here on PT disagree with how you handled this situation. We are all just trying to help you run the most successful business you can.

I would love for you to archive this whole thread and revisit it in about 25 years and see if you still have those same confrontational convictions then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
daArch said:
One Coat,

We all utilize Paint Talk to learn from our colleagues. When we make a mistake or operate in a way that could be detrimental to our businesses, you can be assured that many here will offer their thoughts on better methods. This is done out of generosity and kindness. It would be mean spirited to encourage others in this community to continue down a ruinous path.

You have your thoughts and convictions on how you should treat your customers. Apparently the vast majority of painting professionals here on PT disagree with how you handled this situation. We are all just trying to help you run the most successful business you can.

I would love for you to archive this whole thread and revisit it in about 25 years and see if you still have those same confrontational convictions then.
Bill, I have only had to raise my voice on two occasions with customers in ten years of business.

Please let's not make it seem like I'm some kind of hot head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
You know, certain people here on PT like to latch onto one little line in someone's thread and throw the whole discussion into turmoil.

The main point of my thread is that there are customers out there, few and far between ( thank god), that will try to get over on you.

So I raised my voice, big deal. I did what I felt was necessary to bring the customer out of the haze she was in thinking that her lack of picking the right color was my fault.

Do I "run" my business in this manner? Of course not. I'm actually a very even keeled guy.

My company is small, but successful. The money was in the amount of $3500.00. I can absorb a hit like that, but why should I?

I think that the reason that a majority of people on here want to defend the customer is because you want to tell me how much better you are than me. How much better you would have handled someone telling you that they are not paying you.

Like i said before, it WILL happen to you
sooner or later.

Being "nice" will not help you, people like the lady I had to deal with take kindness for weakness.

Come to think of it, I did a lot of extra trim work for her in white that was originally supposed to simply be sprayed in with the beige color. I didn't upcharge her for it because it really wasn't any skin off my back. I did the extra brush work out of kindness.......
 

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At least you got your money one coat. Sure nobody wants to have to yell at someone. Lawyer? Please. I just went to court on wednesday for 1100$ owed to me by a local contractor. I did a job last Oct. and he never paid me a cent. Heard all the be patient excuses about cash flow for about two months, then nothing after last xmas. Sent him 3 letters, one of which was certified urging him to contact me. He calls me after he got served his papers and has a bunch more excuses and wanted me to withdraw. It costed me 120$ to file. He never showed and if he doesn't appeal in 30 days I automatically have judgement. Hindsite is 20/20 and From now on I will check public records before doing work for any other company. The guy was a real salesmen talked about creating a business relationship. Me being eager for work fell for it. Lesson learned. Why is it that if I steal from a store I can be charged with a felony, but these gangsters can continue to operate with all sorts of lawsuits and judgements pending against them and they are charged with nothing. He stole from me. I am having a hard time keeping my cool knowing I won't get a cent because they are INC. I won't even be able to levy the tools his son uses in the business because they're in different names. Total crooks. 100 years ago they would both be dead or they would have ran them out of town. Contracts don't mean anything. I am a passive type of person, but I am ready to explode over this.
 

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Been chasing $7,100 since Wednesday.Job for a designer.Loaded the job up to finish early because they kept stressing that it had to be completed by Friday.My guy & myself let them know several times we would be finished Wednesday.Wednesday came and she said the HO was out of town but the wife has an AM Ex Card,I don't take AM EX & it was clearly stated that their would be no CC payments on this project. Call Thursday.She gets a check from them but it doesn't include the extras??? I refuse it. Friday,she is supposed to meet me @ 6. It falls through.Tells me 1st thing Friday morning. I call every 2 hours from 7:30 this morning until I finally get my check @ 5:30!
No apology just a smile and here ya go!!!! Jesus,I'm glad I'm not running on a shoe string budget.
 

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THE reason to never get between a client and their paint color. I am (I hope somewhat humorously) known for dancing around when people ask for color recommendations.
Hope you can make it clear that your job is applicator, and you applied what she asked for.
Decorator is another profession.
I am sorry to be confrontational (normally I am not) but I don't agree. We are painters & decorators. Part of our profession is to assist in colour selection.

I teach my students to a certificate III level of Painting and Decorating and in an industry we have fought hard to protect in Australia. we have had to fight to stop builders watering down our trade to just application making it a certificate II and thus worth less money and not licensed.

I will continue to fight in the land down under and in the Pacific for a full set of professional skills that a painter & DECORATOR has that makes it a profession and not a handy man job.

People in the Pacific Islands want the skills to be watered down, I get asked "can you just train my people in the basics" HELL NO!

:furious:
 
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