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Old Feb 26, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Neil Stainton's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, Stratford-upon-Avon
Joined Feb 2001
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What to do if you think a customer is lying?

A customer is complaining that his model has had a structural failure in flight. The parts broken (boom and tail feathers) don't make this totally believable.

What response would people recommend?

Thanks in advance,

Neil.
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 06:21 PM
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Neil, I came from a family in the retail clothing business years ago. When I first started, I hated returned merchandise, and was always skeptical. One day my cousin, with 30 years experience, came to me and said, "You can't have perfect customers. Either you want them, or you don't."

After some reflection, I understood his point, left retailing and never looked back.

So, I suggest that you increase your reserves or whatever, hold your nose and tell the jerk, "Thanks for your business." as you hand him the replacement. Now, if there is a second claim, you should politely decline.

Me, I never got the hang of it.
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 06:32 PM
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Even when I dont think the return is valid, I try and make them happy, but thats usually due to the fear of a chargeback or negative review. That said, if it is truly defective or a mistake on your end, in the long run its better to take care of your customer than try and save a few bucks. If you have the parts on hand, just give it to them. In the long run, repeat customers will make you the most money.
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 07:18 PM
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Very possible the plane was damaged from a previous hard landing and not noticed at the time and catastrophically failed during the next flight from that damage.

What to do?
Do you want more business from him and his friends? Replace the parts.
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 08:35 PM
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That is always a tough one. Customers do want the seller to pay for their mistakes. I try to give the customer the benefit of the doubt the first time. Sometimes the "cost" of being right is way more than the cost of the item being replaced so I just send them the new part.
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 04:28 AM
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Neil Stainton's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, Stratford-upon-Avon
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Thank you all for your helpful advice. I think I will offer to sell him replacement parts at half price.

Kind regards,

Neil.
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Old Feb 29, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Mesa, AZ
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I usually give the customer the benefit of the doubt, like Don said. Case in point, a couple weekends ago I delivered an RX-ready SR-71 to a guy in California (I happened to be over that way and delivered it in person instead of shipping). All of my RX-ready planes are warrantied 30 days for defects in build or bad parts.

Yesterday he PM'd me and said on the 3rd flight one of the servos locked up and he crashed, totaling the plane (electronics survived, except the one bad servo). My response to him was, send me the surviving electronics and I'll build you another one no charge. He even offered to provide his own MG servos for the next build.

Now, I could have said something like "you must have damaged the servo on one of your landings, so it's not covered", or made him jump through hoops to get it replaced, but I didn't.

Now, granted, he is not just a customer, but someone that I have known personally since last August when he bought one of my other RX-ready planes, and the SR was his 3rd plane purchased. But I would have treated any other customer the exact same way.

Pat
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