Question- should a WAHM be able to turn away customers? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This has been/ is being discussed on another forum I am on- while some of us have problems with WAHM's there are customers that WAHM's have problems with contiunally, we review WAHM's and like wise WAHM's review customers as well. You can choose who to buy from, if you want to shop at a WAHM's store, but if a customer that well has a history of problems with WAHMs orders from a site, does that WAHM have the right to refuse her order? I mean we all know some people can't ever be pleased or are out for a free ride, or discount, they are everywhere, they complain about everything and get free stuff. Well somewhere this has to end. (not just in the diapering world, I mean returning things worn to Walmart, or complaining and making a big stink at McDonalds to get a free meal)

Just wondering what your thoughts are on this issue? Can a WAHM say "I am sorry but I can not fill your order" Do they have the 'right to refuse service for any reason'? since the WAHM business is very fragile with feedback issues it could harm her business in many ways, filling an order for a problem customer is a risk, customers can essentially blackmail you with threats of feedback and bad reviews, so it is a real issue. Would it be okay for a WAHM to say "thanks but no thanks" for an order that was a known problem customer?
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#2 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 03:10 PM
 
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Yes. I think as a business owner you have a right to make those kinds of decisions. You have to be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions though. Like if someone refused to sell to me that would probably hurt my feelings and then make me want to leave a bad review about how I was refused service. KWIM? HAHA. I'm a good customer though I swear! :LOL
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#3 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes. I think as a business owner you have a right to make those kinds of decisions. You have to be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions though. Like if someone refused to sell to me that would probably hurt my feelings and then make me want to leave a bad review about how I was refused service. KWIM? HAHA.

I'm a good customer though I swear!
LOL :LOL if it were me, I would fee like a a$$ for being so horrible I got turned away I wouldn't ever mention it. LOL then I would probably have a friend order for me! hehehe

But yes that is an issue, bad feedback for turning away people too....LOL life I tell ya!
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#4 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 03:23 PM
 
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this was just discussed on amitys not too long ago. a wahm had refused another mama's order for personal reasons and all heck broke loose. i'd have to say i'm not sure if it would be worth the negative feedback kwim?

(also, i'd never refuse anyone's order unless i was too busy at the time)
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#5 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 03:33 PM
 
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I think that a WAHM should be able to choose whether or not to work with a customer for whatever reason.

That said, it is a pretty sticky situation to choose to turn someone away. I mean, if a customer earns a reputation for being difficult how does a WAHM business know whether or not it's justified? It could be a personality conflict that resulted in the label being applied.

I know that when I open my business, I'll definitely turn away customers who lead me to believe they are buying from me in order to pander to their fetishes or addictions (addiction to cloth for their babies' bums doesn't count).
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#6 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 03:51 PM
 
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I've seen signs posted in restaurants and brick-and-mortar stores that say "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" and there's no reason why WAHM's shouldn't have the same freedom-- that is one of the benefits of being in business for yourself.

Freedom always has a price, though-- I also agree that you'd have to deal with the consequences of refusing to serve someone.

It seems to me that some practices or carefully stated policies can eliminate the "problem" from some problem customers, though. If someone is "known" to try to scam WAHM's by claiming packages never reach them, then spending an extra $ or two for certified mail or a signature with FedEx ground may foil any scam. The wording of policies about returns and being clear about when you will pay for returns of faulty merchandise may prevent those hard to please customers from being upset.

I think a WAHM is on shakier footing, though it is still her right, to refuse service based on secondhand information about a customer. It's one thing if A has placed an order with you before and she was impossible to deal with, and you refuse her order the second time around. It's an entirely other thing if you've "heard", based on rumor and gossip, that she is impossible to deal with. I think the Amity situation was the later, and that's part of what got everyone riled up, IIRC.

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#7 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 03:51 PM
 
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Absolutely. There are irresponsible customers out there just like there are irresponsible WAHM's.
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#8 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 03:57 PM
 
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One customer is not going to make or break you - whether they chose to shop elsewhere on their own or if you refuse to give them service. One person leaving bad feedback will not ruin your business - if they are the problem (not you), there will certainly be many others who leave good feedback. If you do get bad feedback from somebody, you have the right to respond - feedback is a two way street. I have an in-home business with reorder sales, and if a customer is a pain to deal with, I don't solicit their business. If I was a WAHM with a website where customers come to me (vs. me contacting them), I would guarantee my workmanship, but if someone didn't like the style or fit on their child, I would refund their money 100% if the product was new and at a reduced amount if it was used, and that policy would be clear on my website (a Store Policies page). It's only fair. If you provide good products and services and market them well, you will have good customers. Don't let one person make or break you - if someone is a pain to deal with, it's not fair for them to make you miserable and dislike your business. Deal with them fairly and directly, have clear policies, and enjoy your nicer customers.

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#9 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think a WAHM is on shakier footing, though it is still her right, to refuse service based on secondhand information about a customer. It's one thing if A has placed an order with you before and she was impossible to deal with, and you refuse her order the second time around. It's an entirely other thing if you've "heard", based on rumor and gossip, that she is impossible to deal with. I think the Amity situation was the later, and that's part of what got everyone riled up, IIRC.
I agree this is important to make sure it is the customer at fault not the business or situation.

I also agree with the clear policies page, I think all WAHM's should have a clear one...>guilty< of not having one/not having clear ones up....LOL another thing to work on.
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#10 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 04:17 PM
 
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Sure. I think you should absolutely have the right to refuse service to anyone. But I agree that there are conseqences that arise, like the possibility of bad feedback. And I definitely think you should make the decision on whether or not to work with someone based on your own experiences with that person, not on the basis of rumors. I don't know anything about the situation at Amity's, though, so I can't comment on that particular situation at all.

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#11 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 04:19 PM
 
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the person is. I do not send anything without payment and it is well known if you do not buy insurance and the items are lost there is nothing to be done. I keep all reciepts for everything sold and mailed. I try to please people the best I can and if there are flaws have no problem replacing items.

I think you need a good policies page and buyers need to be aware of that. I also think common curteousy is important in all transactions, even in trades. If you put your best foot forward and treat customers the way you would want to be treated then you will probably be fine.

I know I am a very tough customer. I like things done a certain way and would never expect any less of myself. I have had my share of less then desireable customers but all in all it has been good. The point to remember is that people are people not machines.

If a customer treats me like trash I will not sell to them however ever again. The human thing goes both ways baby!!
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#12 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 04:35 PM
 
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definitely! they should be able to choose their customers just as the customer chooses whom they wanna give their money to. buying and selling is a business from both sides, the seller is not supposed to be the customers slave, just because the customer gives them money. they provide a service of at least equal value to the money they get.
i can be a tough customer but i've also been in sales and customer service long enough to know that there are impossible people out there who make it their hobby to get free stuff and put you down, just cause they got the cash. i never thought of myself superior to the people coming in my shop, i've done a lot of schooling and training to be able to provide knowledge and service, but for example one day a woman came into my shop with the words: "i'm already having a f@%^#* up day, don't even start with me!" ok, i didn't. she left the shop without being helped.
everybody has got a bad day every now and then, but if a customer has a history of being a foul player, then they should have to face the consequences.
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#13 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 05:34 PM
 
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I have already been thinking about this subject. I already decided there is a certain person I would NEVER sell to if I was a WAHM. There are some people that are just impossible to please and I would rather spend my time with customers who are appreciative.

That said , watch out if I ever become a WAHM because I would put a banned list on my site. :LOL

jk
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#14 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 05:38 PM
 
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Yup I do think you have the right turn away a bad custumer if you have reason to believe that they are going to do something sleazy (esp for custom work, I think that for instock work it might be a little harder to do politely). However, I believe that a good product will speak for itself and one bad review will not make or break your buisness.

Hypotheically I think that a WAHM who wants to be able to routinely screen her customers might need to set up her order system in such a way the she can do so without the customer knowing. Something along the lines of "email me for availability of custom slots."

Also, keep in mind that a customer who seems picky up-front may be that way so that they can avoid problems with the finished product and thus avoid the need to do sad review.

HTH (I promise I'm a good customer!)
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#15 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 05:49 PM
 
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I agree that a WAHM should be able to refuse a customer, but it should be from personal experience, not hearsay.............If the WAHM wants to refuse service to a customer then that customer probably does not want to purchase from her anyway. A good product always speaks for itself, customer service is a different issue. They should post it on their sites if they want to have the right to refuse service. MHO.
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#16 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 06:02 PM
 
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Yes. I think they reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

Example: My dad owns a hardware store and he's only had to refuse service to one person in the 25 years of business.

He has a wonderful relationship w/all of his customers and I think that's key w/a WAHM. Building up trusting relationships w/his customers have given him 25 years of successful business.

, , , mama to Ross , Reagan (8/29/05), Joshua (from Haiti...here NOW due to the earthquake!), and Elijah , born safely 9-8-09.
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#17 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 07:08 PM
 
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Yes I feel it ok to refuse service.

There are a few people that I trusted enough to say "ok, you can make payment later" and sent the items (dumb I know) and they never paid. These werent cheap orders either and its been over 6 months so I can tell ya if they ever come back, I would have to say not until they paid up.

I figure if stores IRL can refuse service, so can internet stores.

Desiree

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#18 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 07:44 PM
 
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I think that as long as ALL customers are aware that their service can be refused for any reason, then by all means, if the wahm thinks a customer is questionable ethically, then withold service. That being said, I would like to discuss this statement....


[QUOTE]Originally posted by allformyboys
[B]This has been/ is being discussed on another forum I am on- while some of us have problems with WAHM's there are customers that WAHM's have problems with contiunally, we review WAHM's and like wise WAHM's review customers as well.

Where can I see these reviews? I leave reviews for wahm occasionally, and they as well as other consumers and other wahms can see what I wrote. I would like to see what has been written about me, and frankly, I think I would have a right to see it. Please explain what/where this can be viewed. Libel is against the law, and if there was something written about me that was incorrect or misleading, I would need to be informed of it for my review.
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#19 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 08:05 PM
 
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Oh, MY! There is one WAHM out there who is absolutely, positively FANTABULOUS. I've bought from her 2X, and both times, there was a problem with my order . . . problems that were unique, and not her fault . . .and she fixed the situations without hesitation. I don't want to buy from her again because I don't want to bother her ever again if there's a problem. I always feel so bad about that. I probably would buy again, but I'd let any problem go, just to make up for the past!

 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

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#20 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 08:40 PM
 
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by alaskanteach
[B]I think that as long as ALL customers are aware that their service can be refused for any reason, then by all means, if the wahm thinks a customer is questionable ethically, then withold service. That being said, I would like to discuss this statement....


Quote:
Originally posted by allformyboys
This has been/ is being discussed on another forum I am on- while some of us have problems with WAHM's there are customers that WAHM's have problems with contiunally, we review WAHM's and like wise WAHM's review customers as well.

Where can I see these reviews? I leave reviews for wahm occasionally, and they as well as other consumers and other wahms can see what I wrote. I would like to see what has been written about me, and frankly, I think I would have a right to see it. Please explain what/where this can be viewed. Libel is against the law, and if there was something written about me that was incorrect or misleading, I would need to be informed of it for my review.
I'm guessing that that Marnie is refering to EBAY feedback and MDC TP Feedback, anyway, that's how I interpreted this statement.
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#21 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 09:02 PM
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Ohhhh you had me worried there, if you're discussing ebay feedback, then I guess it's ok to refuse based on feedback alone. But I would discourage refusing a winning bidder unless you put a splurb in your listing saying something about it. Something along the lines of "we will not ship to anyone with any negative feedback within the last x months". If I didn't have that kind of line in my listing I'd probably pay for the insurance myself if they refused and wright the loss (in insurance fees) off to experience.

OH and definatley if you've delt with this person before first hand. But then, what are ebay's rules on this? Would you risk a fine or something from ebay?

Now, if it's a customer to your online business and you're basing your decision on hearsay alone you're talking about slander or libel (sp?) (can't remember which is which :LOL). If you're going on past business experience then by all means tell them thanks, but business like yours will put me out of business.
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#22 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 09:09 PM
 
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Slander is Spoken. Libel is Listed (written) Hope that helps.
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#23 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 09:55 PM
 
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Moving this to the WAHM Well.
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#24 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL actually to be legally Slander or Libel it would have to be hurting your reputation to the extent that it significatly affected your income, as a customer it doesn't count.

And I was speaking of WAHM reviews of customers in general, there isn't a certian place where these things can be seen, just what is gathered from speaking with other WAHM's/ reading on e-bay/ TP feedback and what not. However I do think a honest feedback forum for customers as well as WAHM's is a good idea, it is just too hard to keep things from getting personal.

Anyway I can tell you that WAHM's are usually very careful in their reviews/discussions about customers, even when talking with other WAHM's because we are potential customers to them as well yk? and if a WAHM has problems with every customer well then that too says something about her. yk?
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#25 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 10:52 PM
 
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Gretchen-

There are some yahoo groups that focus on "bad apples", it is mainly geared towards wahms that spoil the bunch... but occasionally a customer (or deadbeat trader) might end up with a bad apple label. These are public and moderated so there is no mud-slinging. And we arent talking about a "pciky customer" it would be a scammer or some other nasty situation.

Besides feedback at auction sites etc, there are no lists of customers being rated... or at least I dont know of one!

most wahms are very professional in the sense that they do not discuss customers behind their backs unless it might be a case of emailing a friend "in the biz" and asking for an opinion. And that too, is generally done without naming names.

HTH
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#26 of 27 Old 12-23-2003, 11:05 PM
 
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I think that a WAHM certainly does have the right to refuse service to anyone.

WAHM's work hard and do not get paid enough money for the hard work they do. If I were a WAHM and a notorious scammer placed an order with me, I wouldn't want to put the time, effort, and money into an order that I know would end up costing me in the end.

I think scamming a WAHM is the lowest of low. Not only are you taking money away from her family, you are wasting her valuable time that would otherwise be spent with her children. That is just mean!

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#27 of 27 Old 12-29-2003, 05:10 PM
 
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to not sell to someone. I can only think of two people that I would hesitate selling to at this point. I *would* sell to them both but would be much more picky on my end and be sure to note anything and everything that I know is a particular hot button with said customers...I would really want them to come away pleased with their order. That may or may not be a good thing. I know that many times we go a little too far to be sure our customers are happy but in the big picutre(job security) I think it is worth it..

Amy atb
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