AIBU to want to give this person a piece of my mind...

(40 Posts)
Itchingforbitching Thu 22-Sep-16 10:18:03

I'm self employed and work on the basis of a free phone consultation for potential clients (or in person if they come to my office.) Had a call set up last night. The time was their choice not mine, planned my day and evening meal around it ( which mean throwing my dinner down my throat when I came in from work and told DP he could fend for himself) and the person didn't pick up the call. It was only planned and confirmed less than 24 hours ago with their last email saying they looked forward to talking at X time. It was to a mobile so not really any excuse not to answer and no reply to my follow up email just confirming I'd try to call.

If you let a professional down in that way for an evening appt would you expect a bit of a curt retort for your thoughtlessness? (bar any terrible accident or event being the issue.)

furryminkymoo Thu 22-Sep-16 10:21:50

I would give them one more chance tbh, a simple breezy message about rebooking? Be more pushy about a time of day that suits you better?

Itchingforbitching Thu 22-Sep-16 10:24:34

Yep I've done that- did it straight away when they didn't answer. Just so annoying. The call is not a 5-minute chat, it's an allocated 30 minutes so it had to be planned around work and home. All that was needed was a 'can't make it sorry' or 'I've had a change of mind'.
People are so thoughtless. It's happened before of course and I just let it go, as that seems most professional, but sometimes I think people need to be reminded how their actions impact on other people.

hmcAsWas Thu 22-Sep-16 10:26:51

My husband has driven 40 miles for an appointment to see a client, only for them not to be there angry

I think I would speak to the person and ask "Was there a problem your end last night? I tried ringing you at the appointed time but there was no answer. Unfortunately I had to reschedule other things in order to be available to ring you......"

hmcAsWas Thu 22-Sep-16 10:28:08

People definitely need to be reminded (politely) about the impact of their actions

AbyssinianBanana Thu 22-Sep-16 10:28:50

Don't take the call, don't take the job. But no, don't "give" a potential client whose business you are attempting to win "a piece of your mind."

That - is really unprofessional. And you wouldn't get the job anyway so why waste your time!?

lifeofsiam Thu 22-Sep-16 10:29:35

Your t's and c's need to make it clear that people will be billed x amount for missed appointments without 24 hours notice of cancellation - even if the appointment is free.

Tell them that verbally as well as in writing in future - keep it friendly but business-like. They probably wouldn't pay up, but it would deter time-wasting in future.

Batteriesallgone Thu 22-Sep-16 10:30:54

Oh gosh don't. You're not their parent!

Let it go. And don't do times that would wind you up so much in future.

hmcAsWas Thu 22-Sep-16 10:30:55

Its not at all unprofessional AbyssinianBanana if stated politely!

hmcAsWas Thu 22-Sep-16 10:31:57

"Oh gosh don't. You're not their parent!"

I am literally gobsmacked by this

KatharinaRosalie Thu 22-Sep-16 10:34:39

YABU to give them a piece of your mind. But I would have a cancellation charge in my price list for similar events.

Itchingforbitching Thu 22-Sep-16 10:41:28

When I said 'Give them a piece of my mind' I wasn't intending to be rude- don't take the heading so literally!

I'd be super professional and polite.

I don't understand the 'parent' comment. This was a business contract between two adults.

T&Cs and fees don't work for a 'free consultation'. Fees are paid to me for appts in person and are paid in advance. It would be a huge hassle getting someone to pay for a missed phone consultation - they probably wouldn't then it would mean pursuing legally.

harderandharder2breathe Thu 22-Sep-16 10:41:49

Yabu this is a business risk, people are unreliable

Yes it's shit though

RobotLover68 Thu 22-Sep-16 10:48:19

I work for myself and when things like this happen I think "another lesson learned" so in your situation, in future, I wouldn't be bolting my dinner down and telling my DP to fend for himself, I would be scheduling it for a time that works for me and if you can't find a suitable time then I think they weren't that serious.

ParadiseCity Thu 22-Sep-16 10:48:31

I think it is just one of those things. TBH you sound a bit annoyed with yourself for going the extra mile to then have it thrown back in your face.

As you say at this stage you don't know what went wrong. I also think it depends on if you are dealing B2B, or B2C because I do think the general public are flaky.

So if you are a website designer giving advice to an accountant who needs a website, it is REALLY bad of them. If you are a wedding photographer who was meant to speak to a bride/groom and they didn't pick up, I'm less surprised.

Either way you can't complain. You're the supplier and they are the potential customer and they couldn't care less when you eat your dinner or if your DH can cook.

EssentialHummus Thu 22-Sep-16 10:49:57

Unless their business is worth a lot, I'd let it go and make yourself unavailable for their work.

I have a "loss leading" service that I offer, that usually leads to people using one of my more expensive services. Occasionally I have someone who makes such a production of the initial service that I make myself unavailable to take on further work - think 5 hours work instead of 1, going back on agreed elements, referring me to my competitors and asking me to "do it like that" (usually when "that" is irrelevant or inapplicable).

It's only happened twice so far - in over a year of self-employment. Unlike a job, where work is work, you can (finances etc permitting) be choosy when you need to be.

kali110 Thu 22-Sep-16 10:51:22

Yanbu at all to be annoyed, but things do come up suddenly.
We had something happen last week and me and dh are so upset.
Things have slipped from our minds ( not good when we've just moved grin ) but happened betond our control.
Hope you do get in touch with client.

GingerbreadLatteToGo Thu 22-Sep-16 10:54:38

It was an opportunity for you to sell your services to them. They chose not to call. Yes it's annoying, but like any advertising it's not guaranteed to work out. Next time only arrange things that suit you if it's going to get you so wound up. It's only half an hour, on the phone, at home. You could have eaten after.

No, I wouldn't do it, I'd text to say I'd changed my mind. However, having had my own business for many years, I've learnt not to sweat the small stuff because people don't always do what you'd do yourself.

I would not send a follow up email, it looks desperate. If they get in touch again, without a bloody good excuse, tell them that they can book a paid in advance appointment, unless, of course, you are desperate to secure their business then book another free one at a time that suits you better.

RedSauceAndJellyJuice Thu 22-Sep-16 11:00:15

Oh god don't
You have no idea why they didn't take the call
Completely get why you are cross but see what they say first

Batteriesallgone Thu 22-Sep-16 11:08:21

One person reprimanding another over time wasting reminds me of a parent/child or teacher/child dynamic.

I used to work in professional services. Dealt with loads of potential timewasters. You learn to spot them and withdraw services or ask for payment upfront. The idea of charging for missed appointments is a good one.

Emailing with words to the effect of you wasted my time sounds so cringe to me. Either an attempt at reprimand or being petulant. They are unlikely to start respecting your time/worth off the back of a short email.

PartiallyStars Thu 22-Sep-16 11:17:32

This happens to me all the time, I am a journalist working from home and often re-arrange childcare, meals etc for a pre-arranged call, only to have them not be there. Then they do call when I am in the loo/ cooking/ eating/ about to go out. In my case however I don't fume about it much, and would never ever mention it, because to be fair in most cases they don't have to talk to me - I'm the one wanting to get their opinion on something so I can write it down!

SheldonsSpot Thu 22-Sep-16 11:17:59

planned my day and evening meal around it ( which mean throwing my dinner down my throat when I came in from work and told DP he could fend for himself)

For a 30 minute phonecall? I think you're going a bit overboard on the inconvenience aren't you grin

Meh, this is the nature of the business you're in. You're trying to flog your product or service by offering a free 30 minute consultation. Reprimanding a potential client won't do anything other than lose you that client.

Chikara Thu 22-Sep-16 11:19:55

I understand. Happens to me too sometimes. I had a client reschedule three times last week and then cancel at less than 12 hours notice.

It is rude and disrespectful. I was furious as I had turned down other work and rescheduled a hospital appointment. I wrote a very polite e-mail apologising for the fact that I would no longer be available for any more work he might need due to other commitments.

It won't bother him of course but maybe this thread will remind people when they cancel a builder or a hair appointment or a piano lesson that there is a person behind the business and it's nice to treat others with respect.

hmcAsWas Thu 22-Sep-16 11:21:49

"....maybe this thread will remind people when they cancel a builder or a hair appointment or a piano lesson that there is a person behind the business and it's nice to treat others with respect."

You would hope so Chikara, but reading this thread I'm not so sure that it will

origamiwarrior Thu 22-Sep-16 11:23:13

They sound flaky and unreliable so they weren't likely to take you up on your paid-for service anyway. So look at it as having saved yourself 30 mins of time-wasting.

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