AIBU....to be totally peed off?!(25 Posts)
I am self employed and am quite friendly with a lot of my local 'competition' We have a networking group and tend to meet up in person for drinks once every couple of months and also have a group chat on whatsapp where we pass on business, offer each other advice etc.
There has been someone set up very locally to me in the last 6 months, we see each other quite regularly and often chat when we see each other, they've added me as a friend on FB and although I haven't yet added them to the networking event, we have passed on business to one another etc. All fine.
Apart from twice now this person has done something like this, but the latest one is.... Last night I saw through FB that this person had an enquiry from a potential customer that I did some work for a few months ago. They are my first ever customer that I've had any real issues with (touch wood) in a nutshell they just didn't pay me, and when I got in contact with them to chase payment, they then messaged me saying they weren't paying me, because I hadn't done X, which was a requirement that they NEVER asked me to do, neither in writing before service commenced, or when I met them to commence services.
I 'argued' (for want of a better term) back and forth for a couple of messages with them, and then, tbh said 'You clearly aren't happy with the services provided so I won't be taking this further re the payment, but in future, you really need to state exact, specific requirements to anyone undertaking this service again for you, before commencement of that service'
SO, last night I messaged my 'friendly' local competition and said just to be careful and to ask for payment up front and for them to specifically state exactly what it is they need and told them what happened with me. They thanked me and said they would insist on payment up front.
This morning, I wake up to a message from this person saying 'Sorry if XXX (customer) messages you. I told them what you said about them and said that you and I are friends and we look out for each other'
WTF?! AIBU to feel completely 'betrayed' and angry re this? I would NEVER have 'warned' this person if I knew they were going to go straight back to the customer and repeat exactly what I said to them?! It was meant to be an on the down low, quiet, private warning.
I messaged them back and said 'Why? What has been said?' And funnily enough they've now read the message and not replied!!
I am fuming. Something like this (though not as bad) has happened before. Are they being deliberately obtuse or are they really just that stupid?!
It will be the last time I ever say anything to this person and try and help them out, I'm done. I'm now just annoyed that they're not telling me what was said. At least if this person is going to message me, or come around my house (they do know where I live unfortunately) I would like some prior warning as to what exactly they've been told.
Just feeling really upset.
I'd be annoyed too, we have a similar network here which is more about warning each other about dodgy clients than anything else.
Meanwhile it's time to change your mind about the rubbish client. Small claims court for unpaid bills.
I now feel awkward because I have to see this person most days and I feel really annoyed at them. I hate confrontation, but equally they haven't responded to my message and so I haven't had a chance to say 'I'm quite hurt/ disappointed that you did that, it's really not professional' therefore am probably going to end up having to say it to their face in person. Smiling and chatting to them as normal just isn't doable. Especially if there are repercussions from it.
I just don't understand how anyone can be so stupid?!
Repeating what you've said is pretty shit. You don't like confrontation but it's probably best to clear the air and hopefully she won't do it again.
There's looking out for each other and there's throwing someone under the bus.
You can either clear the air, 'I'm very disappointed by your actions. I find that very unprofessional. It's really broken my trust,' or smile and nod and never look after this person again (which I'd do no matter what). What a stupid fuckwit he/she is.
I think if it was done maliciously or on purpose she wouldn't have messaged you and told you what she had done. I'd put it down to stupidity. Still out of order though. Don't tell her things again.
I don't really see s problem with it, not totally professional but they were actually standing up for you.
You did done work for x, didn't get paid, x now asks someone else to do some work and they say no because you still haven't paid ForFSake.
I'd have been more annoyed if they'd agreed to do work for x. And if x contacts you stand up for yourself and say well you haven't paid me and I'd hate to think you'd do the same to my friend
It doesn't sound malicious. More thoughtless. What do you care what someone who thought so little of you to not pay you, thinks of you anyway? The client has hardly covered themselves in glory.
It's not that I care what they think of me. I worry it makes me look really unprofessional. It's not professional to 'bitch' about customers to someone else, however I didn't want this person to get stung like I did.
I don't think the client will be shouting about your unprofessionalness from the rooftops, somehow, as they hardly acted in a reasonable fashion themselves. I doubt you'll hear any more about it. But if you do, I would let your colleague know you were put in a difficult position.
But then your colleague could say you did the same to them.
I don't really see the problem to be honest - it shows a united front against someone who on the face of it it quite clever at wriggling out of paying on a technicality.
Yes, a bit awkward next time you see that person, but if they paid you the issue wouldn't have ever occurred.
Customers problem - not yours or your work friends.
I actually think they have taken on that business.
I also can't seem to shake the feeling that it was done maliciously but I guess I'll never know.
If it was so innocent, why ignore my message? They know I'm clearly not happy and have just slunk off. If it was me I would at least tell the other person what I'd said! But then, I wouldn't have gone repeating it back to the customer in the first place. I either would've ignored their enquiry or said 'Sorry I'm busy on those dates' They replied to my message warning them 'okay thanks I'll just ask for payment up front' so if they did that, then where was the need to repeat what I'd said?!
IMO, there is just so many ways to have either declined or accepted it without dragging me into it.
But you dragged yourself into it.
If it was so innocent, why ignore my message?
They're probably thinking, "oh shit, maybe I shouldn't have said that" and thinking of what to say.
The colleague also might not be 100% sure about whether you're on (her?) side, as you haven't added her to the networking group?
I gave them a warning, which they thanked me for, and said they would just ask for payment up front. If they had then tagged on to the end of that message 'Oh and by the way, I'm now going to message them, tell them what you said and say to them that we are friends and look out for each other' I would've said 'Please don't do that!' Not once did they hint that they were going to go and 'tell all' to the customer.
And after this, I won't be asking the admin of that group to add them either.
They don't know about the networking group
How do you know? Why haven't you added them?
I don't think it's unprofessional, the customer is the one who didn't pay, she can't be surprised when her reputation comes and bites her on the arse! There's no indication that your friend passed on what you said word for word, might have just been "I've heard from ForFSake that you didn't pay her so I won't be taking on the job I'm afraid." That's not unprofessional, that's just bad word of mouth, which you'll get if you go round not paying people. As PP said up-thread, why do you care what this customer thinks? And why did you warn your friend if the expected outcome wasn't her declining the business based on what you'd told her? Maybe she was a bit thoughtless in her approach, but you gave her the information, what else was she meant to do with it?
It comes across that you don't like this colleague very much
Were you hoping they would turn down the work? Not adding them to the network is spiteful.
It's not my network to add them to? I was added by someone else, but the 2 admins can be a bit funny about who is added (not sure why) It's business at the end of the day. I got networking which was why I was added.
FFSake, maybe message her that you are really surprised she shared your warning with the client, and you will have to think twice about what you share.
Do you think she thought you were trying to warn her off your client, and weren't being truthful? Maybe she is unfamiliar with a supportive rather than competitive, environment.
The thing is I actually wasn't trying to warn them off the client. I think they would be fine if they insisted on payment up front, which is what I said in my original message to them 'If you're going to undertake work for then, I would insist on payment up front'
You said in your OP "I haven't yet added them to the networking event"
Anyhoo... All the best.
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