Saturday, January 28, 2012

When to Walk Away from a Problem Customer

Just as in personal relationships, there are toxic business relationships. I should have known this one would be trouble from the beginning.

This soon-to-be former customer had just moved into a new office space. They moved all their existing computers, servers and other equipment into the new space and just needed someone to connect everything and get it working with the new internet connection. This job usually takes half-a-day to complete. I was retained two weeks ago and so far only 1 computer is connected to anything!

Some of the warning signs:
  1. The business owner was never on time for any meetings.
  2. The office manager was the rudest woman I've met in years.
  3. The deposit check bounced.
  4. No one had any ideas about user names or passwords for any device on the network.
  5. Office staff has zero discipline -- people showed up for work when they damn well pleased.
  6. The governing management method can be summarized as "bully, threaten and scream."
  7. Contradicting instructions from everyone I spoke with.
  8. The business owner was more interested in recounting his latest sexual conquest than working.
  9. On the 2nd day of the contract, I was accused of being a thief and a liar by the office manager. For the record, I'm still not sure what I stole or lied about.
  10. The owner's interior decorator spent 2 hours telling me the right way to set up a network.
I could keep writing but I think you get the point. You have to know when to walk away. In this case, I'm not walking -- I'm running like hell.

R-Squared Computing | Lou RG | Nearly Free IT | Firm Wisdom

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