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  • Kristen Shields

THAT Bad Apple Customer

Often I hear from new clients presenting with a homeowner dispute or nonpayment that in all the years they have worked, they have never had an issue with a customer. They did great work at the property and can't understand why the project has unfolded a particular way.


You've never had an issue until you do. While a few contractors go their career unscathed, a bad apple customer is somewhat inevitable for most. Out of 100 jobs you perform, if 99 go well - you do the work and promptly get paid - and then you have just the 1 bad apple customer, that's pretty good odds. I would take that split any day.


The reality is THAT bad apple customer, from my experience, has lost all sense of reason, is fixated on something random, and won't listen to a word you say. (Out of the blue, she may even terminate you prior to final payment and keep your tools locked in her garage... hypothetically of course).


If/when you hit this juncture, often it takes an outside person (i.e. yours truly) to crank up the heat to close out the project, whether that involves forcing completion of the work, demanding final payment, and/or negotiating a close out deal, to name a few options. Walking away from payment or a project does not prevent the bad apple customer from filing a complaint with the licensing board and/or the BBB and doing a whole host of other things. Remember, they're quite crazy, emotional, irrational, and illogical. True close out, if it can achieved and whatever that looks like, may be best so you can worry less.


Circumstances typically don't improve with the passage of time, so if you're having an issue with a bad apple customer, let's explore some options. CONTACT US today.


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