Where did I go wrong?: Losing clients can be ... satisfying
Kowtowing to bad clients can be bad for business
Jan 01, 2005
"I have no intention of paying these high prices, doctor," he announced. "Butterball needs to be spayed, but I'm not going to let myself be robbed. I have a paper right here that you gave me when I got her. It says that a spay is only $75."
I took a look at the paper. It was six years old. Not only that, but Butterball was clearly one of the fattest Beagles I had ever seen. I tried to explain that six years and 60 pounds alters a lot of things. He was not in agreement.
I chose "not." Then when I tried to explain that I might need to take an X-ray and run some other blood tests, he left my office in search of a vet who wasn't so "money hungry." He took the six-year-old paper with him, vowing to show it to the Better Business Bureau.
Later that same day, Mrs. Quibble came to see me with her old Tom Cat, Mr. Cheeks. He had a lump forming on his right shoulder. Mrs. Quibble wanted to know why we hadn't noticed it before.
"You know doctor. We were just in here for his vaccinations a few months ago. Shouldn't you have seen this? You must not have examined him very well."
I looked at the record. She was right; it had been a few months since his last visit. Eighteen months to be exact. I pointed out that a lot can happen in a year and a half. Unfortunately, she was no more understanding than Mr. Bicker had been. The way she saw the situation, because we didn't see the lump when she feels we should have, it was now our responsibility and not hers. I was given a choice; fix the lump for free or watch her take her business somewhere else.
It wasn't long before the third problem of the day surfaced. (My problems always seem to come in threes.) It was a phone call from Mrs. Seldom, and she was hopping mad about our examination policies.
"What's this nonsense about Poochie having come over there to get a health certificate? He was just there to get neutered last year. You know he's healthy. We're flying to Florida next week, and your office person said that you wouldn't give us a health certificate unless you look at him first. That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard."