I pride myself on exceeding all expectations with my clients. When you hire me, I go the extra mile... ten miles, even... to make sure you are happy with the decision you made (brilliant though it may be). I put my every effort into churning out work you'll love. I endeavor to come in on (or under) budget. Whatever you need, I'm there for you (well, as long as it's legal... if you want to snort a line of cocaine off a hooker's ass, then you're on your own). I'm the perfect guy for the job, mainly because I work so hard to be perfect.
And isn't that the way it should be?
Well, apparently not.
Today I had a major problem with somebody I hired to run some artwork on a large-format printer. Usually, I would hire somebody local who I trust to do a good job so I can see the results and make sure everything looks as it should. But, in this case, the deadline was too tight and I was forced to use a printer in Los Angeles to do the job. It shouldn't have been a big deal because I specified exactly what I wanted and confirmed every detail.
But is was a big deal, because they got just about everything wrong, and then overcharged me. When I called to complain it went something like this:
ME: So let me get this straight. You printed my job the wrong size, and on the wrong paper. So not only did it not fit, it also look pale and washed out because you used a matte paper instead of the gloss paper I requested. Then I get a bill telling me you are charging me almost DOUBLE the original quote for a change I never wanted?
THEM: We changed the paper stock to give you a better looking product. The better paper was more expensive, and...
ME: BUT IT'S NOT WHAT I ASKED FOR! And it didn't look bright and vibrant like we wanted, the matte paper made it look terrible!
THEM: Well, that's your opinion... I thought the job looked great...
ME: BUT I'M THE CUSTOMER, AND IT'S NOT WHAT I ASKED FOR!! If you are going to change the job, don't you think it's a good idea to check with the customer first?!?
THEM: We understood this was a rush job, so there wasn't time to consult about the changes.
ME: That's crap. A phone call takes five minutes. And if you didn't have time to call, YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE MADE THE CHANGES! You specifically ignored the job specs, and I'm not paying for it. I'll give you the ORIGINALLY QUOTED PRICE less the $50 I had to pay in order to have it re-sized. And even THEN I am not happy that you changed the paper stock so my job looked crappy.
THEM: A quote is just a starting point, and the actual costs...
ME: I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT! Consider yourself lucky I'm paying you anything. If you seriously want me to pay for YOUR mistakes and YOUR problems, you'll have to take me to court. SLAM!
Maybe it's because I'm thousands of miles away and they don't really care if they keep me as a customer, but WTF? This is just lame. Even worse, it seems to be the way everything is heading... software is packed with bugs that are never fixed... products you buy don't work like they're supposed to... it seems as though pride in workmanship and product quality are things of the past. Yet people seem content to put up with it, and I can't help but wonder when our standards fell so low?