Friday, February 10, 2012

Your level of trust on service providers and clients

What impact do people who cheat you financially ( maybe you hire a worker who doesn't do the job, or takes a deposit and never delivers on the actual job) have on you and your ability to conduct transations?

I just had a big debate with my someone about the issue: she feels I'm too trusting (because I tend to give people a chance and try not to judge them based on my interaction with other people).

My position is that no thief is going to be allowed to steal my ability to make decisions and poison me to become an engry, bitter, distrustful individual who can't even hire service providers.

Yes, I learn from my mistakes. I even went through a stage when I saw people out to get me hiding in every nook and cranny.

But eventually I resolved that living like that was too hard; it takes too much energy and you can never really be happy and enjoy life if everyone is a potential enemy. Funny enough, I felt a lot of negative energy while having the discussion and I couldn't imagine carrying that level of pain everyday because of  a negative worldview.

Anyhoo, I'd like you to share your views on the issue:
Do you interact with people with the assumption that, while there are cheats out there, most people just want their deposit so they can get on with the job?

Do you freak out every time you have to pay a service provider a deposit because in your experience, people are prone to take your money and run and you'd rather they did the job and then you pay?

As a service provider, do you insist on a deposit because you're afraid the client won't pay once you've done the job? Or do you see a deposit as just a normal part of doing business and it has no bearing on the trustworthiness of the person you're dealing with?


Ecoecho said...

I posted a long comment, and it was accepted. Then Google in its wisdom popped up the warning about its security etc changing and it seems it wiped out the comment. Sorry old bean :(

Damaria Senne said...

Oi! Now I'm curious about what you said:-)

Ecoecho said...

I would lean in the direction of point three, seeing a deposit as a good business practice that creates a contract between the client and the business. It is a two way street, although many would-be clients do not see it that way of course.

From the clients' point of view it should mean that they have a contract and confidence in the business/entrepreneur and from the business/entrepreneurs' point of view it means they have a bona fide contract with the client and can work on the job with confidence.

Unfortunately, things being what they are in real life, [and there are always two sides to the coin], both sides may well have had bad experiences with either not being paid or bad work being produced. This will then cause either/both sides to be very wary. On the one hand not wanting to pay a deposit and on the other not wanting to do work without a deposit.

This brings one back to the point that so many would be clients go for the cheapest quote/price and end up with shoddy work, broken deadlines and so on, which they then blame on the industry as a whole. Sadly, these are the same people who most often do not afford small businesses [which is what we are] any courtesy or respect, and this comes across in their attitude to us all.

I had a brother-in-law like this. He has run his own business from home, a very successful business I might add, but if he can do someone down he will do so and make comments like 'You snooze, you lose'. I got caught by him myself! He is a cheapskate, would never pay a deposit, goes for the cheapest quote and really messes people who are not his clients about, will never pay a salary to anyone he employs and so on. And there are a lot of people like him around.

So, as I say, I feel that a deposit is a gesture of respect and good faith for both sides and should be considered a part of the normal business, particularly when dealing with the one man or small business - one to another.

Rebecca E. said...

I would say it's all a part of doing business, to give a desposit especially if you are just working with the person for the first time.

On the other hand, if you have someone who is very trustworthy-- you've worked with them before, then I don't think a deposit (or as much) is as needed.

Pamela said...

I say give deposit but don't be foolish about it. Make sure you've vetted the person/company and they are regarded generally as reputable. My daughter's friend runs his own design/lay out business and he has been gouged and cheated so often. I keep advising him to get 50% up front and then his expenses at least are covered. When my daughter was running her own business, I gave the same advice. I am prepared to pay a deposit and I want clients who are also willing to make that "contract" with me by paying a deposit.

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