August 12, 2008

You’re Fired As A Client

Every once in awhile I come across people and organizations who never fail to amuse me and prove to me how dimwitted they are. I mean, are they clueless about how stupid their actions and words make them appear, or is it that that they just don’t care?

On July 23rd, my team and I conducted a teambuilding session for this company called EIG. We didn’t want to take on the job because it was an incredibly busy month and we would only have a week to prepare for it.

However, after they pleaded and stressed how much a teambuilding activity was required, we agreed – and at a discounted price as well because the amount initially quoted was not within their budget. We also agreed to proceed without the usual 50% as we thought the time spent quibbling over 50% would be better spent organizing the event. I believe I forgot to mention how many people it was for – more than 500 employees of EIG for team building. This is the value we consistently work towards to create for our clients.

As usual, we do great work and the event wrapped up about 30 minutes earlier because they also had their annual dinner that night and the caterers were already moving in with their trucks making the area even more chaotic – what with over 500 people fresh from an adrenaline rush running all over the place.

It was stated in the Sales Order given to EIG that 100% payment must be received upon completion of the event. We didn’t receive payment because according to someone named Kim (Group Functional Head of HR), the payment was ready but it was in her office and she couldn’t find the keys to it. We kept our promise of delivering a branded experience but she broke her promise.

This isn’t the end of course. When payment was requested a few days later, Kim informed us that EIG now wants a RM3, 000 discount further even though they had a great time (She even invited our whole team on stage after the event to get all the people to applaud us for a job well done) – so what does this say about EIG? I think I should also mention that EIG wanted a team building event for their staff, but didn’t want the activities to be strenuous because they didn’t want the staff to sweat since the annual dinner was on soon after! While Kim was withholding the payment, she had the audacity to ask for the edited video and cd with pictures. You have got to be pretty stupid to be asking such a stupid question.

I’m Chinese myself – so let me just say this: EIG’s business style is typically Chinaman – they squeeze you for every little bit of what they pay you and more and then expect to build a long tern relationship with their vendors. They are really stupid, because what they don’t realize is this – they may like to think of themselves as clients, but Kim and EIG, did it ever cross your mind that we too might be your clients? I guess not. So what did we do in the end? We wanted to cut our losses by not having to deal with such idiots ever again by giving RM3, 000 discount and finally received payment on August 8th – just in time for the Olympics – 17 Days after the scheduled payment date. So to Kim and EIG, this is what I have to say:

We never wanted to work with you – we did you a favor

We don’t want to work with you in the future – because you are highly unprofessional and unethical

We are not interested to deal with you any further - because you don’t deserve us as your honorable service provider

We will never work with you again because Kim & EIG – YOU ARE FIRED as a client.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

yeah fire them!!!

suriaz81 said...

WOW!! Well said Ernie..
So much of time, effort, energy were put in but if at the end we don't get what we deserve to.. than you are not fit to be our client..
If you think you are ALWAYS RIGHT just because you are a CLIENT... Well, think again!!

Anonymous said...

Disappointing to know such incident. How can an educated person function that way in the company? My God!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, agree with what you said. My finance dept. always pay the vendor before paying our own staff, we appreciate good vendor who deliver their job promptly as promised. However, there are some vendors who keep on chasing for their payment even though is yet to due.To this kind of vendor, I wish to render a question: is your company facing any financial difficulties and going to broke soon?

Anonymous said...

Being such a big and well established company, I never know and never expect they will do this kind of thing by asking small money to be discounted. What a shame on them....

Anonymous said...

I do agree with the unprofessional and unethical approach that Kim & her co. has appeared to be. Companies such as these do not realize that they are actually tarnishing their own image and thus effect their business eventually. A good example would be, it is mentioned in this blog about them. My question to you would be why did you not realize that the company was eventually taking you for a ride in the beginning stage itself? I understand that ATCEN delivers only the best but did you not do a study on that company first before agreeing to their terms? Anyway, I know how frustrated you and your team were despite a busy schedule & effort poured out, you wanted to give the best which you did but you did not receive the best out of it. A good lesson for both parties, agree?

Anonymous said...

I have attended your organization's trainings and you guys do a fantastic job! What you did to Kim/EIG was correct. It is highly unprofessional to seek for a discount after the service has been rendered. Well to Ernie and your team, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hope Kim reads the blog and comments and think about her own personal branding.

Esther Q said...

oh no.... i am a leanard drake user... sad to hear the company function like a china man company and not professional.....

gosh.... i can't put my face to them anymore....

i guess is better to tell all my friends not to use their products...they may have a same behavior...cutting cost and squeeze the quality of the product...as how they squeeze their vendor for more discount...

i am very disappointed to this company!

Thanks for this important news sharing...is really greatful and helpful to the user of their product..

hl said...

Agreed with Esther Q. We don't know when the organization facing the financial issue, what will they do on their product and sell in the market? Why EIG people never think about win-win situation? If Kim & EIG did well to ATCEN people and appreciated the well done job, EIG will gain few more new clients. Don't forget, word of mouth will tell the whole world how good/bad of your company, people and product. Oh my god, is because of the RM3,000, how far these people and company will go? I have seen how ATCEN people work and prepare for every event. Especially this EIG event. It's no joke, they really take it serious in preparing everything, just to make sure the event will run smooth, by end of the day, the event will "exceed customer delight". Hard work and people work with "HEART" deserve for the recognition and appreciation.

Well said Ernie, if client did wrong, we can always "fired" them. Customer is not always "right".

Anonymous said...

I have quite a few bad experience when dealing with what we so call "Corporate People". This corporate people which from high Education background think that they are very "High Class" and always act LCLY to their vendor. (Definitely not all corporate people are bad, just a portion of them are the bad example). Do not ever treat your vendor bad and don't be so LCLY to your vendor and others. You're just working in that multi national company. You're just hired to do your job. The company does not belong to you. You will get FIRED by your company one day. Why? Because your vendor or customers will send an email to your CEO to make a complain on how you treat your vendor. Believe me, your CEO will definitely fired you to protect the organization's brand. Because you are no body to the CEO. So NEVER LCLY to your vendor who is able to deliver great services to your company.

L said...

not so smart client.

HY said...

Salute your courage to post this write up.

Folk, if you are doing something correct, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot slap them in their face!

And, after reading this write up, EIG, you are FIRED as my potential client too!

rachel said...

Why does Malaysian's want do business like a chinaman anyway.

daniel said...

What?! What a such horrible, terrible, damn suck organization you are! If you are graphic designer, you creative a damn great nice Web site for your client. But they just come to you, saying: " Thank You!" and without paying you single one sen. How do you feel?

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