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tiedeman
03-13-2006, 06:40 PM
Would you honor a Christmas discount if you just closed the deal today?

Back in December I had a 15% off discount for past customers if they signed up for a service for the 2006 season.

Well, a lady contacted me either at the end of December or the first part of January asking me to clean up some pine needles, pine cones, etc. She said that she wanted to call now because she knows of how busy I get and it would be best to schedule in an estimate for when the snow melts instead of waiting until the last minute (why can't all customers be like this?) So I say no problem, schedule in an esimate for her for when the snow melts.

Fast forward to today; I just went and looked at the work, called her back up, and told her the price of $400. She said fine, no a problem. Then she asks me, is this 15% off thing still good. At first I said no, and she was fine with it. But then after I hung up I thought to myself, "No I should honor it, since she did contact me in December." So I called her back up and told her that yes I would honor it.

Now should I have done that or no?

NickN
03-14-2006, 09:11 AM
Yes,you did the right thing.You could have (and might have) used this to your advantage by telling her,"Mrs. X,I appreciate your business.Even though the deal wasn't closed until after the expiration date,we will still honor the discount.It means more to us for our customers to be happy than for us to have a little extra money in our pocket."
I actually just did this.Customer wanted a certain type of walk installed.After the install,she wasn't happy.So, I told her "no problem,we'll change it".When time came to pay the bill,she asked how much extra it would be for the change.I told her we had an agreement,and that there would be no extra charge.She said she needed to pay us,but I told her exactly what I just recommended to you.Cost me a bit of money,but the referrals I'll get from that one gesture will more than make up for it.
Now,they want us to landscape their other home in another town.They know I'll stand behind my work and my word.

Steve
03-14-2006, 11:57 AM
Hi tiedeman,

This is your call. It's a great example of the fine print we need to think of when we create such discounts.

If you said "15% off discount for past customers if they signed up for a service for the 2006 season." This doesn't seem to have an expiration date. And if it has no expiration date, how do you determine when it's valid until? Is it valid forever?

If there is no expiration, I would think it would still be vaild? Although you did say it was a Christmas discount which would make one consider, maybe it had to be used by Christmas?

What are your thoughts on the expiration date?

tiedeman
03-14-2006, 12:29 PM
Well, it actually did have an expiration date of December 31st, if I remember correctly, and I do admit that she did call me before that date to schedule a estimate for when the snow melted.

Now should I have said to her, sorry, you must agree to a price right now before the expiration?

My personal opinion on it was that she played by the rules and contacted before the deadline and so I should honor it. But I was also thinking long term. What if I did not honor this deadline? Would it effect me and business by saying, sorry, I can't honor it, the estimate was for after the deadline, even though you contacted me before?

Steve
03-14-2006, 12:34 PM
Quote[/b] ]Now should I have said to her, sorry, you must agree to a price right now before the expiration?
I agree with you on this point.
Quote[/b] ]15% off discount for past customers if they signed up for a service for the 2006 season.
To sign up for a service means to me that you agree on a service and a price and potentially sign a contract holding you to it in order to get that discount.

tiedeman
03-14-2006, 01:58 PM
I do admit that the wording was probably bad for that particular marketing material.

Steve
03-14-2006, 02:43 PM
Well, it's just something to live and learn. We can't know everything. We have to made course corrections as we move forwards.

If you feel bad about it, you could still give her something extra and explain that you feel bad about the wording and you didn't want to leave her with a bad impression. Or you could just leave it and move on.