In the spring 2015 pricelist, I proposed a ď20-80Ē rule. That is, 20% of the people you interact with will consume 80% of your time. This customer fits that description to a T.
He placed an order for some discount postage, but needed certain quantities of particular denominations. The order was just over $17. OK, that request isnít too time intensive. It took about 5 minutes to pull out the eight different denominations he requested.
A week later, he returned some of the stamps. There were 15 Christmas stamps in the mix and Christmas stamps were not acceptable.
What really upset me was that the stamps got wet at some point and were now stuck to the inside of the glassine envelope that he returned them in. They were not stuck when I sent them to him. The stamps were cemented to the glassine and were now ruined unless I wanted to take time and soak and dry about $2 worth of stamps. No thank you. I could accuse him of getting the stamps wet which was likely the case since they were cemented onto the glassine. This wasnít a few raindrops on the envelope during normal mail delivery. There is a chance that they got wet while in the care of the USPS, but Iím skeptical. Itís rare that Iíve received anything soaked in water from the USPS. If I accuse him, heís just going to blame the USPS for getting them wet. Iím not going to win this battle. I have no proof he did it.
He put a note in with his return. ďI donít want Christmas stamps and of course you want to make the customer happy.Ē
I returned 15 other non-Christmas stamps too him.
A few days later, there is a message on my answering machine. He sent me 20 stamps and I only returned 15 stamps to him. The stamps were still in the garbage can. I checked. Yep, there are 15 stamps there. I called him. He insisted that he returned 20 Christmas stamps. I sent him five more stamps.
He is now gone from my mailing list. If he places any further orders, Iíll return the order to him intact with a note, ďSorry, all items were sold. I canít help you.Ē
This $17 order of discount postage cost me about 30 minutes of time and about $3 in additional stamps between the stamps cemented together that I trashed and the 5 stamps that ďI forgotĒ to replace. I made about $2 profit on the sale for those 30 minutes of work.
I love my customers. Once in a while though, I get a doosey! He can try his luck with some other dealer and see if they will tolerate his nonsense. He consumed a lot of my time for almost no profit. Heís in that 20% pot that takes up all of my time. My time is valuable and I need to spend it better serving the rest of you.