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Falsely Accused!!


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Post Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:19 pm

Falsely Accused!!

So anyway...

Today I did a Berlingo people carrier for a customer. This consisted of PC600 prints of a logo and vinyl lettering for the rest of the work. The end result (I have to admit :oops: ) was fantastic, and I expected my usual accolade of praise when the customer returned to collect the vehicle.

(Oh.. I forgot to mention, the vehicle had a pinstripe running along both sides, my client had asked me to take this off as this would impose on the overall design. However, I noticed that this was concealing a rather nasty deep scratch in the paintwork (and I made a mental note to point this out to my client when they returned as I didn't want them to think I had done it.... :roll: ))

As expected, my client was delighted with the end result, and I modestly accepted all of the praise I was due... :oops: :oops:

...By the way, (says I) I better point out the scratch that was hidden by the pinstripe........ would think that the vehicle was a "right off" (judging by her reaction). ....

That wasn't there before says she...

Yes it was.... (says I) it was hidden by the pinstripe :roll:

But the scratch isn't straight, and it's also visible on the fuel filler cap - It wasn't there before (says she... the obvious implication was that I was lying and I had done it).

By now I was seething (hot) as I was actually being accused of having damaged the vehicle and was lying to cover up my crime. :evil:

I sternly corrected her and explained that the scratch was under the pinstripe and it absolutely did not happen whilst in my care.

She reluctantly agreed with me to take it up with the garage that sold her the vehicle and left (having paid her bill in full :cool: ).

I was left wondering if she really did believe I had caused the scratch and how could I ensure in future that I couldn't be falsely accused of something similar :-?

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Post Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:36 pm


The only way I can think of to eradicate this kind of thing in the future would be to use a similar method to companies who provide curtesy cars. They have a very simple line drawing of a vehicle which shows any damage visible when the car is given to the customer who then signs off the form. The car is checked again when returned. Obviously I wouldn't do this with every vehicle, just the ones which you can see are damaged.


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Post Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:47 pm

That's a tough one, Phil. Next time you do a vehicle with any striping to be removed, point out before you start, that dealers often cover scratches with stripe kits. Say it's the oldest trick in the book. Maybe that'll remove any possibility of you being blamed. I know they do it because I've been asked by a local garage to do it for them before. Bloody dealerships....hate 'em. Say that.

I've had a customer attempt to hold me to ransom before, said I'd scratched a car in the car park with my ladders. Never went near it. He refused to pay until I put the ladders up and started to remove the sign....

Yours is a bit different, I suppose the woman had a right to be annoyed, just not with you.

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Post Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:54 pm

I would also invest in a digital camera to take before/after pix.
Not just for your portfolio but for use as evidence.
As soon as you discover the boo-boo, take a picture of it.
The date/time stamp on the pic will be an asset too.

I have heard of clients who complain about this or that in order
to try to carve out a deep discount.
Just be careful and be glad that she DID pay you.

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Post Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:25 am

Hi phill
i can sympathise with you mate.. ive got a great big T-shirt to proove it too.. :lol1:
without going right into it.. a customer did this with me, a van i took ages designing and fitting.. looked really nice and they pulled the joker card when picking it up. cut it short we didnt get paid.

since then (and you may have spotted when you were in our place) small correx signs saying that all dents scratches marks etc must be reported to owner before one bit of vinyl is applied. marks etc are "as you will know" normaly found when cleaning the van and drying off...

as jill says also.. take a picture of the marks as the vinyls coming off or before any vinyl is applied. then call them telling them to come back..
its worth it in the long run because you get some right crackers out there chancing their luck. :evil:

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Post Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:50 am

What a bummer! :evil: Thats got to be the one of the worst things that can happen on any job, being virtually convicted of something just by your presence onsite.

Thankfully it hasn't happened to me so far, but there's been some great suggestions on how to tackle the problem. The thing is, I can see the dilema from both sides, if she really didn't know it was there from her perspective she brought in a van with stripes and went away with a well signwritten van be a big dinger. From your point of view, you work like the proverbial all day and get ear ache for your pains! :-? Luckily, she's paid you, but I can only imagine the conversation!

Humble opinion, but the before and after photos and the car hire outline solutions seem to be the way to go. Its still going to be hard work convincing the customer when its hidden by pinstripes though :-?

Cheers, Dewi

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Post Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:42 am

Its tough beeing accused of something like that.
Had an incident a couple of weeks ago when a woman asked me "- Do you cut the vinyl on the car?" It was hard to keep the sarkasm in me but i learned that the last time she had her car striped a less "professional" person had cut out the letters directly on the car...leaving huge scratches and really messed the car up.

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Post Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:06 pm

those crazy swedes :lol1:

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Post Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:46 pm

I've had this happen too. The 1st thing I do is stop immediately and ring the client. Explain what has been found, and ask them to come and look at it before I proceed. That way, they still see the stripe on the vehicle, the mess that is made, and the ding.

Dealers do this all the time, cover damage with graphics or stripes.

When doing a quote, and the client wants the graphics/stripe removed in the process, ask if they had the graphic/stripe fitted, or if the dealer had done it. If they didn't request the grapghic, assume that it is covering something.

If you are going to take before and after shots, make sure they are at the same angle. I've had clients not accept the photos because the background is 'different' and they argue that the vehicle is not is the same place for each shot, claiming that the damage was done when the vehicle was moved.

As I say, get the client to look at the damage the minute it is found. Don't go any further, as some people take whatever opportunity they can not to pay. Like Rob, I have been caught once, but never again.

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Post Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:12 pm

What a pain in the (oh i am a bad carrie :wink:) Phil, the thing that would bug me the most is knowing that she probably still thinks it was me that caused the damage and thinking that I was telling fibs :cry:

Havent had the misfortune yet of a being caught by a vehicle but we did get caught when we were doing the signage for a new shop that was opening, delivered the sign in perfect condition and wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard to protect it .... the builders who were friends of the owner were putting it up for him, so left it everything great till next day when he called to say builders had put sign up but it is scratched and they say it was delivered to them like that!!! Word against word, in the end out of good will we went and touched up the sign got the damage sorted ... which you could see was caused by the builders when they fitted the frame .. it was scratched right where the fixings were ... even so customer wouldnt accept it was not us. Really pi*sed me off, but we ensure the client is there to accept goods now and sign to say all delivered ok.

Some customers eh!!! There are times when I would love to just do this :wedgey: and poke them in the eye! :poke:

Carrie :D

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Post Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:02 am

remind me never to upset you Carrie! :lol1:

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Post Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:14 am

:lol1: :lol1: Im such a nice, shy, pleasant young lady .... In my opinion, but when someone upsets me ..... and it does take a lot to do that as I am very patient-ish..... :lol1: I do like to make it clear that Im not a happy bunny :evil:

Ooooh Im sorry for saying a*s in my last post :oops: :lol1:

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