I teach this scenario all the time. CCTV is all about managing expectations. 20 other people might say it's the best night image they have seen. There isn't a lot you can do here to make them like it better without an extensive amount of equipment upgrade. The work had to be done first. Show them images, see a demo site. Understand how picky they are. You are in a tough position and your contract and tenacity will determine much of the future. Good luck.
Well I don't know if I have any good suggestions on how to change his expectations - you could demo a couple cameras that will give him better night vision... just make sure they're about five times the price, but don't tell him the price first.
"Okay, let me show you this camera..."
"Wow, that's amazing, I love it! Let's change them all to these!"
"No problem, they're only $xxxx each..."
If all else fails and you end up having to take it out... make sure you take it ALL out, including all the wiring (assuming you cabled the job). He's probably thinking he can get all his money back from you, then pay someone else less to come and just plug in a new system while not having to pay them for the wiring install.
Some customers can experience 'buyers remorse' for a whole lot of reasons that you may never be in a position to know. If this is the case in your scenario there isn't much you can do, as the customer is stating an undisprovable reason for his disaproval of your work and/or products.
Could you add an inexpensive white light illuminator to the rig? This would show the customer that you are interested in making him happy and sucking up some of your own margins to satisfy him.
You don't even have to buy anything - just find something at a price that you could suck up if you had to and tell the customer of your good plans to try and satisfy him. If he declines, he's probably just a dick.
Live and learn. UD2M above got it on the nose...
The ds-cd2532f-is model is only specified for 10m IR range. That's quite low and the lowest spec range Hikvision lists.
Here are 16 Hikvision models, under $200, with 20m+ IR range, indeed 2 of them have 50m IR range specs (e.g., the Hikvision DS-2CD2232-I5, which has 50m IR, 3MP and online pricing of ~$170).
A camera with 10m IR range in that level of darkness is asking for problems. I'd offer to swap out to one of those Hikvision models with longer range IR at no cost, because this is likely to solve the problem and the current model seems to be a poor choice.
The area of coverage that the customer wanted is within 5-feet of the house. Why would I use greater IR for that?
So should I eat the costs of labor as well? Takes nearly 2 hours tto get to the place and we also added a 5th cable pull in anticipation of installing a 5th camera after the customer saw the image and liked it. We were going to comeback out to install the 5th camera.
IPVMU Certified | 09/05/15 12:50pm
I wouldn't give him a full refund. Your contract should be written so when they sign the service ticket from the technician it shows that they are satisfied with the equipment and install. That being said, you could give him a partial refund and still rip out all the cable and equipment. You shouldn't go into the red because he thought he could get what they show on TV. To avoid this. We always send sample footage of every camera before we go out and install a system. No matter how big or small the customer is. They sign off on the image quality and the understanding that results WILL vary. The 2532 is the wrong camera to use, we use them a lot in pharmacies and small office spaces. The new EXIR cameras are a much better option for outside.
This is just me, but I would give him a full refund, uninstall everything including the wire, put his property back exactly like you found it, walk away and call this a win. His reasons may be right or wrong, but his feelings belong to him. You will never satisfy him. Treat this as lessons learned, walk away with your head up, refund the entire amount and but make sure you take it all. If he wants the cable, that is your leverage to charge for the install. If not, both parties win. "Not all money is good money".
Something is up when the customer is asking for a full refund as opposed to giving you an opportunity to meet his "needs" or "expectations".
If the quote does not mention brand, was it verbally stated? If he's asking for something now in terms of performance that was not mentioned ahead of time, it doesn't make him entitled to a full or even partial refund.
Beyond who's right or wrong here, there are many factors that would influence a decision on your part either way. The above advice and 20/20 hindsight offer valuable lessons.
Still it seems to me the customer is being unreasonable and is using any "excuse" to get all his money back. I would offer him an upgrade path telling him that at the price point given the night vision performance is as good as it gets. If the NVR was not quoted to be of a specific brand (even though it is unbranded Hikvision), then technically you still fulfilled your end of the bargain.
If he refuses an upgrade path (potentially at a significant discount "in good faith"), then the customer is being unreasonable and really only wants his money back whatever the reason.
I don't have all the facts, so in the end it's whatever you can live with. Take the product back and refund that part only (not the labor)? Offer an upgrade path and any other option to "meet his expectations"? Tell him straight out that a full refund is out of the questions for XYZ reasons and state the options you are willing to offer.
In short, from what you've told us, a full refund seems completely unreasonable. In the end, I would follow my conscience and do what I feel is right even if it means losing the client relationship (which appears to be the case anyway). Weigh the pros and cons for you and your business for sure and give yourself time for all and any emotions to settle a bit.
What is your written policy on refunds or guarantees? At a minimum, you need to follow that. But from your description it sounds like this is one customer who will always be unhappy with you. l like customers, and not just because they pay the bills. I like them because I like people. But there are a very few that refuse to be pleased no matter what you do. If he is refusing any path to his own satisfacton, then clearly he does not want to be your customer, so don't force him. Let him go. Every time you hear his name your butt cheeks will clinch up. Do you really need that in your life? If you really want to satisfy your customer, and his only desire is to be somewhere else, meet that demand. But that is just me. I would remove it all, give him his money back, shake his hand and wish him the very best.
Refund the hardware less expenses and be glad your out of this one. A lot of headaches in front of you if you fight it. Take it as a learning experience and sleep well!!!
Yes I suspect something is up as well. Like now that all the holes have been made customer can install over without much labor. For whatever it's worth what I haven't told you guys is that the customer has 4 DIY Cameras THAT CUSTOMER installed and about 3-4 more wildlife type cameras located thru-out the property which is fairly small. Their is fencing within fencing. And most importantly the customer thinks there is a stalker and has had police out several times. However, with regards to the stalker I walked the property line and saw no signs of trampled grass/weeds to indicate someone has been there. Also customer sent me email Wednesday evening requesting refund and by Thursday afternoon had filed a complaint with BBB without giving me ample time to respond. Who does that?? I have not really had the opportunity to offer another solution.
IPVMU Certified | 09/05/15 04:20pm
Dude/Dudette, some losses are to be expected in business. This will occur. The key is to keep losses to minimum. Not every job will be a win. And just because someone has money, has a business, or is the president of an HOA doesn't mean they're not nuts. When doing business with people, you have to know a little psychology, and when dealing with crazy, best to cut off the relationship quick with no ties. Trying to hold back some of the money is just one more tie crazy people use to hang on, like a crazy boyfriend/girlfriend who just won't leave because you keep giving them and opening to exploit.
Okay....that was unfair. Most of these replies would have been different if the whole story had been told upfront. The title should have been. "What now, I sold to a nut job". If you've been in business long enough and deal with the public this will happen. I have had a couple and then learned how to identify early and politely back out.
I am being stalked (add 20 points), people are listening in on me (add 30), someone changed the motor in my car to a smaller one (real and add 50), someone took food from my refrigerator while I was out (add 10) and so on. When you get to 100, run.
There was good advice by others if you can afford it. Pull the gear and get a signed release of all liability.
I wanted to but then thought I should make the decision based on what people would normally do not on the basis the person has "issues". Personally, I wanted to help the customer because I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. But I have learned my lessons and next time will listen to my gut instincts. Btw, would the responses / recommendations been different if you had known more background?
My advice would have been to pack up the gear and get a release of all liability in exchange for the labor. Even then you may not have heard the last of this person. BBB is just a start. You can't call them crazy as a response to any Yelp or other posting. So far you haven't been accused of installing listening devices, stolen anything, damaged property, made keys, you name it.
I hope for your sake all you do is return the money
We are going to call it lesson learned and retrieve our stuff. If I leave cable customer may complain that we didn't clean up.
Id rip it all out, give him a full refund, and be done with it.
Exactly why I dont do residential.
When I pull the equipment I'll make sure it's in working order. Having said that, I wonder if I should tell the customer that they need to stop using it or get charged a lease fee. Because I have no doubt it is on and in use.
You have very few options to be quite honest. Kindly remove all equipment in its entirety. Learn from this experience and make the necessary changes in order to limit the chances of it occurring again. Going forward, bring a sample of the unit to the sales call. Give the client access to sample live video using the recorder you are proposing, ask a friend or leverage the rep if you need to, make them do their job. Create an equipment authorization form listing all hardware and have the client sign it, keep that for your records. Create a terms and conditions form, if you can't afford to buy one there are many samples online that you can use to create your own. Learn to itemize everything provide all model numbers and do not ever switch the equipment you proposed. Learn to be transparent, sales guys can be horrible at this which will ultimately screw the company at the end of the day. Mark up your equipment only a small amount say 10-25% Whatever you planned on making on the project put it into design and installation. Trust me when I say that as you grow the losses a company can experience can only get bigger so get the basics down now. Respectfully Greg Vice President at NYSSINC
Certainly giving him a full refund is the path of least resistance. But once the customer files a complaint with the BBB, I would think he's not entitled to much other than what's fair and reasonable which of course is for you to determine. I would give him 2 or 3 options you deem fair and acceptable and let him choose. You've already lost him as a customer though you never know he might have been having a bad week/month. Does that mean you should take a complete loss in time and materials? It is a small system but still.
You seem to have made a decision you could love with so this is just my point of view. This client is dishonest and I hate to see people like that get their way. They most likely wouldn't in court if they tried that route.
Having said that, yes, comply and move on might be the easiest and wisest move.
Clearly the consensus is to beat up on the bad customer but Undisclosed 1 should take some responsibility for specifying the cameras they did. Those cameras do not make much sense in this application, especially since the same vendor's line has much more powerful IR cameras for maybe $30 or $50 more than what was specified.
I don't know this customer and maybe the customer is just crazy, but if there is a reasonable case that one's own error contributed to the conflict, I would strongly considering trying to solve it first.
I would give the customer a full refund AFTER they allow me in to remove the equipment. The fight is not going to end well for you, the homeowner has already made up their mind, and the cost damage to your reputation (homeowners WILL wag the tongue & take to social media) will be far higher than the cost to pull the equipment & give them back thier money.
IPVMU Certified | 09/06/15 08:08pm
One point I will add. You have an angry customer. Don't push it. Say you are sorry the system didn't live up to their expectations and walk away. Ask them if they would like the cable. You spent the time and money installing it, and they may be able to use it. It will take you time to remove it, and it is useless to you. Don't disable it in any fashion. If he wants you to remove the cable, do so as neatly as possible. Ask if you need to patch and paint, and do so if he requests.
This was a bad situation and you don't need to antagonize it any further. If you do these things and explain it to the BBB, they will write that in their report. Any angry customer will tell 100 people about their bad experience. Seldom do they tell 100 people about the great experience.
No matter what your contract says, if you can't please the customer, back away. As others have said, if you can't please him fully, every time he calls, you'll think - "not again." Have you fired a customer? - we have.
I know, pretty bad. I'm just angry about the whole thing. I honestly feel like I went over and above to help this customer out and now this.
I once had a customer who complained about the IR not being true night vision. It was my fault for not managing expectation. Put in white security lights and forget about IR. If he is not interested do nothing. Sounds fishy.
Just today I had a customer complain about Hikvision install on the night vision, these have 30m night and I think it's great, but customer was expecting more. I ask them if they ever saw the night vision goggles on TV that the military uses and what does that look like? They admitted admitted that it was very grainy and green. I told them that these night vision goggles were several thousand dollars and that's what they got, so what are they expect on a couple hundred dollar camera. I told him I could put in illuminators or motion lights to greatly improve things but nothing was going to be excellent at night. They accepted this and droped the subject.
This customer was reasonable but some customers are just best walked away from.
I followed your advice and contacted Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum. He told me "NOT to refund the money and to sit tight".
I will be using Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum contracts in the future, seems the logical/safest thing to do.
You don't need to be Avigilon to lawyer-up.
This is a big reason we avoid residential jobs.. The client might say "I want to be able to see well at night" but your idea of "see well at night" might be completely different to theirs
Residential clients have high expectations but want it for little coin and do not always understand what they are getting is actually really good.
If I do residential and I'm worried about this happening I will often install (as a temp install) one o the cameras and set it up on their PC - and say "look at this day and night" and tell me what you think - if you accept it, that is what you are getting (often good to get them to sign such in order acceptance). Its a costly exercise but it does
a) guarantee the client knows what they are getting
b) gives you a let to stand on
c) actually often makes you get the job over someone else who just fires them a quote - even if you are more expensive
Just curious, how much did he pay for this system; what was the cost of the hardware and labor at full retail cost (Cost to customer in full)?
What was the outcome of this?
Give the customer his $200 back.