Lunatic Customer or Lunatic Owner You Choose.



Lunatic Customer or Lunatic Owner You Choose.



This is a recent conversation on an internet plumbing site. I would like to go step by step why this is a horrible way to handle a customer and run a business. The writer of this forum thread is bragging that this is the way to fire a customer and a proper reason to fire a customer. He is pump fisting and proud that he does not take crap from anyone and is more important than any of his customers.



How to tell a customer where to go

About 10:30 tonight I am sitting at the hospital and a guy calls up and starts swear at me as soon as I answer the phone…

Not a good time to piss me off….

His sewage pump in his lift chamber has either failed or is plugged up….

About 8 months ago we replaced his check valve on this pump …

He starts off yelling and that I have to get my arse over there right now and I have to pay to pump out the sewage tank to find the problem and so on…

I stopped him in his tracks…

I ask him is this a way to ask for help being rude off the get go…

Thinking he would change his tune…

Nope he just keeps going on with his BS …

So I told him you know what I am going to do with this phone …. I am going to take it and shove it up your arse…

I hear him just keep yapping on… So I hung up on the idiot….

Oh well sucks to be him….

Hopefully he treats the next guy with more respect


Here are the important items to know and understand from and about the forum writer that are facts that can be drawn from the above.
1. It is 10:30 at night, too late to want to do work.
2.His location is at the hospital,  this means he was out and did not want to go back home, change, and load up to do work

3.  His company does have 24/7 on call at his discretion meaning if it was a simple job or worth it to him he may have done it. We all have the ability to do the job at our discretion after hours.

4.  He accepted the call which indicates he is available. If you do not want to do the work or have to deal with a customer at that time do not answer the phone. All cell phones have a caller id. Family and friends names are typically in the contact list and pop-up when they are calling.
5. The job at 10:30 is going to be at least a 3 hour job which leads to not wanting to do the job
6. Words were exchanged, customer was stupid
7. Not wanting to do the job was expressed in the verbal communication with the customer most likely prior to the out of hand and control garbage. Tone of voice relays I do not want to work on this tonight and I do not care. Customer tries everything in his bag of tricks to get him to come out. This leads to a shouting match and unwanted conversation.
8. If this was an employee a different standard would be applied. The on call person should be ready, willing, and able to work on call and if he or she is busy it is their responsibility to have another person available.
9. I am the owner no one is going to tell me what I must do.
10. I do not need your business you need me.
11. Customer is unreasonable.
12. His company has serviced this customer in the past.


13. Both parties are raising their voices to be heard over the other


14. Shoving the phone up his ass is not a proper response.


15. The customer cannot use his plumbing in the home as the lift station that pumps it to the sewer or septic system is not working. Raw sewage could be entering the home.


These are the facts presented. We all have encountered late night calls that we did not want to do so I know most people reading this that are employed in an industry that provides after hours service can relate.
I 100% agree no one should be sworn at or treated lousy. No one should ever accept being treated as a doormat conversely a business owner should not try to bait a customer as in this example. There must be trust and respect and  it must go both ways and is something I speak about frequently and that is mutual trust and respect.


His first statement is a fishy statement and one that I have a difficult time accepting. I have had many opportunities to fire up a customer and have them explode. I have never had a customer call me up and as soon as I answer the phone start to swear at me. I have been doing this since 1973 and it is highly improbable that a client would immediately start swearing. I have made statements that have set customers off immediately after the statements.


Customers will call up visibly upset with their situation they have discovered and have a feeling of helplessness. They may swear about the situation they are in while describing the situation. I am positive that words such as; I really do not care what you have, entered into the equation or something similar that set off the customer.


I am not condoning the customer’s action. A customer swears at me or anyone in the company I simply ask them to use different adjectives to describe the situation and ask them to calm down so we may have an intelligent conversation. If it does not stop I may or may not hang up the phone. No one is to become a doormat for an unreasonable person. Each situation must be looked at individually to make the right choice with each conversation.


This fellow would like to make it appear that the conversation was one sided. His history indicates nothing is one sided in the favor of a customer. They will listen to him or they are not his customer. I am amazed at how many other plumbers in the site pump fisted in favor of this kind of action towards a customer. I cannot believe the distaste, disdain, and distrust they have for their customers. It seems that this happens over and over to the same people and they wonder why? The only constant is them. They are held back by their idea of I’ve only ever done it this way.


This particular forum poster has written a few forum posts on firing customers in the past. There is a history. There is also a history of writing forum pieces that are offensive when there is a disagreement and he carries the disagreement in places where it does not belong or is relevant to the conversation. A lot of it is due to not caring what people think and not thinking things through. He is short and to the point without much explanation and  there is a gigantic chance to be misunderstood. Plumbers in general are opinionated, short with their message, and will fight to the end even when wrong. I am not sure but I believe it has to do with manhood and being a man amongst men.


With only a few lines written about the customer we can only surmise with the facts of this story and past history of the writer of the forum thread. All 15 items lead to a volatile situation that was allowed to escalate farther then it should. The best solution in this game is to choose not to play and in this case not answer the phone.


Any business owner and or employee should think twice before you react. Check your motives before you attempt to answer the phone. Be 100% sure that it is not you that is the cause of the issue before  flying off the handle being irresponsible to your company and to your customers. Use this as a learning tool to help aid with dealing with an unreasonable customer. Decide who the unreasonable person is.














About practicebetterbusiness

Author of Outside the Business Box: All about Sales Build a better you and increase your earning potential

Posted on July 17, 2012, in construction services, electrical sales, HVAC sales, plumbing sales, sales technicians, service trades and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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