I’m a computer technician who does hardware fixes and builds custom computers for clients. Occasionally I do laptop resale for customers who don’t know what they’re looking for. This client needed a new laptop for her business, and I was happy to help her find one within her budget.
Client: I need a new laptop with [specifications] and [specifications].
Me: That’s great, I can help you, what is your budget?
Client: I can only pay about $450.
Me: Okay, well with the specifications you provided the cheapest I can find is $600.
Client: Okay well find me something cheaper then, but I want those specifications. I’m sure you can find something, you have a computer shop. You have connections.
I spend a while looking for something, I finally find a laptop within her specifications and budget but it’s used. I tell her that and she says it’s fine, so I deliver it and get payment.
1 week later I get an email from her.
Client: I need to return this computer. It’s too slow.
Me: Okay, it shouldn’t be running too badly, let me come and take a look.
(For free, I might add).
I show up at her place of work, her computer is running pretty slow, but no immediately visible reason why. I ask her:
Me: How often do you restart your computer?
Client: Oh, I never turn it off.
Me: … so it’s been on for a week straight?
Me: And you use it regularly.
Me: You need to turn your computer off. It will start running fine.
Client: No, I want a new laptop, now. For free.
Me: Okay, I will find you another computer.
Luckily I have a laptop in stock. This lady is pretty upset and is a corporate client so I didn’t want to lose her, but I would be out at least $450. I go back the next week and give her the new computer. She seems to like it.
6 MONTHS later I get another email.
Client: So I did my best, I tried, and I’m just not happy with this computer. I wanted to just deal with it but I can’t stand it anymore, it’s too slow. I need you to give me my money back.
Me: How often do you restart it?
Client: Oh, I still don’t turn it off.
Me: …Well, I’m sorry, but since there your issue is clearly user-related, I can’t possibly give you ANOTHER free machine. Even if it were hardware related, the fact that you have contacted me 6 MONTHS later means that you have already assumed responsibility for the machine, and there is no way I can reasonably take it back for a refund. If you would like, I can sell you a new laptop, or I can come to you for a service appointment (where I will just tell you to restart your computer), but I will not be refunding your money.
Client: How DARE you! You provided me with POOR QUALITY laptops and this is POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE! A real, professional business would never refuse a refund to a customer!
Me: I can guarantee that’s not the case, but I’m sure the distributor would be happy to discuss this with you, but at this point, there is nothing we can do.
Client: You have LOST me as a customer!
I think I’m fine with that.