A Distributor Asks: When my client received an order of logoed pens, they were in pristine shape. Months later, my client mentioned in an email that she used the pens at an outdoor event and noticed that the printing came off of some of the pens while they were in use. What, if anything, should I do at this point to make up for this?
Glen D. Eley Owner Eley Imprinted Products UPIC: ELEYP001
Call the supplier’s customer service and discuss how they suggest handling this. Also, check the pens yourself, and ask the client if there were unusual circumstances that directly affected the pens, i.e., water, other liquids or excessive heat. Determine how many of the pens were affected. It may be that much of the order was already used in the promotion. Smudge them, rub them and determine if the image is easily removed. Check to see if the entire order seems to be impacted.
If you feel that there is a real problem with the imprint after all of this—and you can afford it—ask the client what they want. If it’s a repeat customer, offer to provide either a credit or a refund, or to contact the supplier and work something out. By all means, don’t get testy with the client because he or she mentioned the problem “a few months later.”
Larry Rogers, CAS Partner Boundless Network UPIC: Bound784
Go back to the supplier and have them do it over correctly. And get samples to send to the client.
Gary M. Murphy, CAS Owner/President IMAGE WEST UPIC: IMAG0007
Merely explain the situation with your client and, depending on how valued he or she is, decide whether to compensate them or not. It’s your judgment call.
A valuable rule of thumb in negotiations was fostered by Andrew Carnegie, business icon of the 1800s. Ask your client: “How would you amicably resolve this occurrence if the tables were completely turned around and I was the client and bought from you?” You empower their value by allowing them to sit in the driver’s seat, which you know will be beneficial for the two of you. Don’t argue, but listen and learn.
President The Idea Company LLC UPIC: IDEAP002
Unfortunately, many of the products we sell are not for immediate consumption. Your situation is not uncommon, and if your supplier won’t resolve the problem, even if it is several months after the order shipped, then you need to step up to the plate and make good on it yourself. The good will you build with your customer will far outweigh whatever expense you incur.
Kippie Helzel, MAS Vice President, Sales CPS \ The Keystone Line UPIC: keystone
Contact the supplier immediately. Even if the supplier may have a designated period of time in which to make claims, if the ink is coming off that readily, there was clearly a problem during the imprint process that should supersede any designated claim period. Provide samples to the supplier so they can verify the problem, and with that, a good supplier should do a redo, no question.