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am I being too grumpy

Client expectations

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Client sent me an e mail on Sunday morning regarding his VAT deregistration. Called on Monday morning(ie day after) wondering why he hadnt had a response.

I saw red and was spitting feathers at this but managed to politely point out that I do not habitually work Sundays at this time of year in my e mail response. Was I right to be so annoyed? Other views appreciated. BTW he is a PITA client

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Caroline
By accountantccole
07th Aug 2019 12:24

Nope - unreasonable request. Up your fees for this sort of client!

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By Wanderer
07th Aug 2019 12:25

Similarly I don't like it when a client sends an e-mail then calls up immediately with the words "I've just sent you an e-mail saying ....." then proceeds to repeat the e-mail contents then expects to discuss it there and then.

Either send an e-mail or ring but don't do both!

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Replying to Wanderer:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
07th Aug 2019 13:01

I am sort of guilty though less with clients and more in the day job, albeit in the other order. I often have phone conversations then pop the person an e mail with a summary of the discussion- this gives a record of what was said and agreed in case there is future backsliding.

I suspect it is paranoia, we spend a reasonable amount of time having spats with others , sometimes via solicitors sometimes direct; twenty odd years of this has attuned me to wanting something tangible on file e.g. we have a matter currently ongoing with another company and the Council plus an MSP is involved, being able to dig out ten year old correspondence/minutes/e mails has been most useful .

Maybe I should try the Tricky Dickie approach and record all telephone conversations.

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Replying to DJKL:
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By Wanderer
07th Aug 2019 13:10

That's even worse!
Long, developing, conversation with a client which they conclude with, "Can you just confirm all that in an e-mail'. The e-mail then takes 3 times as long as the conversation!

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Replying to Wanderer:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
07th Aug 2019 14:08

But I am not asking A N Other to type up something as I am the one doing the typing, for my own peace of mind.

In addition, as I said, these are not client conversations but work related ones where he said/she said can come back and bite.

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By SWAccountant
07th Aug 2019 12:57

Pff. Who doesn't work Sunday's in this day and age?

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By Accountant A
07th Aug 2019 13:03

In my opinion, you can never be too grumpy.

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Replying to Accountant A:
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By Dib
07th Aug 2019 13:24

Reminds me of the Speaker of the HoC saying "I'm not happy!" and Simon Burns asking "Well, which one are you?"

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By paul.benny
07th Aug 2019 13:19

The Innkeeper wrote:
...I do not habitually work Sundays at this time of year...

So do you sometimes work and/or respond to emails on Sundays? If so, you may have created an expectation that you do this all the time.

Perhaps you should have auto-reply giving your normal response times? Or one that you activate at weekends saying the office is closed until Monday?

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By The Innkeeper
07th Aug 2019 13:37

Indeed I have done that in response to this PITA . The out of office states a reply will be made within 24 hours excluding weekends'
BTW I do work weekends especially in January and I suspect that is where the expectation comes from

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Bramble
By Chris.Mann
07th Aug 2019 13:24

Whilst I accept that, with the advent of instant technology, we're fair game to receive edicts from our client's and other associates, at all times of the day, or week, it is unreasonable for someone to expect a reply, outside usual working hours. If someone believes they require 24 hour attention, then I suggest that they visit the local A&E department.

It's at times like this that I take comfort in;-

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”
― Oscar Wilde (attributed to)

Possibly time for you to price away, this rectal pain?

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By LostinSuspense
07th Aug 2019 13:42

Yes you were right to be annoyed. I assume you have worked weekends in January, hence why they assumed you worked weekends all year?

The PITA clients are just that, they usually have the least knowledge of financial affairs, assuming that you will be the one who will sort it all out for them.

Mind you, I know of one individual, who decided they wanted their accounts prepared by a proper accountant for a fee rather than a (qualified) family member for peanuts so they could shout at their accountant if they didn't get their own way.

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Logo
By marks
07th Aug 2019 23:08

Its all about setting expectation.

We have it in our proposal software that clients can choose a paid for service of mail/email/telephone call being dealt with in one day or if they want the free service it is a 10 day service.

What we say is that we dont wait 10 days to deal with the email/telephone call/mail but equally we wont deal with it within 24 hours. We say generally we deal with within a few days.

We have no clients paying for the 1 day service so it shows that they dont really value it that much.

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By Michael Davies
08th Aug 2019 12:44

I use to put my phone On answerphone after 4.00 pm on a Friday.Fed up with clients dumping on me and ruining my weekend at the last minute on Fridays.

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