The guy has been a customer for 5 year's. He fines a road kill coon average size & brings it to me to mount. I told him it would be 6 to 12 months before it's done. He said do it.That was the end of march 04. Back on Sept 8th 04 my son had a trauma induced stroke in the brain stem, the doctors told me I would have to give my son all my time. I called up all the customers I was doing work for and explained to them I would be at least 4 months behind due to the circumstances. He was one of them. They all understood and agreed.On Sat 2/12 he came to get his mount. He looked it over,said good job ,took it and left. 4 days later 2/16 he calls me up and said, my wife said I don't think that's your raccoon the one you had ,had a bushier tail, and her brother said it was darker too. So he said to me that's not the one I gave you. I told him that is your coon,why would I not give you your coon, that's the one you gave me. He said it's been 11 months and it got freezer burned so you got me a diffrent one. Again i said that is the coon you gave me. He said I want my money back or you're going to court. I said do what you have to, I'm not giving you any money back. I've been a taxidermist for 15 years now and never ran into this . Did any of you run into this situation? What do you do? I keep a good log and records. By the way my son is 50% back.
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Yea people pull that crap all the time and yes it can happen.
Tell him freezer burn has no bearing on the animal. It does not!
GO to court see if your small claims will allow you to counter file for damages to reputation and time.
How can any one remember what road kill looks like 11 months later?
Other than the mounting cost, the only thing he has invested in the thing is he stopped the truck, got out, bent over and picked it up, and tossed it in the back. It is not a trophy nor did he earn it trapping or chasseing the hounds on a coon hunt. He found it on the road. He should be happy with just any coon. He will look silly in court, for
he has no leg to stand on, for he has to have proof that you switched it, even more proof that it is not his coon. He needs evidence to go to court with, he has none.
Customers like that piss me off! Especially when it was a road kill pick up. There's no way that someone could remember the exact coloration and the size of the tail 11 months later. I remember when I used to have other people do my work I shot a 10pt with my bow. It was the first big deer I ever got. Let me tell you. When I dropped it off and went home, my mind remembered that deer being a booner for the next 10 months. Needless to say, when I went to pick it up it was the 120 class deer that I shot. The deers antlers were 1/2 the size that I remembered. Needless to say, your mind can tell you one thing and reality is something totally different. Everyone knows that given time your mind can play ticks with you. I did a brown trout for a guy. It was the only brown trout that I had. When he came to pick it up he insisted that his was way bigger and he refused it and left. That was pre-deposit days. That was the day I started taking 50% down. With this guy I would suggest doing everything you can to keep him happy while at the same time standing your ground. In reality you know that you have to stand up for yourself because you know you are right but at the same time you don't want this guy leaving all pissed off and spreading this all around town. Good luck and I hope you son gets well soon. Ryan
Invest $100 in a digital camera. Take pictures from the front and each side before you do any skinning. I keep a print out with each order I take in and use it for reference, but also back-up in case this situation arises.
I had the same thing happen to me with a coon mount. The guy picked it up and then stopped payment on his check. He said his coon had a bushier tail also. I went to his house and got the coon and said almost nothing. I sold his mount for more money than I had charged him. I only would give him a credit on account for the lifesize mount deposit; He theatened me a lot with lawyers and such but I never heard from him again.
An even better idea about taking photos, take a photo of the customer with the animal. Use a polaroid or print out a digital print and have them sign or OK it. Then when they pull this crap, you just have to show them the pic. Be sure to show anything unusual about the animal inthe pic, such as a dark or light spot on the fur, or unusual antler tine.
I'd rather have a day in court than go through all that kind of crap with the 99% of my customers who never question my work. And FOR A ROADKILL, no way!
Most likely he just discovered that he didn't want the mount (for whatever reason!) and is looking for a way to back out of the deal-- without losing a cent. I'd definately suggest going to court, people like this dont deserve to pull what he's pulling. Good luck.