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Business Delima (opinions Please)

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by dmac1175, May 28, 2021.

  1. dmac1175

    dmac1175 Active Member

    A guy brought me a bobcat for a lifesize mount.
    He wanted it on a Brian Hendricks form climbing down on a NR54 habitat rock. The mount was to he closed mouth.
    I am trying to be forthcoming and am looking for advice as to what to do from here.
    1st off I got behind in my shop and at about 3 months past my estimated completion time the client calls asking about his bobcat. I apoligized for not having it ready yet and would be to it soon. Keep in mind my contracts say estimated completion time and in small print states that estimated completion time means exactly that an estimate.
    Well he gets angry and curses while threatening that if I didnt have it done in 3 months he would get an attorney. I told him to stop cursing and I hung up on him. I dont curse and dont want to be cursed at.
    Fastfoward, I split and turned everything on his bobcat that by the way he shot with a rifle and put a big hole in it that I wasn't going to charge for repairs. I placed the cat in a bag and placed it on a bence intending to mix up the tan for and put it in. Well I completly let it slip past me and forgot. Needless to say by the time I found it, it was to late. So I have some extra bobcats around so I pulled one out that was already tanned and it fit the form I had already purchased fir his cat. It mounted up good. Next I called him and told him I have a problem and apologizing I explained my mistake and that his cat was no good but I had an extra cat and would send pics and if he liked it I would just continue with the same deal. Or if he didn't like that idea I would refund him his $300 deposit and keep the mount. I explained to him those were the options because the damage was irreversible. The balance owed would be $500 if he was fine with the new bobcat mount.
    The next day he said after thinking about it and looking at the pic I sent him that he would take the cat and offer me $300 instead of the $500 remaining balance and that he would be happy and tell everybody how great I am or if not he would tell everybody how bad I am and how I did him wrong. The conservation intensified as I told him I wouldn't be threatened and that I would think about his offer.
    Now, what would you do?
    Am I being unreasonable for wanting full payment?
    Or since it was my fault is his offer a fair offer?
    Please give me your honest opinion.
  2. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the wonderful world of taxidermy customers! Whereas you don’t curse, I cannot tell you what I really do think of them after dealing with them for 50 years. You seem like a nice person, they will chew you up and spit you out. Good luck.
    D.Price likes this.

  3. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Stand firm. Your offer was fair. BTW, I would have never told him it wasn’t his cat. The less interaction we have with customers, the better off we are.
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Offer him the finished cat at $400 remaining and that's as low as you'll go.
    msestak, John C and Keith like this.
  5. Lance.G

    Lance.G Well-Known Member

    I agree with 3bears. I would also never take work from him again.
  6. D.Price

    D.Price Well-Known Member

    I would start cursing, and tell him to go to hell!

  7. dbronco

    dbronco Member

    If this was my situation, I would feel incredibly guilty charging him another dime. Whether or not he is a nice person or not is irrelevant. You ruined his mount by your negligence. So eat the cost and learn a life lesson.
  8. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Ida took his offer , matter of fact ida made that exact offer . If it was your fault as you said , he should be compensated some how for the issues. The reason I say this is if it would have happened to me I would want compensation . No different as if you took your truck to get fixed , some how they blow the motor up , there fault , there going to get you a new motor for free but want you to pay for the labor . Would ya pay ? I wouldn’t and I bet you wouldn’t either
    Kerry Thompson and msestak like this.
  9. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    your fault, you pay !
    Kerry Thompson likes this.
  10. 15pt

    15pt Well-Known Member

    First off I am with Joey, I wouldn't
    Have told him. Second off since you told him your lucky your not doing it for free.
    Clovis Point, joeym and msestak like this.
  11. moonshine

    moonshine Active Member

    After he cursed at you the first time as per your first consversation you shouldhave not did any work for him, tell hem come pickup your cat and go elswher
    Westcoast, msestak and 15pt like this.
  12. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    First off, the reason there are so many capes and hides for sale here on a taxidermist forum is because all of us need replacement capes from time to time, whether from something we did wrong or for reasons beyond our control.
    Secondly, my work order/contract that every customer signs, (as does EVERY tannery and most full time taxidermists) states that hides and capes are left at the owner’s risk. If their cape or hide goes bad it is their responsibility to replace it or I return the deposit. If I am 100% sure that it is my fault the cape or hide is damaged, then I always cover the cost of the replacement (most of the time without telling the customer as Joey mentioned, as I said, the hide was left at their risk even if it is my fault - they are accepting the risk that I may make a mistake) If for some reason I feel it necessary to convey the loss of the cape or hide to the client, I would do pretty much exactly as you did. I would make sure to all communication by email. I would offer a refund of the deposit, or to buy a replacement at my expense and mount the animal at the same price. I might consider a slight discount, or a one time discount on a future project.
    Thirdly, if he cussed me or threatened me, I would give him the deposit back and give him the tanned replacement hide (both of which I would have him sign for) and send him down the road to the next guy. I would not tolerate that kind of behavior and I would make sure he understands why I will not do business with him. After he signs off for the deposit and value of the hide returned, I would make sure he understands that it would be enough value to validate a liable/slander claim if he openly tries to slander my reputation.
    D.Price and msestak like this.
  13. DFJ

    DFJ Active Member

    Wow, I can’t believe some of the suggestions you’ve been given here.
    It just puts another black eye on the profession.
    Real simple:
    By your own admission you ruined the guys trophy.
    Give him his deposit in full back plus the fair market value of his cat along with an apology and let him decide whether he wants to have you try again or move on.
    The only acceptable answer.
  14. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I stand by my input on this topic. No need to inflict injury upon oneself when there is a viable option.
  15. DFJ

    DFJ Active Member

    That's just wrong Joey, lies and deception is the worst course of action.
    There's no way you can tell me if you had a trophy animal and someone played the old switcheroo on you you'd be ok with it.
    Fess up. That's just damn wrong.
  16. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    I agree if it had a rack or horns, that is basically the trophy part of it , but with cats , fox and does and such then the hide itself is the trophy. Honesty is the best policy. That said , I would have delt with the cussing and threats at the time and if I hadn’t done anything to cat at that time ida told him to come get it . But once I did work on it it became my responsibility and ida done what I said in earlier post .
  17. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    how many guys tell the client about every nick and cut the tannery put in the hide that had to be stitched and hidden, how many mention all the mistakes when painting a fish that had to be re-done, or eyes that had to be re-adjusted, or how many feathers came off the duck or whatever bird it was at the time....be honest !
  18. 15pt

    15pt Well-Known Member

    At least 75% of cats and fox I mount each year are road kill or either a animal a trapper gave someone to be mounted. An even higher percent on fox squirrels. Of the ones that are shot, most aren't mountable in the first place.
    John C and msestak like this.
  19. Mudbat

    Mudbat Well-Known Member

    Isn’t it fairly common practice with bird guys to use replacement birds as they mostly look identical per species ,and it’s easier to not try and salvage a birds they been blasted to shit?
    msestak likes this.
  20. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    I won’t take that kinda junk in , as it would for one be a pain in the ass and two would reflect on my work. Would not want my name on something that no matter what I did would not look correct. I don’t need the money that bad .
    msestak and Mudbat like this.