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Thread: Never Presume Anything!

  1. #1
    Platinum Member Neville Bailey's Avatar
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    Never Presume Anything!

    About two weeks ago I got an enquiry on my website from an estate agency in Johannesburg.

    Their books had fallen behind by more than 3 years, and now SARS and the Estate Agent Board was on their back for financial reports, but they did not know where to start.

    They asked me what my rates were, and I told them, and they asked me to assess their situation and give them guidance as to the way forward.

    I logged onto their system remotely and tried to ascertain their status quo, but it was not possible, as I needed to see source documents, etc.

    So I suggested that I pay them a visit, which they agreed to. They asked me "what will it cost us to get you up here?" I replied that all they needed to do was to cover the cost of my return flight and overnight accommodation.

    The flight was duly booked and paid for by them, and I spent a full day with them, and spent that night at their home (presumably to save on the cost of a B&B).

    It was a very productive day and they were happy with the outcome.

    When I got home I sent them my bill for the day's consulting, which included a discount for some unproductive time.

    The response from them?
    "When I spoke to you on the phone the previous week, and you said that you would come down to help us, you said that we only have to pay your airfares. I took it that that is what we have to pay, see to your meals and give you a place to sleep. "
    Huh? Whatever gave them that idea?

    This is a first for me, which proves that one should always spell out the obvious, and never presume.

    As it turns out, they now understand where they have also made an assumption, and have agreed to pay me for my time!

    Neville Bailey - Pastel Accounting Consultant and Photographer
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    "Give every person more in use value than you take from them in cash value."
    WALLACE WATTLES (1860-1911)

  2. Thanks given for this post:

    Dave A (26-Jul-11)

  3. #2
    Bronze Member rfnel's Avatar
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    The safest bet - explain as if you are explaining to a five year old (not in a condescending manner, of course).
    "Fortune favours the bold" - Virgil
    Riaan Nel
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  4. #3
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Yikes, awkward situation that!

    Glad they were good enough to realise their error and correct it.
    "The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear." - Socrates
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  5. #4
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    Irritates me so. People think we work for nothing. Glad it was sorted Neville.

  6. #5
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I don't know if the client's turnover was over R2 million per annum, but you need to watch out for the CPA with this kind of thing.
    In terms of the CPA the client is entitled to an estimate. If you get one of those "just do it and send me the bill" clients, make sure you get the instruction in writing, including an authorisation ceiling (or limit).
    Seeing opportunity changes nothing. Seizing opportunity and running with it changes lives.

  7. Thank given for this post:

    Mark Atkinson (27-Jul-11), Neville Bailey (27-Jul-11), Perform Computers (27-Jul-11), rfnel (27-Jul-11), Singhms (27-Jul-11), wynn (28-Jul-11)

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