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Jul 11, 2011 08:06 PM


I ordered some food from the manufacturer instead of buying it at the store. It is a small manufacturer, and I wanted to make sure I had enough. It is a common practice of this local manufacturer to sell directly to it's clients. I have bought several times in the past and my orders are always over a hundred dollars.

A couple of months ago I ordered the food and went to pick it up as usual. I paid and left.
About a month later, I get a phone call from a person at the manufacturer stating that they undercharged me by $12.50 and asked me to send them a check. I thought it was very petty on their part, but I was going to pay them and never buy from them again. Unfortunately, several deaths occured and my mind is(still is) gone. They called in the midst of this, and said I owed them this time $7.50. It totally slipped my mind. Today, while I was at an appointment, they called again, but haven't talked to them.

What do I say to them, and do I pay? I think it is very petty and bad business practice on their part. I got a bill that said that I was paid in full. What would you guys do? TIA

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  1. One of two things, or a combo. I would either 1. ask them to itemize exactly what I owed and why, and send me a bill, which I would send back with a letter of complaint (which I would also file with the BBB and/or Angie's List), or

    2. ask to speak to a manager/supervisor and explain the situation, registering my frustration with the way the whole thing had been handled. A good manager ought to instruct employees not to hound customers over what ought to be a drop in the bucket, to take the twelve freakin' fifty as a (tiny, paltry) loss and resolve to hire people with better math skills next time.

    In either case, I would make it clear that it's stupid business practice to nickle and dime your customers to death unless you like having zero customers. For crying out loud, if something scans wrong at the grocery store you get the lower price at least!

    1. I would only add that the nicer you are while explaining your dilemma/issue, the better your outcome will be. Be assertive but not insulting or rude.

      1. Sorry, I sometimes miss or misinterpret the specifics.

        . Did you get pay the original request for $12.50 and get asked for $7.50 EXTRA, or forget the original request for $12.50 and get asked for $7.50 INSTEAD?

        . Did you get the bill that said you were paid in full when you first paid for the food, or after the requests for additional payments?

        2 Replies
        1. re: KTFoley

          Unfortunately, it was the second. I am going through a lot and honestly forgot. Yes, I got a bill saying paid in full. I feel like I am being harassed. I have so much going on, that this is the last thing I have thought of. Also, I got the calls on my cell, and I wasn't home, so I really didn't even think about it.
          Thanks for your input.

          1. re: paprkutr

            Why are you putting yourself through this over 7.50???

        2. Wow, tacky business practices. I would ask them to send me an invoice and to stop calling me when they make an error. I can't tell from your post if this has happened more than once, but if it has, I think you should let them know that you need your bill on paper to help them avoid those errors in the future. Anyone can make a mistake once...but more than that indicates something is wrong.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sedimental

            It is more than just tacky. They referred to two different amounts on two different occaisions. That is sloppy accounting and business practices, at best.

            At worst, it could be an employee trying to take advantage of the employer.

            My advice is to call them back, ask to speak to a manager, briefly and politely outline the circulstances, tell said manager that you have a bill saying you have paid in full and have been told two different amounts and are confused as to whether you owe anything, and if so, how much, give them your address, and ask them to send an itemized bill. If you get one, pay it and then choose whether to ever do business with them again. If you don't get one, don't pay anything.

            as for the poster who says that this probably represents the profit on a small order and therefore implying that you should pay: sorry, not until OP has something in writing that shows that he or she really does owe them money. I don't care how small the company is, this employee is not doing the company ANY favors, and management needs to be aware of their practices when a billing mistake is made.

            If it is the management that is calling, and they can't even get their act together to send a written invoice, then I must say I have absolutely *no* sympathy for their position.

            1. re: susancinsf

              Exactly. You have the receipt that shows you paid?
              And done.

          2. I got a bill that said that I was paid in full.
            then you owe them nothing.

            and i'm so sorry to hear about your recent losses :(

            2 Replies
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Yes, agreed. If you paid, and were told you had paid in full, you don't owe them a cent.

              1. re: LauraGrace

                Maybe, but I think Harters has a point - if they accidentally overcharged you but you'd already agreed and signed it all off, wouldn't you still hope that they would be good enough to refund you?