Customer didn't like the "feeling" of strings

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by scrappydoo, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo New User

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    I strung a racquet for a client on the 20th of January. He had requested syn gut at 58 lbs. I strung the racquet with Babolat syn gut at 58 pounds. Three weeks later he dropped off the racquet to be restrung, claiming he didn't like how the string felt and wanted to try Xcel. I contacted the client and explained he would have to pay full price for the Xcel and stringing. He felt like he should only have to pay for the price difference in the strings for the upgrade. The quality of the string job was not in question, but rather the "feeling" of the strings.

    What would you guys do in this situation?

    The situation has already been resolved, but it would be interesting to hear what some of the other stringers do.

    Thanks!
     
    #1
  2. lionel_101

    lionel_101 Rookie

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    I would have told him the same thing. No reason for you to lose out, when you gave him exactly what he asked for and he didn't like the feel of the string at that tension.

    Also inform him it can be very very expensive to find the right combination of string and tension that fits his game and to his liking. You might knock off a couple of bucks, if he has you restringing his racquets often.
     
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  3. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    No discount. You have him what he asked for. Had you made the recommendation, you might give him some latitude.
     
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  4. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    Charge him much higher for the "upgrade". Problem solved. :)
     
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  5. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Agreed.


    Funny.
     
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  6. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    When he asked for syn gut what was in the racket? If it was not a syn gut you carried you should have tried to put in something similar to what he had unless he didn't like the strings. Sounds to me you didn't do anything to see what the customer really wanted unless you are leaving something out. To me you're both to blame and should both share the cost. I would offer 1/2 price on the service and full price for the strings.

    Now when he asked for Xcel that's a different story? Did he mentioned a specific tension? Did you talk to him about what he likes? You don't want him back in 2-3 weeks unsatisfied again do you?
     
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  7. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    ^^^what if they were new, unstrung frames.

    If someone tells me exactly what they want, I'm going to believe they know exactly what they want, even if there is something else in the racquet. I'm not going to try to persuade then otherwise, unless I know the player and believe it is not an ideal choice.
     
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  8. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    yea in this case he pays. unless theres more to teh story
     
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  9. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    tell him you don't have Xcel.
     
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  10. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    lol. thats happened before
     
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  11. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    So how did you resolve the situation?
     
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  12. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    I agree with everyone else. I've had a similar situation last month. A client gave me a Prince EXO3 Black to string with NXT 17 for a friend. I always ask new clients where they previously had the racket strung. This racket was strung at a shop that exclusively on Neos 1000 machines. Since I have Sensor, I wanted to match his previous tension. It was previously strung at 61 lbs. So I strung it at 55.5 lbs on my machine. A few days after stringing my client calls me up saying his friend did not like the tension. They had played on a cold night. His friend was not happy with his play and blamed the recent string job. His friend complained that he needed hit it harder. I told him to keep playing with it, because it could be a caused by a bunch of factors. His friend insisted that the tension was not high enough. :confused: I quickly replied, If I had strung it at 61 lbs on my machine it would lose even more power. This went back and forth, he had 61 lbs in his head. My client agreed with me. My Client brought the racket back to me after some discussion with his friend, and some internet research. He now asks for 54 lbs, on my Sensor. I told him since it's been sitting for a week, it's probably at that tension right now. But hi insisted it be restrung at 54 lbs. He never tried playing with the racket after the first time. Finally I relented and re-strung the racket for the price of string. I've heard no complaints since then.

    The cleint I string for had no complaints about he previous re-string, his friend had the problem.
     
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  13. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Not too many people bring in new unstrung frames, but possible. There is a big difference between syn gut and Xcel. There are many syn guts even Xcel could be considered synthetic gut but there is only one Xcel.
     
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  14. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    I string new, unstrung frames fairly often.

    Yes there is a big difference between the two strings mentioned, but if the customer didn't say anything besides "synthetic gut," I'm going to string with a standard syn gut. If the customer wants to have a conversation or ask for a recommendation, I'm happy to do that.
     
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  15. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I string a lot of new unstrung frames too, but not that often. Scrappydoo was the racket strung or not, and how did you handle it?
     
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  16. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    you did your job. dude needs to go pound sand or pay up for another stringjob. if i was so inclined to re-string his racket at a "deal" i'd likely
    inform him that his business was not needed at my "shop" (machine) again.

    ask him what he does for a living and if he'll do you a job for free.
     
    #16
  17. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    So, he played with the original strings for three weeks and then wanted another string .. paying only for the difference in string cost?

    If he's a repeat customer, charge him full price for the X-cel string and knock $5 off the stringing portion. Explain to him that you only did that because he's a great customer and you can only do it once.
     
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  18. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    I get a lot of new, unstrung frames. Anyone can string a racket. What makes a person a good stringer is matching the string to the customer's preference. So, like Irvin, I believe that not enough information was exchanged to find out what the customer really wanted. If the customer said, "just put some synthetic gut in it", then yes, he needs to pay for his mistake. But, if you talked about it and came to the understanding that synthetic gut was what he needed, maybe you should give him a little break on the price. You don't need to lose money, but maybe give him some on the labor.
     
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  19. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo New User

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    The customers racquet was prestrung with syn gut. This was the first time that I had strung his racquet so I didn't have any information on the previous string/tension. I do have the tag which reads "syn gut 58 lbs". I am racking my brain trying to remember what brand of syn gut was originally in the racquet, but I always try to string with the same brand syn gut that was previously in the racquet.

    Typically I will not contact the customer prior to stringing unless they have questions, if I have questions, or if I do not have the string they requested.

    I agree this situation could have been avoided if I had taken the order and talked to the customer prior to stringing. In this case the tennis desk staff took the order and the racquet was waiting to be strung when I got in later that day.
     
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  20. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo New User

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    My boss decided to give him what he wanted, charging him the difference in the price of the two strings. :-| My boss donated a personal packet of xcel to use.
     
    #20
  21. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo New User

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    This gets my vote, but unfortunately was not an option. The client is a real estate agent, so maybe he should give me a house? That's fair right?
     
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  22. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo New User

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    That is correct. I believe he only plays once a week in a drill at our club, and maybe played twice with the racquet in those three weeks.

    When I talked to him on the phone there were a few "Sports Authority would do it for free" and "This is not good customer service" quotes thrown in. Dude is a nutter butter.
     
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  23. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    Don't deal with "Nutter Butters." Life is better that way.

    Then again...if you don't like Nutter Butters, maybe TT isn't the best place 0_o
     
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  24. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    Oh, and tell him to enjoy his Sports Authority string job...they are really all about quality there...
     
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  25. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    Though, three week is a long time, to bring a racket back and say he did not like the feel. I get rackets back in a two weeks to be restrung. I'm with Steve on this, make him pay for the string and comp the labor, if he's going to be an ahole about it.

    It's like going to the mechanic to get an oil changed, then comeing back 3000 miles later and saying you wanted synthetic oil instead of regular oil.
     
    #25
  26. scrappydoo

    scrappydoo New User

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    I like your car analogy, although I think it would be more akin to getting new tires on a car. Different tires like string will have different feeling on the road, but you can't really tell which ones you like until they are on your car. And like tires, if you come back with 1,000 miles on them asking for different ones, they are going to tell you to get bent.
     
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  27. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Time to move on don't let this guy in your head. Did you ever wonder how he knew to ask for Xcel? A month is a long time to decide you don't like the feel of a stringbed.
     
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  28. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    Careful now. There is at least one of us that cares about doing a good job.
    SA doesn't see sports service as a big part of their income.
    They will gladly give a free restring so that the customer doesn't leave without buying shoes or clothing.
    To them, the restring costs $2.60 for PSGD and the stringer is paid hourly anyway.
    The customer is happy and brings his kid in to buy football pads instead of going to Dick's. ;)
     
    #28
  29. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Aka loss leader strategy. Had I known the facts beforehand I would have said let the guy have what he wants.
     
    #29
  30. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    Generally, the company does not employ knowledgable (or properly train) stringers. Of course, there are exceptions to this. :)

    I've seen a number of botched jobs out of SA/*****.
     
    #30
  31. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    When I was a manager for SA(back in the olden days), the stringer was a 'contract' employee, paid by the string job. How ever you look at it, the store is 'out' > $12 if they 'give away PSG in a racket.

    Not a ton of money in the overall scheme of things; but worth some consideration by the decision-maker. I'll agree the switch from syn gut to Xcel is an odd one...and the difference may not satisfy the customer, especially if he actually likes the feel of syn gut. As a one-off, I'd charge him the actual cost of the restring with no mark-up. If he doesn't understand that, then he's not likely to be a 'customer' anyway.
     
    #31
  32. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    No doubt that this is true; but in Atlanta in the '90s, SA had some of the best stringers around. Our guys were paid by the racket; so time was of the essence. However, it fell into 'tournament' mode for most of the guys...quality had to be maintained while stringing with great efficiency. 'Back then', SA stringing could provide a decent income, especially on rainy days when there was no lesson money to be made. There were plenty of days that our contract stringer made more money before lunch than I made as the manager of the 'team sports' dept. for the day.
     
    #32
  33. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Life is interesting. In the past, before I strung, if I had a string job I didn't like, I'd just chalk it up to experience and try to find the right combination the next go round.

    People.
     
    #33
  34. ricki

    ricki Professional

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    I would sue you for the last cent! He wanted 61 so you had to string it at 61. You should have re-done the stringing after his complain.
     
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  35. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    not once in the entire post you are referring to does it say that.

    it DOES say the racket was previously strung at 61, maybe that's where you are confused.
    glad i could save you a few dollars on lawyer fees. you're welcome.

    obviously, the client fella was equating tension with power. he wasn't the first, won't be the last.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    #35
  36. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    And this is why I'm not working retail customer service anymore...for idiot customers that think they know everything and think they know what they want. 90% of the time THEY DON'T.
     
    #36
  37. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Exactly this. If someone goes for my recommendation, I give them two hits with it. If they don't like it after then, I'll restring it (MUST restring it, just like you have to give back something with a money back guarantee) for something they know they want or have already used. If they do like it, then they pay the string cost at that time. Lets clients try new strings and lets me build a relationship. To date, only one person has not liked their recommendation, and that was due to TE problems. I never recommend something that I'm not fairly confident in i.e. a natural gut to someone who likes 15g poly just to get more money.

    If it's THEIR request, then there are no special incentives for anything.
     
    #37
  38. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Wait so you work in a club/shop and have no control over the order? Then no, it's not even your problem since you're not in contact or in control of the business.
     
    #38
  39. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    I think you need to read CAREFULLY before having diarrhea of the mouth. There is a big tension difference between Constant Pull and Lockout.
     
    #39
  40. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    pvaudio--I actually do that too. If I recommend a string and they don't like it, I'll put their their original string in for free. If it's someone I haven't strung for, I'll ask about their playing style, what they like and don't like about their current string, etc. before I recommend. I tell them if they don't like it, I'll replace it. I've had 1, maybe 2, out of well over 20,000 who didn't like the string I recommended.
     
    #40
  41. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    May I suggest 'ricki' left off the smiley face at the end of the post?
     
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  42. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    Nope, 10 char.
     
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  43. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    What string did you cut out of his racquet? Did you ask him what brand syn gut he normally plays with? You should know that different strings feel differently and it's generally a good idea to give the customer exactly what they came in with. If you don't have it then you string with the next best you have and make adjustments to the tension so that you can make up a bit for that different feeling.

    Also, find out what type of stringer they had their last string job done if they know. A constant pull stringer will create a stringbed that feels way different than a crank even at the same tension and with the same string.

    Sorry, but it's not as simple as "give me gut string at xx pounds". If you left it at that and discuss the above things with him, expect a customer to call you back and complain like that. I always make it a habit to discuss stringing with the people I string for. Each time they come back we go over how the previous job felt. Once they dial in to something they like, we keep it at that. Most people have no idea what they want out of the box. You have to be a stringing consultant as much as a stringer.
     
    #43
  44. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    I get this fairly often at the store. That's why the customer leaves a phone number.
    If, as in this case, I feel that the tension or string choice should be changed; I always call and discuss it before doing so.
    As others have pointed out, if I make a recommendation in my home practice that is unacceptable; I will offer a deep discount or a free restring.
     
    #44
  45. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    The dude sounds like a tool. I'm glad it didn't come out of your pocket.
     
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  46. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    You have to understand though that especially in pro shops like where the OP seems to work, this approach often doesn't work. Most people who play get their racquets strung and that's it. They have no idea what equipment is used (if they even see it), what the differences even are, and often times use a tension that they started with years ago and never bothered to try anything different. I would say that if you are able to interact with the customer, then absolutely do everything you can to make their request properly. If you're simply given the racquets at the end of the day, however, you really should just focus on what it says on the sticker/ticket: Dunlop S-Gut 60#. This is one of the reasons why I love being able to hit with the people I string for. I get to understand their playing styles and can better understand what sort of recommendations to make just by being able to chat with them. When I started stringing here, I couldn't do this as I was stringing mostly for high school students whose mother would drop off the racquet and ask for "Hurricane Pro 55 I think he said?". Frustrating days, lemme tell you. :)

    And yes, that was the first interaction I had with the mother of a kid who now, ironically, goes to college here and I still string for.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
    #46

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