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What would you do in this case?

kdangel518

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Mar 5, 2009
933
1
I tend to not bring my laptop to my shows any more- it's just too much to carry and I get worried about it getting banged around while I'm trying to bring things in and out of my hosts' homes, plus I was at a regional sales meeting recently where the national sales director gave us this advice- "make yourself duplicatable" basically, make sure that close to everything you do a new consultant could do, so that they don't feel they don't have the resources to sign up or that there are a lot of barriers, etc.

Anyway... here is my question. So I have been calculating orders and entering them into P3 when I get home. One night my math was off, and I calculated about 3 orders wrong, all in the customers' favor. One was a credit card order, I called the guest and apologized, let her know that my math was off (it was a long show- chatty guests!) I must have been tired and gave her her new total. She was 100% fine, totally understood!

Called the next guest, who had written a check. Explained the situation. She was very terse with me and said the following "I've been in direct sales as well, and have made similar mistakes. If I miscalculate an order I eat the difference. Just a piece of advice for the future." but offered to write me a check for the difference anyway (it was less than $5.) I was shocked, didn't know what to say... told her I appreciated the advice and would keep it in mind. I was thoroughly embarrased and later emailed her to let her know it wouldn't be necessary for her to put a check in the mail for the difference, I would take care of it. I never called the rest of the customers- the total was less than $15.

The way the guest spoke to me was bit rude, but that aside- how do you typically handle this? Thankfully, since that one show, I am VERY careful to correctly calculate orders and double check my math. However, if you accidentally under charged a guest, would you call them and ask for the difference? At what $ amount would you do so- $10 and over, etc?

Just curious what everyone else feels the best practice is here.

It is my fault that my math was off that evening, but I also worry about customers getting the prices wrong when they fill out their order forms...

All advice is appreciated. Thanks! :)
 

jross93

Member
Feb 9, 2009
181
0
Personally, unless the customer is someone I'm friends with (or related to), I would just eat the cost rather than ask them to pay the diff. (if the error wasn't in their favor)...
Jen
 

rennea

Legacy Member
Gold Member
Jul 23, 2005
3,733
0
If it is just a couple of bucks I would eat the difference. But I think that the person was very rude about it and I wouldn't feel bad if I was you.

I had a customer do her sub total and I didn't noticed that she had ordered 2 Stoneware pie plates but only enter the price for one. When I got home and was putting orders in and notice I called her right away. She tried to say that what she paid me was right but there was no way she was getting ($44.50) for free. When I delivered the order to the host I let the host know what happened just so if the customer said anything she would know. The host said something like "nice try" on the customer's part.
 

kam

Legacy Member
Staff member
Mar 17, 2006
3,687
321
Yes, I have calculated wrong. Most times, I over charge the customer!! :eek:
If I am not going to see the host again, I will just write a check for the over charged amount and staple it to the receipt and let the host know. If it was a credit card, I just email to let them know less will be charged to their CC.

The only times I have erred that I figured up too low was once for a past host (who had an excellent show) so I didn't mind paying the under $5 difference. Plus she had booked again. And once the guest hadn't paid the host yet, so I was able to have the host give the guest the new correct total.

Now, on the other hand, if it is an outside order and the total was figured too low, I let the host know to get the difference from the guest. I offer and offer and offer to help figure the outside orders, that they really should take me up on that. If not, I am not covering the guest's mistake. JMO
 

AnnieBee

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Jan 30, 2008
1,358
0
Honestly, I would (and have!) call them and apologize for the mistake, but let them know how much they still owe me. I would only eat it if it was a very small amount, maybe if it is under $2. People make mistakes! And like you said, sometimes they enter in the wrong amount for the item. You can't check the catalog to be sure every price is correct for the item.

If I was undercharged, I would never expect someone else to pay it, even if they made a mistake.

I have to say though, this is why I LOVE taking my laptop with me!
 

mscharf

Advanced Member
Oct 19, 2008
700
0
I would definately eat the cost, just b/c it is my error. I bring a computer for this very reason, but it is your business, your decision to make :)
 

taterbug

Member
Mar 31, 2009
252
0
For me, it depends on the circumstances. While entering a show this morning, I realized that I undercharged a customer $2.18; I will simply eat that because it was my fault. At one show I had a customer that entered the amount for the Outdoor Caddy as $8.50 instead of $16.50 (why, I have no idea). I did let the host know about the error and when she delivered the order, she collected the remaining money from the customer.
When I make mistakes and decide to eat them, I just enter the difference as "consultant gift" in P3 and will write it off on taxes.
 

kdangel518

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Mar 5, 2009
933
1
Thanks for all your responses! I think I will just use my judgement going forward- if it's less than $6 or so I will probably just write it off and enter it as consultant gift, as long as it doesn't become a habit on my part (or my guests' parts, if they are entering wrong prices for items...) otherwise that computer is coming with me to shows again! If it's a significant amount I will still call and ask for the difference.
 

Fluffy215

Member
Gold Member
Feb 15, 2007
446
0
I have had this happen ONCE, because I am from NH which of course has no sales tax so I forgot to add sales tax to all the orders of a MA party :( I ate the cost. But now, everytime I go to a party or fair in a state that has sales tax I am certain to bring my lap top. As my director has said one expensive lesson learned LOL I just used consultant gift as the payment so that I can write it off at the end of the year on my taxes LOL
 

mrshamel3808

Member
Gold Member
Apr 3, 2009
438
0
I do what seems to be the norm here. I've undercharged customers a few times and depending on whether it was my fault (my math) or theirs (wrote in the wrong price/OOF added up wrong) I'll either eat the cost (if it's my fault and $5 or under) or let them know the different (if it's their fault or over $5). I've never had a problem with it and like Taterbug, I just enter it as a consultant's gift so it's a write-off. I haven't ever taken my laptop with me because I feel it's too big and bulky and I have enough stuff to carry as it is. But I have considered getting the one of the really tiny laptops in the future just for this purpose. All I would have on it is P3 and maybe whatever else I would need at a show and solely use it at shows.
 

kdangel518

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Mar 5, 2009
933
1
I have had this happen ONCE, because I am from NH which of course has no sales tax so I forgot to add sales tax to all the orders of a MA party :( I ate the cost. But now, everytime I go to a party or fair in a state that has sales tax I am certain to bring my lap top. As my director has said one expensive lesson learned LOL I just used consultant gift as the payment so that I can write it off at the end of the year on my taxes LOL

Fluffy- I am in MA and LOVE NH shows b/c I don't have to calculate tax!!! :D
 

Fluffy215

Member
Gold Member
Feb 15, 2007
446
0
So much easier huh? LOL I just had a fair in Pepperell, and a party in Groton :) Both I took my lap too LOL And didn't MA just raise their sales tax? ouch!!! I doubt if they have their tax free weekend this year LOL Sorry for the highjack.
 

Chefgirl2

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Jan 23, 2006
993
6
I can tell you what I used to do. I am notorious for getting mixed up while chatting and tallying up orders. I finally started making the disclaimer that "until the orders are put in the computer the total could change. I have the skills to have a fun show, but I wasn't blessed with being able to talk and calculate at the same time." I always said it with humor and sure enough I had plenty of call backs to make...which was good for big mac calls...
 

cewcooks

Advanced Member
Dec 29, 2007
553
0
I feel your pain and I am sorry she was rude to you, I am terrible at math-even simple math, so I take my laptop, so if ever a guest has a question I can show them the screen. My latest laptop is a HP with a six hr battery!
 

kdangel518

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Mar 5, 2009
933
1
So much easier huh? LOL I just had a fair in Pepperell, and a party in Groton :) Both I took my lap too LOL And didn't MA just raise their sales tax? ouch!!! I doubt if they have their tax free weekend this year LOL Sorry for the highjack.

Ha ha!! Actually, the tax goes up on 8/1!! Keep that in mind on your next MA show!! I'm going to have to send you a PM- wondering who's downline you're in? My director is in Groton, bet we're related somewhere along the line :p
 

kdangel518

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Mar 5, 2009
933
1
I can tell you what I used to do. I am notorious for getting mixed up while chatting and tallying up orders. I finally started making the disclaimer that "until the orders are put in the computer the total could change. I have the skills to have a fun show, but I wasn't blessed with being able to talk and calculate at the same time." I always said it with humor and sure enough I had plenty of call backs to make...which was good for big mac calls...

That is a FABULOUS line and I will DEFINITELY use it at my next show!!! THANK YOU!!!! :D
 

flemings99

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Jun 27, 2007
1,028
3
I do the same as most. Depending on the amount, I'll eat the difference. I had this happen recently, got to chatting with the guest about her booking and forgot to charge tax all together--she only paid total + ship. B/c she had booked a show & had already been to 2 shows, I wrote it off. I told her that I had made the error but was going to cover myself for it. I figured it further developed our relationship.

If the customer had put down the wrong price or it was a large difference--I'd ask to have the customer make up the difference or see if they wanted to change the order to reflect the amount already paid.

Sometimes I miss a pantry item (tax here is different for food) and I'll over charge by a few cents. Not worth it to return it so I put it on the round up part of the order. I figure that way I'm not keeping the .15 or .20 extra I got.

I put the tax rate for each show in my show planner so that I can be sure to use the correct rate at each show. Just an idea if you get confused lots---as the rates here are different for each of my shows.
 

Paula R. Lewis

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Nov 25, 2005
802
4
Here's another way to take care of it. Tell the host about the error, and that such and such amount is due on whoever's order. When we close the show, just add that amount to the total the host is sending you. Then it's up to the host to either collect it or eat it.

Just a thought...

Paula
 

chefHLM

Member
Mar 19, 2009
100
0
I take my laptop (I have a "tiny" Acer that fits in my purse), not only for tallying orders, but also so that my check out is faster, I have no problem talking and typing, but can't write, add, and talk at the same time LOL. Especially when there are 10+ people at a show all trying to rush you out the door. I like to make my checkouts fast and effective.
 

kdangel518

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Mar 5, 2009
933
1
I take my laptop (I have a "tiny" Acer that fits in my purse), not only for tallying orders, but also so that my check out is faster, I have no problem talking and typing, but can't write, add, and talk at the same time LOL. Especially when there are 10+ people at a show all trying to rush you out the door. I like to make my checkouts fast and effective.

Great idea, only not practical for me!
 

Bluiydangl

Member
Dec 1, 2008
125
0
I usually take my laptop- I usually mess up calculating tax on shipping as well- and end up eating the cost because I SHOULD know to caculate tax on shipping!!
 

doughmama

Advanced Member
Silver Member
Aug 10, 2008
865
5
Here's another way to take care of it. Tell the host about the error, and that such and such amount is due on whoever's order. When we close the show, just add that amount to the total the host is sending you. Then it's up to the host to either collect it or eat it.

Just a thought...

Paula

sorry but I don't agree with this. if it is your error, why should it be the host's job to collect the extra cash? to me, you do this and you've lost that host.

honestly I have made some mistakes - actually made one the other night. the guest wrote $16.50 but the 1 was far away from the 6 and I didn't notice it. I was off by over $10. I called the guest, thanked her for her order and explained the situation with much apologizing for my error. she paid by credit card and had no problem with my changing the total. I thanked her and told her that I would send her a corrected receipt.

I have never had anyone complain when I have called about undercharging them. ANd I really don't want to bring my laptop to a show - may be easier but I already carry too much!

People make mistakes - that's why I love round up from the heart - if you are off by a few pennies, this always corrects itself!:)
 
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