I have had 4 upgrades with this customer over the last 15 years, and each time the lease came within 6 months of renewal, they chose to upgrade into a new lease. No problem. This time when the lease came within 6 months, they decided to purchase instead of lease, but wanted the existing lease to run out, and return to the leasing company. No problem. At the 6 month interval, I met with the customer and left them a form letter that they would use as their Letter of Intent that they wanted to return the equipment, and not exercise the purchase option. At the 5th month, I asked if they had sent the letter via certified mail. Answer was no, but we will take care of it. At the 3rd month, they finally sent it in. Guess what? It was too late, the lease was set to renew in December.
Long story short, I argued with the leasing company on their behalf for 2 days. The customer missed the 90 day window by 3 weeks! The customer's response to me is "I do not read the fine print, you are the distributor, it is your responsibilty to contact us when this stuff is due!"
I have yet to reply back to the customer's last email, but I am thinking that I have done everything possible to ensure a smooth transition on this last deal, I wrote the letter for them, all they had to do was put it on their letterhead and mail it out. I'm not a babysitter, but I sure feel like I have some customers who assume that I am!
The only saving grace to this story so far, is that the response the customer gave to me that she does read the fine print on contracts, is that she copied "her boss" into the same email to me!! I'm waiting to see if the blank hits the fan when her boss realizes what she did.