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Complaint To Vendor

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Our telephone company mistakenly disconnected our DSL line, and the problem lasted three weeks. During that time, we suffered inconvenience and a loss of productivity. Our office manager, who was also an attorney, sent this complaint letter. As a result, we received a year's free service.

From: David Clay [dclay@careerlab.com]
Sent: April 16, 20— 8:53 AM
To: Maria Perez
Cc: Bill Frank
Subject: disconnect of service and credit of bill.


This is a response to your direction that I e-mail a formal request for you to credit our account (number 8157 10 020 0007753) for the error your company made in disconnecting our service.  That error left our company without email service from Feb. 28, to March 20. It affected not only our 11 career consultants but also the outplacement clients who normally use our offices and equipment for personal business-related activities.

We receive from 1.5 to 2.0 million hits per week on our web site, with 100,000 users per month.  The internet is our window to the world.  We estimate that we suffered losses of over $10,000 in lost time and productivity of our staff.  We also had to hire a consultant to reprogram our computers and get our phones running, because your service man incorrectly connected our lines when he rewired or reconnected the DSL line. This doesn't include the problems this caused to our client services or the lost business that we normally get through our PhysicianCareerNetwork.™

I have not had the time to calculate our loss exactly: I am still today trying to solve the problems that the lost service caused.  To estimate, when I divide the monthly service charge into our loss ($10,000) in client services we could not give and productivity we could not generate, it appears that you owe us between 4 and 5 years of FREE service for us to break even. 

I hereby request you authorize two years of free service and that any current balance be zeroed out.  I would appreciate a quick response, so I can determine our course of action.  I want not to spend any more time or lose any more money on this matter.

Thank you,

David Clay, J.D.
Office Manager

P.S.—Speaking of frustration and lost time, I had a great deal of trouble getting through on your phone lines.   One time, I was on hold for 21 (clocked) minutes!!!!  I must say once I got through, your employee was always very apologetic and professional.  I think she was doing the best she could with what he had to work with!!!

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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.